When we last left off with Kelly Cramer, author of Village Voice Media’s stories about financier Bruce McMahan (“Daddy’s Girl” and “Daddy’s Dog”), she was zig-zagging through the courts trying to dodge subpoenas from McMahan. McMahan, curiously enough, wanted Cramer to reply to Elena McMahan’s sworn deposition that she, Elena, had never spoken to Cramer or any other Voice reporter at any time in any way:
Since Cramer quoted Elena copiously in her articles, some canny observers concluded that someone must be lying.
Recently, however, after multiple delays over a period of years, time and the law caught up with Ms. Cramer, who was finally compelled by the court to explain how she happened to write a story — and a very strange and wonderful story at that — based on interviews of a woman who swears she never spoke to Cramer.
Ever curious and doggedly determined to continue our research into this fantasy, we gathered our meager resources and dispatched our crack reporter Jennifer Barlow to Ft. Lauderdale to interview Ms. Cramer at the deposition site:
Well, there ensued a kind of Keystone Kops-like skit in which we were chased from the hallway outside the deposition room, and then, when we stationed ourselves outside the two main exits of the building, hoping to catch a word with Kelly, she effected a dazzling getaway through a second-floor walkway to a parking lot. But — are we discouraged?
Now, this is pretty funny. A reporter who uses her first amendment privilege to smear the name of a man she never met or spoke to, with the most scurrilous allegations, founded on the flimsiest tissues of fabrications Zeus or Pluto could devise, suddenly finds herself the object of inquiry, and “shies like a startled mustang.” (P. G. Wodehouse wrote that. I always admired it.) But other information comes to light:
1. We had occasion to interview the lawyer that was first approached with Elena’s extortion plot. We’ll be passing this entertaining moment along shortly.
2. The long-running custody battle for the two children Elena had with McMahan has finally been resolved, with a judge making some interesting comments about Elena’s claims of incest and matrimony. We’re going to tell you what happened, and what the judge said.
3. Also of interest, as long as we are on topics matrimonial, are some details pertaining to another marriage Ms. Cramer has some knowledge of.
4. Finally — wouldn’t we like to have been a fly on the wall of that deposition Ms. Cramer so assiduously avoided for so long? Why, yes — we certainly would have enjoyed that. Hmmmmm….is that even possible? What if it were?
There is a kind of supposition today that the media is all-powerful, and that a private citizen is helpless in the glare of a media spotlight, even though the media may be completely wrong, and the citizen blameless. The best the unjustly accused can hope for is some future admission by the guilty party that they were in error, and some small financial compensation.
Unless someone like us happens along their story and decides to make a point of it. Did the Village Voice lie? We think they did. Can we prove it? We’re not sure, but we can tell another side of this story, and that we have done so far.
Now, we have a large amount of new information that we think will nail shut the door once and for all on this whole tawdry tale, and consign it to the dungheap from which it sprang — including the items mentioned above. This may result in some discomfort for some people — people who thought that they were too powerful and too well-protected to be held to account. But justice, although it may be delayed, sometimes is not denied. Elena’s own opinion of the Voice is not one they would publish:
For once, Elena, you hit the nail on the head. Now, it’s our turn.