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Albanese declined repeated requests for comment for this story. Her husband, who initially hung up on the Observer, eventually responded to a series of questions via e-mail.
He expressed disgust at the way the press had gone after his wife. The suggestion that she had misused the press club credit card was not only false, the club might actually owe her money, he said.
"The viciousness with which certain members of the press club, and the press itself, have attacked her with innuendoes, distortions and half-truths is disturbing and saddening," he wrote. "She certainly has not been convicted of any wrongdoing, although there are some who would be their own judge, jury and executioner."
Finally, he suggested that those who were speaking out against her either had something to hide or had an ax to grind against his wife and that their information was suspect.
"Elizabeth has worked tirelessly on the press club's behalf for several years," he wrote in conclusion. "She's already been punished in the press, lost her job and career and suffered extreme humiliation."
Of course, Albanese's friends aren't likely to sympathize. Janet Ragland, a member of the press club, felt duped and embarrassed when she learned the scope of Albanese's lies. At first, she really liked Albanese. Ragland thought she was funny, quick-witted and brilliant. Most of all, she thought she was a devoted friend. When Ragland's husband was in the hospital and she spent the nights in a chair by his bed, Albanese offered to drop by and stay with her. So when Albanese resigned under questionable circumstances with her own colleagues questioning their leader's honesty, Ragland called at her home and offered her support.
"The last thing I said to her was, 'We'll still be friends.' And she agreed. She was just someone I trusted."
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