Daughter remark raises eyebrows

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
January 21, 2010

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The Bay State’s new senator-elect may want to choose his words more carefully next time. Scott Brown is being bashed by a bigshot pundit in his own party for joking that his daughters Ayla and Arianna are “available.’’ (He later corrected himself, saying that Arianna, a student at Syracuse University, has a boyfriend.) On his syndicated radio talk show yesterday, right-winger Glenn Beck - one of America’s most popular conservative commentators, known for over-the-top language - said he was shocked that Brown would make such a statement on national TV. “ ‘Hey, my two daughters on a meat market,’ ’’ said Beck, mocking Brown’s remark. “My wife would have pieces of my body in a drawer this morning. My daughters never would have spoken to me again.’’ What Beck said next was bizarre, disturbing, and ridiculous, comparing Ted Kennedy’s successor to former congressman Gary Condit. “I want a chastity belt on [Brown]. I want his every move watched in Washington. I don’t trust this guy,’’ Beck said. “This one could end with a dead intern. I’m just saying. It could end with a dead intern.’’ Ayla Brown, a 21-year-old Boston College student who gained a measure of fame locally a few years ago when she was a semifinalist on “American Idol,’’ was standing beside her dad when he made the comment, and she looked none too pleased. Brown’s wife, Channel 5 reporter Gail Huff, smiled but also shouted “Stop!’’ Was Brown really trying to find dates for his daughters or just being an adoring dad? Margo Howard, for one, thinks it was the latter. The syndicated advice columnist who lives in Cambridge says she’s no fan of Brown - or Martha Coakley, for that matter - but she doesn’t get Daughter-gate. “Glenn Beck is a sandwich shy of a picnic,’’ Howard said. “I thought it was kind of a cute touch by Brown. When my girls were 5 and 8, I always referred to them as my ‘unmarried daughters.’ Brown wasn’t seriously looking for a son-in-law.’’ Eric Fehrnstrom, a Republican strategist who advises Brown, declined to comment. Ayla didn’t return our phone call, but told the AP: “I definitely had a talk with my dad,’’ adding that she got 1,568 friend requests on Facebook and 300 inbox messages, mostly from men, since he made the remark. She said her father asked former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney “if he had any more sons he could sell me to.’’ Others attending Brown’s party at Park Plaza included Romney, retired NFL players Doug Flutie, Steve DeOssie, and Fred Smerlas, comedian Lenny Clarke, WAAF’s Greg Hill, Republican Party chairman Michael Steele, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker.

Dufay’s second claim to fame

Call it six degrees of Steven Tyler. Overlooked in all the stories about Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter’s pending nuptials to actress Minka Kelly is the Aerosmith connection. Kelly, who stars on “Friday Night Lights’’ and previously dated Sudbury’s own Chris Evans and John Mayer, is the daughter of Rick Dufay. Who, you say? Dufay, as any Aerosmith aficionado will tell you, replaced Brad Whitford when he and Joe Perry left the band in 1981. Dufay recorded “Rock in a Hard Place’’ with a revamped lineup that included Tyler, Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton, and Jimmy Crespo, and toured with the band until 1984, when Perry and Whitford returned. We wondered what it feels like to be the future father-in-law of a first ballot Hall of Famer, but Dufay didn’t respond to repeated e-mails.

Around town

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was at Wellesley College last night to lead the crowd in the national anthem at the women’s basketball game. . . . Grammy-winning producer, singer, and rapper Timbaland dropped by Rumor after his show at the House of Blues the other night. Timbaland was joined in the VIP area by 6one7 Productions’ Ace Gershfield and Jeff London, and rapper Petey Pablo.

‘Hills’ star heading here

“The Hills’’ star Lauren Conrad is coming to Boston to hype her second novel. (Yes, Lauren Conrad has written two novels.) “Sweet Little Lies’’ is a follow-up to “LA Candy,’’ which was a surprise bestseller. Conrad will be at the Barnes & Noble at the Pru Feb. 5. . . . A few nights later we’ll get our first look at the new season of VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club,’’ whose cast includes Roxbury’s own Bobby Brown. Others trying to shed pounds on the show, which premieres Feb. 8, include Britney Spear’s ex Kevin Federline and his ex Shar Jackson, “Project Runway’’ winner Jay McCarroll, former “Baywatch’’ beauty Nicole Eggert, onetime Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach, Kaycee Stroh of “High School Musical,’’ and “Bad Girls Club’’ cast member Tanisha Thomas.

Swift thinking

The concert isn’t for another five months, but songbird Taylor Swift is already getting ready for her first-ever stadium show, which takes place June 5 in Foxborough. In the new issue of Rolling Stone, the teen sensation sounds downright giddy about the gig at Gillette Stadium. “I’m out of my mind, wrapping my head around the fact that it sold out in 20 minutes,’’ Swift says. “I was present for the meetings, and I pulled the trigger, but I never imagined that it could be a sellout, with my name on the ticket at a stadium. I’m a ridiculous overanalyzer and overplanner, so I’ve already started thinking about coming up with something special for that show.’’ While it’s true the show is sold out, there are a surplus of tickets available on Craigslist.

More help for Haiti

Suffolk Construction’s John Fish has loaned his jet to local relief crews headed to Haiti. The crew of 12 clinicians from Caritas Health Care and two engineers from Philips Healthcare left Hanscom Field yesterday. The team took technology that allows them to consult with Caritas Christi specialists in Boston. Philips is providing ventilators, defibrillators, fetal monitors, and other needed medical supplies. Suffolk’s Red & Blue Foundation is raising money for Haiti relief, and some employees are donating up to a day’s pay.

Cooking for a cause

Brooke Vosika of The Four Seasons hosts the Greater Boston Food Bank’s annual Super Hunger Chef Challenge tonight. This year’s “Iron Chef’’-like cook-off pits Food & Wine “Best New Chef’’ Boston winners Gabriel Bremer and Mary Dumont . Judging will be “Best New Chef’’ alums Barbara Lynch, Michael Leviton, and Jody Adams.

Helping is their racket

Former Pats lineman Joe Andruzzi and his wife, Jen, helped out at this week’s bone marrow drive at Sportsmen’s Tennis Club for Tatyana Abrams, 11, the daughter of former BC basketball star Danya Abrams. Andruzzi is a lymphoma survivor.

Read the Names blog at Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.


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