Kathleen Willey: The Tabloid Truth

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RICHMOND: Did she or didn’t she? Kathleen Willey’s attorney, David Gecker, finally broke his silence to deny claims that his client tried to sell her story to a supermarket tabloid for $300,000. “We were never motivated by money,” says Gecker in Friday’s New York Times. Willey, he admits, is in arrears for exactly that amount -- but “it would have been better for her to declare bankruptcy and discharge the $300,000 debt than write a story and receive only $300,000.”

Special Report The scandal sheet in question -- The Star -- still insists Gecker was pushing for that amount. Editor Phil Bunton considered Willey’s story to be “not worth more than $50,000.” And Gecker doesn’t deny talking to the tabloid altogether, nor does he deny that Willey was looking for a book deal from publisher Michael Viner. At week’s end, these little details -- along with Julie Steele’s claim that Willey asked her to lie to Newsweek -- have done more to damage Willey’s credibility than any White House spin doctoring.