The story began and ends at Calvert Hall College in Towson, Md. CNN’s Thomas Roberts, 33, now a prime-time Headline News anchor in Atlanta, was finally vindicated and found justice on Nov. 7. His former school counselor, Jerome F. “Father Jeff” Toohey, chaplain of Calvert Hall College, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing Roberts during the late 1980s. On Feb. 7, Father Jeff, 59, will be sentenced in Towson and could face up to 15 years in prison. Roberts is expected to attend the sentencing hearing.
Defrocked priest to get Waters treatment
Two other Calvert Hall alumni from Father Jeff’s class of ’64 – one of them is “Hairspray” director John Waters – have been waiting until the sentencing has been determined to start work on a film project in development called “DEFROCKED.” Strangely enough, the story on one of CNN’s favorite anchors was covered in Baltimore but never made the national news.
After the November hearing, Roberts said: “No one can question it. It happened.” Roberts, who covered the 2004 presidential elections from Washington, has been named one of Atlanta’s most beautiful people by a local magazine.
Luxe law fee: $1K/hr.
The high price of law just got higher. The National Law Journal named former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti, chairman of the Venable law firm, as the most expensive lawyer in the country. His billable rate is $1,000 per hour.
Amplification at the top
What? Overly loud rock music? Years of exposure to high decibel levels have made hearing loss a baby boomer phenomena. We hear that a major player in the hearing aid industry is hoping to get a high-profile endorsement – possibly former President Bill Clinton – to serve as a “Bob Dole,” backing the product. They hope that hearing aids will soon be as common – and have as little stigma attached – as eyeglasses. Sixteen million baby boomers suffer hearing loss, according to the EAR Foundation, and those bold-face ears are just two of them.
Big hearts for ‘Little Women’
Maureen McGovern and company (they will be at the Kennedy Center with the national tour of “Little Women” on June 27), via the Hummel Project, adopted a Katrina survivor family that relocated to Detroit. Maureen and the company donated money, linens, blankets, clothes, a Christmas tree and toys for the kids. And, if that wasn’t enough, they had a dinner for 12 delivered on Christmas Eve.
Christmas spirit, Detroit-style
Detroit City Councilwoman-elect Monica Conyers, wife of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., was involved in an altercation and allegedly punched a woman in a bar in Detroit a few days before Christmas. Spokesman Sam Riddle said Conyers was merely defending herself after being attacked by another woman. Both women filed police reports.
Bush numbers up; most still frown
The most recent RT Strategies/Cook Political Report Poll, conducted Dec. 8-11, confirms that President Bush‘s approval ratings have recovered, with 42 percent approving – and 55 percent disapproving. “Our feeling is that Bush has recovered his standing only with his base supporters, but has a long way to go before extending his appeal beyond that Republican base,” said pollster Lance Torrance.
Getting a fix on ’06
Actors Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane – currently starring in the “Odd Couple” revival on Broadway and in the new film version of “The Producers” – tell Life magazine what springs to mind when they hear “Happy New Year!” Quipped Broderick: “The spin of it all.” Deadpanned Lane: “Champagne and Vicodin