(Editor's note: Warning -- some of the information included in this report is graphic.)
James O'Keefe has put on an act before. He's the man behind the controversial ACORN pimp video. But he may have outdone himself this time.
In an elaborate scheme that appears to be an attempt to embarrass CNN Investigative Correspondent Abbie Boudreau, O'Keefe reportedly tried to lure Boudreau to riverfront property where he was going to try to seduce her (with cameras rolling) on a boat using candles and, well, props. If not for an O'Keefe colleague's conscience, the plan might have worked.
Minutes before Boudreau was set to meet O'Keefe, Izzy Santa -- the executive producer of O'Keefe's organization Project Veritas -- approached Boudreau and revealed the plan.
"Izzy told me that James was going to be dressed up and have strawberries and champagne on the boat, and he was going to hit on me the whole time," Boudreau said, adding that Santa said she could not go through with the plan because she is a "moral person."
O'Keefe then came out of a house at the rendezvous property, located on the Patuxent River in Maryland, and tried to convince Boudreau to conduct a recorded interview. After a conversation about the previously agreed upon ground rules of their meeting, Boudreau decided to cancel the meeting and leave the premises.
CNN reports that days before, Santa was struggling with O'Keefe's plan. In an e-mail she sent to a Project Veritas donor, the torn producer decided to reveal the devious plan:
She doesn't know she is getting on a boat but rather James' office. James has staged the boat to be a palace of pleasure with all sorts of props, wants to have a bizarre sexual conversation with her. He wants to gag CNN.
An apparent 13-page blueprint of the project was obtained by CNN, which may show why Santa had second thoughts and decided to foil the plot:
Listed under "equipment needed," is "hidden cams on the boat," and a "tripod and overt recorder near the bed, an obvious sex tape machine."
Among the props listed were a "condom jar, dildos, posters and paintings of naked women, fuzzy handcuffs" and a blindfold.
According to the document, O'Keefe was to record a video of the following script before Boudreau arrived: "My name is James. I work in video activism and journalism. I've been approached by CNN for an interview where I know what their angle is: they want to portray me and my friends as crazies, as non-journalists, as unprofessional and likely as homophobes, racists or bigots of some sort....
"Instead, I've decided to have a little fun. Instead of giving her a serious interview, I'm going to punk CNN. Abbie has been trying to seduce me to use me, in order to spin a lie about me. So, I'm going to seduce her, on camera, to use her for a video. This bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five will get a taste of her own medicine, she'll get seduced on camera and you'll get to see the awkwardness and the aftermath.
"Please sit back and enjoy the show."
O'Keefe denied that the prank was going to be as dirty as the planning document outlines. In an e-mail to CNN he claimed he didn't create the document and didn't agree with all of it:
That is not my work product. When it was sent to me, I immediately found certain elements highly objectionable and inappropriate, and did not consider them for one minute following it.
The plan was in fact not drafted by O'Keefe, but by a Ben Wetmore. In response to a request for comment by CNN, Wetmore recorded a YouTube video criticizing CNN's coverage of the ACORN scandal:
Santa has been relieved of most of her duties at Project Veritas yet remains on payroll. Read the entire CNN story here, and view Boudreau's account of the events below: