suburban spouses to heads of state, check out their secret lives. Douglas Cone
For nearly 30 years, the wealthy tycoon secretly kept two families living in the lap of luxury, 20 miles away from each other. He fathered three children with his wife of 52 years and two with another woman. Douglas Cone + double life, Douglas Cone + Tampa highway construction, Hillary Carlson + former employee + Douglas Cone, Douglas Cone married Hillary Carlson two weeks after wife's death, Donald Carlson + Douglas Cone,
Cone lived a secret double life for nearly 30 years, raising two affluent families in lavish homes 20 miles apart — one with his wife of 52 years and the other with a former employee.
By all accounts, Jean Ann Cone never suspected her husband was using an alias to carry on a relationship with Hillary Carlson, 18 years her junior. He fathered three children with his wife and two with Carlson.
The double life unraveled this spring only after Jean Ann Cone died at 75 and Cone married Hillary Carlson two weeks later. Friends said they learned of his new marriage in Sumter County, about an hour north of Tampa, when the local newspaper printed a listing of local marriages.
Interestingly, the lives of the two families bore many similarities but nothing raised suspicions that both households were headed by the same man.
Jean Ann Cone and Hillary Carlson circulated among Tampa’s rich and powerful. They both served as trustees at their children’s prestigious prep school. Facilities at the school bore their names — the Jean Ann Cone Library and Carlson Field — after generous donations by their husbands.
With his grieving children and grandchildren stunned by the development, Douglas Cone’s double life became all anyone in Tampa society talked about.
‘I FEEL BETRAYED’
“It’s so mean,” said Panky Snow, a lifelong friend of Jean Ann Cone who double-dated with the couple and was a bridesmaid in their 1951 wedding. “I feel betrayed by him too.”
The Cone family isn’t talking. But friends say the Cones’ daughter, Julianne McKeel, was badly shaken by her father’s behavior. Her only public statement was a curt comment to the St. Petersburg Times: “My mother died, my father made a mess. And we all just want to be left alone about it.”
Douglas Cone did not return telephone calls to his office and efforts to reach Hillary Carlson were unsuccessful. The 67-acre estate he shared with Carlson and their two grown children in Lutz, about 15 miles north of downtown Tampa, is gated and not accessible.
It is not clear when Douglas Cone met Hillary Carlson, although in the late 1970s she worked as a secretary for one of his companies. Those close to the family also don’t know exactly how he managed to keep his secret, other than Douglas Cone was away on business most days of the week.
Jean Ann Cone had made a name for herself as a fun-loving, spirited philanthropist that many described as the “life of the party.”
“All I can say is she was just a wonderful person,” said Norma Gotay, the Cones’ housekeeper. “He was as nice as she was.”
Cone was the daughter of renowned University of Florida athlete Ashley Wakefield Ramsdel. She raised champion bulldogs and so loved the breed she once threw a party for Uga, the University of Georgia mascot, at a swanky Tampa restaurant when the team was in town for the Outback Bowl.
WIFE FOUND DEAD
In March, she was found dead in the driver’s seat of her Rolls-Royce in the garage of the Cones’ 4,000-square-foot brick home on the golf course of the city’s most prestigious gathering spot, the Palma Ceia Country Club.
‘My mother died, my father made a mess. And we all just want to be left alone about it.’
— JULIANNE MCKEEL
Daughter of Douglas S. Cone She had last been seen alive by a friend who had escorted her home from a small social gathering and watched her drive into the garage and close the door behind her. Police believed she passed out after she had parked the car but before she turned the engine off.
Douglas Cone was out of town at the time of his wife’s death. McKeel found her mother and summoned her father and police. Detectives noted that when Douglas Cone arrived, he was clearly distraught at the loss of his wife.
“He was really depressed. They cared about each other,” said Gotay, the housekeeper. “They had been married for so many years.”
Police — who didn’t learn of Cone’s other relationship until it was publicly revealed in the Times in June — reinvestigated Jean Ann Cone’s death at the request of the Cones’ three children and said there was no evidence of foul play.
“The family was only suspicious because he remarried too quickly,” said Sgt. Jim Simonson, who heads Tampa Police’s homicide squad. “That can be easily explained; it’s not like he met the woman two weeks before.”
Norman Cannella, the Tampa attorney representing Douglas Cone Jr., said the family is satisfied with investigators’ findings, although it has done nothing to mend their relationship with their father.
What concerns Jean Ann Cone’s friends now is that her husband’s behavior will overshadow her memory. They want her remembered as an effervescent personality, who when it came to secrets had one — albeit a benevolent one — of her own.
“She had a secret fund called the ‘Cone Charity’ with the veterinarians in Tampa,” Snow said. “If people had animals they wanted to adopt and couldn’t afford the fees, she would tell them just to charge it to the Cone Charity, but don’t tell Doug.”
The former senator and White House hopeful was exposed for having an extramarital affair with his campaign videographer, who then bore his child. He allegedly siphoned campaign funds to cover it all up.There's a natural temptation to look the other way as the John Edwards story plays out. Don't. This story matters. To use a time-honored phrase, "it's not just about the sex." The preternaturally pretty and youthful Edwards is the Dorian Gray of American politics. His story has a lot to teach us about our culture and the way we choose our leaders. John Edwards + secret affair, John Edwards + allegedly more than $925,000 in contributions, The National Enquirer + John Edwards affair + 2007, John Edwards + indicted + six felony charges, John Edwards + opening statements + April 23, John Edwards + Rielle Hunter + sex tape,
And like so many tales of power, it eventually leads back to Wall Street.
I'm a Celebrity Politician... Get Me Out of Here!
Want to know what's wrong with our politics? He-e-e-re's Johnny! Edwards is a political Charlie Sheen, a media superstar fueled by his own addictions and ego. Why didn't we see it before? His story indicts the Usual Suspects, celebrity-driven campaigning and the media's herd mentality. But it also shines an unflattering light on progressives, the Democratic Party, and many of us who take pleasure in thinking that we're "better than" our broken political system.
As a contender for America's Next Top President. John Edwards had it all: the eyes, the smile, the catwalk confidence. Had Edwards won the nomination, he'd have played Tyra Banks to John McCain's Janice Dickinson. Fans know how that turned out.
What Edwards never had was a resumé. His political track record was cloudy at best. He wrote an editorial on Iraq in 2002 in support of Bush's war, not against it. In 2004 he ran as a cipher with a strong personal presence but a content-free message. He fell flat in his one critical performance that year, the Vice-Presidential debate with Dick Cheney. He was a high-octane salesman, a David Mamet character motivated by the sale and not the product.
Yet the media never stopped referring to Edwards as an inevitable Presidential contender. And when he ran in 2008 on an unambiguously left platform, progressives embraced him without ever asking him how he went from being the hawkish John Edwards of 2002 to the proudly anti-war candidate of 2008.
Will the Real John Edwards Please Stand Up?
As the nation now knows, he also went from being "Johnny Reid Edwards" to "John Edwards." As Zach Carter points out, "Johnny Reid Edwards" sounds like the name of a journeyman slide guitar player. But Edwards dropped the "Johnny" to distance himself from his roots. Like an illicit lover, his Southern upbringing was only brought out when it was time to meet his needs.
I only saw Edwards in person once, at an impromptu press conference. He seemed frenetic, agitated, wired, like a whippet dog whose Alpo had been laced with methedrine. Later that day I co-hosted The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur. Before the show Cenk said "Hey, something funny happened today. I was near the Beverly Hills Hotel and ran into John Edwards..." We now know that Edwards had visited Rielle Hunter at that hotel the night before.
Now we've all learned too much about John Edwards and his double life with Rielle. Some of us feel a little dirty because we've read about the secret payments, seen the sleazy video "interviews" (where she plies him with flattering questions and he answers with flirty looks), and heard about the pregnant sex video. Ugh. In the words of another Northern guitar player, I "wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then."
But we do know. And we know that money kept his secret. Money's as big an ingredient in the John Edwards story as sex. Edwards has shown us that powerful politicians have a different relationship with money. Rich and powerful people are all too happy to write them checks or provide them with expensive favors.
Edwards had two financial benefactors for his cover-up -- the late Fred Baron, and Bunny Mellon, the then 99-year-old heiress to the Mellon fortune. Johnny Reid Edwards remained a Presidential contender only because he was able to tap some of the oldest, most institutionalized Wall Street money in the country through the Mellon family.
Bunny made her money the old-fashioned way: She inherited it. Born into a rich family, she became a lot richer when she married Paul Mellon. Paul's fortune originated with Thomas Mellon, who made his millions during the robber-baron era when rich and unscrupulous people could amass near-monopolistic wealth and then use it to crush competition, kill the free market, and corrupt the political process.
You know, like now.
Paul's father was Andrew Mellon, Treasury Secretary under Warren Harding and Herbert Hoover. Andrew's attitude toward Americans victimized by Wall Street was brutal and shockingly direct: "... liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate... purge the rottenness out of the system ... People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people."
Those sentiments might not seem out of place in a Treasury Department meeting about home foreclosures today. And they'd fit in perfectly at Republican meetings about any economic subject, from Medicare to union-busting.
The Other "Other America"
Edwards' "The Two Americas" theme was destined to fail. While the vast majority of Americans live in the rocky, real, America, they're citizens of that other America in their dreams -- dreams fueled by media celebrities like John Edwards. Without his wealthy friends, Edwards' dream candidacy would have died. How can a politician who owes his position to secrets favors from the wealthy ever be a real reformer?
Here's another question: How many other politicians have owed this kind of secret debt? It wasn't inevitable that Edwards' secret would come out. Other secrets haven't.
Edwards may or may not have broken current law. But a system that allows powerful politicians to be in thrall to wealthy "friends" should be on trial, and his case provides a strong argument for making actions like his illegal in the future.
Maybe the Edwards case makes some of us uncomfortable because we don't like what it shows us about ourselves. Reporters who traveled with him must have seen the strange and disturbing mania I saw that day, yet they ignored it. Progressives were all too willing to set skepticism aside to embrace what, in the end, turned out to be manipulation and flattery.
And Democrats who feel superior to the GOP's field of trivial contenders might be reminded that their 2008 primaries were dominated by celebrity candidates -- a pretty boy, a First Lady, and a new politician made famous by one televised speech. Their bitter primaries were driven more by Democrats' self-identification with one candidate or another than by substantial differences over the issues.
In Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray, a man stays eternally youthful while the face in his portrait reflects all the cynicism, corruption, and ravages of his life. Here's an unpleasant possibility worth considering: that if John Edwards is Dorian Gray, the rest of us are the picture.
An organic farmer and boat repairman from Port Townsend seemed like your typical married father of three. In October 2009, his unwitting wife found out he was a suspected serial bank robber.The call came out of the blue a week ago Friday. It was the FBI, asking to speak with Kateen Fenter.They said her husband, Michael, was in jail and that he was accused of bank robbery.From Washington all the way down to California, he is suspected of four armed robberies in all."We've been married for 20 years," Kateen Fenter said Saturday. "Everything's been beautiful and wonderful. Now my whole life is falling apart."On Thursday, Michael Fenter was charged in U.S. District Court with robbing a bank in Tacoma. Michael Fenter + double life, Michael Fenter + $73,000, Michael Fenter + "John Doe bandit" , Michael Fenter + Seattle, Tacoma, San Francisco and Sacramento, Michael Fenter sentenced to 10 years in prison,
Before that, he had never been charged with a crime. He had Kateen, and three kids, and a Port Townsend farm to take care of. Until earlier this year, he had a job with a boat-repair business. And now he may be facing years in prison."No one can understand it," Kateen Fenter said. "It's very out of character. Even the FBI says they don't understand."Kateen and Michael, 40, had known each other for 25 years, since they were kids.
In 2007, they had bought 40 acres near Discovery Bay, called Compass Rose Farm. They arranged for the stream and the woods to remain protected in perpetuity through a land trust. They raised sheep and grew produce and hay. They had a trickle of income, but it was enough.
"Our lives are simple," Kateen Fenter said. "We're not a credit-card family." She said other than the farm, they have no debt. Her parents live with them and help out with the mortgage.
According to charging documents, Fenter is accused of entering a Bank of America branch in Tacoma on Oct. 8, demanding an employee fill a sack with money and claiming to have a bomb in a box that he carried. He said he represented a group of people who were angry at the government.Fenter allegedly left the bank with $73,000.
Police were waiting outside, tipped off by a 911 call. They arrested their suspect, who was carrying a .40 caliber handgun in his waistband, court documents state. The box contained a blasting cap, a small explosive device. Police said there were stacks of money and two more weapons in his car, and that his fingertips were coated in Super Glue.
Initially, Fenter declined to identify himself, instead saying his name was Patrick Henry, which prompted the FBI to nickname him the "John Doe bandit." Eventually, they determined John Doe was Fenter.Even authorities are scratching their heads.
"It is very unusual for us to find a bank robber who is just a normal upstanding citizen," FBI spokeswoman Robbie Burroughs said. A typical bank robber, she said, is someone who is "extremely down on their luck." They are often drug users."It is unusual to find somebody who is a working family man involved in this kind of activity," Burroughs said.She declined to comment on possible motives.
The FBI is investigating whether Fenter robbed a Washington Mutual branch in downtown Seattle on Feb. 4, leaving a suspicious bag behind that prompted an evacuation of the building and a street closure. Fenter also is being investigated in connection with two bank holdups in Sacramento and San Francisco, an FBI official said Saturday.When the FBI called, Kateen Fenter recalled: "I couldn't believe what they were saying could be true."
Kateen managed the farm, which sold eggs, lamb meat and produce, while Mike worked at a boat-repair yard 14 miles away in Port Townsend. A friend said he quit last January, for reasons that are unclear."They were farmers, and he was a working guy," recalled Matt Elder, owner of the Sea Marine boat repair yard.
Elder called the news of Fenter's arrest "bizarre. ... It comes as a huge shock to anyone who knew him and the family, and the hard work that was going on out at the farm."
A friend, Becca Lupton, said, "I just have been walking around in a fog because it seems unbelievable." She met Fenter four years ago when he was a student at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in nearby Port Hadlock and she was a waitress at the Ajax Café across the street.
"He was just a really nice, solid, friendly person. He would always help out with anything," Lupton said. She said he was excited about acquiring the farm property, going back to the land and homesteading.
Since Michael Fenter has been jailed, Kateen has spoken with him only once. She sits by the phone in case he calls again — inmates can only call collect, she said, and they can't call collect to a cellphone.
She steeled herself for his first court appearance, which she expected to occur last Monday, but it kept getting pushed back.
On Friday, Kateen Fenter finally went to court and saw her husband.
Afterward, in the lobby, she broke down sobbing.
He has not yet entered a plea.
Over the past few days, friends and family have tried to be supportive.
Fenter said her kids are devastated.
"I love my husband," she said. "I don't know what will happen to us."
When this former ad man returned home to his pregnant wife and two kids, police started a search and an online campaign got under way. He was later found living under a different name and leading a swinging lifestyle in clubs and online.To his wife and college sweetheart, Nicholas Francisco seemed to be a perfect prince.Francisco and Christine Carter met, fell in love, married and settled into a suburban life outside Seattle. Daughter Zea came along, followed by a son, Noah. The family became regulars at a conservative church. And Francisco got a job as art director for a top ad agency. Nicholas Francisco + double life, Nicholas Francisco + Alex Martin, Nicholas Francisco + wife found secret bank account, Nicholas Francisco + America's Most Wanted, Nicholas Francisco + There are lots of kids that don't have dads.,
With a third child on the way, their budget was stretched some. But to Carter, life with Francisco was all right."He was everything that I had dreamed of,'' she said. "I felt like Cinderella."
But on a winter morning in 2008, Francisco, 28, leaned in to kiss his pregnant wife goodbye. "Oh, my poor, sweet Bella, I love you," he said. Carter would not know until several weeks later that her prince was saying goodbye forever.
Watch the full story Tuesday on "Primetime: Family Secrets" at 10 p.m. ET
That night, Francisco vanished on his way home from work. What followed was a mystery that began with nightmarish worries of foul play and ended in a different kind of nightmare.
Francisco was very much alive. And he had been leading a troubling double life.
The couple had met nine years before at art school. Carter was interested even before "hello." He was so good-looking that her jaw dropped when she first set eyes on him, she said. Soon the two would discover that they both had troubled childhoods.
Courtesy Christine Carter
Nicholas and Christine Francisco with their two children in 2005.
Francisco's father had walked out on his family when he was 16. Carter said she had been abused as a child. But in him, she found someone she could trust. And with her, he was not too afraid to tie the knot.
"When you're a little girl, and you're thinking about your knight in shining armor, he was it," said Carter.
His friends and co-workers say he was likeable, fun and sometimes a little nutty.
"He was kind of a little bit crazy, the guy sticking his head out the window yelling and screaming as we're driving," said Matt Donovan, his best friend.
But he was also mysterious, said Kristina Muller-Eberhard, his supervisor at Publicis, the multinational advertising and communications firm. "There's a bit of a dark side to him, troubled, I should say. He kept a lot to himself."
Just after 6:00 p.m. on February 13, Francisco called his wife and promised to be home soon to bake Valentine's Day cookies with the kids. It had been a fairly ordinary work day, said Muller-Eberhard. Francisco seemed happy that day. He had been making jokes.
At home, the children were excited to begin baking with their father.
When Daddy Disappears: Family Fears Foul Play
As time ticked by, Zea asked, "Mommy, why didn't Daddy come home and make cookies?" At first, Carter was irritated. He had promised to be home. But by 9 o'clock, her aggravation was giving way to worry.
"That wasn't like him. He always called me," she said. When Francisco was stuck in traffic and just 15 minutes late, he would routinely call.
Finally, after he did not call and she could not reach him on his cell, Carter put the kids to bed. At 10 p.m., she called 911. She was told to wait three more hours and call back if she still had not heard from him.
She paced for a while. And then she started calling hospitals, friends, and family. But no one had any information.
At 1 a.m. she called 911 again. "I said, 'You don't understand. He's not the same as every other man. This man wouldn't leave me. He wouldn't just walk out.'"
Police responded quickly, assigning a detective to the case in the morning."We had no known motive,'' said Detective John Holland.
Francisco seemed to be clear of any connections to the drug world, or anyone on the outskirts of society. And he seemed to be an ordinary homebody, Holland said.
An army of friends, family, church members and co-workers organized a massive search for Francisco, scouring the streets for hours along his route home, hanging "Missing" posters everywhere. The ad agency where he had worked hired a private investigator, and, for a time, shut down his department so employees could hit the streets and hand out flyers.
"We were really worried,'' said Muller-Eberhard. "One of your co-workers go missing, you know, you want to do something about it."
Carter gave interviews to reporters, hoping to unearth some leads for authorities.
"If you can't find him, these kids don't have a daddy,'' she said in one television interview.
The national media picked up the story and Francisco's disappearance was featured on the "America's Most Wanted" website.
The attention brought more volunteers and other community support. "The donations kept flooding in. I was overwhelmed."
People gave money, and brought clothes and food.
Amateur sleuths from around the country offered clues and proffered plots. Some wondered if Francisco's wife had killed him. At least two psychics told police he was dead.Police also wondered if Carter was responsible and brought her in for interrogation. "I was accused of things that never even crossed my mind,'' she said. "Murdering him. Cheating on him. Scamming the public for donation money."
Authorities asked about life insurance and the donations she'd received. "All I wanted was my husband to be found,'' she said.
The Search Continues
Six days after Francisco went missing, his red Toyota was found. But the car yielded no evidence of foul play, or much of anything else, said Holland. Search dogs could not find a scent to follow.
Still, buoyed by the finding, volunteers rallied. "It gave us some more hope,'' said Lee Brown, a family friend. "So we actually got another search party together, right there in the middle of the condo complex at night. It was pretty heartwarming to see this many people want to get involved."
"I just remember screaming,'' said Carter, after hearing his car was found. "But I knew it was the beginning of the end."
Police were checking every dead body that turned up in the area. They also tried, without success, to obtain Francisco's cellphone records. Since it was not yet clear that any crime had been committed, the court would not grant police access."
But police had more luck at Francisco's job site. When they searched his office, they made a stunning discovery on his desk: a receipt for condoms.
When police told Carter, she said, "There's no way."
"I'm pregnant. We've been trying for a year to have a baby. And I finally got pregnant. We have not used condoms."
Carter grasped at explanations and suggested to police that a clerk must have made a mistake.
But then she found evidence on her husband's computer that he was hiding money in a secret bank account and using it to pay for things he did not want her to know about.
While she was home struggling to feed the kids, he was eating out. And when police finally got hold of Francisco's cell phone records, they discovered that the supposedly devoted husband and father had been leading a double life.He was seeing other women. And not only had he been cheating, but he was a player and a swinger, authorities said. He had Internet names like "Fun Time Steve" and "Horny Steven." His MySpace page listed his interests as "women," "couples," "sex" and "nudity." He listed his sexual orientation as "bi."
They also found that some of the money in the secret bank account had been used to pay for adult websites specializing in hooking up.
"He was soliciting sex," Carter said. "I felt so sick."
Clues led police and Carter to an anything-goes sex club in Seattle, the "Wet Spot," and a local bar where he met swingers at their weekly parties.
By now, Carter was re-evaluating her feelings about the life they had led. She was realizing that she had missed many clues.
Hope Turns into Heartache: Missing Man Left for New Life
"I feel like an idiot,'' she said. "How did I not see this stuff?"
She was forced to choose between two horrible versions of reality: a dead husband or one who would leave her and her children. It was easier to think of him as dead.
"That means that he didn't actually choose to leave me and my children, that he didn't actually choose to walk away," she said.
Carter filed for divorce. She later gave birth to their third child, a boy.
Police could not find Francisco. They made him "King of Spades" on a missing persons card deck.Eventually the case lost momentum.
But then Carter received a call from a state employee telling her that a child support check was waiting for her. When she had filed for divorce, the absent Nicholas Francisco was classified as a deadbeat dad.
He then made the mistake of opening a bank account in Los Angeles and it was flagged by Washington State, which confiscated his money.
Francisco, who was living under an assumed name, tried to get his money back before closing the account and disappearing again.
ABC News tracked Francisco down outside his new home in Los Angeles. He did not want to see photos of his children and he had little to say.
He told one Seattle reporter he felt guilty about wasting everyone's time, energy and sympathy. Then he said no, they did it for selfish reasons.
"It doesn't surprise me,'' he said. "It's what people do. They want to feel good about themselves, that they're doing something."
His old friend, Donovan, said he feels betrayed. "You just feel like, like you've been like you've been…played for a fool. And now he's gonna get away with it."
Now divorced, Carter lost their house to foreclosure. She has remarried and lives with her new husband and her three children, squeezed into a basement apartment. She is forced to pay off Francisco's student loans, since she signed on as a co-borrower.
After those initial garnished wages, he hasn't given her another cent. So far the state of California has yet to go after Francisco for more. As Detective Holland told ABC News: so far, Francisco appears to be getting away with it.
Today, as she tries to get by, she has to explain it all to her children. Zea, now seven, still remembers her father.
"We remember the good memories. And we cry together about the good memories. I mean, she always asks at the very end, 'Why did Daddy leave?'
"My answer is the same. 'Because he decided he didn't want to be a daddy or a husband anymore because he was being selfish.'"
He's a former five-term congressman who fathered a child in an extramarital affair with a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. Meanwhile, he had a wife and three kids at home.Rep. Vito Fossella could be looking to get back into the race for his House seat.Nobody seems to know for sure, but rumors to that effect exploded across the 13th Congressional District last night after voters this weekend began receiving calls from a polling firm, asking them for their opinions about the scandal-scarred representative. Vito Fossella + DWI arrest led to admitting affair, Vito Fossella + Staten Island GOP endorsement,
"I assume the poll is being done by him, or on his behalf," said one veteran Island political observer who believes Fossella might be angling to get back in the race.
"Why else would you poll now? Nothing else makes sense."
Said another: "I heard that Vito's back in. How true that is, I don't know. It could be a trial balloon. If there's a big public outcry, maybe they won't go through with it."
Fossella (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn), who declined to run for re-election after revelations that he'd fathered a child with a Virginia woman during an extramarital affair, couldn't be reached for comment last night.
Of course, there is one large obstacle to Fossella getting the GOP nomination for the race: Former Assemblyman Robert Straniere, who won a Republican primary for the nod last Tuesday.
The only way Straniere, who is an attorney, can be removed from the ballot at this late date is if he dies, moves out of state or is nominated to run for a judgeship.
Straniere, whose brother, Philip, is an acting state Supreme Court judge, last night said he wasn't going anywhere.
"Why would I step aside?" Straniere told the Advance. "I just won a Republican primary. They've got the wrong Straniere. My brother's the judge. I have one ambition: To be the representative for the 13th Congressional District. I'm the Republican candidate, and I fully expect to be the next congressman."
While sources said that a deal had been struck in the last day or two for Straniere to step aside, Straniere last night said that he knew nothing of any plan, and had not been approached about getting off the ballot.
"This sounds like more spin and dirty tricks from disgruntled members of the GOP," said Straniere, who has had a rocky relationship with borough Republican Party chieftains for years.
State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) is the only GOP elected official who has backed Straniere's bid. Others have stayed on the fence or have said outright that they will not support Straniere.
Fossella could also get back in the race on the Conservative Party line if Paul Atanasio, who is also an attorney, can be persuaded to step aside and run for a judgeship. But political observers said that it would be difficult for an incumbent even with Fossella's name recognition to win on a third-party line.
Complicating matters is the fact that Fossella faces an October court date for his May 1 DWI arrest in Virginia, the event that led to the revelations about his affair and love child. That court appearance, if it's not postponed, would occur right in the heart of the campaign season.
Republican elected officials and borough GOP chairman John Friscia did not return phone calls last night, but one person familiar with the situation said that if a movement is afoot to put Fossella on the ballot, it's been a closely guarded secret.
"Everybody's in the dark," he said. The Fossella camp could also be waiting to see the results of the poll before making any decision. One person who heard about the poll said respondents were asked specifically about their feelings regarding Fossella's DWI arrest and secret double life in Virginia.
Strong voter sentiment against Fossella in the poll could be enough to scotch the whole effort.
Fossella's re-entry into the race would provide yet another twist to an Island political scene that's already been turned upside down.
The party's original replacement candidate for Fossella, Frank Powers, died in the spring, and the GOP had great difficulty finding another candidate until the Republican leadership, including, by most accounts, Fossella, settled on Straniere.
City Councilman Michael McMahon, the Democratic nominee in the race, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment last night.
The oil heir billionaire had a longtime affair and fathered three children with his L.A. mistress, while his wife raised their four sons in his hometown.San Fransisco high society was in uproar yesterday after learning that its leading light and one of the world's richest men, Gordon Getty, had admitted leading a dual existence by keeping a secret second family in Los Angeles. Gordon Getty + double life, Cynthia Beck + Gordon Getty, Ann Getty + Gordon Getty, Gordon Getty + family fully supportive, Gordon Getty + daughters filed petition + name change,
Mr Getty, who has a wife and four children in San Fransisco, confessed to his double life after a Los Angeles woman, Cynthia Beck, went to court on behalf of her three daughters.
She is asking the judge to allow the girls to change their name to Getty and lodge claims for a share in the family fortune.
The three girls are 8, 10 and 14 years old, suggesting that Mr Getty had lived with his secret since the mid-80s at least. The philanthropist and composer - the fourth of five sons of the oil magnate J Paul Getty - was reported to be on a sailing holiday in Europe, but his spokesman, Larry Kramer, issued a statement on his behalf.
The statement appeared to have been written several months earlier in anticipation of the scandal becoming public.
"Nicolette, Kendalle and Alexandra are my children. Their mother, Cynthia Beck, and I love them very much. The most important concern is that the children's needs be addressed … this will be our first priority," the statement said.
"The Getty family has been fully supportive throughout this situation, and for that I am very grateful," it said.
According to the California press, Mr Getty's wife Ann and his four sons had known about his other children for some time. Family friends cited by the San Jose Mercury said Mrs Getty, who is known for her interests in book publishing, anthropology and interior decor, was not seeking a divorce, although other sources claimed that there were problems in the marriage.
A lawyer for the three girls, Stephen Burgin, said that he did not expect any opposition from Mr Getty to their name change.
"The father has not expressed any problems with that," he said, referring to it as a "pretty perfunctory" process. However, the next hearing on the case has been postponed until November.
Mr Burgin said that the girls were the motive force for the court case. "They know and love their dad and wanted to bear his name. It's fairly straightforward. Their mother is aware of it, but this is not her issue, it's their issue," he said.
The revelations about Mr Getty's double life are just the latest chapter in a colourful, mega-wealthy dynastic history. For many years the family led a reclusive life after one of Gordon Getty's nephews, Jean Paul Getty III, was kidnapped in 1973. The dynasty's patriarch, J Paul Getty, helped pay the $3.2m (£2m) ransom and the 16-year-old boy was returned, but not before the kidnappers had cut off his ear.
In the 80s, Mr Getty got out of the oil business, selling the company his father founded to Texaco for $10.1bn, making him the richest man in the United States, according to Forbes magazine. Instead, with assets valued last year at over $2bn, he became a leading member of the San Fransisco music scene.
He attended the San Francisco Conservatory and turned his hand to composing. His opera, Plump Jack, was performed by the San Fransisco Symphony Orchestra.
While his brother John-Paul Getty II has chosen to lead a reclusive life in London, Gordon and Ann Getty have revelled in their role as the monarchs of San Francisco society. They have hosted grandiose fundraising dinners for President Bill Clinton and the Democrats, and have lent their Pacific Heights mansion for high profile social events such as the wedding of US television star Don Johnson.
She’s a suburban mom of four who rescues animals by day but was arrested for allegedly running a high-profile brothel by night. The Scottish mother-of-four accused of running a high-class Manhattan prostitute ring has told how she is resisting police attempts to pressure her into naming alleged clients.In an interview from her jail cell on the notorious Rikers Island prison, Anna Gristina denied being the madam of a brothel catering to wealthy high-fliers.
She disclosed that she was refusing to betray the men to the police, insisting they are merely friends and business associates. Anna Gristina + five-year DA investigation, Anna Gristina + one count of promoting prostitution, Anna Gristina + $2 million bond at Rikers Island, Alleged partner Jaynie Baker turns herself in,
“I’d bite my tongue off before I’d tell them anything,” she told the New York Daily Post. “They are trying to sweat me out, they are clearly trying to break me.”
In a rambling interview, Miss Gristina also complained about the conditions on Rikers Island, where she is being held in solitary confinement as she awaits trial on a single charge of prostitution.
Prosecutors say they have hundreds of hours of secret recordings of Miss Gristina, including discussions of connections in the law enforcement world who she said would tip her off if she was under investigation.
She is alleged to have boasted of having made more than $10 million (£6.4 million) from prostitution over a 15 year period, most of which she had sent out of the country to avoid detection.
In the interview, however, Miss Gristina insisted that she was a suburban “hockey mom” who has a modest income from the real estate development firm she owns with her third husband, Kelvin Gorr, out of their home in upstate New York, where she also runs a pot-bellied pig sanctuary.
Her lawyers claim that she was seeking funds to establish a legitimate dating website when she was arrested as she met a banker from JP Morgan on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue last month.
“They say I’ve made millions for years, and I have – for other people,” she said. “I know people. It’s like a politician. You say things to make yourself sound better.
“We live very much a simple life. I’ve been struggling to keep my daughter in college to pay the tuition. Our utilities are always on the verge of being cut off. I can show you the bills.”
Miss Gristina, who grew up in a small village near Edinburgh before emigrating to the United States in her early 20s, claimed that the reason she was not facing more charges was because prosecutors had little evidence against her as she had refused to co-operate with police.
She said she had been presented with a list of 10 well-connected New York men who officials alleged were her clients.
“Some I knew, some I didn’t,” Miss Gristina said. “In effect it was, ‘Tell us what we want, and we’ll let you go.’ The ones I knew were people I’ve known for a long time who are in politics, investing and real estate.
“I didn’t have anything to tell them. I got the impression they were trying to make a case, but they didn’t really know what it was.
“You know what it was? It was fishing. They are trying to squeeze me for information that I don’t even know what it is or have.
“It’s not about me, it’s bigger than me. If I’m such a big, high-profile madam making all this money, and they had to investigate me for five years, why did they arrest me on a single promoting prostitution charge?”
Miss Gristina complained that she was being kept in a “sweltering,” smelly cell in isolation on Rikers Island.
“Picture an old military barracks, with plastic mattresses and rusty springs. I’m in there by myself. It smells like cat urine. It’s just deplorable,” she said.
Hutcheson — a longtime business partner with his celebrity chef son-in-law — was discovered hiding a second family of two children with his mistress.The celebrity chef was awarded £250,000 in legal costs after a judge found his father-in-law Chris Hutcheson and other members of his family had illegally accessed his computers. Chris Hutcheson + second family, Chris Hutcheson + Frances Collins, Gordon Ramsay + hired private detectives to investigate father-in-law, Chris Hutcheson + obtained super-injunction, Chris Hutcheson + Sara Stewart + £5,000 retainer,
It came after Ramsay, 44, launched legal action earlier this year after discovering that personal messages between himself and his wife Tana had been read.
This week the court ordered her family pay £250,000 in legal costs after Mr Justice Briggs ruled they had hacked into their personal emails and company computers.
Mr Justice Briggs found Mr Hutcheson, and his daughter Orlanda Butland and son Adam Hutcheson were liable for breach of confidence. He also ordered the trio hand over documents obtained as a result.
Making his order on Tuesday, Mr Justice Briggs said there was "no real prospect of ... successfully defending the claims for breaches of confidence", the paper said.
He said the three defendants should "pay to the claimants the sum of £250,000 on account of the said costs, by 4.30pm on March 20, 2012". Ramsay, who was not in court, was said to feel "vindicated" by his win.
The action came after he sacked Mr Hutcheson, 63, as chief executive of his company following the discovery that he had raised a secret family.
The High Court was told that Mr Hutcheson had raised two children with Frances Collins, his mistress, funding them with his six-figure salary as head of his son-in-law's global empire.
He also had four children with Greta, his unsuspecting wife, dividing his time and wealth between his two families.
The former chief executive of Gordon Ramsay Holdings, was accused of withdrawing £1.42 million from the company to fund a double life with his secret second 'wife' and family and paying £5,000 a month to a separate mistress for doing nothing.
Details of Mr Hutcheson’s double-life were disclosed last year after the Court of Appeal lifted a super-injunction he obtained in an attempt to keep his second life secret.
Ramsay then launched legal action, in which his 42-page writ alleged that dozens of highly personal messages were read.
They contained details of the couple's private lives, conversations about their four children and plans for a skiing holiday.
All other claims in the writ including allegations that Hutcheson, 63, took the money his firm to fund his double life and paying alleged mistress Sara Stewart will be heard in a later trial. Hutcheson and the other parties deny the other allegations.
A source close to Ramsay told the Daily Mirror: "Given what Chris and members of his family did, Gordon and Tana had no choice but to take legal action. After what they have been subjected to they of course feel vindicated by the decision."
The third U.S. president and author of the nation’s "self-evident truths" is believed to have had a slave mistress and fathered at least one (if not all) of her six children.Is it possible that one of the first presidents was, in fact, a father to an unacknowledged child? DNA tests have provided compelling evidence surrounding the speculation that Jefferson sired at least one child with his slave, Sally Hemings. According to the museum dedicated to his estate, the rumor first found footing in the public arena when a journalist published a story about it in 1802. Neither Jefferson nor Hemings ever addressed the accusation. To this day, Jefferson's paternity of any of her children has not been established with any absolute certainty. James T. Callender + Richmond newspaper accusation + Thomas Jefferson + Sally Hemings , Thomas Jefferson + Sally Hemings + DNA analysis in 1998, Sally Hemings + Martha Jefferson + half-sisters,
Genetic testing conducting in the 1990s suggested that Heming's last child was fathered by someone from the Jefferson clan, but the testing used DNA from the descendants of Jefferson's uncle, since Jefferson himself had no sons.
In September 2011, Robert Turner published a book drawing together reports commissioned by the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society that did not show much support for the accusations. Yet the myth of Jefferson's double life lives on.
France's former president started a long-term extramarital affair before entering office and his mistress gave birth to a daughter. The secret went public shortly before his death in 1996. A new book is set to reopen one of France's most enduring political scandals by revealing previously unpublished details of the affair between former president François Mitterrand and Anne Pingeot.
Une Famille au Secret (A Secret Family) describes how the middle-aged politician met the 18-year-old schoolgirl and used his friendship with her parents to later seduce her.
It claims that when Ms Pingeot fell pregnant by Mitterrand she was packed off to London to avoid a scandal, and returned to give birth in secret. Francois Mitterrand + prostate cancer, Paris Match + Francois Mitterrand + photo of illegitimate daughter, French journalists kept Mitterrand secret, Mazarine Pingeot Mitterrand + Not a Word + Bouche Cousue,
The authors, journalists Ariane Chemin and Géraldine Catalano, who interviewed more than 80 figures from Mitterrand's circle, uncover intimate details of a double life that was kept from the French public for 18 years. Extracts from the book, published in L'Express magazine, describe how Mitterrand, then 45, and Ms Pingeot - "a brunette with a wasp-like waist" - met after he was introduced to her father in 1961 - 20 years before he became president. "The socialist leader seduced everyone ... Anne listened, charmed ... He had charisma. She had character."
Their affair is believed to have started some time around 1968. The child was conceived during Mitterrand's unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1974.
While the pregnancy did not show, Ms Pingeot continued to "shadow" Mitterrand. Later, when it became obvious, she was sent to London for four months, returning to a clinic in Avignon in December 1974 where she gave birth to a daughter, Mazarine. Only her sister was present. After Mitterrand was elected in 1981, security chiefs were ordered to protect Ms Pingeot and Mazarine with "the greatest discretion".
L'Express said the book sought "to judge neither the use of public money" to support Mitterrand's second family, "nor the private duplicity of the former president", but to "dissipate the shadows" over the affair.
After a decade of secrecy, the former California governor and Hollywood action hero came clean about fathering a child with a household staffer. The baby was born less than a week after his famous wife gave birth to their son.The child fathered by Arnold Schwarzenegger and kept a secret is facing a changed life, but Schwarzenegger most likely won't be affected professionally by the scandal, experts say.
Schwarzenegger acknowledged Tuesday that he had fathered a child with a household staffer during his 25-year marriage to Maria Shriver and kept it a secret. Last week, Schwarzenegger and Shriver announced their decision to separate. Arnold Schwarzenegger + affair, Schwarzenegger + After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, Arnold Schwarzenegger + Maria Shriver + therapy,
Schwarzenegger's camp has declined to confirm or deny the former employee's name, which has been reported by ABC and People magazine as Mildred Baena of Bakersfield, Calif. Schwarzenegger released a statement in which he apologized to his wife and four children and asked for privacy for his family.
The private world for the newest child in question, however, is quickly becoming a thing of the past."There's going to be a very difficult transition for this mother and child who have been unwittingly brought into the limelight," says Jennifer Freed, a marriage, family and child therapist who specializes in teenagers.
The child's life will be forever changed, which Freed calls a "double-edged sword." If he didn't already know who his real father is, that will bring a "shock" to the child, Freed says. Consequently, "doors could open to him that he never had before. Now he's Arnold Schwarzenegger's son. It really is an entire leap of status overnight."
"These are just mind-blowing moments in life," says Gary Neuman, a family therapist and author of Connect to Love. "One of the worst feelings is embarrassment and humiliaition, especially in public. There will be an emotional fallout for the child."
Neuman says the child has been put in an "unfair" situation.
"He's still going to have to go to school and might have to put up with public ribbing," Neuman says. "He's lost his ability to be judged on his own. It's even harder because it comes out of the blue. It's not like he was born to a famous person."
Freed predicts that the child, who had no choice in his parents' decision to keep him a secret, will be well-received by the general public.
"People will pour their sympathy and compassion toward him. He will be the recipient of a lot of love, but he will also have to bear the shadow of an illicit affair."
As for Baena, who will forever be known as the woman who helped rip apart Schwarzenneger and Shriver's marriage, opportunities will arise for her, as well.
"On the good side, it's going to empower this woman to be able to speak out if she chooses to talk about this secret that she's kept for years," Freed says. "That's never a healthy situation for anybody. When we keep a secret, we increase our level of shame and unworthiness. This child has been shrouded with this stigma since Day One, even though it's just now come out."
But now that the secret is out, Baena can take the proper steps forward to heal.
"When a mother gives birth it should be a celebration, but if you have to silence your maternal nature, that's not healthy," she says. "To cut that off because of protection for Arnold, possibly for herself, is also a deep wound in what is usually very celebratory moment in one's life cycle."
Freed and Neuman recommend intensive therapy for all parties involved but especially the child. "Children are extremely resilient," Freed says. "He (or she) can work it out."
Despite Schwarzenegger's behavior, his return to Hollywood probably won't be affected, experts say.
"This is not going to prevent the majority of people from seeing his movies," says Patricia Leavy, associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass.
"When there is such a public scandal there is a stain maybe forever, so I don't think people will forget this. But at the end of the day, will this impact whether people see his movies? I don't think so. In a perverse way, it's a lot of free publicity."
Pop Eater columnist Rob Shuter says the scandal could actually help Schwarzenegger's return to the big screen.
"It certainly put him back in the public eye," Shuter says. "It's not as shocking, as it's not something that is out of character. He's made a lot of money by being a guy's guy. ... I think it reinforces his brand."
Shuter says blaming Hollywood for tolerating bad behavior by celebrities is not fair.
"It's the people who buy the tickets who determine if he will be a success or not," Shuter says. "The public has shown that with Mel Gibson; they did not turn out to see The Beaver. We'll have an option" about whether to support Schwarzenegger.
It will probably be awhile before a new Schwarzenegger film hits theaters.
"We'll probably have moved on to our next celebrity scandal or divorce" by then, Shuter says.