AVWatch: Villaraigosa lied, exaggerated about his past?
Posted Wed, Nov 22, 2006 at 11:20 am
Tony Castro of the L.A. Daily News (who seems to have a few skeletons in his closet) offers a long look at Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's psychological makeup and his mythogizing of his past. While it doesn't mention Tony Villar's radical past - including being a leader of the racial separatist group MEChA - it is full of quite-possibly-true nuggets:
...In June, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles reported that retired Sherman Oaks teacher Herman Katz had grown "weary" of the yarn Villaraigosa has often told of how Katz dramatically turned his life around while the teenage Villar was struggling at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights - almost making it seem as if Katz had become his surrogate father, paving his course to eventual political stardom.Much, much more at the link.
...In fairness to the mayor, experts say, everyone is subject to what W. Keith Campbell, associate professor of psychology at the University of Georgia and a "narcissism expert," calls "memory distortion."
...For Villaraigosa, the name change was only part of the reinvention. A low-rider image cultivated from the time he led student protests in high school and later at UCLA was discarded, down to having "Born to raise hell" tattoos removed from his arms. He replaced it with a look out of Gentlemen's Quarterly, including a personal tailor and professionally bleached teeth...
..."He walked in and reminded me of Zorro," Pulido recalled. "His hair was slicked back, and he had a little thin mustache, and he reminded me of Tyrone Power in ('The Mark of Zorro') movie."
...In fact, Villaraigosa's organized athletic career was limited to playing on the Cathedral High School team in ninth grade...