Girl's family says it wanted only to inform Crist

By Times Staff Writer
Published January 26, 2007

Cecilia Tucker, whose adopted daughter appears to be the child at the center of a paternity dispute involving Gov. Charlie Crist, released this statement in response to media inquiries that were made after a story that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times on Thursday:


We are sorry, for our family's sake, that this has become a more public matter than it was when it originally appeared in the St. Petersburg Times on September 4, 2006. We had no knowledge of who our daughter's biological mother and alleged biological father were before reading the articles published on that date. This was an intrusive way for our daughter to learn her biological history. For the record, we did not leak any documents and have never encouraged or desired that this become public. We only spoke with the Times after it was apparent the story was going public with or without our input.

Contrary to the impression given in the St. Petersburg Times headline today, we did not contact the governor in any way to establish paternity. Contact with the Crist family was attempted only to notify him of our daughter's desire and plan to contact her biological mother over Christmas. Due to how the original St. Petersburg Times article and the comments of the Crist campaign characterized her, we were uncertain of the biological mother's response regarding an invitation to meet with our daughter.

Therefore, our contact with Governor Crist's family was out of respect to the governor and was in our minds a professional courtesy. If we had meant to harm Charlie Crist, we could have made this all public before the election. We were only asking for a response that he had personally received the information. We never asked the governor for anything more than that. We still do not need or want anything from him. What escalated this entire process is that someone unknown to us leaked the documents which increased the number of people who knew and decreased the likelihood of three families being able to deal with this as a private matter.

We always meant this to be a private and personal matter. We only contacted the governor out of respect and as a professional courtesy. Our family will have no further comment on this situation. We only ask the media not to violate our daughter's privacy further.