Bernie Kerik's three years in federal prison haven't diminished the soap opera involving him and his lady friends.
Before the former NYPD Commissioner went off to prison in 2010 there was Judith Regan, his publisher, and Jeanette Pinero, his subordinate at the Corrections Department -- both of whom Kerik allegedly bedded after 9/11 in a penthouse suite overlooking Ground Zero.
Now there is Kerik's "secret" lady, as she says he termed her [although she maintains they never had sex], who made 12 visits to Cumberland Minimum Security in Maryland between 20010 and 20013 while he was jailed, but who fell out with him after his release last May, leading to what she says have been threats and harassment by Kerik and his longtime Corrections Department sidekick, John Picciano.
As she wrote in a letter to Assistant Albany U.S. Attorney Rick Belliss on Aug. 14th:
"Enclosed are the hard copy documents supporting my claim of harassment, threats and alleged cyber stalking by Bernard Kerik and through a friend, third-party, John Picciano Jr. As I explained, I have been cooperating with Federal Probation (NY Southern District) Dep Chief Edwin Rodriguez and Probation Officer Kevin Villa. I have made three complaints to those authorities regarding Bernard Kerik who did threaten to 'destroy my life.' As result, Bernard Kerik, I understand as a condition of his probation, is not to have any contact with me. Since that order, he apparently has been sending his close friend, John Picciano, to harass, threaten and 'destroy' my life."
In a telephone interview last week, Belliss said: "We did receive complaints that Mr. Kerik was out of compliance with his supervision and we forwarded them to the proper authorities in the probation department in the Southern District of New York."
Rodriquez did not return phone calls to his office and cell phone. Kerik, who is married and has three children, has been on probation since returning home on May 28. He did not respond to an email and phone call.
In an email to this reporter, Picciano wrote: "I did not threaten or harass anyone. I was responding to someone who created a Facebook page, impersonating Mr. Kerik, and who used multiple Twitter accounts (six to be exact), in an extremely well documented terror campaign, between 9 July and 16 August, to harass and alarm Mr. Kerik and his family, including sending an extremely inappropriate message to his 13-year old daughter, on 6 August."
Asked what evidence he had to support his assertions, Picciano did not answer.
Referring to Kerik, who in 2009 pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy, tax fraud, and making false statements under President George W. Bush during his nomination as Secretary of Homeland Security, Picciano wrote in another email: "I know he has not spoken to, or had contact with this woman since 9 July."
In a third email, he wrote of Kerik: "He and his family, just want be left alone. They have suffered enough." Referring to this reporter, he added: "He [Kerik] was the only PC to ever treat you with any respect, and as a friend, and all you've done, is use your pen to humiliate and destroy him."
In an interview with this reporter, Kerik's latest lady friend, a 55-year-old single woman who works for high-tech company in upstate New York, said she began their relationship because she felt he'd been unfairly convicted and offered to help him while he was in prison.
In her blog, called DoingTimeWithBernie.blogspot.com, she wrote, "I mailed a custom greeting card of encouragement to BB [one of my pet names for Bernie] in the Minimum Security Cumberland Federal BOP in Maryland early in his incarceration. He responded by mail with thanks. We were instantly comfortable as if we've known each other for years. We bonded exchanging tender, intimate inner thoughts through writing and editing new works to be published upon his release."
Kerik, she wrote, was jailed for 1107 days, roughly 158 weeks. "Throughout that time, Bernie contacted me regularly, almost every day." This included, she said, 135 letters Kerik wrote to her, 150 phone calls to her personal unlisted number and 735 emails.
"During incarceration," she wrote in her blog, "along with our intimate personal relationship, I assisted Bernie with writing, editing, archiving, creating a plan/talking points for re-entry into public life, blogging assistance, legal research, social media organization/consultation, website construction, social visits and financial support [commissary etc.] for the majority of his federal imprisonment."
Her blog continued:
"I often remarked to Bernie his incarceration was the worst time in his life yet, ironically, the best time in mine. With almost daily contact, by email, letters, phone calls, our writing and regular visits, Bernie Kerik became a sweet habit in my life over the last three years of his incarceration."
But when Kerik returned home, he ignored her. Most painful to her, she explained, her voice breaking, he did not invite her to his homecoming party with his closest friends.
Although she continued to work for Kerik, she says their relationship deteriorated until she finally asked him not to contact her again.
It was then, she says, that the threats and harassment began. She says this included repeated phone calls to her and a message in which she says Kerik threatened "to destroy my life."
Ten years ago, Judith Regan told of similar threats after she broke off their relationship. Those threats also included repeated telephone calls and what Regan said was the "stalking" of her two children.
This reporter and Kerik go back over a decade. Although Regan has denied it, Kerik might have persuaded her to publish my book about the murder of Martha Moxley, the Greenwich Conn. teenager who was beaten to death with a golf club in 1975 by her neighbor Michael Skakel, whose aunt was married to the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
When Kerik testified last year in the Bronx trial of contractors Peter and Frank DiTomasso, who had performed $165,000 in free renovations to Kerik's Bronx apartment, he and I exchanged greetings as he left the courthouse.
In her blog, which has a snapshot of Kerik in the upper left hand corner, his latest lady friend writes:
"This is my ex-pal, Bernard Kerik. He is a recognizable public figure. I am a private person. I have never intended these precious memories to be shared. However, I was threatened my name would be 'released' to the press with the malicious intent to 'destroy my life.' ... "He made me a secret in his life 'on the side' and I allowed it until now. ... I take full responsibility for my personal failings in this relationship and the serious consequences resulting."