An old flame speaks

If only he knew then what he knows now of Jocelyn Kirsch

bonnie
Before there was Jocelyn Kirsch and Edward Anderton, there was Jocelyn Kirsch and Jayson Verdibello.

JAYSON VERDIBELLO, at one time, truly loved his then-girlfriend Jocelyn S. Kirsch.

So smitten was he with the buxom brunette that two years ago he penned a song, "Violet," a reference to Kirsch's purple-tinged peepers.

Verdibello, now 22, wrote the ditty while studying in London, believing he had hit the jackpot with Kirsch, now 22.

The head-turner was "unbelievably, unbelievably intelligent," Verdibello said in an interview with the Daily News. Later, he said, when he saw her take the stage in "The Vagina Monologues," Verdibello thought she "was too good to be true."

Sadly, Verdibello was on target. Kirsch's so-called purple eyes were fakes; they were blue. And her economics tutor, the one she met with so often during fall 2006, in fact was Kirsch's lover, a fact he learned from Facebook on Dec. 30, 2006. They had broken up two weeks earlier, in mid-December.

Efforts to reach Kirsch's attorney Ronald Greenblatt yesterday were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile Verdibello said his world became even more topsy-turvy on Dec. 3 when he read the Daily News online and learned that Kirsch and Edward K. Anderton, the former "tutor," were arrested in November, accused of operating an intricate identity-theft scam out of their posh Center City apartment on Chestnut Street near 18th.

The crafty couple are charged with identity theft, conspiracy, burglary, making terroristic threats and other crimes. They had copies of mailbox keys and most of the unit keys in their building, the Belgravia, police said.

Their alleged crimes allowed the unemployed pair to travel the world, eat out with friends and live in their $3,000-a-month, two-bedroom unit.

Anderton, 25, a 2005 University of Pennsylvania graduate in economics, and Kirsch, a Drexel senior who has been suspended, according to her lawyer, will be in court on Feb. 12 for a preliminary hearing.

Initially, when Verdibello read the news, almost a year to the day since they broke up, he thought her arrest was "ultimate poetic justice."

Certain moments, he said, begin to make sense, such as when the two were cuddling in bed while she typed a text message. He saw the words from over her shoulder: "Ah, my cute capitalist," believing the message was for her tutor. When he questioned her, "she completely chewed me out."

Some moments don't make sense. Kirsch told him while he was in London that she was a bar manager at Zee Bar, a private after-hours club, and worked until 2 a.m. Buffy Varanese, the club's marketing director, said, "She never worked for Zee Bar and we do not have a bar-manager position."

And the text message she sent saying, "I'm really sorry about all of this, I love you, I don't want you to think any less of me, I really care about you." Kirsch was in the airport, headed to Paris to meet her older brother in the military. (Her older brother isn't serving and wasn't in Paris.) Verdibello found out later she was with Anderton when the text was sent. That is "f---ed up," he said.

These days, Verdibello's heels have cooled. Somewhat.

"I do feel bad for her, I do," he said. "Don't get me wrong. I want justice. . . . These people at the Belgravia didn't do anything wrong. You don't do that to people at all. That's so messed up."

Police believe that the couple fleeced at least five victims, maybe more, for at least $100,000. Two of the victims, thus far, were Belgravia neighbors, cops said.

"She always wanted something better, something nicer, better, shinier, that's how she always was with me, anyhow."

Verdibello works as an account executive for a local company while playing in two rock bands. "I'm just paying the bills," he said.

He hadn't wanted to speak openly about Kirsch after her arrest and the ensuing national spotlight on the case because he didn't want to be part of it while his emotions ran high.

When he talks about Kirsch, he says he's not going to speak about her character. "I'm obviously biased," he said.

On paper at least, the couple had little in common.

The fraternity boy loved to play video games, watch anime and rock out with his two bands, Warren and Venice Sunlight.

Kirsch, the Lithuanian looker who immigrated to North Carolina at a young age and spoke several languages, was an international-area-studies major, she told Verdibello. She wanted to be a Goodwill ambassador and travel the world, Verdibello and former friends said. (She was born in Miami and her ability to speak other languages has not been confirmed.)

Kirsch spotted Verdibello on

Facebook in late January 2006 and "poked" him. (In Facebook parlance, "poke" is akin to "hello.")

He poked back after he checked her Facebook page, wondering, "Who is this blonde bombshell?" he said. She responded in turn with a winking smiley face, saying, "careful I poke back."

He met Kirsch - now with short, dark-brown hair - a few days later at a party and was swept away by her "unbelievable charm," her smarts and more.

"She's just magnetic. She just knows how to control a room when she walks in, she really does," Verdibello said. "I could just see heads turn whenever she would walk in."

During the party Verdibello learned that Kirsch was involved with his fraternity brother, so he backed off. But not for long.

Kirsch invited Verdibello and the frat brother to "The Vagina Monologues" performed on campus in February 2006 by the Drexel Players. "She was fantastic, so believable. She was natural at it. It was something else she was good at."

Later that night at a party, Verdibello said, she took him by the collar, pushed him against a wall and began kissing him. He said he felt guilty, adding, "It was me giving in to a beautiful girl."

They began dating a few weeks later, before he headed to London in March 2006. He returned in June. She told him that she had cheated on all of her boyfriends. He told her the "past was the past." *