New York Post [Page Six] - May 18, 2007
Lies & Smears Aimed At Post
JARED Paul Stern - a rogue former freelancer for Page Six who was accused last year of trying to shake down billionaire Ron Burkle - is now threatening to sue the New York Post.
The disgraced journalist, who was investigated for alleged extortion by the U.S. Attorney's Office but never charged, included with a demand for money a four-page list of embarrassing allegations about his former colleagues that he is prepared to make public.
Post editor-in-chief Col Allan said The Post, as a matter of principle, wouldn't pay even one cent to the litigious Stern, who, represented by controversial lawyer Larry Klayman, is also suing Burkle, the Daily News, former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Stern's lawsuit against The Post is evidently based on an unsworn statement from his friend Ian Spiegelman, whom The Post fired three years ago after he sent a threatening, profanity-filled, homophobic e- mail one night.
Among Spiegelman's claims:
* "Accepting freebies, graft and other favors was not only condoned by the company, but encouraged as a way to decrease the newspaper's out-of-pocket expenses."
* "Page Six was ordered to kill unflattering stories about Hillary and Bill Clinton on numerous occasions."
* "In Fall 2001, I was ordered to kill a Page Six story about a Chinese diplomat and a strip club that would have angered the Communist regime and endangered [News Corp. Chairman Rupert] Murdoch's broadcasting privileges."
* "Col Allan was [a] frequent visitor to [the] Manhattan strip club Scores, where women dance naked for money. Allan, however, was comped by the club, and did not have to pay to watch the women strip . . . He was also said to have received sexual favors from women provided by the club in a private room."
Spiegelman's fantasy also alleged Allan had taken "kickbacks and bribes," often in "exchange for favorable coverage in the pages of the New York Post."
Allan acknowledges he had been at Scores several years ago. "My conduct was beyond reproach," he said. "Spiegelman's claims are a tissue of lies concocted by an embittered former employee I fired. His untruths are so outrageous, they would be laughable if they were not so offensive."
* Spiegelman's affidavit also claims, "In 1997, New York restaurateur Nello Balan, a frequent Page Six subject, sent one of his employees to the offices of the New York Post to deliver $3,000 in cash to Page Six editor Richard Johnson and Page Six staffers Jeane MacIntosh and Sean Gannon, who is currently the business editor of the New York Post."
On this point, Spiegelman is one-third correct. The Christmas gift was $1,000. "Richard Johnson made a grave mistake in accepting cash from Nello Balan," Allan said yesterday. "After he informed me of his error in judgment, he was reprimanded, and policies were adopted that render such ethical lapses completely unacceptable."
Spiegelman's statement also alleges:
* "In 2006, Girls Gone Wild mogul Joe Francis, a disreputable producer of pornographic videos, threw a debauched bachelor party for Richard Johnson in Mexico valued at $50,000. Johnson was not required to pay one cent of the cost, but Francis was subsequently described as 'the next Hugh Hefner' in Page Six."
* "During the same period Murdoch cancelled the publication of a book from News Corp.-owned imprint HarperCollins by former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten that was critical of the Beijing regime. Murdoch ordered HarperCollins to publish a stunningly awful hagiography of Communist Party boss Deng Xiaoping, authored by his daughter Deng Rong, for a $1 million advance."
* "The favor banking system also extended to Murdoch's son Lachlan Murdoch, former publisher of the New York Post. After actor Russell Crowe purchased a house in Australia from Lachlan, Page Six was ordered to kill unflattering stories about him. Lachlan also extended this protection to famous friends like Nicole Kidman."
As outlandish as most of these smears and lies are, the biggest surprise in the affidavit is this statement: "Jared Paul Stern was known to be the least corruptible, most responsible and valued member of the staff."