Embarrassing revelations in Bush brother’s divorce

IN the annals of embarrassing presidential relatives, Neil Bush is no Billy Carter or Roger Clinton.

But the US President's brother's messy divorce has produced some eye-opening disclosures:

He had sex with women who showed up uninvited at his hotel rooms in Asia.

He had an affair and may have fathered a child out of wedlock.

He stands to make millions from businesses in which he has little expertise including a computer-chip company managed in part by the son of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin. Neil Bush defends the fees he has received for consulting jobs. But he gave little insight into whether the women who offered him sex in Hong Kong and Taiwan were perhaps paid by mysterious benefactors.

In a deposition, Mr Bush told the lawyer for his wife of 23 years, Sharon, the women did not ask him for money and he did not pay them anything.

"It's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her," said the Houston lawyer Marshall Davis Brown. "It was very unusual," the 48-year-old Mr Bush replied.

Sharon Bush also accused Neil of fathering a child with the woman he now plans to marry. The woman's ex-husband has filed a defamation lawsuit against Sharon Bush, and DNA testing has been requested.

The titillating details have made barely a splash in Texas, where loyalty to the president runs deep.

University of Texas government professor Bruce Buchanan said he doubts Neil Bush's shenanigans will become political fodder in the 2004 election.

"There are lots of examples of presidents with troubled siblings and it never seemed to have that much of an impact," he said.

Jimmy Carter's beer-swilling brother, Billy, wrote a book called Redneck Power and accepted money from the Libyan government. Bill Clinton's half-brother, Roger, was jailed for a year for dealing cocaine. Richard Nixon's kid brother Donald took $180,000 (€140,000) from Howard Hughes in the hopes of opening a fast-food chain selling Nixonburgers. It is not the first time Neil Bush has caused his family some trouble.

At the end of his father's presidency, Neil was among a group of defendants who agreed to pay $55 million (€44m) to settle a negligence lawsuit over the billion dollar collapse of the savings and loan he directed in Colorado.

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