By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com June 09 2012 9:41 AM ET
A lawyer for Charlie Crist says a former party chairman was trying to extort the former Florida governor with allegations that he's gay.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement distributed an investigative report Friday, posted online by WTSP in Tampa. In it, emails from a lawyer for former state Republican Party chairman Jim Greer show that if Crist didn't change his 2010 deposition in a case investigating Greer for essentially stealing from the party, then Crist would be deposed again under oath. And this time, he "was not going to like what Chase asked."
Damon Chase is Greer's lawyer and emails show him delivering the threat to Crist's lawyer. When pressed on what exactly would be so embarrassing, Greer offered a list.
First, he said "Charlie Crist was a homosexual and had homosexual relationships." And Chase claims that Crist, while governor, paid two men he had relationships with to leave the state.
Then he claimed Crist had once tried to kiss his client, Greer, while on a trip to Beverly Hills.
Crist's lawyer laughed that accusation off, saying that even if Crist were gay, "Crist would have to be a sick son of a bitch to try to kiss Porky the Pig."
Chase was clear that he would use Crist's alleged homosexual history to undermine testimony against Greer from the former governor and former state attorney general.
"In the event Charlie remains unwilling to clarify his affidavit, I'm left with no other choice than to discredit him," Chase wrote, according to a transcript from the Tampa Bay Times. "I don't find that type of practice particularly tasteful, but sometimes I suppose it's necessary.''
Crist was the central subject of an HBO documentary called Outrage, which premiered on the network in 2009 and examined the private lives and public votes of what it said are closeted politicians. Crist was married in 2008 to Carole Rome.