New York Post

New York Post


January 28, 1998

GONE WITH THE SINNED By GERSH KUNTZMAN Monica Lewinsky, your 15 minutes of fame are just about up. Judging by prior Washington femmes fatales - an esteemed group that includes no-typing secretary Elizabeth Ray, stripper Fanne Foxe, rubdown expert Tai Collins and Hart-breaker Donna Rice - Lewinsky will quickly fade away once Zippergate winds down.

"Women in political scandals disappear quickly because they are supporting players in a bigger story," said University of Minnesota professor Marti Hope Gonzales, who has written extensively on the subject of political scandals.

"The main characters are the politicians."

Where are the ghosts of scandals past? Here's a rubdown:

TAI COLLINS: The model and former Miss Virginia USA claimed during the venomous 1992 Virginia Senate campaign to have had an 18-month affair with Sen. Charles Robb. Robb claimed they had only a bottle of wine, and she gave him a nude massage. He was re-elected. Collins still does some modeling, but mostly makes a living writing screenplays in Southern California, including episodes of "Baywatch."

MEGAN MARSHAK: This obscure researcher for Nelson Rockefeller became a household name when the former veep and governor died of a heart attack Jan. 26, 1979. Marshak, then 27, was at his side and told the press they were working late on an art book. She landed a job writing news for WCBS-TV and was last known as a producer of its early morning news program.

DONNA RICE: Reporters who followed Gary Hart's advice to "put a tail" on him discovered the actress on Hart's lap aboard the good ship "Monkey Business." Hart's presidential campaign imploded. Rice turned down big offers from Playboy and Penthouse, but did a "No Excuses" jeans ad. Now 39, a born-again Christian and conservative icon, she's crusading against pornography on the Internet.

ELIZABETH RAY: The secretary who didn't know how to type or, as she put it, "even answer the phone," is a part-time comedienne. Ray, Miss Virginia 1975, earned her celebrity the next year when it was reported that Ohio Rep. Wayne Hays kept Ray on his payroll and a mattress in his back office. Ray wrote "Washington Fringe Benefits," posed for Playboy several times and tried acting. Reviewers say her comedy act is as good as her typing.

ANABELLA BATTISTELLA: Better known as "Fanne Foxe, The Argentine Firecracker," Battistella leaped from Arkansas Rep. Wilbur Mills' limo one night in 1974 and ran into the Tidal Basin in Washington. The alcoholic Mills was eventually forced to check into a rehab center. He retired in 1976, and died in 1992. Battistella kept performing, often under the name "The Tidal Basin Bombshell" and wrote the "The Stripper and the Congressman," but tried to commit suicide in 1976. She is believed to be in Argentina.

BELLE "BLAZE" STARR: The New Orleans stripper caught the eye of then-Gov. Earl Long at a club on Bourbon Street in 1959. The couple had a wild fling and Long's wife had him committed to a mental institution. He ran for Congress, but died two months before the election. Starr returned to the clubs, but stopped stripping in 1986 because "it got to be so raunchy." Now 64, she was last known to be selling jewelry in a Maryland mall.

PAULA PARKINSON: Between 1978 and 1981, the busty "lobbyist" for agricultural concerns had affairs with at least eight members of Congress - but not then-Rep. Dan Quayle, who, she said, "put the moves on me" during a Florida golf junket. Parkinson posed for Playboy twice and started selling real estate in Dallas.

Copyright (c) 1998, N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the New York Post is prohibited.

Copyright (c) 1997, N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part
in any form or medium without express written permission of the New York Post is prohibited

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