Jack Abramoff's father fumes over George's Golden Globes joke about his son

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 20, 2006 08:00 AM
Credit: AP

The father of disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff did not find George Clooney very funny on Monday’s Golden Globes show, when the Syriana supporting actor winner quipped during his acceptance speech: “Who would name their kid Jack with the last words ‘off’ at the end of your last name? No wonder that guy is screwed up.”

In an open letter to Clooney published Thursday in the Desert Sun newspaper out of Palm Springs, Calif., Frank Abramoff, 78, writes, in part: “Your glib and ridiculous attack on my son, Jack, coupled with your obscene query as to the choice his mother and I made in naming him, brought shame and dishonor on you and your profession.”

The father goes on to ask Clooney: “What drove you to this lapse in lucidity, I can never know, but you need to know that your words were deeply hurtful to many innocent and decent people who love my son and who cherish our family.”

Clooney’s rep declined comment to the Desert Sun, saying he had yet to see the elder Abramoff’s letter.

Jack Abramoff, who could face 30 years in prison and $25 million in restitution payments, has pleaded guilty to the charges of federal conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion. He has promised to cooperate with prosecutors in what could be a wide-ranging influence peddling investigation involving members of Congress.

In an interview with the Desert Sun, Frank Abramoff calls Clooney “an idiot” whose speech was “pure, unadulterated stupidity.”

Says Frank Abramoff: “You want to make fun. You can do that, but you don’t make fun of someone else’s hardships and misery. We’ve gone through quite a bit, our family. But the political end of it and the media end of it and all the other areas are one thing. When you see something like that on a show for 500 million people, it was not only a slap in my son’s face but in my father’s.”