Tricia Erickson: Fawn Hall’s Friend, Donna Rice’s Representative
McLEAN, Va. (AP) _ Tricia Erickson - Fawn Hall’s friend and Donna Rice’s representative - says she finds herself in an awkward position these days.
″I am uncomfortable with the publicity,″ says the 34-year-old Erickson, who is blond and thin like Hall and Rice.
Erickson said in a recent interview that her role with Rice is to protect the Miami, Fla., woman from being exploited, to help her survive the ordeal over Gary Hart and to figure out what her next move should be.
Technically, Erickson runs a talent agency in this Washington suburb, but she calls the kind of business she is doing for Rice ″crisis management″ - advising instant celebrities on how to protect their interests.
″This all happened since Fawn, Jessica (Hahn) and Donna,″ Erickson said. She considered contacting Hahn, but hasn’t followed through. Disclosure of Hahn’s sexual encounter with television evangelist Jim Bakker led to the unraveling of his PTL empire.
Rice, 29, has stayed out of the limelight for the most part since allegations were made that she spent a night with Hart last month, an episode that prompted him to withdraw from the Democratic presidential race.
Rice, a pharmaceutical saleswoman and occasional actress, has been weighing her options, Erickson said. Even though she received $4,000 for a magazine article, she ″has no money,″ her adviser said.
″I am strongly urging her to continue acting,″ Erickson said, adding that Rice’s next public appearance may be an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters - if Rice feels up to it. That forum will allow Rice to tell her story, she said.
Erickson said Rice is ″a very principled young lady,″ who didn’t want to capitalize on the Hart episode. By contrast, Lynn Armandt, Rice’s friend, has received thousands of dollars for revealing details about the weekend with Hart, Erickson said.
″She (Rice) was trying to take the dignified approach ... and what happens is her friends are making money off her,″ Erickson said.
Rice has been devastated by the ordeal, which has caused her to lose weight and develop flu-like symptoms, Erickson said. As a result, her adviser’s top priority is Rice’s emotional and physical health.
Besides her business arrangement with the 29-year-old Rice of Miami, Fla., Erickson talks often with Hall, her friend for the past six years.
Although Erickson represented Hall when the government secretary modeled part time, the two are just social friends, often chatting on the telephone.
Hall, 28, is thrilled that she is through with two days of grilling by lawmakers on the congressional Iran-Contra committees who wanted to know about her work as a personal secretary for Lt. Col. Oliver L. North, formerly of the National Security Council. Hall testified under a grant of immunity from prosecution.
″The first thing she is going to do is clean her room,″ Erickson said.
Hall, who lives with her parents in Fairfax County, Va., has turned down scores of offers to pose for photographs, returning instead to her job as a Defense Department secretary.
Before her televised Capitol Hill appearance, Hall spent three weeks visiting a girlfriend in Paris. Now, she hopes her life will settle down, Erickson said, adding that Hall has a new man in her life.
″She’s shy and doesn’t like a whole lot of attention,″ Erickson said of her friend.