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Cape woman sues National Enquirer

Email|Print| Text size + By Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / November 29, 2007

A Cape Cod woman is suing the National Enquirer, claiming that two stories it published about a supposed "love child" with Senator Ted Kennedy were untrue. In the suit, filed Tuesday in US District Court, Caroline Bilodeau-Allen of East Sandwich says that "virtually every critical fact which [the Enquirer] reported is false and defamatory."

The Enquirer published two stories early last year - on Jan. 30 and Feb. 6 - alleging that Kennedy and Bilodeau-Allen began dating in 1983, before Kennedy's divorce from his wife, Joan, was finalized, and that Bilodeau became pregnant in 1984. (Bilodeau-Allen was unmarried at the time and is referred to as Bilodeau in the stories.)

The tabloid further alleged that the senator, then in his early 50s, begged Bilodeau, who was in her early 20s, to have an abortion. The Enquirer also claimed that he gave her expensive gifts, including a black Mustang convertible, a purebred Shar-Pei, and $15,000 cash in exchange for her silence.

"From the opening paragraph of the [first] article forward, the article suggests, both directly and through innuendo, that Mrs. Bilodeau-Allen gave birth to Senator Kennedy's 'love child,' that the child was unwanted and that she was 'paid off' to 'cover up' 'the scandal.' Each and every one of the factual statements is false and each is defamatory," the plaintiff's attorney David Rich states in the lawsuit.

"[The Enquirer] contends that Mrs. Bilodeau-Allen took a bribe to engage in a 'cover-up' to protect Senator Kennedy," the lawsuit goes on. "[That] is tantamount to an allegation of fraud, which is false."

In the second story, the Enquirer alleged that Bilodeau-Allen's apartment was "ransacked and evidence of their relationship removed," and that she "feared for her life." Bilodeau-Allen insists neither claim is true.

Bilodeau-Allen's son Christopher, now a 22-year-old college student, is also a plaintiff in the suit, which names the Enquirer's corporate parent American Media and two of its reporters, Alan Butterfield and Richard Moriarty.

In an e-mail to the Globe yesterday, a lawyer for American Media said the tabloid stands by its reporting and gave the plaintiffs several opportunities to deny the story prior to publication.

"The articles were premised upon well-placed sources that were in a position to know the truth of the information they conveyed to the National Enquirer," wrote Michael Antonello, acting general counsel for American Media. "We intend to vigorously defend the lawsuit and we have every confidence that we will prevail at trial."

As a result of the stories, the suit claims, both Bilodeau-Allen and her son have had their reputations "ruined." Though he's not named as a defendant, the suit singles out radio host Howie Carr for "mocking Christopher for his 'love child' status" on his talk show. Both Bilodeau-Allen and Christopher are now on antidepressants and under the care of psychologists, according to the claim.

Attempts to reach Bilodeau-Allen were unsuccessful yesterday, and her attorney would only say that the lawsuit has "substantial merit."

Dynamic duet
James Taylor and Carole King are back at the Troubadour - the famed Hollywood nightclub both musicians credit with launching them in 1969. Last night, the duo gave the first of six benefit concerts celebrating the club's 50th anniversary. "It is the first place that we played as two separate acts," King told the Associated Press. "Before that, I had been playing backup for James, and James had nudged me forward to be my own performing artist." Sweet Baby James said it was at the club that King heard him play her song "You've Got a Friend," which would top the Billboard charts in 1971. "She heard me playing it, and she said, 'You should cut that. That sounds real good.' " Sound advice, indeed.

Lounge with Gisele
If Tom Brady's not finished furnishing his new Back Bay digs yet, we have a piece the Pats QB might like. It's a chair, but not just any chair. Designed by Aristeu Pires, this one's called the "Gisele Lounge Chair" and it's inspired by Brady's supermodel sweetheart Gisele Bundchen. The distinctive seat is handcrafted to provide "comfort and ventilation" and is made of cotton rope and hardwood harvested in Brazil. If the chair looks comfy, that's because it is. To determine the height of the arms, Pires says he sat holding a newspaper. When the newspaper was at just the right angle for reading, he took measurements and created the frame. If you're wondering how much it costs to sit on Gisele - the chair, that is - we found it online for $950.

Dressing up The Estate
Some guys have all the luck, and Ed Kane is one of those guys. The owner of The Estate nightclub was surrounded by women in little black dresses Tuesday night at Big Night Entertainment's annual "Little Black Dress" party, hosted this year by former Miss USA Tara Conner.

Hoffman's magic
For most writers, getting a deal to pen a TV show for CBS would be reason to brag, but not Alice Hoffman. Instead, the Cambridge-based novelist would rather we wrote about her work to raise money for the Mount Auburn Hospital's Hoffman Breast Center. In the past, fellow authors have stepped forward to help Hoffman, but last night she got her friends filmmaker Sam Weisman and his wife, Constance McCashin, to open their Newton home for a sale of Little Miss Drama jewelry to benefit the center. But back to that TV gig. Before the writers' strike CBS bought the drama that's being written by Hoffman, who'll be an executive producer.

Road warriors
Radio "Car Talk" guys Tom and Ray Magliozzi were given the High Road Award by the New England Motor Press Association. The gathering is part of the New England International Auto Show, which opened yesterday at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Out of the 'Box'
"The Box" was filming in the area yesterday, but Cameron Diaz's costar Frank Langella wasn't in his makeup. Instead, he's taking two weeks off from filming the Richard Kelly-directed supernatural flick to promote "Starting Out in the Evening." The drama, a May-December romance in which he stars opposite Lauren Ambrose, earned Langella an Independent Spirit Award best actor nomination.

Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

BY CAROL BEGGY & MARK SHANAHAN

For celebrity news updates, go to boston.com/ae

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