DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Crime

Who Wouldn't Sham Marry This Woman?

Reality TV stars set to testify in federal criminal case

Fernanda Romero

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Fernanda Romero Photos

Fernanda Romero Documents

In a reality television first, prosecutors want to quiz prospective jurors about their opinion of a Bravo series and its stars in advance of a federal criminal trial.

In an August 16 U.S. District Court filing, government lawyers requested that a judge ask proposed jurors about the program “Double Exposure,” which follows fashion/celebrity photographers Marcus Klinko and Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri.

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles want to know whether proposed jurors watch “Double Exposure,” and whether the Bravo series has influenced their opinions of the reality series’s two stars. On Monday, government lawyers listed both Klinko and Pal-Chaudhuri as expected prosecution witnesses in the upcoming trial of actress/model Fernanda Romero, who was indicted earlier this year in a marriage fraud case.

Romero, a Mexican national, allegedly paid a California man, Kent Stuart Ross, to enter into a sham 2005 marriage so that she could secure a green card. An affidavit sworn by a federal agent actually lists some of Romero’s credits, from print and TV campaigns for Pepsi, Apple, and JCPenney to roles in films “including ‘Drag Me to Hell,’ and ‘The Eye,’ starring Jessica Alba.” Romero’s alleged husband/codefendant Ross is identified by prosecutors as a musician who “has been employed at a pizza delivery company.”

[Romero is pictured below in a modeling shot and a United States Marshals Service mug shot. She can also be seen here in a selection of photos found on her web site and MySpace page.]

Romero, 28, is also a former girlfriend of Klinko, who investigators describe as “Romero’s boyfriend during the marriage.” After the couple--who met at a July 2005 photo casting call--split up in January 2007, “Klinko alerted immigration authorities” about Romero’s alleged marriage fraud, triggering the federal probe that resulted in the indictment of Romero and Ross, according to an affidavit prepared by a Department of Homeland Security agent.

In a subsequent interview with federal investigators, Klinko provided details of Romero’s arrangement with Ross, including how they “rehearsed their answers before having their interview with the immigration authorities.”

Klinko also told agents that after Romero first told him of her sham marriage, he mentioned to her that “many artists and models obtain non-immigrant visas” so they can legally work in the United States. Klinko recalled Romero responding that, “committing marriage fraud was more convenient for her.”

Court filings do not disclose the substance of Pal-Chaudhuri’s expected testimony against Romero and Ross, whose trial is scheduled to begin next week. (12 pages)

Comments (7)

she is probably a he....thanks to a little ol' doctor in Tijuana
I wouldn't even with any of yours!
P.s. I'll marry her. On the condition that she get rid of that Adidas sweater.
He seems a little bitter about the demise of the relationship. If it didnt matter while he was fking her, why did it matter to him after the fact?
If she wants to be Canadian, I'll marry her!
Don't know if I'd marry her - seems a little kooky. I wouldn't mind pretending to be her hubby, at least for a day or so.
If it matters to the prosecution I will marry her for real! Of course we would have to consumate the marriage a few times to make sure it was real. :-)