Kerry to answer sex affair claim
By New York Correspondent PHILLIP COOREY
FACING the first crisis of his campaign, Democratic presidential nomination front-runner John Kerry will today respond to allegations he had a two-year affair with a young woman who has since fled the country.
Branded a political dirty trick by the Democrats, the pro-Republican Drudge Report website yesterday accused Senator Kerry, 60, of having an affair that threatened "to turn the race for the presidency on its head".
At the centre of the allegations is Alex Polier, 24, who had worked as a New York-based reporter for Associated Press. She now is now in Kenya.
Her parents, Donna and Terry, speaking from Malvern, Pennsylvania yesterday, said there was no evidence of an affair, only that Senator Kerry may have been attracted to their daughter.
Mr Polier said Senator Kerry had called his daughter "two or three years ago" to ask her to work on his re-election team. She declined.
"I think he's a sleaze-ball," Mr Polier told London's Sun newspaper.
Mrs Polier claimed Senator Kerry was "after" her daughter.
Drudge, which broke the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, alleged yesterday that a young woman, "recently fled the country, reportedly at the prodding of Kerry" after a two-year affair beginning in early 2001.
Drudge further claimed General Wesley Clark, in an off-the-record conversation this week with reporters just before he dropped out of the race for the White House, said that "Kerry will implode over an intern issue".
General Clark made no mention of this during an interview with CNN yesterday. Today, he will throw his support behind Senator Kerry as the Democrat candidate to challenge George W. Bush at the November 2 federal election.
Senator Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz, heiress of the food empire.
He has two daughters from his first marriage, which ended in 1990.