Judge: Blago Can't Go

Judge rules ex-governor can't travel for NBC reality show

For a politician who has always loved the cameras, Tuesday's court appearance was bittersweet for ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  A federal judge ruled he won't be able to travel to Costa Rica to appear on the NBC reality TV show, "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!"

"I do not have confidence that things will not go astray," Federal Judge James Zagel said.

Sheldon Sorosky, Blago's attorney, told the court that NBC was willing to pay for two or more guards -- perhaps retired U.S. Marshals -- "to supervise" Blago while he was out of the country, but that didn't sway the judge.

Blagojevich had hoped to use the opportunity to make money for his family.

"I respect the judge and his decision," the former governor said in a statement.  "I am trying to find a way to work to support my little girls and family.  "I'm fully aware of what the allegations are and I know what the truth is concerning me and I know that I've done absolutely nothing wrong."

In a statement, NBC's entertainment division said it was "disappointed" in the court's decision, but "excited about the casting announcement for the show," which is slated for Friday.  The network said there were no plans to move the show to a location in the United States.

Blago also asked Zagel for permission to access his $2 million campaign fund to pay for his defense. Zagel didn't rule immediately on that, but said he would at a later date.

Zagel added that there is too much preparation needed for the trial, and Blagojevich needs to be here.

At least two dozen news cameras were at Blago's court appearance for what the press gaggle is calling "the best show in town."


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