Boston Herald: NOT Your Zumba Hooker Headquarters

March 31, 2013

From our Bitter Disappointment desk

For months the Boston Herald has been the hardreading staff’s Zumba Hooker Headquarters.

But no more.

When Alexis Wright, the pride of Maine’s hooker community, pled guilty to 20 counts of prostitution and etc. on Friday, it was only the Boston Globe that recorded it.

750fedc0aa5d4c698ce20acc98ee4ce0-2423a21f4c1e46ea9179716b559e2593-1Maine Zumba instructor pleads guilty to prostitution

PORTLAND, Maine — A dance instructor accused of using her Zumba fitness studio as a front for prostitution pleaded guilty Friday to 20 counts in a scandal that captivated a quiet seaside town.

The agreement that followed a second day of plea negotiations on Friday spares Alexis Wright from the prospect of a high-profile trial featuring sex videos, exhibitionism, and pornography. Prosecutors will recommend a jail sentence of 10 months when she is sentenced on May 31.

Wright quietly answered ‘‘guilty’’ 20 times when the judge read the counts, which include engaging in prostitution, promotion of prostitution, conspiracy, tax evasion, and theft by deception.

‘‘We’re very satisfied with it. It’s an appropriate outcome, given the gravity of her actions,’’ Assistant Attorney General Darcy Mitchell said after the brief court hearing.


But the hardbreathing staff is not at all satisfied with it, since Saturday’s Boston Herald featured exactly nothing about the “appropriate outcome.”

Sure, our feisty local tabloid played catch-up with this Associated Press report on its website, but really, Heraldniks:

Beaten by the Globe on the Zumba Hooker beat?

Shame on you.



Boston Herald: Your Zumba Hooker Headquarters (II)

February 22, 2013

While the Boston Globe resolutely neglects the Zumba Hooker trial in Kennebunk, Maine (this ran on the Web but not in print), our feisty local tabloid is on it like Brown on Williamson. Today’s installment:

012413zumba16‘Moaning, groaning’ in Zumba testimony

The bizarre twists and turns in the trial of the alleged owners of a Zumba dance studio-based brothel in posh Kennebunk, Maine, continued yesterday as a next-door pizza parlor manager told of being flashed by the woman accused of providing sex for money, and her landlord told of “moaning and groaning” with men coming and going every 30 to 60 minutes as early as 
5 a.m.

The titillating testimony came in the trial of Mark Strong Sr., accused of 
13 counts of promoting prostitution. Strong is the business partner of Alexis Wright, 30, who is accused of engaging in prostitution at the dance studio, at an office across the street and at her own home. Authorities have said she videotaped clients without their knowledge. She will be tried later.

“She fussed around with her wallet and off goes the towel. I felt awkward,” said Dan Racaniello, the pizza shop manager.


That’s it? Awkward? Obviously not a prospective client.

Boston Herald: Your Zumba Hooker Headquarters

January 29, 2013

Margery Eagan has the local dailies’ Maine event in her Boston Herald column today:

zumba122912Potential jurors in Zumba case face probing questions

A truth too naked

“Do you have a domination fetish?”

“Have you dealt with this by hiring a prostitute?”

“Was this a wise investment for you, sir?”

Sadly for dozens of presumably upstanding Maine residents called for the jury pool in the so-called “Zumba” prostitution trial, these are the kind of sexual questions they may be asked.

Worse: A judge’s effort to keep the questioning private has been overturned by the state’s highest court.


Bad news for the good townspeople of Kennebunk, excellent news for the Herald.

No news, however, for the Boston Globe, which didn’t mention the trial in today’s edition.

The broadsheet did post this Associated Press piece on the Globe website around 3:30 this morning.

Better late than never, yeah?

Kennebunker Mentality

October 13, 2012

The Maine event in today’s local dailies is the client list of one very busy Zumba dance instructor in Kennebunk.

Boston Herald Page One (via the Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages):

The inside story:

Maine town awaits list of clients eyed in hooker scandal

KENNEBUNK, Maine — With equal parts dread, gallows humor and gawking curiosity, residents of this bucolic seaside burg are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see if any of their neighbors are among the more than 150 men accused of paying a Zumba dance instructor for sex.

“You’re familiar with ‘The Scarlet Letter’? This is the same thing, only now it’s the letter Z for Zumba,” said Gisele Nedeau, who runs Ashby’s Deli with her husband, Mark.

Police yesterday had planned to publish the names of some of those summoned to court in connection with the alleged prostitution racket that authorities said was run by 29-year old Alexis Wright of nearby Wells, and her business partner, Mark Strong Sr., 57, of Thomaston.

But some desperate last-minute maneuvering by a lawyer for two of the men has delayed the release until at least Monday — the earliest the state’s highest court could hear the case.

The Boston Globe also features the story Page One – Metro – but with a much more subdued headline:

Zumba instructor prostitution story grips Maine town

KENNEBUNK, Maine — Most years at this time, when the tourists have left and the snowbirds are not far behind, this quaint coastal town begins to wind down for the winter.

But this fall, the pleasant, proper village down the road from the Bush family compound in neighboring Kennebunkport has been gripped in scandal. A scandal, shall we say, of prurient interest.

A scandal, if you must, involving a fitness instructor who is charged with running a prostitution operation from her studio. And a list, which in recent gossip-fueled days has taken on near-mythic status as “the list” of the Zumba teacher’s exten sive clientele.

“This is a very small town after the season,” said Elaine Nicholson, 54. “Except this year. This year, every body’s buzzing.”

The instructor, Alexis Wright, 29, pleaded not guilty this week to more than 100 counts of prostitution, while an accused associate, Mark Strong, pleaded not guilty to helping to run the business.

The Globe piece is more substantial than the Herald’s, but each has its unique attractions.

Such as the Globe’s inclusion of  Kennebunk’s town slogan:

In town, where a sign at the bridge hails the town as “the only village in the world so named,” the list of names and their uncertain fate was front and center.

And such as this photo in the Herald:

Oh, yes – and the comments in the Herald are more numerous – and more nasty – than those in the Globe.