October 12, 2005

Socialite sues over priest's abuse that 'made him gay'


By Jacqui Goddard

A NEW YORK socialite who claims that he was molested by a priest as a child is to sue the Roman Catholic Church for £2.8 million, alleging that the ordeal made him grow up gay.

J. David Enright IV says that Father Joseph Romano sexually abused him at a Christian youth camp in the early 1960s, when he was seven years old, telling him that it was “a rite of passage”.

Were it not for the repeated assaults, which are said to have taken place behind a log cabin after evening prayers, Mr Enright, 51, is convinced that he would be straight.

“I believe that my life would be very different now. I’d probably be married, living in Greenwich with four children in boarding school,” he said.

“Romano bent my life.”

Mr Enright, a scion of two of New York’s most aristocratic families, who made his millions as an advertising executive for the Broadway production of 42nd Street, said that for years he kept his homosexuality private, dating women in the 1980s but secretly trawling for male companions. “I had a straight life in business, socially on Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Then there was the other world, slinking around in Greenwich Village gay bars, finding mates,” he said.

Posted by kshaw at October 12, 2005 06:15 PM