‘War of the Roses’ meets ‘Fatal Attraction’ as Ethan Berkowitz uses his powers to attack Maria Athens



Mayor Ethan Berkowitz came halfway clean on Monday after admitting that he had had an inappropriate “messaging” relationship with TV reporter Maria Athens.

But he didn’t come all the way clean. Instead, he asked everyone to respect his privacy.

That alleged “messaging” relationship was something Athens had never discussed last week. Her actual allegation was that the mayor had been posting lewd photos to a kiddie porn website and she said she had “reliable sources.”

She was readying to go on the air with the allegations on Friday, when the station manager at the local YourAlaskaLink Fox News affiliate told her no — the story was good, but she was in no condition to tell it just then.

Athens had on Facebook posted a photo of Berkowitz’ naked body — a selfie that he took and sent to her — on Friday afternoon, as some kind of proof that Berkowitz was capable of doing such kiddie porn activity. But the photo raised a lot more questions.

Mayor Berkowitz was quiet over the weekend, after his initial denial and rebuke of the broadcast reporter, issued by his official press office on Friday.

It would have been a difficult weekend at his house, where his wife, Mara Kimmel, was likely not amused to see her husband’s naked body splashed all over Facebook.

Read: Mayor apologizes over sexting relationship

In his Monday statement, Berkowitz was asking the public to respect his privacy.

But at the same time, Berkowitz released to a Democrat-friendly political blogger/operative a private voicemail from Athens that he had received on Friday, a voice recording that made her look unhinged, dangerous, and anti-semitic. In the voicemail, Athens threatened to kill him.

Why would the mayor ask for privacy from the public and in the same hour amp up the war with Athens in the public arena?

He wants it both ways. It’s a powerful man pushing a broken woman to the brink.

Must Read Alaska has spoken with Athens extensively and, while much of the conversation was off the record, she sticks by her original story that the mayor was engaged in kiddie porn. She provided clues to why she thinks that and those clues have been passed along to law enforcement.


The questions surrounding the deference given to the Anchorage mayor by the media and his own police department continue.

The media tried to extinguish the story over the weekend, while Berkowitz surrogates Forrest Dunbar, Eric Croft, Andrew Halcro, Chris Constant, and Casey Reynolds took to social media to defend the mayor. Many of their social media posts have since been removed.

This is a case of powerful men in Anchorage trying to discredit a woman who is clearly in crisis. They’re trying to save Berkowitz in order to save their Democrat political machine, which has just thrown a rod.

Critics reached out to Must Read Alaska to say that the quick investigation of Athens’ kiddie-porn charge by the Anchorage Police Department, and their hasty statement that there are no merits to the charge is something that defies explanation. The quick closing of the case calls into question the integrity of Police Chief Justin Doll.

Athens’ claims, in spite of the mayor’s denials, are not completely unfounded. The public now knows he capable of lying to them: He lied in the Friday press release when he denied Athens’ allegation, while blistering her as “hostile” and “unwell.”

That press release was — by every measure — an abuse of his power. He had no right as a public official to speak about her health or to accuse her from his position of power.

On Monday, came his apology, and again the statement that he did nothing criminal, repeating on the record that brief announcement by the Anchorage Police Department, which he controls.

But in fact, he engaged in a relationship with a reporter who covered him at City Hall, and then lied about it to the public, and painted her as a madwoman. From what information Must Read Alaska has gathered, it was more than just a sexting relationship. He has not told the whole truth.


The disparate nature of power and the abuse of that power is now the story. If Athens is unwell, then Berkowitz is using his powerful platform to take away her credibility and to paint himself as the victim.

This speaks to Berkowitz having a predatory character, a man who will do anything to save himself.

Athens, who made $29,000 a year as a TV anchor, is not the one who ran for office and has the public trust of an elected official.

She is not the one with emergency powers over the citizens of Anchorage, powers granted by his allies on the Anchorage Assembly.

It is Ethan Berkowitz who ran for office. And now he is bullying a powerless woman who has little to lose, while he has everything to lose if he doesn’t shut her up or drive her to harm herself.


  1. One Soap Opera after another in Anchorage. And what makes Berkowitz so special that he will be able to slither out of this one?

    • Is that a serious question ? He’s a Democrat. They can do anything to anyone and suffer no consequences.

      There is a clear double standard of justice in this country exemplified by people such as Hillary Clinton and the despicable Ethan Berkowitz

  2. There is so much more to this. Berkowitz is in yet another lie. Clearly there was more to this relationship than texts. Of course it’s always the woman who is nuts, right? He’s such a slime ball. And let’s not forget the underage children that “allegedly” have seen this man naked. Disgusting. You can’t unsee that. This is WAY more than a lapse in judgement. I sure hope he resigns and slips away. Felix can step in and look like a hero and release us from the BS restrictions placed upon us. What do you say, Felix? Then we can recall you.
    I think I taste vomit in my mouth.

    • It isn’t always the woman who is crazy, but she did threaten to kill him and his wife. She also posted a picture of his ass on FB with no proof he posted it on a ‘young girls website’ (whatever that is).

      He should 100% resign though. He lied about it and abused his power to either get her arrested or dismiss her as crazy.

      In this story I think both of them are a—-.

  3. Thank you for covering this! I will be supporting Must Read Alaska with a financial donation. Please keep up the good work!

    • Good point, Scott Anderson. If not for MRAK, who knows how this would have played out OR how this may still play out? One thing is for sure, Suzanne will make sure it plays out for the public to see and judge our public officials on their merits or faults…or “lapse in judgments.”
      One thing is for sure, it sure is hard to listen to a man telling me to keep my mask on from a man who is struggling to keep his pants…well, you get the idea.

      I am making a donation right now. Money well spent.

  4. I think it is high time we stopped the cover up of the so-called journalist. What Mayor Berkowitz is doing is a crime. He is trying to ruin what is left of this young person’s life. This is not just a mistake, it is the actions of a sick sick man!! His privacy?? He wants to be left alone so this will not hurt his children or his wife?? You have to believe he did not think of them when he was standing there all bare arsed taking his selfie. Where were the children?? What a hypocrite!!!

  5. Never forget folks, this is a resume enhancer for Hizzonor.

    His run for Gov will list this as a Character Building Experience.

  6. Good story, Suzanne, but for one detail:

    You wrote:
    The questions surrounding the deference given to the Anchorage mayor by the media and his own police department continue.

    It sure as hell is not the diminutive dictator, TinyEthan’s, “own police department”.

    I hope Anchorage citizens show up at the Assembly meeting tonight and make themselves heard.

    It is time.

  7. Hilarious that the news anchor who issues death threats and plans to abuse her media position to slander the mayor is a “powerless woman in crisis” being abused by the powerful.

    These are all corrupt, powerful people whose corruption has led (in her case) to coming completely unglued emotionally and morally. Please make your spin less embarrassingly partisan.

  8. Thank you Suzanne for your reporting. If it wasn’t for you and your publication, we would be reading from ADN how the dear Mayor was molested by some crazy consertive person and barely excaped with his life. Make me sick what this despot and his surrogates has done to Anchorage.

  9. I’m willing to give Berkowitz the same fair shake he has given Anchorage citizens. The same citizens who waited hours to testify against the establishment of alcohol/drug abuse homeless shelters inside their otherwise thriving communities. Who watched in horror as he and his liberal cohorts then shutdown all access for citizens to speak before the Anchorage Assembly .. I will quietly listen to any pleas that he begs to forgive his perversions so he can retain his overbearing “I know what is better for you than you do” iron-fisted corruption. I will use him as a role model knowing that although I will listen, nothing he says will change my position because my mind is already made up… He needs to go.. His political career is at an end. It’s called Karma…

  10. ” And now he [Berkowitz] is bullying a powerless woman . . . ”

    Athens is not powerless; witness the uproar she has instigated. She has made a accusation that is apparently being taken seriously by many people, with the potential to destroy Berkowitz. That’s a lot of power.
    To those who have listened to her unhinged phone-call rant to Berkowitz it’s clear that, as a spurned lover, she’s engaged in a single-minded vendetta to destroy the man, let the chips fall where they may.

    Leaving aside his Mayoral policies, I think Berkowitz’s defensive statement is fully appropriate.

  11. An extreme imbalance of power between “he said, she said” in this case. Let’s hold the mayor accountable and steer him towards resignation, just as Lefties would do if the roles were reversed. Berkowitz is a slimeball and his women defenders are hypocrits.
    Lastly, thank you, Suzanne, for putting yourself out there to report the facts, getting to the Truth, and to force more accountability in government. You are the hero in this latest saga involving Berkowitz.

  12. So… Berkowitz had a consensual sexting relationship several years ago and suddenly MRA is up in arms? Where’s the Kevin Clarkson outrage?

  13. Our poor, esteemed mayor is afflicted with the Anthony Weiner Syndrome. Please, send him a get-well card, and include the gentle advice that he seek professional help – back home in San Francisco. Oh, and ask too that he act like a man, and resign.

  14. This mayor is far and away the worst mayor ever elected to office in Anchorage. The guy is a criminal and is advocating indenturing the property owners for decades with the bad decisions he and the assembly are making.

  15. This is way too similar to how the Clintons first tried to discredit the intern, saying she was a stalker, etc. Absent the blue dress not being washed Bill Clinton would have succeeded in painting the intern as a dangerous nut and himself as the victim. Powerful men plotting to protect their own, their positions, and their turf. Only MustReadAlaska is doing the heavy lifting here to keep the media honest. Keeping the municipal administration honest is obviously impossible. If not for Maria Athens being set upon by these dishonest fakes this would be fun to watch. But as it is it’s sickening.

  16. Carlos Danger admitted his sexting and went to jail. Berkowitz is a bigger sleazeball than Anthony Weiner, and that’s difficult to be. Anchorage Democrats should be thoroughly embarrassed and ashamed of this ignominious mayor.

  17. So when is the press conference in which the press asks the Mayor if that photo is really him? Are the Daily News and Channel 5 demanding that press conference?

  18. Right now I’m just glad I’m not the HR guy at those stations. I can’t help but think of the hapless “Toby” character from NBC’s “Office.”

    Now it’s in the realm of lawyers.

  19. Being a grown-a$##ed woman that has been sexually abused from her first memories of life; it saddens me to say this man has way more issues than his position in the community, ego, and marriage.

    He is warped.

    If he has used his position of power and influence to take actions against this public outcry woman by using the tools within the toolbox he claimed he doesn’t believe in – shows how desperate he is.

  20. Stormy Daniels
    Jessica Leeds (early 1980s)
    Ivana Trump (1989)
    Kristin Anderson (early 1990s)
    Jill Harth (1993)
    Lisa Boyne (mid-1990s)
    Miss Teen USA Contestants (1997)
    Temple Taggart McDowell (1997)
    Cathy Heller (1997)
    Karena Virginia (1998)
    Mindy McGillivray (2003)
    Natasha Stoynoff (2005)
    Jennifer Murphy (2005)
    Juliet Huddy (2005)
    Rachel Crooks (2005)
    Samantha Holvey (2006)
    Ninni Laaksonen (2006)
    Jessica Drake (2006)
    Summer Zervos (2007)
    Cassandra Searles (2013)

    How about a story on Trump’s escapades, MRAK??

    • What’s your point? Those stories have already been written. Now, if you are willing to release the Hoover FBI evidence on MLK Jr, how he and Jessie had hookers up in that motel room the night before the shooting, then you may be onto something.

      • I thought it was pretty clear.

        My point is that MRAK is gloating, overcome with schadenfreude, and taking pride over having the Mayor’s scalp to hang on the wall. He is not blameless, but he is well-intentioned and trying to do some social good in Anchorage.

        On the other hand, MRAK and its Readers praise Trump, who has a long history of sexual escapades and aggressions, and has spent most of his term trying to divide America.

        His chicken is now coming home to roost.

        • The difference is that most love Trump. Using people’s yard signs as a benchmark Biden will come in third; Trump will be first and garage sales will be second.
          In contrast, your apparent hero was widely loathed though as a distant observer you likely couldn’t have known that, then again you couldn’t have known that he’s well-intentioned or “trying to do some social good in Anchorage”.
          Amongst those that have Anchorage’s best interest at heart you’d be hard pressed to find a Berkowitz proponent.
          On a related note you’d be hard pressed to find someone that voted for Mr. Trump’s johnson and if the man enjoys the company of women that’s not particularly disturbing.
          Similarly, it’s not likely a moral issue for most of us that Mr. Berkowitz lost his pants at some point. The core issue regarding character is his duplicity. The core issue regarding his leadership is that he’s leading in the wrong direction. Crime, homelessness and the coddling of bums, drug addiction and public decay have been his legacy and that’s not what any of us were expecting. You should invite him to Whidbey.

  21. What a seedy, inconsequential little Peyton Place you all have up there, as you suffer a slow economic death while fighting an endless Liberal/Conservative war. Glad I’m gone.

    • Then there is the angle where one would wonder why a reporter would engage in a sexual relationship with a married man. Was it the power, or the dangerousness of it all that drew this moth to the flame? She is not without guilt.

    • Dog, I do believe that CNN has all the lies you’re looking for, and we in Alaska are glad that you’re gone!

  22. The conduct of Berkowitz is abhorrent; also concerning, as mentioned in the article is the lack of a thorough investigation by Chief Doll.

  23. Watch the snakes devour each other. Interesting to see who is involved. Awesome to watch little napoleon hang himself. The clowns will be in full self destruct mode by noon tomorrow..?

    FBI investigates and finds no wrong doing really. Like anyone believes the FBI. Ha ha. They have no credibility whatsoever. Keystone cops.

  24. Well what say you Ethan, ole boy? Hear that sucking sound? Yeah, we all do … that’s the air that’s being sucked out of your political career … and the ker-puush sound is your head exploding with disbelief that you finally got caught. Karma is such a —, ain’t it?

  25. Berkowitz is our Anthony Weiner! Maria Athens may sound unhinged but there’s got to be some truth in her accusations and that voicemail!
    He’s resigned tonight but it ain’t over by a long shot! He certainly shouldn’t be allowed to run our City for the next 10 days? The damage he can do knowing his situation could be catastrophic ? The Governor needs to step in right now! Certainly Ms.Athens should be in Federal protective custody for her safety because these Kiddy Porn allegations are a Federal crime if they involve the internet!
    This issue isn’t going away with Berkowitz resignation, far from it!
    Stay tuned for the “fur to fly”!

  26. I am curious as to why the news reporter Maria Athens is speaking out now. If this was a long past relationship according to the Mayor why is Maria only speaking out now? What is the site that the Mayor posted nude photos on? I just want the whole story, thank you.

    • Rebecca – these are allegations and they have not been substantiated. We do not know that he did such a thing. We know the authorities say there is nothing to see here. – sd

  27. “…….To those who have listened to her unhinged phone-call rant to Berkowitz it’s clear that, as a spurned lover, she’s engaged in a single-minded vendetta to destroy the man, let the chips fall where they may.

    Leaving aside his Mayoral policies, I think Berkowitz’s defensive statement is fully appropriate.”

    Okay. Works for me, Counselor.

    But I look forward to the campaign posters tacked onto lawns all over the state of Berkowitz’s nude a– the next time he runs for governor.

    Or……you all can convince him to just go back to San Francisco from whence he came………

  28. Agreed on all accounts. Berkowitz is an extreme danger to Athens and to the City of Anchorage right now. He is playing the card of a victim and attempting in every way to demonize his accuser.
    He has powerful people still supporting him, fearing him, and obviously looking out for their own self interest.
    He absolutely should be removed from office immediately.
    A powerful man desperate to cover his mishaps and sordid ways should not in anyway have decision making powers or continue to hold the Trust of the people hostage.
    I remain amazed at the mainstream media’s fear and refusal to report and investigate this story.
    Thank you Suzanne for covering this and certainly risking your own personal safety to do so. Please keep it up, stay focused and professional.
    The people deserve the truth. People deserve leaders with moral character and transparency.
    This isn’t just about Anchorage.
    This story speaks to a nation long overdue for truth and integrity.

  29. The Troopers, Airport Police and Fire Officers, Court Services Officers, Fire Marshalls, and Correctional Officers were in my portfolio for most of my State career. I negotiated and arbitrated their agreements and I answered and represented the State in dealing with their grievances and labor practice complaints for most of twenty years. I kinda’ know my way around dealing with unionized law enforcement officers.

    The bane of my life for much of my career was “The Blue Wall,” sometimes called the “Blue Wall of Silence” that is said to protect LEOs and people, political people, who are important to them. I’ve seen, touched, and tried to penetrate “The Blue Wall.” To someone who’s actually dealt with it, it doesn’t look or feel like the myth of it.

    Cops won’t protect bad cops or bad politicians. They won’t volunteer much, and you have to make them trust you and you must ask them the right questions, but in my experience it is the rarest LEO who will lie to you for somebody else, and few will lie to you even to protect themselves.

    In my experience, the real “Blue Wall” isn’t the gun-toter on a beat, it is the former gun-toter behind a desk. I dealt with so many law enforcement supervisors and managers whose idea of an investigation was putting their arm around the LEO or politician/political appointee’s shoulder and saying to their “old friend,” “you didn’t do that did you?”

    You’ll note that neither the FBI nor the APD issued their own statement on this sordid affair. The Mayor’s PR people attributed a statement to them. I have no love for the current incarnation of the FBI; it will take a lot to get me to ever trust the agency that tried to carry out a coup d’etat. I go so far in my book as to caution Republican executives against promoting anyone from the ranks to head a “cop shop,” and categorically advise against a Republican hiring anybody to a management position in law enforcement who has ever been appointed by a Democrat to head a unionized cop shop. Ask Sarah Palin how the Moneghan appointment worked out.

    If the APD and the FBI didn’t overtly give the Mayor a clean bill of health, they should repudiate his statement. And if they did give him a clean bill of health after an investigation of at most a couple of hours, his resignation shouldn’t be the only one submitted.

  30. No one is concerned about the child. I don’t give a flying f about adult debauchery. But when adult debaucher is the red-herring.

    Everyone in every corner is untrustworthy, without dignity, and I am sickened by the self interest, self preservation, the extent of the whole ,as leaders, on whatever side. Not even one individual.

    No one speaking out in concern for the child.

    I would say shame on you, but it would never resonate to the shameless.

    Desperate times, calls for desperate actions. This is mine: please, please, please, may God bless you.

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