John Francis - Chapter 77

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 3:28 PM
At 11:30, Jon and Richie left to pick up Dot for the interview at the paper. As they drove to the office to meet with the reporter, Jon thanked his ex-wife for her support.

“Jon, I’ve been doing so much thinking…now I don’t know what she lied to me about and what was true.”

“I know, Dot, the main thing is I’m sorry you were hurt, both by what I did and what you might have been told.”

Nodding her head, Dot remained silent for the rest of the drive. Richie and Jon exchanged quick looks and Richie made wide eyes.

The meeting with the one reporter turned into a bit of a media circus as somehow the information had leaked out that Jon and his ex-wife were coming to the paper. Richie being with them only added to the feeding frenzy. With everyone making “no comment” remarks, they entered the paper and were shown to where the editor’s office was. The society reporter was also there, with a bit of a grayish expression on her face. Brief introductions were made, but they were strained and nods instead of handshakes were exchanged.

Jon looked at the reporter. “I need to ask you something and I hope you’ll answer. Do you know the name of the person who called you?” She shook her head no. “Was it a woman?” This time her answer was yes. He turned to the editor. “Where’s the person we’ll be issuing our statements to?” A 50ish man entered the room then and was introduced as a senior reporter.

The three made their statements then, completely clearing Amanda of the allegations, explaining that she had experienced a severe allergic reaction to a drug that was given to her unknowingly. Jon showed the reporter her blood work results, but did not give the papers over. He wanted a retraction of the previous story and the correct information put in the paper the next day.

Turning to the younger society reporter, his voice was glacial. “This is off the record, understand?” He turned and got nods from all present. “We have strong suspicions that the woman who called you to give that false information was also the one who drugged Amanda. Everything she told you was a lie except that Richie and I were there with the paramedics. Amanda almost died from what was done to her. She does not do drugs.”

Dot spoke up then. “This is also off the record. I too got a call from the woman involved with this last night. She gave me the same information, but I never once said I would not allow our children around Amanda. I’ve met her. She’s a wonderful person.” She stopped for a second. “No, wait, I want the part where I’ve met Amanda and what a wonderful person she is to be ON the record. Also that I NEVER said anything about not letting her meet with our children!”

Nods all around from the reporters and the editor. The interview was over.

~~~

Exiting the building, the press was still there in full force. Shooting looks at each other they nodded and silently agreed to answer questions.

“Jon – Is the story in today’s paper true?” - “Absolutely not!”

“Dorothea – are you keeping your kids away from Jon’s new girlfriend?” - “Of course not, I’ve met her and she’s a lovely woman. That article was completely false.”

“Richie – Did you see her doing drugs?” – “No, because she did not do any drugs.”

Jon held up his hand. “Let me make a statement here, okay?” Nods from the press.

Explaining as briefly as possible and making sure not to mention Maryann in any way as per the lawyer’s advice, he gave the pertinent details of what had happened. He stressed that at no time was a drug knowingly used, although Amanda had been drugged and suffered a severe allergic reaction. Dot and Richie added their own comments refuting the story and the allegations against Amanda. After a few more questions that now seemed to reflect a change in the reporters’ attitudes toward believing the three, they made their way to Jon’s car and left.

“Holy shit!” Dot’s voice was heard. “I forgot how much I hate that stuff!”

“I know you do and I can’t thank you enough for what you did and said back there. You were really terrific.”

“I didn’t want to like her, Jon, but dammit I actually do…” Dot sounded almost peeved at herself at that admission. “No matter what, though, she didn’t deserve what was printed about her and neither did you two.”

~~~

Sitting with Amanda talking quietly about inconsequential things, Tico finally asked if she minded if he turned on the TV. It was close to 3 by that time and he started flipping through the channels. He stopped suddenly when he saw Jon, Dot, and Richie on the TV. They both listened as Jon made his statement and they answered the reporters questions. The coverage was short and when Tico turned to Amanda he saw tears on her face.

“Chica, what’s wrong? That was good news.” He was confused now because the other three had managed to completely clear her name and refute the story.

“Oh, Tico, even Dot came to my defense…they all stuck themselves out there for the press to tear apart and even his ex-wife defended me.” She cried a little harder then and Tico sat beside her on the couch, an arm around her shoulder.

“Caro (dear), don’t you know you’re worth defending?” His voice soft as he tightened his arm on her shoulder.

“Thank you. It’s just a little overwhelming to be accepted so easily into your group. I’ve missed having friends.”

“We don’t accept anyone easily, but I gotta say that with you it was easy. You treat Jon like a real man and you’re generous and gracious with your time and your friendship.” He laughed hard then as he told her, “I think it was when you punched him in the stomach that really turned the corner!”

She groaned and hid her face in her hands. “I was just so mad that nobody would listen to me. Of course being handcuffed in the back of a police car for the first time in my life didn’t help!”

2 comments

  1. Opester Says:

    Glad that's all resolved, at least for now-still anxious to see what Jon says to Maryann and whether she will go away quietly! He should get a restraining order just to be on the safe side!
    I like how you handled this with the media too-I could see Jon on the phone to his lawyers immediately!

  2. jovikitn65 Says:

    Now that the guys and Dorothea have refuted the story maybe things can settle down for all of them. Dorothea has a wedding to plan, besides Christmas is fast approaching.

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