Frank felicitations to freshly-paroled Sen. Art Eggleton. The last of the big-time trampoline artistes hit the big 7-5 last month, capping a remarkable career of public-servicing with two pensions from a grateful nation: a sum not unadjacent to $75,000 for his stint as Jean Crouton cabmin, and a $58,000 top-up for his Red Chamber slumbers.
Long before his arrival in Ottawa, the Toronto mayor (’80-’91) had developed a reputation as a raging shagaholic. Second wife Brenda put on her game face for the ‘93 federal election, despite rampant rumours of Art’s ongoing affair with city councilor and longtime galpal Betty Disero. Art bailed on Brenda in ‘94 and tootled off with Betty to Venezuela and Cuba, amongst sporadic marital reconciliations.
Later that year, as international trade minister, he buzzed off to Paris with his smouldering press secretary Nicole Bourget for a ten-day infrastructure conference. Bourget’s husband would later sue for divorce, citing adultery with an unnamed man on the junket.
In the fall of ‘95, as rumours percolated that Eggs might make a bid to replace Ontario Liberal leader Lyn McLeod, Eggs and Brenda suddenly patched things up and he moved back into the matrimonial digs. That lasted until December when Brenda kicked him out for good. Eggs, by then promoted to minister of defence, relapsed into full swingin’ bachelorhood. He would be years recovering.
Eggs, who always found publicity no friend to the man hoping to get re-elected/laid, promptly applied for a publication ban on their divorce proceedings (discreetly styled A.B. v. C.D.) for fear that Brenda’s legalist, Jeffrey Wilson, would fight the case in the papers, possibly endangering national security or worse, his limo and other cabinet perqs:
“I verily believe that Mr. Wilson would not hesitate to contact the press and ‘tip’ them off about the proceedings in order to gain an unfair advantage. He is well aware that publicity is poisonous to my livelihood.”
Brenda’s own affidavit fucked that noise:
“What happened is that by reason of my husband’s affairs and scandalous conduct, he has effectively ‘gone to the press’ himself and he has exposed himself to media scrutiny.
“Is the prime minister or his constituents aware of the number of times my husband has put himself in Frank Magazine, causing me intense private and public humiliation?”
Brenda’s filings included a dozen clippings from my organ’s already-burgeoning file on the honourable minister.
Ultimately, though, Eggs would prove his own worst enemy — with an assist from bottle-blonde PR flack Maggie Maier.
Maggie’s troubled affair with Eggs stretched over many a Frank passim. Health problems from her severe environmental illnesses complicated their relationship, but the biggest irritant in her environment appeared to be Eggs’ compulsive extra-curricular schtupping.
Things started looking serious when Maggie actually took the wildly optimistic step of attending couples therapy with the veteran cocksman.
Upon reading of yet another of Eggs’ adventures in my organ, however, Maggie suddenly had a therapeutic breakthough: The problem seemed to be that Art wanted to nail everything that wasn’t nailed down.
Bailing on their scheduled mid-winter vacation to Florida, Maggie dumped Eggs’ philanderin’ ass.
Alas, the fatal attraction persisted, and when Eggs slipped Maggie an untendered $36,500 contract for a 14-page report on PTSD (Frank 267), it was only a matter of time before the gutter press caught on.
Four months later, the Ottawa Citizen followed up on my organ’s scoop. Reaction in the PMO was predictable: High jump.
Eggs’ spinthingy Randy Myklyk strained credulity by telling the Petfinder that the minister’s staff, who approved the contract, were unaware, unlike the rest of political Ottawa, that Maggie and the Minister had been jogging partners. He then let loose some unfortunate Freudian slips in attempting to defend her rather lightweight work.
“There was a lot of research from that sense, from an oral perspective that was taken into account to provide the broad strokes, sort of [an] overview we were looking for…” he bumbled.
The Minister of Gettin’ Some had never been a favourite of Crouton, who frowned on both hanky-spanky and getting caught, two signature elements of Eggs’ oeuvre.
Eggs’ performance earlier that year, in which he neglected to mention to the PM that Canadian troops had taken prisoners in Afghanistan and then turned them over to the Americans, leaving Crouton dismissing questions about the treatment of such prisoners as “’ypot’etical,” won him no points.
Worse, Eggs’ subordinates refused to cover for him, publicly stating they had briefed him while he was in Mexico on urgent state business, although they hinted Eggs was having trouble following the substance of the briefing. The minister’s hotel bill for that one night at the five-star Hotel Nikko in Polanco, improperly obtained by Frank, came to $1,855.46. Still unconfirmed were reports of a traveling companion who may have contributed to Eggs’ distracted state.
In 2004, tired of trolling for talent from the backbenches, Eggs announced he would not be running for re-election, clearing the decks in York Centre for Ken Dryden. Junior Martin duly warehoused him in the Senate the following spring.
But even there, scandal followed. His chief fartcatcher, Robert Meinzer. was arrested in August ’08 after allegedly breaking into a woman’s Toronto home brandishing a pair of scissors, choking her with a belt, engaging in a non-consensual round of pack the peanut butter, and then threatening to put photos on the Internet if she didn’t keep quiet about the attack.
Eggs was the first to cut the cord, immediately suspending his loyal dogsbody without pay, and issuing a release pronouncing himself “shocked to hear about the allegations.”
Eggs had hired Rob because of his solid pedigree: son of T.O. moneybags Gerry Meinzer and a Liberal hanger-on for years, also worked for, among others, Dryden and Jean Augustine. But when the media came calling, Liberals responded with a rousing chorus of “Rob who?”
In 2011, Meinzer pled guilty to one violent sexual assault and one count of choking another woman. The Crown dropped another dozen charges relating to assaults on three women in Ottawa and Toronto. He got three years.
Art settled gracefully into his Senate dotage, wed a third time (to the delightful Camille Bacchus) and now waddles into the sunset, untroubled by the #MeToo travails that so afflict today’s lesser Lotharios. Bottoms up!