Liddy sued over alleged call girl remarks Talk host said woman was madam, suit claims

April 08, 1997|By Candus Thomson | Candus Thomson,SUN STAFF

Nearly 25 years after the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, G. Gordon Liddy still finds himself at the center of Watergate.

This time, he is being sued for $5 million by a Louisiana woman who says Liddy, a talk show host, has been telling his listeners that she was a madam for DNC call girls.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Ida Maxwell Wells says Liddy has damaged her reputation by giving air time to a Watergate "prostitution theory" cooked up by a felon who is a mental patient.

On his syndicated radio show, which is on WJFK-AM in Baltimore, Liddy "has repeatedly and continuously" called Wells "a procurer of prostitutes" in her job as a DNC administrative aide, the lawsuit says. One allegation by Liddy is that Wells kept photographs of call girls in her desk so she could arrange trysts for important visitors, the suit says.

Liddy contends that some of those photos were of Maureen Dean, the girlfriend and later wife of White House counsel John Dean. He has told listeners that it was John Dean who ordered the June 17, 1972, Watergate break-in to retrieve her photos and telephone number, the suit says.

Wells is a teaching assistant and doctoral candidate in English at Louisiana State University.

In expectation of receiving her degree this summer, Wells has been applying to teach at colleges, including some in Virginia, where the WJFK studios are located. WJFK-FM is licensed to broadcast from studios in Fairfax, Va.

Besides naming Wells on the air, Liddy also mentioned her in a speech a year ago at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and in an interview with Accuracy in Media, the lawsuit says.

"Liddy's conduct is particularly outrageous because he is a first-hand participant in the break-in of the DNC," the lawsuit says. "Liddy was in charge of the break-in. He of all people knew why the break-in was planned, how it was planned and that in the planning process in 1972 there was no mention of [Wells]."

Phillip Bailey, Liddy's source for the prostitution theory, is a felon "and has been under psychiatric care since at least 1972," the suit says.

A spokesman for Liddy's show said Liddy would have no comment until he read the lawsuit.

Liddy, 66, went to prison for more than four years for his part in the Watergate burglary. He was released in September 1977.

The flamboyant radio personality, who lives in Prince George's County, drives a Corvette with the vanity license plate "H20GATE."

He was condemned in 1994 for telling callers to aim for the heads of federal agents who invade their homes wearing bulletproof vests. The next year, he won the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts Freedom of Speech Award.

Pub Date: 4/08/97

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