john bolaris Metro columnist John Bolaris

The print edition of this column originally appeared Monday.

I've been living in the city I love now for two decades. I arrived in 1990 and after some growing pains, I fell in love.

It's a tough city, passionate, and as my once working partner Hugh Douglas would say, "good times."

 

I'll never forget covering the World Series parade, flagging down a car, Hugh and I jumping in and yelling at the driver get us to the park. The driver turned around and said "Holy s—, I'm driving Hugh Douglas and John Bolaris to the park."

Of course, there was always the playboy image attached to me as I was in the public eye. I was single and dated a lot. What most people don't know is that the day I started at WCAU, my wife left me for a job in L.A.

I've always been very approachable, never separating myself from you, always willing to shake a hand, give a hug, listen, have a drink, call your mom, talk sports, living the dream.

What I truly regret was going public with the crime in Miami. I was the victim of a well-orchestrated Russian crime ring. On face value, I can see what it looks like: John in Miami having a great time with beautiful Russian women, partying. And now, he is in trouble because he claims the women stole $43,000 from him.

And of course the Daily News splashing it on the front page: "Real Life Hangover."

Did I speak to the Daily News? Yes, but I spoke to the crime reporter, and the news turned this around into an embarrassing situation for me and my daughter. A Playboy article followed, nothing but lies.

I'm proud as an American. I did the right thing; I could have absorbed the loss and walked away, but I didn't. I wasn't brought up that way.

As my friend said to me, the Russian mob couldn't take you down, but FOX29 did. True that.

My agonizing decision has been reached. I'll be moving to New York as I have a very interesting project that a group of us are working on. And if all goes right, I'll be back on in your living rooms at a future date.

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