Names in the News : Downey’s Skinhead Tale Disputed

<i> From Times wire services</i>

Controversial TV talk show host Morton Downey Jr. claimed that three skinheads attacked him in an airport restroom--chopping his hair and smearing him with swastikas--but authorities disputed the report today.

“Our preliminary investigation shows that this was self-inflicted for whatever reason we don’t know,” said Ron Wilson, spokesman at San Francisco International Airport. “We can only assume it was for publicity.”

The loudmouth star of the syndicated “The Morton Downey Jr. Show” told airport police three skinheads grabbed him and cut off a clump of his hair and painted swastikas on his face, shirt and pants Monday night.

Airport authorities found a pair of scissors and a felt-tip marker pen in a toilet bowl. But officers said an unidentified witness told them that the claim was phony.


“His (Downey’s) story does not at all prove out,” Wilson said. “The witness said there was no scuffle. There were no skinheads in the area. As far as we have found, no such incident took place.”

Downey, who declined to file a police complaint, was not available for comment,