Brazilian actress's affair could take Senator Menendez
Juliana Lopes Leite, Robert Menendez and Dr. Salomon Melgen
Photo: Getty Images ; AP
A Brazilian actress-turned-lawyer admits she had an affair with the doctor pal of Sen. Robert Menendez, but claims she had no idea the indicted lawmaker pulled strings to get her a US visa.
Juliana Lopes Leite defended herself last week during a prime-time interview on Brazilian TV, in response to a recent Post exposé that revealed the identities of two women who had obtained entry to the US thanks to the New Jersey Democrat's aggressive efforts with the State Department.
Menendez was charged in April with using influence to benefit Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor, in exchange for almost $1 million in gifts and campaign donations.
Lopes Leite, 34, now a lawyer in Miami, told The Post last week that she learned of Menendez's intervention by reading the indictment against him.
In the O Globo interview, she said her romance with Melgen began when she was 23, living in the United States. “We were together three or four months at that time,” she said.
in the reality-TV show “Big Brother Brasil.” She later went to law school there. A few years later, Melgen called her.
“He said, 'I want to make you a proposal: Would you be interested in making a specialty here in the US?' ” Lopes Leite said.
She got her visa the day after the senator's office intervened.
She told the Brazilian reporter that Melgen was the one in trouble, not her.
“He's the one who should be worried because he is behind bars, poor thing,” she said.
FILED UNDER CORRUPTION , ROBERT MENENDEZ , SALOMON MELGEN
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