This week, Toronto City Councilor Adam Giambrone was caught in a position that seems to be familiar with a number of male politicians and celebrities: with his pants down. But Giambrone, a 32 year-old wunderkind who was (until yesterday) running for mayor of Toronto, was unmarried but living with a long-time girlfriend.
I lived down the street from Giambrone for six years. I would see the tall, gangly and quite geeky/cute guy at the Portuguese coffee shop at the corner of my street, chatting to residents and being more visible and accessible than most politicians. Giambrone seemed like a very friendly guy who -- by all accounts -- cared about the constituency and neighborhood where he had been raised in for the majority of his life. He is also the youngest chair ever of the currently troubled Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), which has been going through a public relations nightmare stemming from a public backlash on their lack of customer service.
Apparently Giambrone met a 19-year-old university student, whom he told he was single (which technically, he was); slept with her a few times; and then dumped her. What was interesting is what came out of the e-mails he sent the woman, Kristen Lucas, who graciously turned over the electronic correspondence to the media:
She also kept the one in which he described his long-suffering girlfriend, Sarah McQuarrie, as nothing but a prop for his mayoral bid. “You know I will be announcing I have a partner,” he wrote. “It is important for the campaign ... I had to have someone political.”
It is certainly not surprising that a disgruntled ex-lover decided to air their dirty laundry in public, and obviously (if true) Giambone thought that his current girlfriend would be a better "fit" than the woman for whatever reasons (I have my personal opinion, but I'll keep it to myself).
With the latest spate in media reports about celebrities and public figures who have cheated on their spouses and the reports from a few of the women themselves, I wondered what, if any, responsibility women have in these situations. Some of the women, like Tiger Wood's ex-lovers, have used their notoriety to propel their careers.
Lucas, Giambrone's alleged ex-lover, has an agent and apparently wants to be famous:
Photos of her surfaced yesterday on a gossip blog called Drink the Glitter. David Robert, who runs the blog, said Ms. Lucas called the website and sent them 10 pictures from her portfolio.
“She didn’t want ugly pictures of her out there ... she wanted good pictures,” he told the National Post. She approached the blog, he said, because she is a fan who has attended several Drink the Glitter parties, and has become friends with the men behind it.
“She is freaking out” at all the attention, Mr. Robert said, but he suspects that she is not disappointed because “she wants to be famous.”
He said she told people at the website about her relationship with Mr. Giambrone recently. “She wants to be a model. She wants to be an actress," he said.
But is this how you do it?
Call me old-fashioned, but I think some of these women are getting involved with men in the public eye because they think that it is the only way they can build their careers. Last week I wrote over at my blog about groupies that I see at the concerts I attend:
The whole thing kinda puzzles me. Maybe it's because I'm old, but it is really tragic, especially watching guys grope the inappropriately dressed girls who were crowd surfing through the pit. The girls I witnessed didn't seem to mind, so I don't even know what to say. But for those of us who work in the industry as roadies, management or writers / reviewers like myself who are not using our sexuality to get a leg up, I have a bit of a problem with it. But I also believe in personal responsibility, which is why I am not that worried ... or would go out of my way to ensure that the jail-bait I saw was not getting into trouble backstage. Personal responsibility. But I have seen young scantily-clad girls, especially at the Down show, that caused me some concern, but part of me says, just mind your own business. Hell, I've always preferred metal dudes, but even when I was in my twenties, trying to get backstage to give some random guy a blow-job didn't cross my mind. The 80s are over, folks.
Again, called me old-fashioned, but I wonder why in this land of opportunity there are (mostly) young women who feel that by getting involved in an extra-marital or being the "cheatee" is a way to enhance their careers? Or to just get close to someone that they admire? Do they not know that it does not usually end well, or is five minutes of fame worth embarrassing your family and friends? And themselves?
As for Giambrone, I am not too critical of his actions. Yes, he behaved in a way that is really, really unfortunate, but he is not a rarity. Also, I believe that there are other motives as to why the Canadian media is raking him over the coals: a) slow news week and b) they didn't like him from the get-go. You have a young phenom who isn't the most strongest politician but seems to have pretty awesome luck in his political career. They were looking for a way to bring him down, and it looks like they have accomplished that.
What do you think? Is sleeping with a public figure the new way for women to enhance their careers?
Contributing Editor - Race, Ethnicity & Culture
Blog: Writing is Fighting: www.lainad.typepad.com
Writer: Hellbound: www.hellbound.ca
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