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Philadelphia weatherman John Bolaris lost $43,712.25, his job and, arguably, his dignity from one fateful trip to Miami Beach.
Following a real-life version of Warner Bros.’ The Hangover films, Bolaris shopped his story — at least what he could remember of it — to several outlets including Playboy, which published a salacious tell-all detailing how the weatherman was drugged by the Russian mob while on vacation. Bolaris was suspended by his employer, Fox 29, for allegedly leaking the story to the Philadelphia Daily News. In late December, he was officially let go.
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According to the Playboy article (via Gawker), the situation occurred in March 2010 during the course of two days. On the first night, two beautiful European women at a sushi bar approached Bolaris. “I’m a guy,” he is quoted as saying. “There was the thought that I might get laid. … I was used to girls in Philly coming on to me aggressively once they found out I was John Bolaris, the TV weatherman.”
After taking shots with the women, Bolaris claimed to have “lost all concept of time” before waking up alone as the proud owner of a painting of “a woman’s head … not the head of a woman I’d be attracted to.”
Receiving a call from his new friends, who informed him that he had purchased the painting at an auction, Bolaris agreed to join them for another night of partying.
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The next morning, Bolaris woke up alone with no memory of the previous night and the painting nowhere to be found. He returned to Philadelphia, only to discover he had purchased “bottles of champagne every 15 minutes or so,” including a $2,500 bottle of Cristal Vintage and a $3,120 bottle of Dom Perignon. Additionally, he had used his American Express card to buy a $2,000 tin of caviar. The painting? $2,500 plus a $500 tip. The grand total came to $43,712.25, with AmEx refusing to reverse the charges.
Eventually, the FBI opened an investigation and indicted 17 members of the Russian mob, who are accused of scamming at least 88 men in South Beach. AmEx settled Bolaris’ tab and paid him a reported $100,000 in damages.
A spokeswoman for the news station told Philly.com that the parting was “mutually agreed upon” once Bolaris’ tale hit the mainstream media.
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