Sexy is not a word associated with the U Board of Regents — until Regent Laura Brod’s boudoir photo surfaced last week.
It looks like Minnesota has its own Internet photo scandal involving a public figure, although ours is nowhere near as racy and disgusting as New York City mayoral candidate and repeat offender Anthony Weiner’s.
Somebody who would appear to have a beef posted a photo of a woman in underwear on Tumblr, emblazoned with “This is Laura Brod,” and sent the link to local media, according to City Pages Editor Kevin Hoffman.
See it here at: http://thisisapictureoflaurabrod.tumblr.com.
I don’t think I received the picture, but who knows; closely examining my junk e-mail before deleting is not among my strengths.
City Pages has received blowback for being all over this one, because some think the photo is as benign as a bikini shot on the beach; you do get photos just as revealing every day in ad circulars. City Pages printed a cropped version of the photo because the full photo was more racy. She looks good.
“There certainly has been a lot of heat, some of it from fellow journalists,” Hoffman told me Monday. “It’s important to understand when I went into this I was [trying to] prove that the photo was a hoax, a Photoshop. It was something that had been sent to pretty much every member of the media and was starting to get out on Twitter. I thought it would be a good story if it turned out to be fake. As Laura Brod’s people clammed up, I thought maybe there was something to it.”
The former state representative and her husband, Wade Brod, issued a statement that disclosed their estrangement, which is not a new development. The statement said Mr. and Mrs. Brod have had “a difficult marriage for quite a number of years,” and while they love each other as friends and respect each other as parents, “we have effectively led separate lives, have been separated and are presently going through a very amicable divorce.
“The Brod Family loves each other, and we stand united against anyone who would seek to do us harm. Specifically, someone [who] has posted a photo — which was illegally disseminated — on the Internet for the sole purpose of embarrassing our family and damaging our reputations. As embarrassing as this entire incident is, we know the larger nightmare of harassment, cyberstalking and privacy invasion is not unique to us, and we plan to fight back with everything we have. This matter has been referred to the FBI and we are pursuing all legal means possible to prosecute whoever is responsible.”
Monday the media guy for the FBI, Kyle Loven, chief division counsel, told me, “I’m just not in a position to confirm or deny that unfortunately right now, C.J.”
Well, it shouldn’t take much investigating. Brod knows for whom she was posing in the bedtime photo, right? That was one of the questions I left with the regent’s spokesperson, who has not returned my call.
“We don’t know how old this photo is,” says Hoffman. “When she says the FBI is involved, that implies there was some kind of computer hacking or phone hacking. But we also saw that that’s what Weiner originally claimed, and it later turned out not to be the case.”
Brod’s situation is interesting but not Weiner-esque. “He was sending these pictures out himself, doing it pathologically after he’d gotten caught,” said Hoffman. “In this case, it seems to be a private photo meant to be shared by two people. Perhaps the person who was in possession let it get out, either because they were mad at her or someone affiliated with that person was able to get access.”
Based on Brod’s statement, I doubt she’ll pull a Weiner. I bet she has taken her last boudoir photo.
“I think you are absolutely right,” said Hoffman. “In the last couple of years [among politicians], I think it’s become Rule No. 1: Don’t take these kinds of photos.”
I asked Hoffman if he’s ever been the subject of a boudoir photo. “Thankfully no,” he laughed. “But it would be a matter for me and my wife.”
Now see, these are photos I would never have taken, old rumors to the contrary at WCCO-TV notwithstanding. Nobody wants to see me in my undies or less, not even 50 pounds ago.