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NAMES IN THE NEWS : Donna Rice Now ‘Born-Again’

<i> From Times staff and wire service reports</i>

Donna Rice, a household name after reporters found she spent a weekend with Gary Hart, has become a “born-again” Christian who spends much of her time doing charitable work, according to a published report.

A friend of Rice’s, Andy Messing, told the Washington Times in a story Wednesday that she “went back to her roots and because she did, she wound up coming out of a tailspin that would have killed other people.”

Rice, 32, who declined to be interviewed for the story, became an instant celebrity in 1987 when her relationship with Hart was publicized. Hart dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, and later made an unsuccessful re-entry into the contest.

Rice now lives with a female friend in northern Virginia. The newspaper said she doesn’t have a full-time paying job, and quoted friends as saying she has become quietly involved in charitable work.

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The newspaper also said she has a boyfriend and attends some of Washington’s high-profile dinners and events.

“Donna . . . not gone through that much of a change,” said Tricia Erickson, head of a McLean, Va., modeling agency and Rice’s designated crisis manager in 1987. “I don’t think that she ‘went to God,’ so to speak. Donna’s always been like that. It isn’t some miraculous thing.”


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