Saturday, February 14, 2004

The Kerry mystery woman's parents call Kerry a "sleazeball." The Brits have all the details so far -- but include his denials as well. Stateside, the sprightly Wonkette Wasington gossip site reports that the woman says there's no truth to the affair allegation, and will be returning to the country soon, perhaps to clear things up. For now, gossip junkies can gnaw on the tidbits from the British tabs:

JOHN Kerry spoke out last night to deny sensational claims that he had an affair with a journalist aged 27.

But the Democrat's terse rebuttal did little to quash speculation over a scandal that threatens to derail his race for the White House.

Mr Kerry, 60, whose wife is the wealthy heiress Theresa Heinz Kerry, said: 'There is nothing to report, nothing to talk about. There is no story.'

The woman allegedly at the heart of the matter was named as Alex Polier, a reporter with the Associated Press in New York.

She is said to have fled on holiday to Africa after being contacted by U.S. journalists investigating claims that she and Mr Kerry had a two-year affair beginning in spring 2001.

Her parents, Terry and Donna Polier, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, have claimed Mr Kerry, a father- of-two, invited their daughter to join his Senate re-election team.

They suggested the presidential hopeful was 'after' their daughter and Mr Polier called him 'a sleazeball'.

Miss Polier graduated last May with a masters' degree in journalism. She was not available for comment.

Mr Kerry made his brief denial on a radio programme yesterday morning.

The rumours first emerged on Thursday in The Drudge Report, the Right-wing news site which first broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The setback came just as the Massachusetts senator looked certain to win the Democratic nomination for November's general election.

Mr Kerry insisted he was prepared for a 'dirty tricks' drive by the Republican Party and was ready to fight back.

'We've seen evidence. We know exactly where these guys are gonna go, and I'm ready for it,' he said.

General Wesley Clark, a former rival for the Democratic nomination yesterday threw his support behind Mr Kerry. The Drudge Report claimed he told reporters: 'Kerry will implode over an intern issue.'

Mr Kerry has won 12 of the 14 state primaries and caucuses held so far. His closest rival is Howard Dean.

He is married to Theresa Heinz Kerry, heiress to the GBP 350million food empire. She has three children and he has two from his first marriage.

* A majority of Americans believe President Bush lied or deliberately exaggerated evidence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in the runup to war, a poll has found.

The Washington Post/ABC News poll showed declining support for the war.

And just half of those questioned thought the President was 'trustworthy'.

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