Well Being

Ray Ray Scandel

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Sorry to have been such a deadbeat blogger this week, but I wasn't about to let this juicy story fall between the cracks. New York Post's Page Six reports that the lovely Miss Rachel Ray may have some skeletons in her closet:

December 27, 2005 — LONG before Rachael Ray became Oprah Winfrey’s favorite cook and a star on the Food Network, she was a deadbeat who had to leave Pace University because she squandered her tuition money, according to a well-placed source.

Ray dropped out of college and returned to her family in the Adirondacks, in the process leaving behind angry creditors, some of whom “were threatening her,” a family insider told PAGE SIX.

“Her mom gave her money for tuition, but she never paid,” the source said. “She spent the money and then she didn’t want her mom to find out, so she borrowed money to pay her tuition, and then she couldn’t pay it back. She was bouncing checks, and some people were threatening her.”

Ray’s official biography doesn’t mention Pace. After citing her first job at Macy’s candy counter, and a stint at the Agata & Valentina gourmet market, the bio says, “Though this New York City fast track was exciting, Rachel decided she wanted to return to the lifestyle of the Adirondacks.”

Ray’s spokeswoman said, “She didn’t leave town because she was broke. She was mugged twice by the same person.”

Rachael’s father, Jim, told the National Enquirer about the double-mugging this month in a story headlined, “Violence, Hunger . . . The Sad Early Years of Oprah’s TV Cook.”

“She thought she’d be raped or murdered the last time. Fortunately a dog barked and he ran off,” Jim said. He also related how he threatened to shoot himself in front of Rachael when she was 9, how she was lonely at Lake George HS because she had an IQ of 154, and how she learned to cook dinner when there was no food in the pantry and her mom was out managing a restaurant.

“She was resourceful. She boiled water, added some spice and poured it over crackers. That was her evening meal. I was shocked,” Jim said.

Rachael, who has sold 4 million cookbooks, now has her own talk show. Earlier this year she married John Cusimano, an entertainment lawyer by day/rocker by night. It looks like she’ll never go hungry – or have to run from debt collectors – again.