Kerry in hot water over intern 'affair'

By Time of article published Feb 13, 2004

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United States Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry on Friday sought to dismiss claims that he had an affair with an intern - an allegation with the power to ruin his surging candidacy even as polls suggest he could beat President George Bush.

Asked directly about the allegations Friday morning on a radio show, Kerry, married to Theresa Heinz Kerry, heiress to the food empire, did not flatly deny them, but said: "There is nothing to report, nothing to talk about. There's nothing there. There's no story" Kerry, who has won 12 of the 14 Democratic primaries and who has looked all but certain to win the party's nomination, told the veteran broadcaster, Don Imus, he was the victim of a dirty tricks campaign. "We've seen evidence. We know exactly where these guys are gonna go, and I'm ready for it," he said.

The allegations first surfaced on Thursday evening on the right-wing Internet site, The Drudge Report, famous for breaking the news of Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. The website claimed that the young woman, an intern who had previously worked as a journalist for the Associated Press, had been pressured by Kerry to leave the country when he feared news of their affair would emerge.

It said that retired general Wesley Clark had told reporters just days before he dropped out of the Democratic race, that "Kerry will implode over an intern issue". Clark, meanwhile, endorsed Kerry, something interpreted by some Washington observers as an effort to try and repair any damage his off-the-record comments had done.

Reports Friday identified the young woman as Alex Polier, 24, and said she had fled to Kenya after being approached by the media.

The Sun newspaper quoted Polier's father, Terry, from Malvern, Pennsylvania, as calling Kerry a "sleazeball". - Independent Foreign Service

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