NEW YORK – And now will the vaunted New York Observer “reverse ferret”?
The newspaper yesterday said New York Post editor Col Allan had been named in surveillance recordings from a five year investigation into a high-end prostitution ring here. The paper also accused rival tabloid The Daily News of “sitting” on the supposed scoop because the two papers’ editors were close.
Was that true? A writer at The Post today said she was setting the record straight and Allan said he was demanding a formal retraction.
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Anna Gristina, the so-called Soccer Mom Madam who is charged with catering to the sexual wants and needs of New York’s powerful men, “does have a relationship with someone at the New York Post,” wrote Jeane MacIntosh, a long-time Post scribe.
“It's me,” said MacIntosh, adding that there was no connection between Allan and Gristina.
To prove the point, MacIntosh said she went to Rikers Island, North America’s largest penal colony, to interview Gristina.
“I don’t know who Col Allan is,” Gristina was quoted as saying. “I have never met him. I have never heard his name until today.”
In his article, The Observer’s Foster Kamer had been circumspect in describing precisely what he had or had not learned from the “multiple sources,” all of them anonymous, who he said told him that Allan was “among the names of various powerful men found in transcripts of the surveillance audio from the five-year-long investigation” and that he had been "named by Ms Gristina in evidence."
In what way was Allan supposedly discussed? As a public figure? As a friend? As a client who had sex with prostitutes?
Kamer did not say. But Gristina was quoted in The Post today as offering one possibility: she once had a conversation with an escort who was questioned in the messy divorce of her alleged boss, a madam named Kristen Davis (no relation to the actress from Sex and the City).
The escort was afraid that her name would end up the papers, along with her testimony.
"I told her I had a relationship with someone at The Post [meaning MacIntosh] who was a good friend, and that I had provided information to The Post in the past,” Gristina was quoted as saying.
Allan gave MacIntosh an angry rebuttal: “My attorneys are today filing a formal demand of retraction from the Observer and its publisher," Allan said. “The Observer’s report is nothing but a smear and a lie.”
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In an update to his story, Kamer adds that he received a statement from Allan through a Post spokesman:
“This story is outrageous. I have never met Anna Gristina, I have no relationship with her and I have no relationship with her business.”