Art and Entertainment

Nam Y. Huh/AP
Patti Blagojevich

Patti Blagojevich to Replace Husband in Jungle Reality Show

May 22, 2009 07:00 PM
by Anita Gutierrez-Folch
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich can’t leave the country due to federal corruption charges, so his wife will travel to the Costa Rican jungle to take her husband’s place.

Patti Blagojevich Ventures Into the Wild

Last month, Blagojevich was told that he wasn’t allowed to participate in the upcoming NBC reality show “I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here.” The show is being taped in the Costa Rican jungle, and Blagojevich’s charges of fraud, racketeering and extortion force him to remain in the United States. His wife Patti accepted the network’s offer instead.

“I didn't seek this out. And 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,” she told The Associated Press during a telephone interview.
In an interview with the “Today” show, covered by the Chicago Sun-Times, Patti explained that because she and her husband are currently unemployed, she will do whatever it takes in order to support her family. “We need to earn a living," she told “Today” host Meredith Vieira. “She's willing to go in the jungle for her kids," her husband added.

As a public figure, Patti has always guarded her privacy, shielding her two children from the press and avoiding the cameras as much as possible. “I've been able to comport myself in public in a dignified way in the past, so I don't see why this should be any different,” she told the AP.

Background: Blago’s corruption charges keep him in the country

NBC had offered Blagojevich $80,000 a week to appear as a guest on their reality show. But Blagojevich's hopes of recovering his financial stability by appearing on the show were shot down when U.S. District Judge James Zagel barred him from leaving the country.

The former governor, who was removed from office after being impeached, faces several federal charges relating to allegations that he tried to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. In April, he was indicted on 16 counts of extortion, fraud and racketeering.

Related Topic: “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here”

NBC’s Web site describes the reality show as “the ultimate ‘Swiss Family Robinson.’” Viewers will have the power to decide who stays and who goes at the end of every episode, and will also have a say in the daily tasks that the 10 competing celebrities will have to face. Other showbiz personalities participating in the show include Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt from “The Hills,” actor Stephen Baldwin and former supermodel Janice Dickinson.

Most Recent Beyond The Headlines