Dyrol Joyner, on the Outs in Foggy Bottom
Channel 5 weekend sportscaster Dyrol Joyner -- who has been an on-air personality at Washington's Fox affiliate, WTTG-TV, since the summer -- is facing court-ordered eviction from his one-bedroom Foggy Bottom apartment because he allegedly hasn't paid his rent.
Joyner's landlord, restaurant manager Pam Smith, claims he owes $4,500 in back rent after a series of bounced checks and broken promises since they signed a year's lease in July for the condo at the Swarthmore on 25th Street NW. Smith told us that Joyner -- who earns around $150,000 from his TV job, we hear -- bounced checks for September and November and didn't pay at all in December.
Smith said she visited the station in an attempt to collect, but Joyner refused to see her when she reached him on the lobby phone. Smith told us, "My current salary is only $30,000 and I cannot afford to pay my living expenses as well as Dyrol's living expenses, especially when his salary is in the six figures."
Smith, who lives full time in Maine and manages a restaurant near Bar Harbor, said she traveled here last week for a scheduled Friday trial in the landlord-tenant branch of D.C. Superior Court. When Joyner didn't show up, the court entered a default judgment and Smith paid a $116 fee to start eviction proceedings. She also filed suit against Joyner in small-claims court.
Yesterday Joyner didn't return our repeated phone calls to his office and cell phone -- though Smith told us he phoned her several times yesterday in an effort to resolve the dispute, at one point offering to put $1,000 into her bank account immediately and later promising to pay the balance in full.
Over the weekend, Smith said, Joyner moved most of his possessions out of the apartment, and late yesterday she said her bank had received $1,000 in money orders from Joyner and a $2,500 check from a Rockville company. "I won't know if the check clears for another 10 days," Smith said, noting that she's still out $1,000.
Meanwhile, Fox 5 spokesman Steve Houk, vice president for creative services, told us: "There's no comment from us. There's nothing we can add or subtract from this story at this point. It doesn't make us too happy. Why would it?"
Backing a Winner
* Democratic media consultant Chris Sautter is a lawyer by training but a filmmaker at heart. His award-winning documentary about the political machine in East Chicago, Ind., "The King of Steeltown," will be shown tonight at Visions Cinema. "It's definitely an extracurricular activity," said Sautter, a recount specialist who worked on Al Gore's Florida battle after the presidential election.
He spent $75,000 -- mostly his own money with a little help from friends -- to make this movie about East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick's seventh reelection campaign in 1999. "I joke that it was taken out of my kids' college fund."
Sautter told us: "Some time ago I had wanted to do a documentary. . . . I think that explains why I was willing to jump into this project without any financial backing. Because this particular political figure is not well known outside of the area, I'm not sure one could find funding for this project." Pastrick's campaign "may be one of the last examples of what we call machine politics, and so for me it was an opportunity to capture that before it faded from the scene."
THIS JUST IN . . .
* Until yesterday, the Council on Foreign Relations was heavily promoting novelist Caleb Carr's scheduled appearance in New York tomorrow night to discuss his new nonfiction book, "The Lessons of Terror," prominently featuring Carr's photo in the February events calendar and even inviting C-SPAN to bring its cameras. But with 48 hours to spare, the elite foreign-policy group abruptly pulled the plug on Carr's appearance. Council officials told Carr's publisher, Random House, that not enough members had signed up for the event, and that there was a scheduling problem with the room reserved for the event at the council's Upper East Side mansion headquarters. A council member sympathetic to Carr told us that he was told "a scheduling conflict of the author" caused the cancellation. But Carr said he believes the real reason is that his book is harshly critical of former secretary of state and council member Henry Kissinger, whom he accuses of being a "terrorist," among other critiques of prominent council members. Yesterday Council President Leslie Gelb told us that Carr's claim about the cancellation "is not 99 percent untrue -- it's 100 percent untrue."
* Not everyone who visits this company town wants to talk shop. Take former supermodel Kim Alexis, a 41-year-old mother of three who today holds a news conference to tout the National Grand Prix of professional auto racing that comes to Washington in July. "This is the first time that D.C. streets are open to racing," Alexis told us yesterday. "I sort of, like, enjoy speed. Every turn you're supposed to be out of control." But politics? "I honestly spend more time with everything else I do. I'm not a real avid follower of any of that."
With Barbara E. Martinez