Alexandra Polier, a graduate of the Columbia school of journalism, briefly became an object of media frenzy during the 2004 presidential campaign when pseudo-journalist Matt Drudge falsely claimed that she had once had an affair with Democratic candidate John Kerry.
The only basis for Drudge's claim was Drudge himself. Nevertheless, the story echoed vigorously in the media. Writing in The Sun, a British tabloid, Brian Flynn quoted Polier's father calling Kerry a "sleazeball" and published other damning statements that he attributed to Polier's mother (whom he had actually never interviewed). In Polier's own account of the pseudo-scandal, she describes getting "phone calls throughout the night ... We were trapped. Reporters were standing on cars and ladders to see into the house. Camera lenses were poking through the hedge. ... One reporter had a little girl call up, assuming I wouldn?t hang up on a child. They even made her say, ?Can I talk to Alex?? And when I said, ?Yes, it?s me,? a reporter jumped on the line. CNN?s Zain Verjee wrote beseeching notes, slipping them under the front gate. It was like a horror movie where the zombies are on the other side of the door and then an arm comes through the window. ... One British tabloid offered an ex-boyfriend $50,000 for a recent picture. ... More alarmingly, my Hotmail account had been broken into, and I couldn?t access my e-mail. Random people in my in-box whom I hadn?t spoken to in months suddenly started getting calls from reporters." 
Polier and her parents issued a statement denying that any affair with Kerry ever occurred:
- "For the last several days I have seen Internet and tabloid rumors relating to me and Senator John Kerry. Because these stories were false, I assumed the media would ignore them. It seems that efforts to peddle these lies continue, so I feel compelled to address them. I have never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumors in the press are completely false. Whoever is spreading these rumors and allegations does not know me, but should know the pain they have caused me and my family. I am in Kenya with my fiance visiting his family, and we ask that the press respect our privacy and leave all of us alone." 
Following this declaration, the story began to subside. "By the end of the week, the reporters had gone, empty-handed," Polier writes. "But millions of people around the world still thought it was true. My name would be forever associated with a sex scandal. I'?ve never been someone who suffers from depression, but the month that followed was the worst of my life." 
Polier speculates that the rumor about her relationship with Kerry may have been instigated by a woman who works for Republican lobbyist William P. Jarrell, who runs a firm called Washington Strategies.
- "Statement from woman and parents about rumors linking her to Sen. John Kerry," Associated Press, February 16, 2004.
- Alexandra Polier, "The Education of Alexandra Polier," New York Magazine, June 7, 2004.