Celebrity Photographer Markus Klinko About To Run Into Legal Buzzsaw
Lawyers for Fernanda Romero, the Los Angeles actress/model facing trial on marriage fraud charges, intend to portray celebrity photographer/government witness Marcus Klinko as a manipulative former boyfriend who undertook an “unrelenting effort” to have her criminally prosecuted and deported.
In a trial memorandum filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Romero’s lawyers attacked the “vindictive” and “obsessed” Klinko on the eve of Romero’s August 24 federal trial. Romero’s defense team alleged that after she sought to break up with Klinko (pictured at right) in late-2006, he became enraged and sent her “venomous emails,” which included “pornographic photographs of himself having sex with a model from a Nike photo shoot that had also featured Ms. Romero.”
Romero’s trial memo, excerpted here, indicates that her defense will argue that her marriage to codefendant Kent Ross was not a sham and that the criminal case was brought against “two young people, in love but naive to the complexities of marriage.”
[UPDATE: In a new filing, Romero’s lawyers charge that Klinko’s familiarity with green card marriages extends to his own sham nuptials. In a sworn declaration filed by Romero’s counsel, Klinko’s first wife, Maria Victoria Waisman, claimed that he “paid me $20,000 to marry him.” That 1987 union “was done for the sole purpose of allowing Markus Klinko to obtain a green card,” Waisman alleged.
The Klinko-Waisman marriage lasted six months before a divorce decree was entered in a Dallas court. According to Romero’s lawyers, while Klinko “never actually applied for a green card” based on his marriage to Waisman, “he obtained his green card from his second marriage” to Julia Kim. The Klinko-Kim marriage occurred the day after his divorce from Waisman was finalized.
Romero’s defense team contends that Klinko’s own marriage and immigration history reflects a “character trait for dishonesty.”]