At the arraignment of Galleon head Raj Rajaratnam and Danielle Chiesi this afternoon, Ms. Chiesi’s mother—a former beauty queen-turned-financial-analyst who is accused of funneling insider information to Mr. Rajaratnam—offered a directive to reporters.
“My daughter is innocent and that is what you will be printing,” Gloria Chiesi, Danielle Chiesi’s mother, told The Wall Street Journal after the hearing. “God borrowed my body and gave me this girl. She’s my angel.”
In a case that’s already being closely watched within the industry, news reports and taped transcripts have painted Ms. Chiesi as perhaps less than angelic. A recent Bloomberg profile accused her of trading on her looks to obtain inside information, and her quote that she’d end up like “Martha fucking Stewart” has become a tagline for the case.
Both defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges being brought by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who has delayed indicting several other defendants–a tactical move that may buy him additional time to coax their cooperation.
As both sides prepare for a courtroom drama, Ms. Chiesi seems to be cultivating her role as the enigmatic leading lady.
Ms. Chiesi, wearing dark sunglasses, attracted a swarm of photographers before jumping into a silver Lexus with her mother and lawyers outside the court in Lower Manhattan. “She acted like a movie star,” quipped one of the photographers after Ms. Chiesi’s car pulled away.