May 13, 2009
News of the World, the British tabloid that made a splash with the Michael Phelps bong photo, has a new story about the Olympian, and thank goodness this time there's no photographic evidence.
In fact, the paper offers no evidence at all, save for the word of a Baltimore stripper.
Scores dancer Theresa White told the paper that she knows Phelps in the biblical sense, and that back in November they had a three-hour romp with a third, unidentified person.
Forget the purported sexcapades. Her juiciest claims: That Phelps cries when he's drunk, talks about his mom all the time and promised to take White to the Capital Grille but only forked out for a Taco Bell "value meal."
"He just bought me some soft tacos," she told the paper. "No romantic candle-lit dinner."
Phelps' representatives at Octagon did not respond to a message seeking comment.
White, whose stage name is Gisele, could not be found at the club early this week, as the story swept to the New York Post, Fox Sports and even dancersupply.com, a site where you can pick up the latest exotic dancer news as well as a $485 portable stainless steel stripper pole. (The non-skid pad is $11 extra.)
Exhibiting exceptional naivete for a woman who takes her clothes off for a living, White apparently did not anticipate the frenzy she ignited with her Phelpsian tell-all.
"She's a little shell-shocked," said Scores general manager Sean Lewis.
It wasn't the media attention per se that had White rattled. It was that one person in particular had gotten wind of the story.
"Her mom found out," Lewis said.
Until now, Lewis said, White's mother didn't know how she made a living.
What was her cover story?
"Usually it's cocktail waitress," Lewis said.
And now Mom knows her daughter is up to something much cheaper: peddling herself to a British rag.
It seemed telling when former Gov. Bob Ehrlich elected to keep his campaign office open after losing to Martin O'Malley. The decision said "rematch" to lots of pol-watchers.
So what are we to think now that the ex-governor has closed the office just 18 months before the election? No rematch?
Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell said we should not read anything into Bob Ehrlich for Maryland's clearing out of 8600 LaSalle Road in Towson last week. The space has been Ehrlich HQ at least since his days in Congress.
The move means "Nothing, other than Governor Ehrlich wanting to be prudent about space as he determines whether to seek public office in the near term," Fawell said via e-mail.
Just to keep us all guessing, Ehrlich intends to open another campaign office in Baltimore County.
"There are several spaces under consideration right now, and we hope to decide on the right one in the next few weeks," Fawell said.
On Mother's Day, Mayor Sheila Dixon's office issued a news release titled "Mayor Sheila Dixon Hosts 'Mother's Day on Wheels.' " The Associated Press wrote a short story about her biking to nursing homes and shelters to visit moms there. Several TV and radio stations picked it up.
All nice, except Dixon actually traveled by a Recreation and Parks Department bus. Dixon is an avid cyclist, but there was no mention of bicycling in the release.
"Any time I write wheels in a press release, I must specify now two wheels or four," said Dixon spokesman Scott Peterson, who was by no means miffed by the reporting blooper. "If the mayor has that sort of image in this town as such a hard-core biker, that's a problem I don't mind having."
George Owings, the former Democratic delegate from Calvert County who's mulling a run against Gov. Martin O'Malley in next year's primary, already has a slogan if he wants it.
"Big Dogs, Guns and Motorcycles. Vote Owings."
State House Speaker Mike Busch came up with that years ago, when they were both delegates, Owings said. To deconstruct in reverse order: Owings rides a Harley. He calls himself "a strong supporter of the Second Amendment." And the big dog thing?
"I believe I voted against an attempt to curtail certain kinds of dog ownership," Owings said. The bill, sponsored by Rosa Lee Blumenthal, the now-deceased Prince George's Dem, would have outlawed big dogs, such as Rottweilers, Owings recalled, though he was a little fuzzy on the details.
Owings said he never actually used the slogan on bumper stickers or anything else. And he's not about to trot it out now, even as he makes an appeal to "average working Democrats."
Nobody's debating dogs or motorcycles these days, he said, and he'd rather not stir up gun politics.
"The gun issue is a very, very sensitive issue," he said. "It's not even an issue right now. The laws are on the books regarding the commission of a crime. The assault ban is in place. We're fairly well stable on that."
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