Dan Gross: Bolaris denies staining his shorts

Former Philly weatherman John Bolaris said his fiancee Erica Smitheman helped him cope with the negative publicity surrounding his run-in with a Russian crime syndicate in 2010.
Former Philly weatherman John Bolaris said his fiancee Erica Smitheman helped him cope with the negative publicity surrounding his run-in with a Russian crime syndicate in 2010.
Posted: November 20, 2012

IT'S THE s---storm of the century.

John Bolaris finally got his day in court Friday in Miami, testifying against the Russian crime syndicate charged with using women to scam and drug unsuspecting tourists like him. But he says that experience was marred by report on Philadelphia magazine's website that he defecated himself, as one of his alleged scammers testified in court.

"No. 1, it didn't happen," Bolaris told us over the weekend. "If it did happen, I would say it happened.

"I was so taken back and thrown for a loop. All the good and all the agony, this is what comes out before I testify?" he asks.

Bolaris was also asked about the alleged soiling in court and said it had not occurred.

"I am trying to have some dignity," said Bolaris, who has yet to find work in television since Fox 29 let him go last year.

"I did the right thing. I fought back because I was the victim of a crime. I know in my heart I was scammed by a well-orchestrated crime ring," Bolaris said of the March 2010 weekend in which he says he was drugged by two Latvian women and awoke to find his American Express card had been charged $43,000 for a painting he didn't remember buying.

While it upsets him, he knows why the story has become a punchline. "On face value, it looks like a 'Hangover'-type movie. It's easy to sit outside and make fun of it," he said. But Bolaris noted that it was his approaching the authorities to report his ordeal that led to the criminal charges against the syndicate.

He credits fiancee Erica Smitheman, to whom he recently proposed live on Howard Stern's show on Sirius XM radio, with keeping him together during the stressful time of unemployment and mockery.

O'Hurley back for show

Actor John O'Hurley, best remembered as Mr. Peterman on "Seinfeld," had a busy weekend in town while hosting the National Dog Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks. O'Hurley and family had dinner at Legal Sea Foods in King of Prussia on Thursday and Saturday nights, and he also shopped at Saks Fifth Avenue in Bala Cynwyd between a handful of radio and TV stops. One of those visits was to 95.7 BEN FM where O'Hurley, also a former "Family Feud" host and "Dancing with the Stars" contestant, serves as the voice of the station.

Program director Chuck D'Amico announced that BEN re-signed O'Hurley to be its spokesman for two more years. The National Dog Show airs at noon Thanksgiving Day on NBC.

Still seats for Anderson show

Tickets still remain for the Philadelphia Orchestra concert during Monday night's Marian Anderson Award gala honoring James Earl Jones. Terrence Howard hosts the concert, which features tenor Lawrence Brownlee, Marian Anderson Young Artist Study grant recipient Christian Eason, jazz artist Jean Carne with keyboardist Bill Jolly. Actress Phylicia Rashad, who's in the area shooting NBC's upcoming series, "Do No Harm," will also speak at the ceremony. Tickets start at $25 and are available by calling 215-893-1999 or online at philorch.org.

Out and about

* Sportscaster James Brown

took a train from Washington D.C. to 30th Street Station a few days back to work on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" at the NFL Films headquarters in Mount Laurel, N.J.

* Gary Clark Jr. took off by

helicopter for New York to perform at Leonardo DiCaprio's birthday party after the guitarist/singer recently wowed a sold-out crowd at the TLA (334 South).

'Survivors Project:' book launch

Philadelphia Weekly senior editor Nina Hoffmann and her husband, Joel Hoffmann, will speak about The Survivors Project: Telling the Truth About Life After Sexual Abuse, at 7:30 Monday night in Room 108 at the Free Library (1901 Vine). Speakers from the Philadelphia Children's Alliance and Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) will also take part in the launch event for the book published by Philadelphia Weekly featuring stories from survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones. Joel Hoffmann is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and he and his wife both write of his experiences.

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