Gore's Vietnamese Love Child Cries for His Daddy
by Penelope Buckingham 6:32am Wed Oct 25 '00
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American Vice President Al Gore's Vietnamese Love Child Seeks Reunion With Famous Father
HANOI--American Vice President Al Gore apparently did more than “walk in the elephant grass” while he was on duty in Vietnam in 1969. He also apparently fathered an illegitimate child with a prostitute, Mai Pan, and, for a brief time, lived as a family with the mother and child in a dingy Vietnamese brothel, according to allegations by the man claiming to be the long-lost son of the American politician. “Al Gore is my daddy,” says Sondhi Pan, who changed his name, legally, to Sondhi Gore, just a few weeks ago. “I am very proud of him, even though he abandoned our family.”
The child was born in 1969, when Gore was serving as a U.S. Army journalist in Vietnam.
“My mother had lovely pictures of Al Gore holding me in his arms and laughing with joy,” says the Amer-Asian man, who someday hopes to obtain U.S. citizenship. “They looked like they were a happy couple.”
The couple, from the man’s account, was together for approximately a year, though Gore may have been released from official military duty for part of that time. Gore left the relationship to go back to Nashville, where he told the man’s mother that he wanted to study for the ministry.
“As she was the descendant of a long line of religious leaders, she found this to be quite appropriate,” said Mr. Gore, nee Pan, of his alleged father. “She thought of it as similar to the Buddha making his journey for the education that life can offer.”
But, once Al Gore returned to the states, he never talked to the mother of his child, or his child, who is the elder half-brother of Karenna Gore, again. “It was very, very sad for mother,” says Mr. Gore, nee Pan. “When she saw those pictures of him at the Buddhist temple, all those years later, it broke her heart. It was like he was almost home again.”
Mr. Gore, nee Pan, says his mother died of AIDS last year after nearly 31 years in the prostitution business in Vietnam. “I miss her very much,” he says, arching an eyebrow that bears a family resemblance to the Vice President’s eyebrow. “But I hope I can be like my daddy one day, and run for president of my country.”
Mr. Gore’s campaign in Nashville would not return calls for comment on the man’s claims.
--by Penelope Buckingham, Australisian News Service (ANS)