And now, just in time for Valentine's Day, news of two women in the Craigslist congressman's tumultuous life: Michele Lee, his anguished spouse, and Yesha Callahan, who placed the "women seeking men" personals ad that derailed a promising political career and could wreck his marriage.
Mrs. Lee, 44, rushed from Buffalo to the ultra-posh and private Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida, "hoping to work things out"
with ex-Rep. Chris Lee, 46, the New York Post reports. The second-term New York Republican abruptly quit the House
on Wednesday just hours after Gawker.com
broke the story that he had lied about being a divorced lobbyist in a personals ad. He also sent a shirtless muscle photo of himself to the woman who placed the ad.
The "humiliated" wife and her hard-partying, millionaire second husband, 46, are said to be holed up at the same exclusive club where the fallen lawmaker's father, Patrick Lee, owns a $4 million home.
"'She's crushed -- this was supposed to be her prince charming,'" the Post quotes a friend of Michele. She fretted over his "extended solo stays in Washington," and urged him to spend more time in Buffalo, said another pal. Her first marriage to a high-school sweetheart ended after he cheated on her, according to the Post. The Lees have a young son.
"She picked a bad boy twice, which is a shame, because she's a smart woman without a mean bone in her body," a friend told the Post. "She's absolutely humiliated. She was so proud of him and what he'd accomplished."
Patrick Lee was said to be livid, having warned his son about his after-hours partying well before the Craigslist story broke. The elder Lee was "particularly enraged" over the "sloppiness of the situation" and the beefcake photo, reports the Post, which referred to Michele as "a woman porned." Patrick Lee pushed for immediate resignation "to curtail any extended embarrassment for the family," the source said. "He said, 'End it quick.'"
Meanwhile Callahan, 34 -- who anonymously outed Lee on Gawker and TheLoop21.com
then went public in The Washington Post, now offers
a cheeky, somewhat profane essay titled "Owning My ----
" about the flap, complete with a winsome head shot, on her flyblackchick.com
"Sure, I'm the bad woman," she purrs, noting that some have accused her of "enticing" Lee to send her the infamous shirtless photo.
"Excuse me for not realizing 'Do you have something that doesn't look like a JCPenney Ad' is considered enticing nowadays. Maybe I'll use it more often. Maybe it'll keep me off of Craigslist. Maybe it'll yield me a financially & emotionally stable man. I mean anything is possible right?"
She chided "all of you holier than thous out there" for suggesting that anyone seeking dates on Craigslist should expect raunchy responses.
"The same people you're meeting from Match, E-Harmony, OkCupid and whatever other high priced service you want to use, guess what...they're all on Craigslist too!" she wrote. "And if you're looking for a job, may I suggest the job ads as well...There you go, my unpaid advertisement for Craigslist."
"Also, to set the record straight, Gawker didn't pay me & I didn't ask to be paid," writes the University of Maryland faculty specialist and mother of a young son.
In a pre-emptive strike against anyone digging into her past, she offers this intel:
"If it makes you happy to go back YEARS in my history and find a state tax lien that has been satisfied, some parking violations, a few days in jail *GASP* over stupid ---- and the recent Federal lawsuit regarding the previous name of my site, then knock yourselves out. Call every local newspaper or news channel. Shout it from the rooftops if it makes you feel better. Just don't slip and fall, I don't need another lawsuit because you broke your ------- neck while doing it. Tonight I will sleep fine. Tomorrow I will sleep fine. Hopefully those people who live lily white lives with no blemishes will sleep fine as well."
Happy Valentine's Day, ladies.
As for the buff ex-Congressman who described himself to Callahan in one e-mail as a "fit, fun and classy guy," well, Happy VD to you, too.