Bizarre Story Alleges Keith Hernandez-Julia Salazar Affair, Identity Theft, and Fraud
In an absolutely wild story, Salazar filed a defamation lawsuit agains Keith Hernandez's ex-wife for accusing her of having an affair with him, and stealing upwards of $14,000, among other things.
Photo via user slgckgc, Wikimedia Commons
According to a lawsuit uncovered by The Daily Mail, Keith Hernandez's ex-wife Kai accused New York Senate hopeful Julia Salazar of having an affair with the former New York Mets first baseman. Salazar filed the suit, alleging defamation, after Kai Hernandez accused her of stealing nearly $12,000 in cash, and $1,175 in Pottery Barn vouchers (??) from Hernandez's Jupiter, Florida home, and using her personal information to try to access her private bank account. Salazar was arrested, but the charges were later dropped. Keith and Salazar deny they ever had an affair and Kai Hernandez denied she ever made the accusation in the first place. OK. Still with me? Because this one gets pretty out there.
There's a bizarre series of facts that link Salazar and Keith, starting with Salazar's mother living next to a home owned by Keith, which his then-estranged wife was living in. Kai Hernandez asked Salazar to housesit and take care of her dogs at various times during the summer of 2010, and at one point Salazar says she found "drug paraphernalia to include open syringes, guns and 25 Pottery Barn gifts totaling $1,175." She claims she called Keith—who she says she considered a father figure—to inform him of this, and the next time she was house-sitting, he showed up with the cops and a lawyer so Salazar could tell them what she found. Some time after that, Kai reported Salazar to the police and accused her of stealing the cash, and attempting to access her bank account.
(Salazar's suit also reportedly alleges that Kai Hernandez was living with her new fiancée, who had convictions for fraud and theft, and that Kai Hernandez had also filed several "suspicious" insurance claims for fraud and burglary in the summer of 2010.)
Kai Hernandez claimed Salazar attempted to access the account with personal information she obtained while house-sitting. In three separate phone calls recorded by her bank, a woman attempted to change the login information to the account. The caller had enough of Kai Hernandez's information to access the account—including the last four social security digits, date of birth, user name, and account number—except for a crucial final security question asking where Kai Hernandez went to high school. After the caller was foiled three times, the bank alerted Hernandez and played the calls for her. She claimed she immediately recognized the voice to be Salazar's. Detective Charles Weinblatt, who arrested Salazar, wrote in a probable cause affidavit that he also immediately determined it was Salazar's voice.
But then—taking this story full-on into the realm of the bat-shit nutty—Salazar's suit claims that those phone calls were actually an attempt by Kai Hernandez to frame Salazar as "revenge against Julia for interfering with her affairs and pending divorce." The lawsuit alleges that Kai Hernandez, "orchestrated a scheme whereby a female who sounded like Julia would attempt to access Kai's bank account," and that "Kai then falsely, maliciously and intentionally alleged that the person attempting to access her funds was Julia when she knew it was not."
And after allllll that, we get to affair accusation. Salazar's suit claimed Kai Hernandez accused Salazar of having an affair with Keith Hernandez, but when speaking with the Daily Mail, Kai Hernandez said she never accused Salazar of that, and that the accusation was only introduced as part of Salazar's defamation allegation. Speaking to the New York Post, Kai Hernandez's attorney, claims Salazar made up the affair allegation in order to prove malice—a requirement for defamation—thus providing a reason why Kai Hernandez would try to frame her in the first place. Detective Weinblatt said that although he did not remember the affair accusation, it sounded "vaguely familiar."
Charges against Salazar were later dropped because a voice ID was not enough for the state attorney, according to Weinblatt. The defamation suit was eventually settled in March of 2017 without ever going to trial.
It's one of those rare instances where regardless of which side is telling the truth, both sides of the story are pretty insane.