­

Russ Whitney' paternity suit by John T. Reed 2 On 8/28/96, the court issued an "ORDER DENYING RESPONDENT' [Whitney] MOTION TO SEAL COURT FILE." If that had not happened, you probably would not be reading about the case now. I have another court document which is not labeled. I don"t have the first page. But it is a discussion between the attorneys for Whitney, the mother, Whitney' wife and the judge. From the sound of it, one might think Whitney was applying for pauper status so he could get a free attorney. Here are some pertinent sentences. See what you make of it. Apparently the judge speaking: Now that means that Mr. Whitney has to, whatever money he gets from liquidating assets, he has to spend that money wisely and reasonably. Let' say he was reasonably"”it was reasonable for him to raise only $2,000 from the sale of assets, and he decided to spend that money by giving half to [the mother] and half to Mr. Hegelmo [Whitney' lawyer]. I can"t say right out of the gate that that' unreasonable. Say what!? Here we have a discussion about Russ Whitney around 1996. This would be the same Russ Whitney who has been telling people since 1984 that he was financially independent at age 23, owned well over a million dollars worth of real estate at age 25, and was a self-made millionaire at age 27. Now in 1996, at age 41, he is going to have to "liquidate assets" to raise $2,000! A guy who charges thousands to learn his high-finance secrets has to liquidate assets to raise $2,000!? And what' this about giving half of the $2,000 to his attorney. Sounds like his attorney has been representing him without pay. The self-made millionaire is not sure he can pay $1,000 to his own attorney!? A proofreader asked me if the judge was just using $2,000 as an example to keep the arithmetic simple. I don"t think so. The way I read the documents I received, it appears the judge was literally talking about $2,000. Eventually, I hope to get the whole document and clarify this. Here are some of the judge' words about Whitney' ability to pay. The Court is going to award an additional $1,400 [to Rana Holz, the attorney for the unwed mother]. That' $5,165. "¦the court is going to take the position that if we were on a strict need and ability to pay analysis, the court would find that $3,000 of that could be awarded today without even talking about good faith or bad faith. Yes, Mr. Whitney' income is low. "¦Mr. and Mrs. Whitney draw the same salary from the firm. I really think this is Mr. Whitney' business, he' the prime mover, he is the reason when it' moving and shaking, he' the reason why it' moving and shaking. I realize he' doing poorly at this time. However, he' an apostle of self confidence, of optimism, of getting out there and, by God, all you got to do is apply yourself and you can make a fortune. Yes, he might be walking through the valley, but his whole life philosophy centers around to climbing up to the mountain top, so I believe that Mr, Whitney is basically somebody who is temporarily and transitorily in the balance. It sure sounds like Russ has testified that he does not have, and may have trouble raising, $5,165. The subtitle of his book Building Wealth is "From rags to riches through real estate." From the sound of this 1996 paternity suit hearing, it sounds like he went from riches (the $100,000 a year in today' dollars he and his wife apparently made in union jobs for the Tobin Packing Company when he was 20) to rags

(needing to liquidate assets to raise $2,000). On page 23 of Building Wealth, Whitney says, Sure, I wanted to be wealthy. I wanted to be a millionaire. But it wasn"t for the Rolex watch, although today I have one. It wasn"t for the nice home or expensive cars , although I have those, too. That book is copyright 1994, about two years before Whitney was poor-mouthing to the judge in the paternity case. From what I"ve heard, a Rolex watch costs $4,000. I can picture Whitney scrunching up his shoulders in hearings with the paternity suit judge so his Rolex watch won"t stick out of his shirt sleeve. If it did, the judge might tell him to take it off and give it to the mother' attorney. And did he park the "expensive car" several blocks away so the judge wouldn"t see it? In other words, it appears that the attorneys for the mother and for Whitney were having to do without most of their fees"”working for free or almost free"”so Russ wouldn"t have to sell his Rolex. Contempt order The mother filed a motion on 1/17/97 for Whitney to be held in contempt. The motion says in part, ""¦to request this Court to issue an order finding"¦Russell A. Whitney in contempt for failure to pay the attorney' fees awarded in hearing on 10/31/96 [more than a year before], incarcerating [Whitney] until the fees are paid in full"¦[Reed note: "incarcerating" means put Whitney in jail. Most people know that. I just want to make sure you don"t overlook the word.] "1. On October 31, 1996, this Court awarded the [mother], $3,000 in attorney' fees. The Court ordered [Whitney] pay the amount within a reasonable amount of time. "2. [Whitney] has paid only $250 to date. "3. [Whitney] has the ability to pay the entire amount. "4. The [mother] is prejudiced by the failure to pay in that she has incurred over $5,165 in defending against the disqualification issue. She had to borrow funds to make the payments she has made to date. She incurs interest on that amount. Additionally, she has an outstanding balance to the law firm of Alan J. Rubenstein, P.A. which accrues interest at a significant rate. Additionally, the [mother] is prejudiced in that she cannot proceed toward resolution of this case without advancing funds to pay her attorneys and financial experts." A contempt order signed by Circuit Judge R. Thomas Corbin on 2/21/97 said in part, "1. The motion is granted. The orders of 1/29/97 are in full force and effect. "2. The respondent [Whitney] has the ability to pay $3,000 within the next 7 days. The source of the payment is his cash and bank accounts listed in his 9/96 financial affidavit. "3. The respondent [Whitney] shall pay $3,000 less sums paid in fees to Petitioner' [mother'] attorney since 10/31/96 within 7 days or show cause before this court in the next 7 days in a hearing set by the Respondent [Whitney] in the next 7 days. An arrest warrant with a purge of $3,000 shall issue if the fees are not paid or good cause shown in the next 7 days." Note that Russ Whitney is very active in a group that sponsors the Do The Right Thing Awards Ceremony annually in Cape Coral, which raises the question, "Is Russ Whitney the biggest hypocrite in Cape Coral, Florida?" Morality of paternity Russ Whitney is a married man and has been married to Mrs. Whitney since around 1976. He often tells of meeting her at age 20 when he and she worked at "the slaughterhouse" (Tobin Packing Company in Albany, NY) When you get married, you vow to remain faithful to your wife. According to anonymous surveys, about 60% of men keep that vow. Whitney should have been one of them. If he felt he could not do that, he should have legally separated and obtained a divorce. He is also the father of a daughter and son within his marriage. They were thirteen and nine when Whitney began his affair with the employee. Morality of child support Legal minimums are one thing. Doing the right thing by the boy is another. A man who claims to be a big financial success ought not be fighting the payment of child support tooth and nail and paying the minimum. He should pay an amount that is appropriate to the needs of the boy and the financial status of the father. I cannot tell what that is without more information, but the legal minimum of $800 a month sounds too low for the CEO of an international corporation who sells get-rich advice and lives in what is reportedly a $10-million house with two yachts docked in the back. Birth control Then there is the matter of birth control. Whitney would have us believe he is some sort of financial wiz. The 40% of men who cheat on their wives do not all get the woman in question pregnant. Most are smart enough to use birth control. If it' reasonable, pay it Apparently, the woman asked Whitney for child support before filing the suit and he refused to pay any or refused to pay an amount she regarded as reasonable. He should have requested proof that he was the father if there was any doubt. Once the paternity DNA test confirmed that he was the father, he should have willingly paid a reasonable amount of support. There should only have been a child support lawsuit if the amount requested was unreasonable. There should not have been a paternity suit ever because of the ready availability of DNA tests. Forcing the woman to file a paternity suit appears to have been nothing but a hardball intimidation or delaying tactic. The child support aspect of the suit, however, could have been caused by an unreasonable demand by the mother. A number of celebrities have been in similar situations and promptly admitted paternity and paid support. Former Los Angeles Dodger Steve Garvey got two women pregnant around the same time"”when he was single"”and readily agreed to "do the right thing" and pay support of both. Do the right thing In my research in preparation for defending myself against Russ Whitney' lawsuit against me, I have come across a bunch of things, including three conflicts with the law that left victims. He hit a pedestrian in his pickup truck and left the scene without reporting it to the authorities, committed second degree robbery, and fathered a child out of wedlock. In both the hit-and-run and paternity cases, he fought the victim tooth and nail in court. After losing the hit-and-run suit, he weaseled out of paying the full million-dollar judgment by threatening to declare bankruptcy. The right thing is to "¢ acknowledge what you did "¢ that it was wrong "¢ take responsibility for it "¢ do what you can to make it right. I asked the hit-and-run pedestrian' lawyer if Russ Whitney came back to Schenectady after he purportedly became a millionaire in Florida and paid the victim the money he weasled out of paying back in 1988. No. He did not. I wonder what, if anything, Russ Whitney has done to make things right with his robbery victim(s) in Queens, NY. I can tell you that he does not appear to have publicly acknowledged what he did. As far as I can tell, these three incidents were deep, dark secrets until I dug them up with the help of my readers. I am not aware of any public admission by Russ Whitney that what he did was wrong in any of the three cases. Nor am I aware of his publicly taking responsibility for what he did. His attorney Chris Salamone told me he was homeless and a minor when he committed the robbery and needed to do it to support himself financially. (I have not confirmed that he was indeed a minor and it appears that he was not homeless at all. Rather, he ran away from home. Not to mention the fact that there are many alternatives to armed robbery for a minor boy to get food, clothing, and shelter.) Whitney has never publicly done anything but blame the pedestrian for the hit and run. Talking about the skeletons in your closet Many adults have skeletons in their closest that they are not eager to talk about and understandably so. The problem with Whitney is he wants to talk about things, but in a partial way"”to provide half truths about his background. For example, Whitney started his first book with the words, "My story starts in March of 1976." That would preclude our learning about his robbery conviction and prison time, which ended that month. But in a later book, Building Wealth, he insists on talking about his entire life including the period before March 1976 (when he was 20). He says he "went from job to job" between when he ran away from home at 15 and when he started working at "the slaughterhouse" at age 20. How does he figure his time in prison is a "job?" Was he making license plates? Was robbing people a "job?" If he' going to talk about the time when he was robbing people and in prison, he needs to tell the whole truth. For example, he publicly bashes his "wicked stepmother" for telling him when he was living with her that he was probably going to spend most of his life in jail. We feel bad for him and mad at his stepmother"”until we learn that he was robbing people and in prison for that crime several years later. Once you know that, her statement, if she even made it, sounds more prescient than wicked. In his contempt order over 20 years later, Judge Corbin said a similar thing about Whitney going to jail if he didn"t pay up. Although it' true Russ Whitney had a couple of challenges when he was a kid, he is not the only one who ever had a less-than-ideal childhood. Probably half the population had some problem like divorce, parental alcohol or drug addiction, death of a parent, etc. in their childhood. They didn"t all become armed robbers or engage in the rest of Whitney' sordid behavior. "˜So sue me" The best way to keep court records secret is not to have a lawsuit to begin with. Whitney could have come to an amicable, out-of-court settlement with the woman. That' what I would expect a financial wiz to do. But amicable does not seem to be in Whitney' vocabulary. Rather, he is constantly at war, appearing time and again in both civil and criminal courts, as both defendant and plaintiff, ever since he was a teenager. This is true even though he does not seem to do very well in court. One of his first appearances, if not his first, landed him in state prison for 19 months. Another resulted in his losing a $1.2 million dollar judgment. This paternity suit made embarrassing facts public and he lost anyway. Copyright 2002, 2003 by John T. Reed Last update 4/3/03 John T. Reed, a.k.a. John Reed, Jack Reed, 342 Bryan Drive, Alamo, CA 94507, Voice: 925-820-7262, Fax: 925-820-1259, www.johntreed.com

Log in to comment
­