Journalist breaks silence to deny affair with Kerry

A WOMAN who has been the subject of rumours linking her to Senator John Kerry last night denied she ever had an affair with the Democratic presidential candidate.

Breaking her silence four days after the allegations surfaced on the internet, Alexandra Polier issued a statement to The Associated Press, saying, "I have never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumours in the press are completely false."

Mr Kerry has already denied reports he had an extramarital affair. His campaign said he would have no further comment.

Ms Polier's statement was released to the AP in Nairobi, where the 27-year-old freelance journalist is visiting the parents of her fiancé, Yaron Schwartzman, an Israeli who was raised in Kenya. She previously worked as an editorial assistant for the AP in New York.

"Whoever is spreading these rumours and allegations does not know me," Ms Polier said, appealing to the media to respect her privacy and the privacy of her fiance and his family.

Ms Polier also took issue with reports that referred to her as a former Kerry intern.

"I never interned or worked for John Kerry," she said.

In a separate statement, Ms Polier's parents, Terry and Donna Polier of Malvern, Pennsylvania, dismissed the "completely false and unsubstantiated" allegations about their daughter.

"We love and support her 100% and these unfounded rumours are hurtful to our entire family," the statement said. "We appreciate the way Senator Kerry has handled the situation, and intend on voting for him for president of the United States."

The statement did not address purported quotes by Ms Polier's parents in the British newspaper The Sun that were harshly critical of Mr Kerry.

Mr Kerry has won 14 of 16 Democratic primaries and caucuses, and is expected to be the Democratic challenger to President George Bush in November.

The Polier statement:

THE statement by Alexandra Polier: "For the last several days I have seen Internet and tabloid rumours relating to me and Senator John Kerry. Because these stories were false, I assumed the media would ignore them. It seems that efforts to peddle these lies continue, so I feel compelled to address them. I have never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumours in the press are completely false. Whoever is spreading these rumours and allegations does not know me, but should know the pain they have caused me and my family. I am in Kenya with my fiancé visiting his family, and we ask that the press respect our privacy and leave all of us alone."

The statement by Terry and Donna Polier, the parents of Alexandra Polier:

"We have spoken to our daughter and the allegations that have been made regarding her are completely false and unsubstantiated. We love and support her 100% and these unfounded rumours are hurtful to our entire family. We appreciate the way Senator Kerry has handled the situation, and intend voting for him for president of the United States."

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