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For apology, please turn to page A-6

And there it was, a full-page mea culpa in black and white in Jacksonville's Florida Times-Union, a $17,000 appeal to the woman he loves.

By TOM ZUCCO
Published January 27, 2005


Florida Times-Union
A man named Larry bought this full-page ad in a Jacksonville paper in hopes of coaxing his wife of 17 years into coming back to him.
Click here for a closeup

The full-page ad appeared Tuesday morning in the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. In the lower part was a drawing of a man on bended knee appealing to a woman wearing a ball gown. The kind of ad a jewelry store might use to sell engagement rings.

Above the drawing was a note.

Marianne,

Please believe the words in my letter, they are true and from my heart. I can only hope you will give me the chance to prove my unending Love for you.

Life without you is empty and meaningless.

Please, please, please call me!

I Love You With All My Heart,

Larry

The newspaper reported Wednesday that Larry and Marianne had been married 17 years, that she had walked out two weeks earlier and that the public apology cost $17,000. So it seems that whatever Larry did wrong was huge.

Whether Marianne has responded is uncertain, but dozens of other people did. The newspaper received e-mails and phone calls from as far away as Alaska, and media inquiries from CNN to the BBC.

Who is Larry and how did he come to take up residence in a 40-story doghouse?

Like many newspapers, the Times-Union has a policy protecting the privacy of advertisers and declined to identify the man. But the advertising director called Larry, gave him reporter Jessie-Lynne Kerr's number, and asked him to call her if he wanted to be interviewed. He did, on the condition that neither his last name nor any other personal information be used.

Larry, who lives in Orlando, wouldn't tell the newspaper why his wife left him. "He said it was a culmination of things," Kerr said. He did say Marianne won't call him, and that she changed her cell phone number so he can't call her.

He also said his estranged wife is staying with her parents near Jacksonville, but they had his name removed from the visitor list at their gated community so he can't see her.

After sending his wife five dozen roses and getting no response, Larry went public.

Among the e-mails the paper received was this from a woman who said she worked for a local domestic violence center.

"While it may appear romantic and completely cavalier, we must realize there is a really good reason for his estranged wife and her family to cut off all contact. I'm only speculating, but let's consider just for a moment that this is an abusive situation."

But most of the e-mails had the same tone as this one: "I know that if I was his wife, I'd have to give him a second chance," a woman wrote. "I am praying that she does come back."

A relative who is still speaking to him told Larry Tuesday that when Marianne saw the ad, she started to cry, the Florida Times-Union reported.

It was not clear Wednesday whether she had done more than that.

[Last modified January 27, 2005, 06:44:08]


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