Russian Spy Kids Are Collateral Damage
The United States and Russia traded prisoners, all accused of spying, as if the world is nothing but a Catherine Zeta-Jones film. The United States gave 10 spies (including Sexy Anna Chapman) in exchange for four, which seems like a loss, but not if you believe Biden. And just like that, our lives are again without stories of invisible ink. Except there are children involved! One of them, left orphaned, has quite a story.
Juan Lazaro Jr. (pictured) has become the face of the left behind. His father, Juan Lazaro Sr. -- real name is Mikhail Vasenkov -- pleaded guilty to his role in the spy ring busted by the FBI two weeks ago and is now back under the watch of the Russian government after the successful swap. His mother, Vicky Pelaez, formerly a columnist for El Diario La Prensa, seems headed home to Peru, leaving Junior's life upside-down.
Making matters worse, Lazaro Jr. and his 38-year-old brother, Waldo Mariscal, are so broke that they had to turn to the Red Cross for help in their bid to stay in New York, said their mother's lawyer, Carlos Moreno.
Like the strong son of spies he is, Juan told NY1, "I'm doing perfectly fine. We have each other, we have a lot of people and we're going to do fine."
But his career as a pianist may be ruined with the government set to auction the spies' homes. Still, many are pulling for Juan Jr. to stay local:
Juan Jr.'s elite piano teachers are in New York, and friends say he wants to concentrate on his craft.
"He was good, talented and he worked hard, and he had 'it', too," said former Mannes classmate Lucas Spangher, of Long Island. "I think he was on track to getting that luck that can make a career."
This can all be solved rather simply, with two words, really: reality show.
2 spy kids high & dry [New York Post]