I wish we knew how to quit you, Nelson…but the wild web of fake titles, stolen identities and lies just keeps growing.
We told you last week the wacky story of W. Nelson Lewis (26), the former Fox News guest greeter and Laura Ingraham Show producer who was recently arraigned in District Court for allegedly impersonating 55-year-old Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA). Sporting a congressional pin, Lewis was arrested by the Capitol Police on November 17, 2010 after claiming to have been assaulted. He later admitted that the claim was false.
FishbowlDC’s Betsy Rothstein contacted Kingston who described a long friendship with the Lewis family and a past internship for Nelson in his office. But the Congressman denied any connection to the congressional pin Lewis was wearing when arrested.
“My thinking is it’s one of those youthful indiscretions that just got out of hand,” Kingston reasoned with Rothstein. “It was a one-time event, harmless in intent. I’m friends with him. I don’t know the circumstance of this, but my impression is he’s out drinking one night, running his mouth, unfortunately the hole got a little bit deeper. There’s no ill intention.”
Unfortunately for Nelson, the story didn’t end there. Over the next few days, a slew of other Lewis-fabricated titles and identities surfaced. In a recent interview with Kate Michael’s “District Dish” video series, Lewis referred to himself as a Bahamian diplomat – “His Excellency” – and entertained Michael’s co-hosts with stories about his activities as a features writer for Rolling Stone. Both the Bahamian Embassy and Rolling Stone have adamantly denied any connection to Lewis.
“He shared with me that he had been named Minister Plenipotentiary for Artistic Endeavors for the Embassy of the Bahamas, giving me his new business card and e-mail address and inviting me to cover artistic events he was co-hosting, including one at the OAS,” said Kate Michael. “At no time did we have any indication that his claims might be false.”
But Michael wasn’t the only one fooled by Nelson’s tall tales and flashy business card (see how he spoofed it here). Lewis’ photo, faux titles and name appeared in The Hill, Examiner, K Street Kate blog, Georgetown Dish, Bisnow and on other blogs and websites. Nelson further inflated his Bahamian diplomacy, telling NY Social Diary’s Carol Joynt that he was recently promoted to “Ambassador W. Nelson Lewis.” He made special appearances at parties and fundraisers such as the CSAAC Foundation’s “High Rollers for Autism” event where he was described on the invitation as a “special guest” and “two time Emmy award winning Fox News producer, currently staff columnist for Rolling Stone, and Special Arts Ambassador at the Bahamas Embassy.”
But that’s still not the end of this saga. Adding insult to injury, the lies and deceit surrounding Nelson Lewis hit a new high today when the ladies of the Examiner‘s “Yeas and Nays” column received two emails – one from a Rolling Stone’s Josh Eells and the other from the Honorable Brent Symonette of the Embassy of Bahamas – both endorsing Nelson’s claims and admitting association with the seemingly troubled young man. Ouch! The media must have jumped the gun, right?
Wrong. It turns out that both messages were sent from fake, anonymous accounts provided by Sharpmail – an overseas email host that allows users to spoof accounts to appear as if they were sent by any email address the user specifies. Y & N spoke to Eells and Symonette who confirmed that the messages were fraudulent. Neither Lewis nor his lawyer would comment on the matter. See the original emails and spoofee’s responses to the story at the Washington Examiner here.