Letters

Intimacies Occurred Elsewhere
Please give me the opportunity to respond to the letters regarding my part in the Wissink story ("That's Why They Called It XS," November 20). I did not have oral sex in public at an office party with Stephen Wissink. Although I related to reporter Paul Belden that various intimacies occurred between Stephen and myself in private, he apparently misinterpreted my statement.

Stephen and I went off to the side of the house to talk about a dissolving personal relationship. I told Steve that I missed him and gave him a kiss. He grabbed me, and we ended up on the ground. We fumbled around on the grass outside the house. I got up and went back to the party. I did not know how much he was drinking or that he had an alcohol problem when the incident occurred. I was embarrassed once I discovered that people were watching us. It was not until I got back to the party that I realized we had an audience.

Afterward, at the office, I continued to function as usual but avoided coming in when Stephen was around. I frankly feel ridiculous defending myself about this incident which happened six years ago, especially since it is not the reason I left XS. However, I did want to clear up this factual error. What happened between Mr. Wissink and me in private at his home after the party is much more important than what happened at the party. He told me he would treat me like dung whether I had sex with him or not.

On other occasions he called me in the middle of the night and told me to come over to his unlocked apartment. I am ashamed to say I fell for this. After one of these incidents, I was emotionally drained, anxious and unable to sleep. I called XS and left a message of resignation on the answering machine.

I did not seek media coverage. Paul Belden of New Times called and said my name had come up regarding Wissink. He would not reveal his source. I am not involved in the lawsuit mentioned in the article and had nothing to gain but the opportunity to tell my side. I did not complain to Wissink's superiors at the time of these incidents. Wissink apologized to me years afterward, when we discussed the matter, but said he did not remember what happened due to his alcoholism.

It is hard for me to believe that he did not recall any of the cruel behavior that left me feeling so humiliated. Being characterized as the freelancer who had oral sex with her editor at a staff party has left me feeling humiliated once again.

I had no part in Wissink's resignation. All the events I related to Belden occurred a long time before other women complained about him. I was surprised to learn that such a ruthlessly ambitious person had screwed himself over.

I have certainly blamed myself enough for what happened and am getting on with my life.

Ronnie Greenspan
Hallandale

Paul Belden responds: Greenspan's recounting of her experience at the staff party agrees substantially with my own notes and memory of our interview -- with two significant exceptions. Immediately after she described fumbling around on the grass with her boss, Greenspan told me explicitly that Wissink pressured her to have sex right there on the grass. My next question: "Did you have sex with him?" Her answer: "We had oral sex." I don't see any other reasonable interpretation of that statement except the one presented in the story, which I stand behind.

Whipping Out the Constitution on the City of Dania
In regards to Dania vs. the Fetish Box ("Dania Whips Out a New Sign Ordinance", November 27), we must stop the proliferation of these idiotic zoning code "Blue Laws." The contention that people have the right to restrict the personal freedoms of others to create a better society is seriously flawed. Perhaps previous generations embraced similar rationalizations when they enacted anti-abortion, anti-birth control, anti-homosexual laws, Jim Crow segregation laws, and the disastrous Prohibition Amendment.

Subsequent re-examination of those concepts has led to radical change. It is past time for a critical re-evaluation of current zoning codes with a view to the restoration of our lost property rights.

The ACLU does an admirable job protecting our civil rights, but now we need a "National Property Rights Union" to defend our property rights.

Michael Gilley
Hollywood

Correction
New Times printed two mistakes in the review of the restaurant Bex ("Haas Rules," November 20). Owing to editor error, the South Beach restaurant Bang was identified as being defunct; actually it's open under new management. The photo that accompanied that review is a photo of Muffuletta's, not Bex. We regret the errors.

 
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