Eleven years before he married the woman who allegedly tried to have him killed, Michael Dippolito admits he "may have" fathered a son with another woman who lives west of Boca Raton.
According to a paternity suit filed by the child's mother, Karen Tanne, Dippolito acknowledged that he was the father when the child was an infant, then disappeared from Tanne's and her unnamed son's lives without paying child support.
In court documents, Dippolito denies abandoning Tanne's child but admits that he had sex with Tanne during the nine months before the boy was born, and says he "may be the natural father of the minor child."
Tanne is now requesting financial support and has asked Dippolito to get a life insurance policy that names her as the sole beneficiary. She filed the suit in Palm Beach County Circuit Court two weeks after Dippolito made headlines because his wife, Dalia, was arrested for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill him.
This is Tanne's third attempt to get child support from Dippolito. She filed two paternity suits in the late '90s, right after her child was born, but officials were never able to locate Dippolito to serve him the required court documents.
"He's on the news, now we can find him," says Tanne's lawyer, Eric Klein.
Until now, Tanne has been raising her 11-year-old son on her own, working in online real estate marketing to support herself. "She's under a great burden," Klein says.
Meanwhile, Dippolito, 38, "has lived a very comfortable lifestyle and enjoyed many luxuries, all while neglecting the needs of the child and refusing to have a relationship or any contact whatsoever with the child," Klein wrote in court documents.
According to financial information disclosed in his 2008 divorce from his first wife, Dippolito earns about $87,000 a year from his marketing firm, Mad Media. He also pleaded guilty in 2003 to organized fraud, for running a telemarketing scam that netted more than $146,000. He served seven months in a Florida state prison, and is now on probation for the crime until 2032.
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Reached by phone today, Dippolito was not eager to discuss the paternity suit. "I don't even know what you're talking about," he said. "I can't talk to you, I apologize." Then he hung up.
Tanne also declined to comment. "I'm trying to protect my child, so I'd prefer not to comment," she said.
Dippolito has been ordered to get a DNA test to determine if he's the child's father. His deadline for getting his cheek swabbed is 5 p.m. today -- and Klein says it hasn't happened yet. Dippolito's lawyer, Jason Brodie, declined to comment on the case.
UPDATE: Dippolito has now submitted to a DNA test, according to Klein. The results are expected Friday.