Although Mendte is trying to move past the Alycia Lane email debacle, it’s clear that the treatment he received from colleagues following the incident still stings:
WIP’s Howard Eskin, who must have forgotten his own highly publicized e-mail scandal that ended when a woman with whom he chatted online was murdered by her jealous husband, went out of his way to criticize me. Fox 29’s John Bolaris coordinated news coverage of my case while my wife Dawn, his colleague, was sitting right next to him on the anchor set.
Mendte also opens up about the movie and book offers that came rolling in as entertainment attorneys and literary agents tried to capitalize on the tawdry story:
This was tempting because there was money attached. I just kept thinking of my children as teenagers having to suffer through a movie starring someone like Corbin Bernsen as their dad, sitting in the dark in his underwear in front of a computer. It was terrifying. I passed.
Much of the piece centers on how the scandal took away his worry-free lifestyle and continues to threaten his financial well-being. One odd twist of fate is that, when Mendte was desperate for money, he hit the lottery:
There was something undeniably miraculous about the fact that right after Dawn was let go and we needed money to survive, we hit the lottery. It was a Powerball ticket I’d bought in New York City and hadn’t checked for a couple months. When I did in March 2010, there on the first line were the correct five numbers. We missed the Powerball, but hit it on the second line.
Dawn and I now have one of those oversize publicity checks for $133,006 at home.