THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Enquirer settles over Kennedy child rumor

By Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / August 13, 2008
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You win some, you lose some. Just ask the National Enquirer. The tabloid, which is being celebrated for scooping the mainstream media on the John Edwards mistress story, has quietly settled a lawsuit filed by a Cape Cod woman who claimed the Enquirer published false and defamatory stories about her supposed "love child" with Senator Ted Kennedy.

Lawyers for Caroline Bilodeau-Allen provided DNA test results from 1985 that show Kennedy is not the father of Christopher Bilodeau, who was born in 1984. The settlement, first reported by TheSmokingGun.com, was filed in US District Court in Boston. Terms of the deal have not been made public, but the website says American Media Inc., parent company of the Enquirer, made a "significant payment" to Bilodeau-Allen.

The stories, published in 2006, alleged that Kennedy and Bilodeau -- she was unmarried at the time -- began dating in 1983, before Kennedy's divorce from his wife, Joan, was finalized. The tabloid claimed that after Bilodeau became pregnant, the senator, then in his early 50s, begged Bilodeau, then in her early 20s, to have an abortion.

Bilodeau-Allen subsequently sued American Media and two of its reporters, Richard Moriarity and Alan Butterfield, who is one of the reporters writing about Edwards's affair with Rielle Hunter.

David Rich, Bilodeau-Allen's attorney, did not return a call yesterday. Nor did Michael Antonello, counsel for American Media.

The case file does include a few e-mails revealing the Enquirer's strategy for placing the Kennedy story with other newspapers and TV shows. According to one e-mail exchange, the Boston Herald was given the story a day ahead of everyone else and Ken Chandler, then the top editor at the Herald, promised to "run it big (possibly page one)."

The Herald's January 2006 story had a front-page presence and ran prominently on BostonHerald.com, the paper's website. That December, BostonHerald.com reported the story, headlined "Mag: Ted K's secret love child a secret no more" was the fifth-most popular story on the site for that year.

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