Dan Gross: Mayor talked Fox 29 out of airing bowling-alley spanking video, sources say

Mayor Michael Nutter
Mayor Michael Nutter
Posted: February 27, 2012

MAYOR NUTTER talked Fox 29 out of airing a video that captured him spanking the buttocks of a blonde with whom he drank and bowled at North Bowl (909 N. 2nd), say sources familiar with the situation.

A Fox 29 viewer recorded Nutter and his female companion having a blast about 2 a.m. one day last summer, sources say. We're told the cellphone video is of high-enough quality that you can hear the two butt slaps Nutter delivered to the woman, identified by our sources only as Andrea, as she got up to bowl.

Fox 29 began to work on a story about the mayor's late-night activities and the footage was screened at the station by Nutter's communications director Desiree Peterkin Bell and press secretary Mark McDonald.

Soon after that, we're told, Nutter summoned Fox 29 news director Steve Schwaid to City Hall for a meeting. After the meeting Schwaid informed his news staff that the footage would not run unless he decided that it would.

Some journalists at Fox 29 were upset that Schwaid decided to kill, or at least sit on, the story.

Asked if Nutter attempted to pressure Fox 29 not to air the video, McDonald offered no comment. Schwaid referred our inquiry to a Fox 29 spokeswoman, who had no comment about the Nutter/Schwaid sit-down or whether the station would air the story.

Shaq takes Barkley to dinner

Weight Watchers spokesman Charles Barkley ate a few days worth of WW Points at Buca di Beppo, in Orlando, the other night. Shaquille O'Neal treated the celebrated ex-Sixer to dinner, including spaghetti and meatballs and a colossal brownie sundae, to celebrate Sir Charles' 49th birthday, which was Feb. 20. The pair were in Orlando covering the NBA All-Star game for TNT.

Mahlum hosts MTV special

Anne Mahlum, founder of Back on My Feet, the homeless running club, is the host of an MTV documentary on youth homelessness called "The Break." The special, scored and co-produced by U2 guitarist The Edge, airs at 8 p.m. Friday. Mahlum introduces viewers to three young homeless people and tries to inspire them as she has helped homeless nationwide who have taken advantage of the confidence-building organization.

Mahlum started BOMF here in 2007 and its ninth chapter opens in April in New York.

For more info on Back on My Feet, visit backonmyfeet.org.

Mural Arts on 'Proof'

The Mural Arts Program got a shout-out on Tuesday's episode of "Body of Proof," the Philly-set, but not locally shot, ABC medical drama starring Dana Delany. Actress Sonja Sohn, formerly of "The Wire," explained Mural Arts history when a fictional mural became a crime scene.

Surprise for Thomas-Laury

A La Salle University student approached Lisa Thomas-Laury for an autograph after the 6ABC reporter participated in La Salle's Women Leadership Forum Thursday. "It's nice to see that young people still watch TV," she said, pleasantly surprised.


Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow @PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit philly.com/DanGross.

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