In an emotional appeal for political support, Sen. Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass.) yesterday characterized recent newspaper stories about his financial affairs as a "reckless invasion of my privacy" and said they were not true.
Brooke told a crowded news conference here late yesterday that a story that appeared in The Washington Post about his family, tax exemptions was false. The Post story said Brooke had claimed his daughters as tax exemptions while they were married and living away from his home.
He also called "misleading" a Boston Globe story that appeared yesterday on his co-ownership of a cooperative apartment in the Watergate complex in Washington. The Globe story said Brooke failed to disclose his interest in the apartment in financial statements he filed with the Senate and the Middlesex County Probate Court.
A spokesman for The Boston Globe said last night the paper would not comment on Brooke's statement.
Brooke, who is up for reelection this year, refused to answer questions, and left the gathering of reporters immediately after his statement.
Brooke's elder daughter, Remi, said after the news conference last night that, despite what her father said, both she and her sister, Edwina, had not received half their support from their father in the years he claimed them as tax exemptions, as required by law.
"If the tax people want to audit, I'm sure we can prove we were not dependents in the years he says we were," she said.
Brooke claimed his daughter, Remi, as a tax exemption in 1970 and 1971 and again in 1974 and 1975. During the first two years she said she was supported by funds left over from wedding gifts of nearly $10,000 that were deposited in her bank account after her first marriage in 1968. She said she lived in her own apartment for part of the time and stayed with the parents of her second fiance the rest of the time.
In 1974 and 1975, Remi Brooke said, she lived in a home she owned in Newton, Mass., during the breakup of her second marriage. She said she received no money from her father in those years.
She disputed her father's claim in his statement that he paid her college bills in 1974, an expenditure that he said qualified her as a dependent in that year.
"We have a bill from Northeastern University, where I was going to school that year, and it is for $1,531," she said. "He couldn't have paid it because it is still outstanding. I still owe that money to the school."
At the news conference Brooke said he also supported his younger daughter, Edwina, in 1975 because she returned from her residence in Paris to his home to prepare for her wedding.
In a telephone interview last week Edwina Brooke denied that she was supported by her father in 1975. Remi Brooke said yesterday she had her sister's passport which showed Edwina Brooke was only in the United States for three weeks in 1975.
"As far as I know, what the senator said is accurate," Brooke's press aide, Robert Waite, said in response to questions about Remi Brooke's allegations.
Both of Brooke's daughters have sided with their mother, Remigia Brooke, in a bitter divorce case that is still under way in the Massachusetts court. The Middlesex County district attorney said last week that he was opening an investigation into possible perjury by Sen. Brooke in connection with papers he filed in the divorce case.
At his news conference yesterday Brooke said a Boston Globe article about his co-ownership of the Watergate apartment was misleading. He said he was listed as co-owner of the apartment with his mother, Helen S. Brooke, "for estate purposes only."
Brooke denied any "financial or equitable interest" in the apartment. "Since I have no past or present financial interest in this property it would be wrong for me to represent it as one of my personal assets."
Senate rules on financial disclosure require that senators "disclose the identity of each interest in real property held directly or indirectly by the reporting individual, a spouse or dependent including vested remainders and life estates . . ."
Brooke also made no mention of the apartment in a sworn statement signed with the Middlesex court in 1976.
Brooke also cited a column in The New York Times urging him to resign from his Senate seat while his financial troubles continued. He indicated he would not take the advice.
Speaking directly to the television cameras in his office here, where the news conference was held, Brooke urged public support for his position.
"The lust for blood which has taken possession of the media in the last few weeks is for you alone to dispel," he said. "I have kept the faith with you, with my conscience, with my oath of office."