A-Rod's image takes another hit from NYC madam
Alex Rodriguez in a file photo. AP
Not a pitch has been thrown in this year's baseball season but Alex Rodriguez seems to be striking out just about every day.
The beleaguered Yankees slugger, who is recovering from hip surgery in Colorado, was again at the center of scandal Sunday, this time involving the former madam of a high-priced call girl ring in Manhattan.
Kristin Davis, whose agency was patronized by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, said in published reports that she dated A-Rod while he was married and set him up with a prostitute.Two former agency workers said A-Rod had trysts with prostitutes half a dozen times at the Four Seasons Hotel, published reports said.
"In regard to Alex, all I can say is our paths have definitely crossed personally and professionally," Davis was quoted as saying.
There was no response to the accusations by Rodriguez or the Yankees.
It was just the latest in a string of scandals surrounding the superstar, who admitted earlier this year to taking banned substances while with the Texas Rangers in 2003 and last week was ridiculed for a magazine photo showing him kissing his reflection in the mirror.
Add to that his high-profile divorce and relationship with Madonna, and A-Rods image has taken a beating.
This is just getting worse and worse, its spiraling, said Tammy Brook, who owns a public relations firm in Manhattan. Its almost like a Britney Spears situation. Its an open playing field for negative publicity.
John Fuller, who runs a marketing firm that represents athletes, predicted the off-field woes will hurt A-Rods endorsement value.
Any time you have negative publicity, they will distance themselves a bit, very similar to what happened to Michael Phelps, he said, referring to the Olympic swimmer photographed taking a bong hit. When people see athletes with a lot of money make mistakes its going to ruin their image a little bit.
Davis, whose spokesman declined to comment Sunday, has written a book about her $5 million-a-year business which, she says on her Web site, boasted a roster of 10,000 rich, powerful and famous clients.