Joe Bruno on the Mob – A–List Celebs Fawn over Disgraced Former NYPD Chief Bernie Kerik.
What is it about jailbird and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik that has people of prominence falling all over themselves to visit Kerik in prison?
Kerik, who went from One Police Plaza to the Federal pen, was convicted in 2009 of tax fraud and lying to investigators when he was being vetted to become the head of America’s Homeland Security. Has had a steady stream of tony visitors, including Sylvester Stallone, former New York stock-exchange head Dick Grasso, and even Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera, who has gone as far as chartering a private plane for Kerik’s wife Hala and her two children to visit Kerik at his Maryland prison.
Grasso – I don’t understand. But Stallone, ever the entrepreneur, might have a future movie about Kerick’s life in the back of his head. As for Rivera, an exclusive interview with Kerik after he’s released from jail in 2013 after serving his 48-month sentence would score big brownie points with his bosses over at Fox.
There could be other reasons, like maybe Bernie is a real swell guy, but at the moment I can’t think of any.
New York Post, October 16, 2012
It is back to push-ups in a cell and prison chow for disgraced ex-NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, but he won’t be lonely.
Kerik, who testified in The Bronx last week in the perjury trial of construction execs Frank and Peter DiTommaso, gets a steady stream of visitors and mail at his federal penitentiary home in rural Maryland, friends say.
His visitors include Sylvester Stallone, former stock-exchange chief Dick Grasso, retired cops, correction officers and even a congressman.
“Bernie is the kind of guy, if there was ever a problem, I would want to be in a foxhole with him,” said caterer Albert Manzo, who appears on the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” with his wife, Caroline.
Manzo, who visits Kerik regularly, said they became friends years ago in Franklin Lakes, NJ, where they both have homes.
Kerik has a year to go on his 48-month sentence for tax fraud and lying to investigators when he was being vetted to become Homeland Security chief.
Longtime pal Stallone has been on Kerik’s list of approved e-mail contacts and they’ve exchanged messages, sources said.
A rep for Stallone said she couldn’t confirm their communication.
Grasso, whom sources identified as a visitor, didn’t return a call for comment.
Every weekend, Kerik’s wife, Hala, makes the five-hour drive with their two young daughters.
Sometimes, the family hitches a ride with Kerik’s friends — in cars, private planes and helicopters.
“The real interesting thing . . . is his list of loyal friends. He has a long list and they visit him on a regular basis,” said Byron Pitts, the chief national correspondent for CBS News, who befriended Kerik in Iraq.
Rep. Peter King (R-LI) has visited Kerik four times. “Bernie spends his time making you feel good,” King said, adding, “He provided a great service to New York.’’
Fox reporter Geraldo Rivera, another of Kerik’s friends, has chartered aircraft to make it easier for Mala to visit.
“They could not have put him in a more inconvenient facility,” said Rivera, who has made several visits to Kerik himself.