Ousted Illinois governor's wife to join show husband couldn't

Friday, May 22, 2009
In this March 19, 2002, photo, Rod Blagojevich and wife Patti watch election returns in their Chicago home. (Associated Press file)

SKOKIE, Ill. -- Ousted Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich wasn't allowed to appear in a network TV reality show in Costa Rica, so his wife will appear instead.

A federal judge barred Blagojevich, who faces federal corruption charges, from being on the NBC show "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" because it would send him out of the country. But his wife, Patti, accepted an offer from the network and went to Los Angeles earlier this week to film a promotional shoot, said Glenn Selig, the Blagojevichs' publicist.

"If it wasn't for our financial situation I probably wouldn't consider it. You do what you have to do when you're, you know, a mother of two," Patti Blagojevich said Thursday. Both she and her husband are unemployed.

The couple appeared on NBC's "Today" show Thursday to announce the move. Patti Blagojevich said she hopes her appearance on the reality series will help show that she isn't the profanity-spewing person portrayed on federal wiretaps.

"What people say in their own homes, when they assume that no one's listening, in a moment of anger is not necessarily representative of who and what they are," Blagojevich told the Associated Press.

According to the complaint filed by prosecutors, she was taped during an expletive-laced phone conversation suggesting the Tribune Co. "just fire" newspaper editors who didn't favor her husband. She has not been charged with wrongdoing.

Rod Blagojevich is charged with scheming to sell or trade President Obama's U.S. Senate seat and using the muscle of the governor's office to squeeze companies with state business for campaign contributions. He has pleaded not guilty. She declined to talk about her husband's corruption case.

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