Raffaello Follieri to Plead Guilty

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Fat Joe. Photo: Getty Images

This is pretty surprising. Raffaello Follieri, who, amid all of the legal troubles that led to his arrest in June, always insisted that there must be some misunderstanding, and who only recently was actually halfway vindicated by a Vanity Fair story that suggested he was, maybe, unfairly targeted in some ways, is near an agreement to plead guilty to fraud and money-laundering charges, according to The Wall Street Journal. His hearing could happen as soon as today. What happened? Maybe the Vanity Fair story, which made him seem really kind of pathetic and delusional, broke his spirit and eradicated his lingering hope that ex-girlfriend Anne Hathaway would come and bail him out with her Get Smart money. Or maybe he's just tired of the hard water and Joey "Tits" Dimeo from cell block five constantly stealing his Frédéric Fekkai hair products during communal showers. Both seem like equally compelling reasons to get oneself out of prison. We find ourself feeling strangely wistful about this news. What will happen to Follieri now, without the trappings of his luxury lifestyle and movie-star girlfriend? He may get five years in prison, but we somehow don't see that happening. Maybe he'll join the priesthood, or maybe he'll move to Moscow, where sketchiness in business dealings is more acceptable. In any case, we find ourselves strangely rooting for this odd little man, and look forward to seeing more of his story unfold.

Financier Tied to Burkle Nears Plea Deal [WSJ]
Earlier: Intel's Coverage of Raffaello Follieri