Visit Tampa Museum of Art: Meet Dr. Wilkins, College Cheater

March 25, 2019

* * * * * * * * * * * * SEVERE IMMORALITY COVER-UP SPANS MANY YEARS: USF Honors College Professor Perpetrates then Covers-Up Double Life – Adultery, Scholarship Cheating, Abuses Cancer Patient to Work in Mental Health and Around Other Medical Patients USF’s brightest students, world’s future leaders taught by dishonorable scholarship-cheating professor Dr. Wilkins. * * * * * * * * * * * * The enclosed photograph is the actual fake bald cap that Dr. Catherine Wilkins created, and tried to deceive a cancer patient with. Professor Wilkins bought a skin-colored bald cap, cut off short pieces of her own hair, and then glued them to the bald cap. Dr. Wilkins then covered it with a red bandana and hat. USF Honors Instructor Dr. Wilkins falsely pretended she shaved her head. She wore this cruel fabrication in front of a cancer patient that recently was bald, that lost all of their own hair to ABVD chemotherapy. It was mental abuse perpetrated by Dr. Wilkins. Professor Wilkins then immorally used the cancer patient in more of her lies, in falsifying her school scholarships, and for college career advancement. Ironically, Dr. Catherine Wilkins teaches classes in Mental Health, one as a popular USF Honors capstone course. Dr. Wilkins also teaches at the Morsani College of Medicine, and Tampa Museum of Art. * * * * * * * * * * * * USF Dr. Catherine Wilkins Cheats, Lies About Going Into Debt Helping Cancer Patient on Scholarship * * Dr. Wilkins fabricates scholarship, commits adultery, uses an artist cancer patient to advance her college art career. * * Dr. Wilkins makes fake bald cap, and mentally abuses bald cancer patient. * * Dr. Wilkins psychologically damages cancer patient, while patient is near death. * * For her deceit, receives credit and recommendations. Now teaches courses in Art, Mental Health, PTSD, and Medicine. * * USF Honors College, Tampa Art Museum, Morsani College of Medicine. * * USF Honors College Health Professions Students Impacted. * * Honors capstone course “Connections: Mental Healthcare, Community Engagement, and Art” * * Courses are taught by an instructor that has frequently lied, falsified academic scholarships, escaped accountability, and engaged in adultery, sometimes with USF faculty. * * * * * * * * * * * * Dr. Catherine Wilkins lied and unethically used my cancer to advance her college career. Below is an exact word-for-word transcript from Catherine Wilkins’ falsified college scholarship. In it, Catherine praises herself for taking care of a cancer patient, her boyfriend of four years. That is a lie. I am that boyfriend. I am that cancer patient. I have been an artist, going to center for the arts magnet schools and taking AP art courses and studying humanities my entire life, long before Dr. Wilkins was ever an Art Historian or Humanities Instructor. Dr. Wilkins commends herself for taking care of a “loved one” cancer patient. Everything about me, and Catherine taking care of me, is a complete fabrication by her. She lied to her own university teachers, professors, and faculty about taking care of me, a cancer patient, in order to get their sympathy and respect. And she lied on her scholarships. I am just now learning details of this from Dr. Wilkins’ falsified college scholarship, that she deceptively uses me and my condition in. The only truth: Is that I had cancer. The rest, is fabricated by USF Honors College capstone instructor Dr. Wilkins. Dr. Catherine Wilkins built her entire college career on lies. It is unconscionable that Catherine used my struggle with cancer, my life-and-death battle, to promote her college career. If you think a respected person isn’t capable of this, please look again. There are persons, such as: * * The sham-story homeless man and couple from GoFundMe (Mark D’Amico, Kate McClure, and Johnny Bobbitt), who for a time the public believed were compassionate saints, and poured money and praise into them. It turned out they invented the whole fake-story for their profit. * * Jussie Smollett who faked an elaborate plot in an attempt to advance his career, and gain his own sympathy, and profit. Jussie Smollett did this in a fraudulent attempt to become the face of a movement, and be seen as a cultural hero. * * Many have used “False Rapes” to conceal adultery: An internet search will show a multitude of real-life court examples. * * A respected and popular professor (David Scott Broxterman) at Polk State College in Lakeland, Florida has been revealed as a fraud after forging documents to fake a doctorate from the University of South Florida (USF). * * Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph J. Ellis admitted that he lied to his students and others when he said he had been a combat soldier in Vietnam. ”Perpetuated over many years, his lie about himself clearly violates the ethics of our profession and the integrity we expect of all members of our community,” said a statement posted on the college’s website. ”Misleading students is wrong and nothing can excuse it.” * * Former dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Marilee Jones resigned after admitting she fabricated her credentials nearly three decades earlier. * * Study says Honor students more likely to cheat. A study released by the University of California, Berkeley reports that some Honors students are risking their academic standings by cheating in order to remain competitive candidates for career prospects and admission into graduate schools. Study says between 40 percent and 70 percent of college students admit to cheating. Previously, struggling students were believed to make up the group more likely to commit academic dishonestly. Now, Honors students and others with higher GPAs make up the greater percentage likely to cheat, according to study. * * The teachers and parents in the bribe college-admissions cheating scandal (Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, and so many others). Anyone employed at an university should know by now, unfortunately, how extraordinarily ingenious, conniving, unethical, and dishonest students, even faculty and parents (who were former students), can be. During my several year relationship with Catherine, that almost resulted in marriage, Catherine repeatedly and severely deceived myself, and those around her. What was Catherine doing while I had cancer? Cheating on me. Committing adultery. Having several affairs. She even had a long-term secret affair with David Brodosi, faculty at USF. In an attempt to hide her sexual affair with David Brodosi, Catherine Wilkins told me Brodosi raped her. I told Catherine, she must report David Brodosi for sexual harassment and rape, immediately. Several times, I insisted she file a detailed sexual predator report of David Brodosi. But the truth turned out to be, their adultery was completely consensual. Catherine Wilkins’ personal home and University of South Florida’s work computers were filled with months of sexual and erotic emails and text messages to and from David Brodosi. Proving Dr. Wilkins’ adulterous affair was consensual. Catherine and Brodosi discussed intimately their secret “booty calls” as they called them, sex positions, and traded sex pictures with each other. Catherine Wilkins admitted to me later that they had consensual sex. And both Dr. Wilkins and David Brodosi tried to keep it hidden, and cover it up. Catherine later admitted she loved the illicit thrill, danger, and excitement of cheating. Catherine didn’t care that her adultery was destroying my life, she wanted “the dangerous thrill.” Catherine Wilkins attempted to get away with cheating, by saying David Brodosi raped her. It instead, was a consensual affair. There are countless real rape victims, and Catherine tried to appropriate rape, to get out of adultery. And Catherine had so many other secret lovers, and adulterous affairs that she tried to hide and coverup, while I was dying of cancer. Professor Catherine Wilkins secretly applied to pose nude for Playboy. There were messages about rockstars autographing her breasts backstage at a concert. Messages from other secret lovers, and sex adventures. Dr. Wilkins was going to male strip clubs, singing “It’s Raining Men!” Dr. Wilkins gave local statues fellatio and took photos. Catherine Wilkins opened a hidden account on the sex hookup website, “Adult Friend Finder” for threesomes, orgies, one-night stands, with both men and women. In New Orleans, Dr. Wilkins prowled Bourbon Street looking for sexual attention and assumedly a sex hookup, in an extremely tight shirt, showing off her breasts, that in glitter read “VEGAS.” Dr. Wilkins even had sex with my friends. When I asked her, why my friend knew what her breasts and nipples looked like, Dr. Wilkins knowing she was at least partially caught, said “We only flirted online. I emailed him naked pictures of myself. We didn’t have sex.” This alone is heartbreaking enough. Then when I had to go further and ask, “Then why does my friend know what you sound like during sex, and how you do specific sex actions, that I’m only supposed to know about?” Dr. Wilkins was then forced to admit, “We had sex. I lied.” Then she tried to diminish it, turn it around, and receive pity and sympathy, by saying this person was on anti-depressants, and it affected his erection. Poor Catherine. Her secret lover, a person I knew and used to be friends with, had penile dysfunction. What a way to try for sympathy, when you’re caught cheating and lying. Her secret affairs went on and on. There are so many other adulterous and dishonest activities Dr. Wilkins engaged herself in. All while we dated. All while I fought cancer, and struggled to stay alive. All while she tells those around her, writes on her scholarship, and imagines herself as the faithful, saintly girlfriend and almost-wife taking care of me as I was dying. Catherine wasn’t taking care of me, she was having the time of her life cheating. Each time I found just a little of Catherine Wilkins’ lies and wrong-doing, I begged her to stop, and to do the right thing. Catherine refused to cease, or do what was right, time and time again. Catherine just continued doing what she wanted, using whoever she wanted, telling whatever lies she wanted, and simply tried harder in her coverups. The only thing Professor Wilkins learned: Was how to conceal, gaslight, and manipulate better. Catherine’s method is to tell any lie, obfuscate, deflect, blame, accuse others, and even try to become a victim herself, so she may take flight from accountability, and even profit. Catherine tried to escape responsibility. To get away with a lie, Catherine would just tell another lie, or blame someone else, or try to make it seem smaller or innocent, or misdirect. She would say she stopped a certain lie or dishonest behavior or action, but that again, was only to minimize it. I found time and time again, she continued in it. She did not stop. These are mind games that destroy. Besides the initial destruction of the illicit deed, the coverup continues further destruction. Catherine wanted to gain through sympathy, but had little sympathy for those she lied to. Professor Catherine Wilkins knew, ultimately, she could win and do whatever she wanted by lying, cheating, manipulation, and hiding the truth. She need not be accountable if she could just lie, put on the right face, and have no one double-check. Catherine Wilkins even faked and wrote false letters from her parents. She wrote the letters, pretending to be her parents, using her father and mother’s names, and in their voice. She did this, so her parents would not find out about her lies. On Dr. Wilkins’ dishonest scholarship, word-for-word, she claims: “The illness of a loved one has depleted my savings and caused a great deal of medical debt which I help pay…” Catherine did not pay my medical bills, or accrue debt “helping me,” as she states. Catherine states this, because she wanted the money for her own college and life purposes. Catherine did nothing for me, except impede me finding cancer treatment, impede my chemotherapy, and impede my recovery. Her mind games and tactics truly almost killed me. Catherine: Cancer is literally a daily life and death struggle. Every little germ counts. Every body cell living, dying, growing, or not, means a whole human, dies or lives, vomits or rests, loses their hair or keeps it, endures pain or heals. Instead, you see the cancer suffered by someone else as a way to gain sympathy, and credit for actions you never did. For care you never gave. Catherine: You told your teachers, professors, friends, parents, wrote on scholarship applications, how you saintly paid my medical bills until you went into debt, and nursed me while I endured cancer. Lies. New Orleans Charity Hospital, where you have never stepped a foot inside while I was pumped with chemo, and Charity’s doctors, nurses, and a truly saintly social worker are who paid my bills, treated me, gave me genuine mercy, and let me live more years. Catherine: Please tell me where adulterous cheating, lying, covering-up, manipulating, taking from, copying, nearly plagiarizing, causing extreme mental anguish to, and gaslighting is considered “caring for a cancer patient.” Catherine: How can you use and abuse a cancer patient in this manner? As you state in your scholarship and told so many, I was “your loved one.” Really? Catherine: How many other times did you use me, and lie, for your sympathy, credit, or gain? Countless incidents, I’m sure. Catherine: The truth is, you treated me as an object to advance yourself. Not as a human being. Only when humans see other humans as stepping stones and objects, can they become so selfish, and treat others so callously, and tell such immense, heartless lies. This kind of massive, long-term deception absolutely negatively impacts every area of a life. Catherine: Because of your lying, adultery, coverups, gaslighting, and mind games, I did not get my insurance papers filed in time. This almost became my death sentence. This nearly killed me. You simply said, “Not my fault.” When I expressed how hard everything was on me, Catherine simply said, “Not my fault.” Catherine: To me, and every hardship I encountered, and the added difficulty of your lies and adultery, your answer to everything was: “Not my fault.” To your school, teachers, and scholarships, you made yourself into a saint taking care of a cancer patient and paying all his medical bills. Lies. Callous, selfish lies. Catherine and I almost married. She was the love of my life. …Until the day I started to find out she was committing adultery on me, and selfishly and dishonestly appropriating my life to benefit hers. When there were land or air animals trapped in the water, or wounded in the middle of the road, I introduced Catherine to animal welfare and rescue. I introduced Catherine to vegetarianism. I later spent years assisting animal rescue. I have been an artist my entire life. I am a multidisciplinary artist. My art and photography are in books, magazines, newspapers, and museums. I spent my entire life in magnet schools for the arts, AP classes (both art and academic), honors programs, and studying and creating art. So, Catherine Wilkins appropriated my life as an artist, to become an Art Historian. Normally, I would be flattered. I would have shared anything with Catherine, especially the arts. I almost shared my entire life with her. I love when I can inspire others to be an artist, or study or appreciate art. Art, is my mission in life. Art, to me, is one of the most important creations of humankind. I love when I can inspire anyone to be better. And as a multidisciplinary artist working in visual, literary, music, and theatre endeavors, that creates and gives everyday of my life, I learned young to thank and credit the artists before and next to me that influenced me. Despite the cliché maxim that great artists steal, I believe great artists homage, thank, share, and credit as well as create original work. Great artists don’t steal, selfish people do. But Catherine did not share — Catherine stole, copied, lied and hid. Whenever I did something, Catherine usually secretly appropriated and copied it, without credit. Stealing is not flattery. Dr. Wilkins liked the false feeling and praise that many of her ideas occurred by “immaculate conception.” Deceptive shortcuts in life and esteem. Catherine Wilkins, by her appropriation, just about plagiarized my life to advance and create hers. The revelations of Catherine’s lies and adultery became so bad, we even discussed at our wedding, if Catherine could still wear white. If adulterers and liars could wear white at a wedding. Ultimately, the conclusion was: Catherine and I could not marry, because it was impossible to overcome her adultery and ongoing dishonesty. What did Catherine do when we did not marry, and I ended my relationship with her? I recently found out, Catherine continued her lies, using of me, and resumed dishonestly appropriating my life to benefit hers. I was in contact with Dr. Wilkins for over a decade, into my early-thirties, until I couldn’t take her falsehoods anymore. Professor Catherine Wilkins lied and appropriated my cancer to advance her college career. I learned, Dr. Catherine Wilkins told everyone she was taking care of me. That my cancer and illness was hard on her, not me. Catherine Wilkins: The selfless saint. None of these teachers, school faculty, or people ever met me, except one for just a minute. They all just took Catherine Wilkins’ word as truth. The first time I got an inkling of this lie, was when I went to USF after I found more evidence of Catherine’s adultery and copying, and questioned her about it. Her Art History professor told me, how Catherine was taking care of me during my illness and how much Catherine was doing for me. I was at USF to confront Catherine about lying, copying, and adultery, and I am told: “What a saint Catherine is for caring for me in my time of desperate need.” Before I could respond to Catherine’s teacher, or fully understand the deceit, because it caught me by complete surprise, Catherine whisked me out of the room. Catherine did this every time someone else was about to expose one of her lies, or unknowingly and accidentally reveal a clue to her adultery and affairs, or simply, how Dr. Wilkins was copying my own endeavors without credit. Catherine would quickly remove me from the room, or tell me not to say anything or ask certain questions. Catherine made herself into a saint, even claiming she went into debt paying for my cancer treatment costs. In Catherine’s scholarship, she lies: “It seems like true help from God … I would be more able to dedicate some of my own earnings each month to help my boyfriend meet the cost of the medical expenses he has unfortunately accrued.” Who paid for my cancer treatment when almost no hospital would admit me? Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Catherine did not pay a dime, and accrued absolutely no debt. Not from my medical treatment. Her only debt she cared about, was her school debt. Who cared for me while I fought for life? The doctors and nurses at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Otherwise, I was completely alone. My landlord in New Orleans even asked me, who is my next-of-kin or emergency contact, in case I die from cancer and chemo. My answer was, “I have no one.” My landlord said, “You must have someone! I have to fill in the emergency contact space of the lease.” I repeated, “I have no one.” And it was in that New Orleans apartment, alone, and at Charity Hospital, that I begged and struggled to stay alive. The main motivation I had for living: Art. I was writing a screenplay and a musical. I am a painter and photographer. I kept on with my art studies and creation as I was alone, bald without hair, weak, nearly dying, and nauseous with chemo in my veins. Catherine was not there, not for a single cancer treatment. Catherine and I talked by phone, and barely. Catherine just kept up her lies by phone. Catherine: Is there nothing you will not cruelly steal from me and use as yours? Is there nothing you will not lie about? You even used my cancer? I almost died, Catherine. I lost all my hair. Chemo burned me up inside. I vomited weekly. The smallest infections nearly killed me. I had to walk several miles to and from Charity Hospital — alone — for my treatments, walking home weak and always near vomiting after being injected with bags of ABVD chemo. I now have lifelong detrimental effects from cancer, major surgery, and chemotherapy. My lifespan and health is shortened. And you were not there, you were never there, Catherine. I was alone, fighting for life, Catherine, as you were busy cheating and lying. What was truly my time of need, was Catherine’s time to benefit. Catherine Wilkins turned my cancer, into a way for her to get scholarship money, and school and career advancement. To me, those images of caring people surrounding a cancer patient with love, are a complete fantasy. Also on Dr. Wilkins’ dishonest scholarship, she claims: “As an orphan, my boyfriend had no one else to care for him, and I was reluctant to abandon him in such a state.” Catherine never once concerned herself that I was an orphan, until now, on her scholarship when she felt she could appropriate that, too, to gain more sympathy and profit for herself. In fact, I was at a huge disadvantage during our entire relationship because of this. Catherine had doting parents that were willing to defend her and ignore, turn a blind eye, or support her lies. I had no one to defend or protect me, no one to stand up for me, or even give me moral support while Catherine was lying and cheating. Catherine: I was an abused child. My biological parents were abusers. I have been alone my entire life. Do you know how hard it is to be an orphan? To be abused physically, mentally, and sexually your entire childhood? What kept me alive as an orphan? Art. Being an abused orphan, physically and sexually, was my first life-and-death struggle. To you, Catherine, me being an orphan was just another detail you could appropriate into your own lies and stories to gain sympathy for yourself. What kind of person are you? To try to turn cancer, an orphan, and even rape into lies you can tell others to gain advancement or sympathy for yourself, or to hide adultery. Catherine: The fact I am an orphan, is not yours to appropriate. Catherine, you did not know I was raped several times. Not only was I sexually abused by my biological mother until I escaped, I was raped by men over the years, because I was a vulnerable orphan. As a rape victim myself, please do not appropriate “rape” because you and your USF boss wanted “booty calls” and you were caught. Catherine, to explain that I was raped by men throughout my childhood, and to say it is a painful topic to discuss, is an immense understatement. But you know what? I decided to become stronger from it. I endured it. I became stronger, and I stayed a good person. And you, Catherine, tell me that David Brodosi, at USF, did this to you. You told me he raped you, forced you onto your knees, and by physical force made you give him oral sex. Catherine, I am a victim of such a rape. In brutal, real life. To you, you tried to use rape as an excuse to get out of a secret, consensual affair, and try to even get sympathy from me, while you were cheating on me. As a child, I had a man do that to me, in real life, and threaten to kill me. I was about 7 years-old, the first time. I simply walked into the bathroom by accident, and I was raped. And there were other rapes and abuses I endured throughout my vulnerable life as an orphan. Please do not use a made-up rape story to hide consensual adultery. Catherine Wilkins: Rape is no small matter. You were willing to tell any lie, deflect, redirect, manipulate, destroy or use anyone — especially me  — to coverup cheating sex, and to advance your life. Catherine: How many times could you destroy my heart? A person only has one heart. Each time I found out more about your deceits, I told you, even as strong as I am, even steel that is bent and twisted too many times will break. You broke me. I am an adult man, and I know I sound like a naive child when I ask: “Why must humans — carelessly and carefully — damage other humans?” Catherine: Child abuse hurt me immensely. But: You, broke me. Professor Wilkins, I will repeat, because you lie about it in your scholarship to imagine yourself as a selfless sacrificer: I was an abused child. You knew that general part. But. Do you know what it is truly like to be: Sexually abused daily and nightly by women and occasionally men? Be beaten and hit until you have bruises and bleed, mentally abused daily, be unloved, deprived of nearly everything from winter clothes and basic household heat in freezing Northern winters, to being deprived of normal nutrition, calories, and vitamins, to being deprived of just a single loving and encouraging touch? Sometimes when I finally had food at the dining table as a child, even a teenager, I would look at the meal and cry. Do you know what it is like to be treated inhumanely nearly your entire childhood, by multiple people? Treated as an object that takes up space and time, and costs money, instead of a child with positive dreams, and artistic talents, and a hungry intellect? I survived child abuse because of my love for the arts, and reverence for a better future. Since I was a child, despite my own deprivations and abuse, I wanted to sincerely improve the world around me. As an orphan without a support system, I quickly learned personal accountability. I had no one to fall back on, only myself. Humans should always be accountable. As an orphan, I had no time for “fun.” But to me: “Fun” was art, and studying. I had so much work to do, so much art to create, so much to happily learn, so far I wanted to climb, so much “future” to carve out. So everyday counted. As an abused orphan, I had no one to be proud of me. So I learned, I had to be proud of my own actions. As an abused orphan, and the tremendous pain and suffering I endured, I learned young not to hurt others. Not to repeat the cycle, not to make excuses, but to make and do positive endeavors. And show and teach by example. I ask you again, Dr. Wilkins, because on your college scholarship, you clearly state I was an orphan, and that you, Catherine, did not want to abandon me “in such a state” while I was enduring cancer, and that was a main reason you were seeking your scholarship. This scholarship you hid, and I was only recently informed about. You talk of how you suffered. You express your sacrifices. Really? Catherine, you have deceptively and cruelly turned my horrendous child abuse, into your own application for sympathy and gain. How could you? How can you turn my nightmare as a youth, into a made-up fable in your own life so you can look better on a scholarship? How many other college scholarships did you outright lie and exaggerate on? How many other times did you use me, and the pain in my life, to further and benefit your own life? Catherine: When I was physically raped, and threatened with being killed as a child, if I ever spoke out — to end and free myself from that abuse and danger, each time as a child, I had to run away from home after home, and occasionally endure life being a homeless kid. No easy task. But. Child abuse was straightforward. Your form of mental rape and abuse goes on-and-on in my life. I keep finding out, even now, how you have lied and used me. I asked you to report David Brodosi as a sex offender. Instead, I find countless consensual sexual messages between you and he, and I accidentally open a vast world of your cheating, lying, sexual adventures, and adultery. A world I never wanted to open. Dr. Wilkins continues: “Since he was unable to maintain treatment in New Orleans, it was necessary for me to remain in the Tampa area.” This is a lie. Catherine lied on the location, because she needed the scholarship for her own location at USF in Florida. I received all of my cancer treatment in New Orleans at Charity Hospital. Dr. Robert Veith, MD was the oncologist that treated me and saved my life multiple times. Catherine Wilkins never stepped a foot inside Charity Hospital. She was not there, when I took a taxi in the middle of the night and admitted myself — alone — and desperately begged the emergency room doctor to take me to an oncologist and save me. Catherine was not there, when during my cancer treatment, and because of it, my blood count plummeted, and I had to take an emergency midnight taxi again, because I developed a serious infection and my body was boiling from fever. I was alone, and literally only a few hours from death. Dr. Veith suddenly appeared at the hospital, in the middle of night, put me on antibiotics, and saved my life yet again. Even now, I cry with gratitude for Dr. Robert Veith. Dr. Veith is human kindness and compassion. Catherine Wilkins never met Dr. Robert Veith, nor even asked the names of my doctors and nurses. She didn’t care. Her answer to me for everything, and every pain in my soul I endured was: “Not my fault.” And Catherine was certainly not there for my recovery, as she deceptively states she was in her scholarship. I struggled from nausea, chemical smells and tastes, trying not to vomit. After each treatment, being filled with chemo, I walked myself two miles home alone. During the long walk, which was mostly along a highway and major traffic roads, I smelled car exhaust fumes, which only intensified my stomach’s constant need to retch and gag from ABVD. One day, I woke up and brushed my hair, as usual. In one stroke, it all came out. I lost all my hair in one go. But for a few ridiculous strands that I tried to keep, I was now bald. Catherine wasn’t there. I called her on the phone, and told her I lost my hair. I told her how hard this was, how much pain I was in. She listened, but she didn’t really care. Catherine just said, “I don’t have anything to do with you losing your hair.” I felt more and more isolated. I felt as if I was on Pluto, far from sun or warmth, far from people. I received great compassion from the oncologists and nurses at Charity Hospital, but that was only for the brief minutes they tested me, put me into scanning machines, or injected needles. Any other moments, I was utterly alone. Weeks after I lost all of my hair from chemo, Catherine said to prove her love, commitment, and solidarity with me, she would shave her head. Instead, Catherine Wilkins snipped short locks of her hair, glued these short pieces of hair to a skin-colored bald cap, and tried to finish the illusion with a hat. Who the hell is heartless enough, conniving enough, to do this fake act to a cancer patient? Catherine Wilkins made a fake bald cap, trying to pass it to me as her real shaved head, as I was dying of chemo and without my own hair. I asked Catherine to take off the hat. Then I asked Catherine to take off the bald cap she created. Her several-feet length of brown hair was simply pinned beneath. Then I asked her to leave. I was fighting for my life, everyday. When I was in the cancer ward at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, I watched how a young boyfriend took care of his bald girlfriend who was also struggling for her life. He loved her. I overheard him tell the nurse how he bought his girlfriend face masks, he made sure she took extra vitamins, and he constantly sprayed disinfectant and cleansed surfaces, so her weakened immune system would be protected. As I watched the love this young couple had for each other, that this young, devoted man had for his girlfriend and her health… All I thought is: I have no one. I am alone. My girlfriend isn’t here. She’s not doing any of that. Catherine is having affairs on me. I have cancer, and Catherine is cheating on me. Another reason Professor Wilkins couldn’t be there for me during chemo: Catherine Wilkins later told me on the phone, that she quit college, and joined the Army and was accepted into “Delta Force.” Her father was in the Army Special Forces decades ago as a Green Beret, so I mostly believed her, but with much reservation. From then on, we could only speak on the phone, at certain hours. She described to me she was in basic training, and some of her military lessons, such as laying in the dirt, and searching for landmines by slipping a knife into the soil in front of her. She said how the drill instructors would play games with the recruits, her being one of the Army recruits, by suddenly turning the showers ice cold while she was in it. I was proud, but again a bit confused, by this new Delta Force Army recruit named Catherine Wilkins. I thought: Maybe Catherine won’t cheat while in the Army, and the Army will instill values into her. Catherine and I could only meet in hotel rooms infrequently when she got “leave.” Mostly it was just phone calls. I’m sure she got all her basic training information from her father, who really was in the Army Special Forces. Dr. Wilkins obviously never quit college, or joined the Army. How did I find out Dr. Wilkins never quit college, or joined the Army? I was walking home after a long evening at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, to lay down and rest from my treatment. I need to cross Bourbon Street to get to my apartment. I bumped into Dr. Wilkins prowling Bourbon Street looking for sexual attention, and assumedly a sex hookup, in an extremely tight shirt, showing off her breasts, that in glitter read “VEGAS.” Shocked, Dr. Wilkins simply admitted, “Yeah. I lied about joining the Army. I’m going to Tulane.” That was the only truth she divulged. Of course Dr. Wilkins told me other lies that evening. On her skimpy outfit that revealed her breasts, Dr. Wilkins said: “I didn’t do my laundry, all mine are dirty, so I had to borrow a friend’s clothes. She’s smaller than me, and this is all she had.” I simply walked away, and let her continue prowling for sex. My heart, and health, couldn’t take it. Numerous times I was literally hours from death from infections, fevers, low blood counts, and chemo. And Dr. Wilkins is having fun looking for sex or sexual attention on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Dr. Wilkins didn’t want anything to do with caring for me during my cancer treatments, or even treating me as a human, instead of an object to use and benefit her college career. She was only concerned about advancing herself in college. She didn’t have time for both cancer and college. But Dr. Wilkins could lie about both. For Dr. Wilkins, it saves a lot of time and effort, to just lie or copy. Then, I recently learned, Catherine Wilkins blatantly lied in a scholarship praising herself for being the devoted, selfless girlfriend that loved me and paid my bills, and sacrificed hugely for myself and my health. I learned Catherine was telling her college teachers how compassionately she was taking care of me, how difficult and demanding it was for herself to help me through my illness. Nothing is farther from truth. Catherine: Do you know how this feels? It is being raped. You raped my spirit and my mental health repeatedly. I had cancer, fought for life, and you cheated on me and lied to me daily. Catherine: You even lied about shaving your head to show commitment to a cancer patient, and instead, you created a fake bald cap. You literally glued tiny pieces of your hair to a bald cap. How many atrocities can you commit towards a patient of cancer? And now I found out, I was being used falsely in a college scholarship application, so an adulterer, and someone that did no such good deeds, can advance themselves. Catherine: How could you? Why? How could you tell people you were taking care of me, when you were cheating on me the whole time? How could you try to get scholarship money this way? How could you tell people you were in debt for paying my medical bills, when you were never even at one of my chemo treatments? Not one. Ever. Catherine: All you ever wanted was to advance yourself. You succeeded by lying, manipulating, and using my cancer. Even appropriating my life as an artist, and the fact I am an orphan. There is nothing Professor Wilkins wouldn’t do, if it meant she could gain, feed her ego and impress peers, imagine herself as a selfless saint, or hide deceit. Except for the angels at Charity Hospital, I had absolutely no support during my cancer treatments and recovery. Catherine didn’t care about me. Dr. Wilkins cared about becoming a college professor by any hook, crook, scheme, or lie. Catherine Wilkins: My battle with cancer, is not yours to use, advance yourself with, or appropriate. Below… The word-for-word transcript of Catherine’s falsified scholarship (everything about her “care” for a cancer patient is a complete lie fabricated by her): * * * * * * * * * * * * Table of Contents Reasons for Applying for the CDA Scholarship Supplement to Scholarship Application for Catherine Wilkins 1. The illness of a loved one has depleted my savings and caused a great deal of medical debt which I help pay, while at the same time impeding my graduate education and making my progress as a student somewhat difficult. 2.  My position as a graduate teacher is very rewarding in that it enables me to share my love of learning with fellow young people; however, it does not cover the full cost of my school fees and living expenses. 3.  I fear that my dream of earning a graduate degree and becoming a college professor might not be realized without further financial aid. Supplement to Scholarship Application for Catherine Wilkins My name is Catherine Wilkins. I enrolled as a graduate student at Tulane University in New Orleans, pursuing a Master of the Arts degree in Art History. I lived in the Tampa Bay area my entire life before moving away for graduate school, born into a wonderfully large and caring extended family.  My family raised me very well, and taught me principles of love, wisdom, and faith from a very early age.  In part due to their dedication  During my time at St. Petersburg Catholic High School, I began assisting as a volunteer at a local soup kitchen, as well as at a tennis camp for young children.  Additional extracurricular activities during that time period included employment of thirty five hours per week at Publix Supermarkets, membership on the high school tennis team, enrollment in the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta (math honor society), and volunteer work for several environmental agencies. I graduated high school third in my class, with highest honors and a special departmental award in English, just after my seventeenth birthday.  In the fall, I dual-enrolled at the University of South Florida (U.S.F.) and St. Petersburg Junior College in order to take more courses at once.  I took specialized courses at the University and more broad, required classes at the Junior College, all completely funded by merit-based scholarships.  While at school, I received the Florida Bright Futures full scholarship, as well as an additional Legacy Scholarship from the Humanities department, a trustee scholarship from the Junior College, and both Presidential and Honors scholarships from the University of South Florida.    I received my Associates’ degree in just over a year, in December, graduating on the Dean’s List with High Honors.  After that point, I attended courses solely at U.S.F. while still working at the supermarket.  At the University, I specialized in the Humanities, and had a ravenous appetite for all knowledge concerned with history, art, literature, music and theatre. Upon my graduation, I received an offer of a full scholarship for graduate school, plus a paid position as a graduate assistant at Tulane University, a well-accredited school in New Orleans.  Unfortunately, over the summer between my graduation and my planned matriculation at Tulane, my boyfriend of four years developed a cough which prompted a visit to the doctor’s office.  After several tests and minor surgeries, the doctors discovered that my boyfriend was suffering from Hodgkin’s Disease, a type of cancer.  As an orphan, my boyfriend had no one else to care for him, and I was reluctant to abandon him in such a state.  Since he was unable to maintain treatment in New Orleans, it was necessary for me to remain in the Tampa area. Unfortunately, I had not planned on attending U.S.F. for graduate school, and consequently had not applied for any scholarships.  At such short notice, there was no financial aid available for me for my first semester of graduate school, and I was able to pay for only one course with the money I earned working as a library assistant at the University.  I was extremely troubled, not only due to the stress I experienced as a result of my boyfriend’s battle with cancer, but also because I felt as though I was falling behind in my course work and was forfeiting my dream of achieving a graduate degree in Art History and going on to work as a college professor.  I was left with little but my family, friends, and faith to help me get through this difficult period in my life. Fortunately, in spring, I was blessed with some opportunities which served to help me on my path to a productive and complete adulthood. I was offered a job as a graduate teacher at U.S.F., a position that provided a very modest salary, but which included a stipend for 75% of my tuition.  This provided me a wonderful opportunity to share my love of learning with other young people while at the same time pursuing my own dream of receiving a graduate degree.  I  earned twelve credit hours toward my Master’s Degree in Art History at U.S.F. before my boyfriend’s recovery allowed me to continue my education at Tulane University.  While I still have a tuition scholarship and a job at the school, I have encountered a great deal of expenses, in terms of fees that run upwards of $1300 per year that I must pay myself, along with aiding my boyfriend with his accumulated medical expenses, and, of course, my own living costs.  Because I stayed in Florida with my boyfriend for the first year of my graduate experience and payed for much of my schooling on my own, my savings have been virtually depleted, and I often face a good deal of stress and pressure when attempting to pay my bills each month.  In the meantime, though, I have remained active as a graduate student, maintaining a 4.0 unweighted grade point average while partaking in volunteer activities at the Newcomb Gallery and the New Orleans Museum of Art as well as serving as my department’s representative in multiple on-camptudent organizations.  This past year, I have taught two art-historical survey classes while I completed most of my graduate coursework, and I am now preparing to begin writing my thesis and applying to other schools where I would like to work toward my Doctoral degree. Recently, my grandmother, a Catholic Daughter for over four decades, brought this scholarship to my notice.  It seems like true help from God, and would allow me to take more courses at the University without worrying about my inability to pay the related fees.  In addition, I would be more able to dedicate some of my own earnings each month to help my boyfriend meet the cost of the medical expenses he has unfortunately accrued.  While his illness and the ensuing chaotic changes in my life have certainly been taxing – emotionally, physically, and spiritually – I am very grateful that I have had this opportunity to grow and learn, to help another, yet still persist in meeting my own goals. The experience of the past year has taught me so much about life, love, and faith; important lessons which transcend those I learned in the classroom.  I cannot wait to apply what I have learned about life to my educational studies, and this scholarship from the Catholic Daughters will provide me the means by which I can accomplish it. * * * * * * * * * * * * Wilkins was a faculty member for several years at the University of Colorado Boulder and Florida Southwestern State College before joining USF’s Honors College in 2015. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Why Cheating Hurts Students Now and in Their Future By Laura Hanby Hudgens As parents, we talk to our kids about drinking, drugs, sex, and anything else we think we need to in order keep them safe and healthy. But how many of us talk to our kids about cheating? If we aren’t, we should be. Cheating is an epidemic in America’s high schools and colleges. Everyone cheats. Okay, maybe not everyone. But today more students are cheating than not. Cheating in school: 5 reasons why it is harmful to students Students cheat because of the pressure to succeed. They cheat because they’ve seen it modeled by politicians, athletes, and corporations. They cheat because they are bored. They cheat because they are lazy. And they cheat because cheating is so common that they don’t even think of it as cheating anymore. They don’t even think it’s wrong. But cheating is wrong – probably more wrong than many parents have even considered. After all, even without the aid of the Internet and cell phones, those of us who grew up in the John Hughes generation, admiring Ferris Bueller and John Bender, probably cheated in high school too. But today academic dishonesty is easier, more wide-spread, and more problematic, in part, because it isn’t even considered cheating. As a teacher, I often hear students brag about cheating as if it’s a game to be played. Who can come up with the cleverest way to cheat? Who can best outsmart the teacher? Who can get away with the most? At times it seems as if students take more pride in cheating than they do in actually learning or achieving anything. If this cheating trend continues, our culture and our kids could be in serious trouble. Five reasons cheating hurts students now and will lead to a troubling future 1. Cheating is not a victimless crime. When I discuss cheating with my students, I often hear comments like, “I’m not hurting anybody. So what difference does it make?” That all depends. The fact is, even good students cheat. In an article in The Atlantic, teacher and author Jessica Lahey discusses her email encounter with a serial cheater. This student was his high school’s valedictorian, editor of the school newspaper, a National AP Scholar, and was ultimately accepted into his college honors program. High achieving students are the ones who get into prestigious colleges and receive competitive, merit-based scholarships. Not only that, they receive letters of recommendation from their teachers. Their parents are proud of them. And people admire them. All of these rewards and accolades are not only the result of cheating, some are also gotten at the expense of other students – perhaps ones who did not cheat. Academic dishonesty gives cheaters an unfair advantage over honest students, and it misleads proud parents and dedicated teachers. [Read next: Why parents need to talk about academic dishonesty, early and often, with their kids] 2. Cheating creates a culture of mistrust. When we discuss cheating and integrity in my classes, my students are quick to point out that everybody cheats. They aren’t disturbed by this. But when I use Victor Dorff’s example from his article A World Without Integrity and ask them how they would feel if they knew their surgeon had cheated on her medical exams or their airplane pilot had cheated in flight school, they find that much more troubling. What about the guy who washes your dishes in a restaurant? What if he cheats and doesn’t use soap or hot water? What if the clerk fitting you for your basketball shoes cheats and gives you the wrong size? What if your teachers cheat and don’t bother to grade a paper you’ve worked on for weeks but instead just assign you a C? If we don’t see cheating as a wrong, soon we won’t have any reason not to suspect everybody of cheating. Why wouldn’t they? It’s no big deal. 3. Cheating leads to a cutting-corners mentality. It’s clear from talking to my students that most of them do not see themselves as dishonest. They don’t even see themselves as cheaters – rather just kids who cheat in school. They don’t consider that the habits and work ethic that they are forming, or failing to form, now are likely to be the ones they will carry into adulthood. When we discuss workplace integrity, many of them don’t realize that slacking off on the job is actually a form of cheating, of stealing even. As a generation of cheaters they seem to have developed the mindset that if they can get away with it, it’s not really wrong. 4. Cheating is a broken window. According the Broken Window Theory, small acts of disobedience and incivility – graffiti, turnstile jumping, and panhandling – lead to much more serious crimes. The idea is that if these small crimes can go unnoticed and unpunished, then maybe no one is really watching. Maybe no one cares. In the early 90‘s when the New York City police department, under the leadership of Police Commissioner William Bratton, began to implement the Broken Window Theory and crack down on smaller crimes, the city saw a 40 percent decrease in serious crime. Academic dishonesty is the broken window of American schools, maybe even of the millennial generation. If our young people have adopted a “nobody really cares anyway” attitude about cheating, it will likely be easier for them to adopt an equally casual attitude about more serious offenses. 5. Cheating devalues education. One reason students cheat is because they value a letter grade or a test score far more than they value actual learning. They aren’t as interested in being truly educated as they are in receiving a diploma or a degree that makes it look as if they have been educated. But if my students and the data are correct and student cheating is at an all time high, then what does a diploma or a degree really even mean? It surely isn’t an indication of actual achievement. If students can get through high school or college without actually learning, what difference does it make if they even graduate? When millennials who got through high school and college by cheating are hiring and promoting then next generation, will academic achievement even matter to them? Or will they devalue the education of their children’s generation the way they have devalued their own? I don’t mean to be too hard on millennials and homelanders. They didn’t just wake up one day and decide to become cheaters. They have grown up in an educational system that places an inordinate value on test scores. Academically inclined students have felt tremendous pressure to excel. And non college-bound students have been held to most of the same rigorous (and to their minds, meaningless) standards as their college-bound peers. Our kids are disengaged, disillusioned, and overwhelmed. Certainly teachers, parents, and the educational system all bear some of the blame for the cheating mentality that has taken hold of our kids. It will most definitely take the efforts, not only of the students themselves, but also of every adult who cares about kids to shake loose that hold. Parents need to teach their children from a very early age that cheating is wrong. We need to teach it in the same way we teach them about drugs or smoking or stranger danger. Teachers must teach students what constitutes academic dishonesty and be more vigilant about catching cheaters. We have to hold them to a higher standard of academic integrity. Laura Hanby Hudgens is a part-time high school teacher and a freelance writer living with her husband and children in the Arkansas Ozarks. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Grown and Flown, Parent, and elsewhere. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Cheating OK for scholarship winners? By Richard Danielson / St. Petersburg Times To win Florida’s top Bright Futures scholarship, high school students must have good grades, high test scores, no felony record, and 75 hours of community service. But once they’re in college, an ethical slip does not necessarily mean they lose their state-funded Bright Futures award. In certain circumstances students can get caught cheating and still keep the scholarship, officials say. That’s because state law says students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.75 or 3.0, depending on the type of Bright Futures award, and earn a minimum number of credit hours to maintain their scholarship. But the law says nothing about keeping your nose clean. So a student with a robust GPA and plentiful credit hours could flunk a course for cheating and it might not hurt his or her eligibility for Bright Futures. Until the Times called last week, Florida Department of Education officials said no one had ever asked about Bright Futures money going to students who cheat. “There’s no statutory requirement that we track those incidents,” said Levis Hughes, bureau chief for the department’s office of financial assistance. Two influential legislators took a dim view of the loophole. “I definitely intend to take it up with my committee,” said state Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, chairwoman of the Senate’s Higher Education Appropriations Committee. Bright Futures paid $423.5 million to nearly 178,000 Florida students last year. But with the program growing faster than the lottery revenues that pay for it, the Legislature this year tried to trim it by $100 million a year. Awards got smaller, harder to win and easier to lose for poor grades. If a student with Bright Futures cheats, “I think the loss of the scholarship is probably appropriate,” said state Rep. Bill Proctor, the chairman of the House education committee. “I don’t see that as being unnecessarily punitive,” said Proctor, the chancellor of Flagler College, a private, nonprofit school in St. Augustine. “There seldom are degrees of cheating. Cheating is cheating, and it’s pretty hard to say that this is minor cheating and that’s serious cheating.“ In Florida, the spotlight is on cheating now largely because of a scandal this month at the University of Central Florida. There, officials say about 200 business students in a class of 615 received a set of exam questions before the midterm. Saying the cheating made him sick, instructor Richard Quinn gave the students a choice: come clean or face consequences that could include being suspended or expelled. Quinn’s outrage struck a chord nationwide because cheating is a big issue on virtually every campus, not just at UCF. In surveys, 60 to 70 percent of college students report engaging in questionable academic activity. Despite the use of antiplagiarism services such as Turnitin.com or SafeAssign, researchers say students are getting more lax or brazen about cutting and pasting from the Internet. Some don’t even bother with that. Last week, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an essay from an East Coast man whose business is writing custom-ordered academic papers in fields from history to pharmacology to maritime security to ethics. “My customers are your students. I promise you that,” he wrote. Sometimes, he said, students’ parents pay his fee. In Florida, the biggest four universities handle and track students who cheat in different ways. At USF, perhaps 50 students a year receive an “FF” grade, which can be listed on a student’s internal transcript in cases of cheating. The FF reflects not only a failing grade, but also that the student did something academically dishonest. Students with FF grades cannot graduate with honors from USF. But even if they fail a course because they cheated, they might still have a GPA high enough to continue receiving a Bright Futures award. A sample of students with FF grades showed that usually they already had low grades, so they might not have had a Bright Futures scholarship to lose. Their cheating might have been an act of desperation, said Janet Moore, USF’s associate dean for undergraduate studies. But many cases are handled by instructors working directly with students, sometimes deciding that they will fail the exam in question or must rewrite a plagiarized paper, Moore said. Starting this semester, UCF will begin adding what’s known as a “Z designation” to the transcripts of students caught cheating. The Z signals to outsiders looking at the transcript that the grade was earned as a result of academic dishonesty. It does not change the grade and thus does not lower the GPA. The Z also can be removed by taking the ethics course, but only one time. Neither the University of Florida nor Florida State University notes cases of cheating on transcripts. At UF, where 77 percent of students have Bright Futures scholarships, the consequences for cheating range from a penalty on the assignment up through expulsion. In 2009, UF handled about 350 cases of cheating — more than the previous two years combined. Failing a course is “fairly common” but not automatic, according to UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes. Suspensions are common for repeat offenders. Expulsions are rare, occurring, for example, when a doctoral student plagiarizes a dissertation. But while each of Florida’s largest universities has developed its own academic integrity policies and procedures, it appears none tracks how, or even whether, getting caught cheating affects students’ eligibility to receive Bright Futures.Consequently, none can say how many students may fit through the loophole. Researchers who study cheating say fostering a culture of integrity may help curb student dishonesty more than efforts at prevention and policing. USF encourages instructors to talk about the importance of honesty. “We’re trying to educate them that it’s bigger” than what happens in class, Moore said. “It’s a choice that they’re making, and they’re setting a pattern for life.“ Still, that can be a tough lesson in a society where some parents hire their children ghostwriters for their term papers. “That’s the thing that we’re up against in our whole culture: that getting ahead is more important than what you are and how you got it,” Moore said. Look at the economic downturn, she said. “We have numerous, endless examples of greed.” * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Yes women ARE better at lying about their love affairs – I should know, says Edwina Currie By EDWINA CURRIE FOR MAILONLINE So a new survey has come up with the surprise revelation that women are just as likely to be unfaithful as men. Why didn’t anyone realise this earlier? Simply, it seems, because we women are more wily. While men are likely to strut around bragging about their conquests – indeed, even exaggerating the scale of their extramarital infidelities – women, conversely, are apt to keep mum about theirs. Two thousand women were questioned in a recent sex and relationship survey. One in six of them admitted to having adulterous sex. But here’s the revelation: while females almost invariably discover the truth when their spouses stray, women are adept at keeping their own infidelities secret. John Major and Edwina Currie Lovers: John Major and Edwina Currie kept their affair secret from the prying eyes of the press and family The august actress Dame Eileen Atkins, in an interview this week, put it bluntly: ‘Women are more successful at infidelity than men – they’re better liars.’ None of this, of course, comes as a surprise to me. After all, I successfully hid an affair of my own for almost 20 years. Today, it is common knowledge – I’ll explain later why I decided to break my long vow of silence – that, during my Parliamentary career, I enjoyed a passionate four-year liaison with John Major, who later went on to become Conservative Prime Minister. John was then a whip in Margaret Thatcher’s government – a man perceived publicly as dependable, if not rather staid – and apparently happily married to his wife Norma. I was a forthright back-bench MP, a mum of two young daughters and wife to my first husband, Ray. Yet between the years of 1984 and 1988, John and I would meet regularly for fulfilling, fiery – yet utterly discreet – sex. No one knew of the liaison. We evaded the sharp-eyed attention of the Westminster village gossips. We failed to arouse the suspicion of an ever-watchful Press. Even our closest friends and families suspected nothing. And our spouses were completely oblivious. How did I keep our secret? I could concur with Dame Eileen and admit that I’m an accomplished liar. Actually, I prefer to use a kinder euphemism: I’m good at dissembling. I also became adept at economising with the truth; clever at coy evasions and quick to exploit every available opportunity to mask my infidelity behind the facade of legitimate business. I’ll give an example: when the then Secretary of State called a – generally unpopular  –  early morning meeting on Monday, I’d secretly rejoice. The early start gave me a justifiable reason for scurrying down from our constituency home in Derbyshire to my London flat to meet John on Sunday night. I’d breezily inform Ray that I needed to ‘complete some paperwork’, and the excuse was sufficient to appease his suspicions. So, by cleverly combining such deceits with plausible halftruths, I covered my tracks. Of course, I avoided all the obvious pitfalls. Anyone who sets themselves up in a ‘love nest’, for example, runs the risk of being rumbled – a change of habits is always a give-away. Certainly, if I’d taken out a short-term lease on a new property, suspicions would have been aroused. Instead, we just met at my place. And we chose our times carefully. As whip, John always knew if we would be staying late in the House to vote. On the occasions when we were not detained there, we took advantage of the early end to the day’s business and went off for an evening of passion together. Our respective families, meanwhile, assumed we were detained on business. Both John and I were equally keen to keep our affair secret. We both had a lot to lose. Neither of us wanted to jeopardise our marriages; nor did we want to imperil our careers. So we neither wrote letters nor left careless, incriminating messages. Any gifts we exchanged were judicious. I once gave John a paper knife. It looked like the sort of perfectly innocuous gift one colleague would give to another, but for both of us it was fraught with special significance because I knew that John would think of me every time he used it to open his morning mail. To give him his due, John was careful and did well to keep our affair a secret. But the many meetings his job involved gave him plenty of excuses to be away from home. I, on the other hand, had to work much harder to cover my tracks and became even more accomplished at devising ruses. Why are women so good at hiding their affairs? Philip Hodson of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy believes prudence, kindness and a desire to ‘protect’ their families all play a part. Women are also often constrained by economic necessity: preserving a judicious silence is a prerequisite of their financial survival – and they are programmed to keep the family unit together. It also seems that men are almost universally oblivious to the signs that accompany their wives’ infidelities. Women often lose weight when they begin an affair. They buy new clothes, change their hairstyles and are often suffused with that give-away glow that is imparted by illicit sex. I know I emitted such a glow during my affair with John. Secrecy and the frisson of fear that accompanies infidelity enhance the excitement of adultery. Perhaps I should feel guilty, but in truth, I don’t regret a moment. I look back with nostalgia on those heady years of my life: I had a job I loved, and the thrill of those clandestine meetings with John was augmented by our shared passion for politics. So it was that I hid the truth from my unsuspecting husband. Only pain and disruption would ensue, I argued, if I confessed everything. Men, conversely  – and this latest survey corroborates the fact – are prone to exaggerate their infidelities, even laying claim to affairs they’ve never had. Such bragging, they obviously believe, adds to their machismo. I’m not suggesting for one minute that the former Liberal leader Paddy Ashdown committed adultery in order to enhance his status in the polls – but, actually, when his affair with his secretary was revealed, his popularity increased. So why, having gone to considerable – and many would say devious – lengths to hide my affair with John, did I decide, 14 years after it had ended, to confess openly to it? The answer is simple: I felt a gross hypocrisy on John’s part that needed to be exposed. In 1999 he published his memoirs. I was, I confess, hurt that I merited not even a passing mention in them. Worse, however, in my view, was his sanctimonious espousal of the Back To Basics policy. This guiding principle of Conservatism was his brainchild – and underpinning it was his belief in ‘family values’. The audacity of the man! My desire to preserve our secret was superseded by a far more urgent compulsion to reveal his duplicity. So that’s why, when I published my diaries in 2002, I revealed our affair. My decision, of course, had major repercussions. My exhusband, Ray – we had divorced in 1997 – was hurt. My grown-up daughters were shocked and horrified. John, who said he was ‘ashamed’ of the affair, has spoken not a word to me since. But I don’t actually regret either my infidelity – or my decision to write about it. I am happily remarried now, to John Jones – I call him JJ – whom I met in 1999 when he was a guest on the radio programme I presented. He’s a retired detective; a man of great understanding, humour and courage. I love him, he loves me; he’s a great lover – and, before you ask, no I won’t be having another affair. * * * * * * * * * * * *

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