TOP COMICS AREN'T LAUGHING AS FBI INVESTIGATES CANCER SCAM
Comedy stars from Jimmy Kimmel to Andy Dick came to the aid of fellow comic Mark Cohen and his girlfriend Christine Anderson when she said she was battling cancer, and celebrities raised more than $40,000 to help pay her medical bills. But they weren't laughing when they found out they might have been scammed - Anderson, a Las Vegas showgirl, may not have had cancer after all!
I SMELL A RAT
The 32-year-old mother of three, who appeared in the "Rat Pack is Back" revue in Vegas, "puts the 'Rat' in 'Rat Pack,'" said one comic who helped raise the money. Another declared: "I think she's a total fraud!" Last August, Anderson claimed she could no longer work because she had been diagnosed with a serious form of cervical cancer. Her fellow cast members organized a benefit show through a nonprofit organization called Vegas Cares, founded by "Rat Pack" co-star Doug Starks. Headlined by comic Rita Rudner, magician Lance Burton and singer Clint Holmes, the show raised more than $5,000 for Anderson. CARING COMICS Then Budd Friedman of the Improv comedy club in Hollywood staged a star-studded benefit hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, featuring comics Andy Dick, Kevin Nealon, Bob Odenkirk and Sarah Silverman. That show raised well over $20,000. The hat was passed around on the "Everybody Loves Raymond" set, where an additional $8,000 was raised from writers and actors, said a source. Money was also solicited through various comedy Web sites. But a suspicious Doug Starks served Anderson with a legal letter asking her to substantiate her medical claims - and she apparently declined. "She never did prove her claims," said Starks. "She has never shown any evidence that she has cancer." When Starks phoned Budd Friedman and alerted him to Anderson's possible cancer-for-dollars scam, "he was shocked and devastated," Starks told The ENQUIRER.
The comics believe Anderson concocted the scam on her own, and Mark Cohen - former host of Comedy Central's "Make Me Laugh" - had no idea what was going on. "Love is blind," said Starks, "and a tad ignorant."
I really hate humans. [Thank you, Mr. Anonymous Comment.]
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