Saturday, October 11, 2008
Barack Obama is the target of a shadowy smear campaign designed to derail his bid for the US Presidency by falsely claiming he had a close friendship with an attractive African-American female employee.
The whispers focus on a young woman who in 2004 was hired to work on his team for his bid to become a senator.
The woman was purportedly sidelined from her duties after Senator Obama’s wife, Michelle, became convinced that he had developed a personal friendship with her.
The woman, now 33, vigorously denies the vicious and unsubstantiated gossip.
According to sources interviewed by The Mail on Sunday, the respected Los Angeles Times, the tabloid National Enquirer and the huge ABC television network have been provided with the woman’s name.
In the most commonly-purveyed version of the rumour, she was ‘exiled’ to a Caribbean island because Michelle Obama objected to her job on the 2004 campaign.
A lawyer representing the woman said: ‘Although her duties on the  campaign changed over time, there was never any hint that Mrs Obama had any concerns about her relationship with the Senator or played any role in recommending a change in her duties.’
One of the sources who has been circulating the rumours admitted never meeting the woman but claimed he has spoken to ‘a group of African American’ women who are
her friends and believe she was mistreated.
Denial: The woman, whose identity we have protected, rejected the claims
‘They said she was removed from her position and the political scene because Michelle got wind of the fact that she had a close friendship with her husband,’ the source said. ‘She disappeared, then she reappeared in the Caribbean.’
The Mail on Sunday located the woman in the Caribbean, where she now works. She denied that Mrs Obama had raised any objections to her job on the 2004 campaign.
‘No,’ she said. ‘Nothing happened. I just left ... at the end of the campaign.’
Asked about the claim that Mrs Obama accused her of having a close friendship with the Senator, she said: ‘I have no comment on anything.
‘I switched careers. That’s it. I’m a Democrat and I support Senator Obama ... I don’t have anything to say.’
She added that she emigrated to the Caribbean from the US after falling in love with the man with whom she now lives.
Senator Obama’s team did not respond to our request for comment.
But one day after we contacted Obama’s team, a London law firm informed The Mail
on Sunday that it had been retained by the woman to help her to counter the whispering campaign, which they said was ‘absolutely false’.
Posted by TJK at 9:47 PM