C.J.: Neal Schon gets some cash and quiet

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 8, 2013 - 7:07 PM
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Journey’s Neal Schon and Michaele Salahi got an apology from the Daily Mail for a false report about Schon’s actions toward his ex.

Photo: Rick Diamond • PRNewsFoto ,

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Journey guitarist Neal Schon is getting a couple of things he wants these days: An apology from the UK’s Daily Mail and silence from his former Minnesota mother-in-law.

A blog posting by Judy Kozan, a former Waseca mayor and mother of Amber Schon, Neal’s fourth ex, has resulted in the UK’s Daily Mail publishing what the L.A. Times describes as an “unusually high-profile” apology on the Mail’s homepage.

The apology reads:

“On 22 February we published an article about Journey guitarist Neal Schon and his fiancée Michaele Salahi, entitled ‘Exclusive: Journey guitarist Neal Schon left ex-wife and daughters “so broke they can’t buy food”... but he gave Real Housewives of DC fiancée $1 MILLION ring.’ It claimed falsely that Mr. Schon was a deadbeat dad and repeated allegations that he had neglected his ex-wife and two young children, leaving them in such a precarious financial position that they have no money for food or bills and that their home would have to be sold. It also reported claims that Mr. Schon was a ‘drunk and abusive man’ who had become ‘increasingly spiteful and vindictive’ using his money to bully his ex-wife and that his fiancée Michaele Salahi had turned him against his former wife. We accept that these allegations are untrue and apologise to Mr. Schon, Ms. Salahi and the family for any distress caused. We have agreed to pay Mr. Schon and Michaele damages and legal costs.”

Neal and Amber, who now lives in Excelsior with their two children, were married from 2001 until 2007.

When Neal first sued Kozan in March about the posting and a pattern of defamatory comments, Kozan told the Star Tribune that she didn’t mention Schon or her daughter in her blog posting. Kozan blamed the British tabloid for creating the controversy by concluding that the unnamed man in her blog was Schon.

In another legal action, Schon maintained that he paid Amber more than $1.3 million over the past five years, but she hauled him back into court because he reneged on an agreement to extend her spousal support so she could complete studies for a teaching credential. A Hennepin County judge denied Amber’s request for funds and noted that the money sought by Amber was plainly excessive.

Amber claimed monthly living expenses of $11,622, including $4,094 to maintain the home and $5,617 in personal expenses. Among the personal expenses were annual expense of $9,600 for eyeglasses, $9,600 for birthday parties, $7,200 for clothing, $5,760 for a storage locker and $2,400 for postage.

Judy Kozan did not answer phones calls to her store or home Monday, but she did send me an e-mail: “I can’t comment on the case right now. I trust you understand. Please contact my attorney, Paul Godfread.”

Godfread told me, “Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to comment. It’s still early in the litigation” Schon has filed against Kozan.

In 2011, when Schon and Salahi rekindled a romance after 15 years, I asked Kozan if this surprised her. “Yes and no,” Kozan told me. “This is a little over the top, even for Neal.”

Salahi gained national attention when she and now ex-husband Tareq Salahi appeared to have crashed a 2009 White House dinner.

“With respect to the Daily Mail’s apology and payment of damages, Neal and Michaele appreciate that these corrective actions have been taken, and will continue to ensure that journalistic integrity is maintained in regards to reports on their professional and personal lives,” wrote Scoop Marketing.

April fools

My29 and someone whose name has appeared here often pulled an April Fool’s joke on me on Twitter.

The @My29tv tweet stated that the perpetrator was getting a TV show in the fall. I would not have seen this tweet if the perpetrator had not sent it to me. I made two phone calls to him to find out if this was a prank, and when reached for confirmation, the perpetrator did not come clean.

The perp, needless to say, is someone who loves media attention and apparently was pouting about my refusal to write the last half-dozen pitches about himself he’s made to me. But I didn’t imagine a TV station would be in the April Fool’s business. Apparently it was: “We’re still laughing that [the perpetrator] got [C.J.] to believe our April Fool’s joke that we’re giving him his own show on My29.”

All I can say to the perp is this: I hope it was worth it.

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