Bernard Kerik: You’re Welcome, Bernie

March 24, 2014

Bernard Kerik recently posted, on his facebook, this sketch. It is a beautiful pencil sketch, created by a fellow prisoner of Bernie’s,  based upon a cherished photograph of Bernie and his son, Joe, which Bernie possesed in prison.  I remember the day Bernie emailed me asking me to receive this coveted work of art in the mail,  frame it, then have it scanned, keeping the .pdf file with all his other writings for Bernie’s release. This was one of the many tasks I performed for my then pal, Bernie, while he was in prison. At the time, it was a labor of love and I was happy to assist.

This coveted and beautiful sketch arrived in a makeshift cardboard “envelope”. This rudimentary, although resourceful, packaging is typical of the method in which special items are mailed from federal prison. Also attached here is the “back up” scan I kept in case the original was lost, stolen or destroyed. At the time, from prison, this was a most precious item and I treated it with the most love and care I could conjure.

It was July, 2011 and hot as hell. I remember that day, hustling all over the region attempting the great challenge to find a suitable frame as well as scanner with the highest resolution capable of scanning this odd shaped drawing. I was on a deadline. I had to drive a distance, after the scanning to meet a mutual friend of Bernie in Westchester, NY,  for “the drop-off”. Our friend was going to pick up Hala and Joe and accompany them to the wake and memorial dinner of a fallen detective with whom Bernie has once worked. It was a difficult, sentimental and sad time for Bernie. Knowing Joe would have this framed artwork at this sad time was comforting to Bernie. Bernie’s happiness, comfort and safety was always a priority in my life back then. Cindy Adams, always in her snarky tone, wrote about that night in her 07/18/11 column in the New York Post, “HALA Kerik taking husband Bernie Kerik‘s jail phone call through pasta at Primola”. ( ) Bernie later told me he called Hala that day at dinner after the wake and Joey had received the framed sketch. As always, Bernie was happy and that made me happy too. The backstory always proves better than the tale of snarky, third-party gossip.

It’s strange how drastically the road turns. Today, Bernie Kerik and I are estranged.  Except for the occasional, not so mysterious “anonymous ranting manifests” I receive in the mail, he is not permitted to communicate with me as a condition of his three year supervised felony probation.  I understand he tries to contort the true nature of our very intimate  relationship most likely because he lied about it to most close to him. That’s his story and he tries to stick to it although I suspect those all around him know the truth. It is Bernie’s personal M.O. cycle  in his personal relationships. That is, to get in deep with a person, selfishly use them for their gifts Bernie lacks, then throw them away when that person won’t conform to Bernie’s world of lies and deception. I’ve dubbed it the “cloak and dagger” syndrome of Bernard Kerik. It is a dysfunctional part of Bernie that keeps him from living an authentic life. So sad. That truth of us beat that huge lie to the finish line the day of his release home on 05/28/13. However, it is my truth and was my rigorous reality for the duration of Bernie’s confinement. I do not regret those times. For me, it was a precious and raw time of sweet sharing and the highest form of compassion and loyalty. I enhanced Bernie’s life. It felt damn good at the time. However, there is a hard-fought silver lining. The lessons I’ve learned were meant for my journey. I don’t look back much. I’m not driving that direction these days. However, during rare moments such as this, the detour is a gift. You’re welcome, Bernie….

Hand-written cardboard envelope from Bernard Kerik Personal Photo Archives
Personal Photo Archives