Delgado says she feared DeMentri

Former NBC10 co-anchors Lori Delgado and Vince DeMentri.

There's lots of legal back-and-forth between former NBC10 anchors Lori Delgado and Vince DeMentri.

Delgado is alleging that she quit her anchor’s job last month because she feared for her safety and that of her husband, after DeMentri, her former coanchor, had acted threateningly toward them.

The allegations were contained in documents that her lawyer filed Monday in Common Pleas Court. The filing also brought to light a Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission complaint that DeMentri filed in July, around the time of his firing. HRC complaints can be treated as "public record" if one party releases it -- which Delgado's lawyer did Monday.

DeMentri's complaint says the two had a 2½-year affair that he described as a “consensual, mutual romantic affiliation.” In Monday's court filing, Delgado did not address that contention.

Delgado’s statement about her safety came in her response to a court filing by DeMentri, who is contesting his firing in what is expected to be a libel and slander action against NBC10. In addition, DeMentri’s attorney, Paul Rosen says that NBC10 and Delgado interfered with DeMentri’s contract.

Asked about Delgado’s safety concerns, DeMentri said Monday night: “This is nothing but a smokescreen. What is alleged is laughable and an outright lie.”

In July, DeMentri filed a gender-discrimination complaint with the state Human Relations Commission and he alleged that he was fired because the station had learned that he and Delgado had an affair.

DeMentri said in the HRC complaint that NBC10 unfairly fired him while not sanctioning Delgado. DeMentri also alleges that the station leaked false information about him to the media.

DeMentri, 44, worked at NBC10 for five years and coanchored its myphl newscast on Channel 17 with Delgado from December 2005 through September 2006. Delgado, 28, who started at the station in January 2005, most recently anchored the morning news on NBC10. She was last seen on the air Sept. 26.

DeMentri’s HRC complaint says that someone at the station leaked an item to an unnamed gossip Web site. The Aug. 22 item linked DeMentri to acts of vandalism against Delgado, including the keying of her car in June.
The HRC complaint says that DeMentri and Delgado’s affair ended in May, and that the two remained friends.

According to Delgado’s court response, filed yesterday by Eric Weitz of Weitz Garfinkle & Datz, Delgado experienced hang-ups on her home and cell phones in the spring. On June 6, personal items vanished from her office. Three days later, her driver’s license and house keys were missing, and Lower Merion police investigated.
A few weeks later, Delgado found a shopping bag containing the items under her desk. Also in June, she discovered that her car had been scratched. NBC10 investigated and began suspecting DeMentri, Weitz’s filing says.

Delgado says she was told that DeMentri was seen on videotape “indicating his likely participation in the incidents.” Rosen said DeMentri was not shown keying Delgado’s car.

On July 3, an NBC security official told police that “criminal mischief” had been done to Delgado’s car, according to a police report that listed DeMentri as a suspect. The complaint was investigated July 8 and closed when Delgado refused to cooperate with police.

Rosen said that if police had seen such actions on a tape, Delgado’s cooperation would not be required to file charges.

Delgado said in yesterday’s filing that although DeMentri had been instructed not to contact her, he confronted her and her husband, Rich McNally, a lawyer, at their home. DeMentri said last night that no one had told him to stay away from her.

Delgado and McNally, who married in June 2006, have since moved to New York.

Attorneys for NBC did not return calls for comment. Regarding the litigation, a station spokeswoman said: “The station disputes Mr. DeMentri’s allegations and intends to vigorously defend any claims. The notion that WCAU would trump up baseless charges against its own anchor is ridiculous.”