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Who Was Kathy Trant?

Morning Joe on
9/11 widow defends spending spree
Millions blown from victims' fund given by government

updated 6/20/2005 4:28:38 PM ET


Kathy Trant is one of the thousands left widowed by the terrorist acts of September 11. Her husband, Dan, was a trader with Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. She signed forms giving up her legal right to sue in exchange for millions of dollars. Trant recently made headlines for blowing five million dollars of compensation money on fancy shoes, exotic trips and even breast augmentations.

Trant defends her shopping habits, saying it's "my cash." She also says reports are exaggerated because she saved $2.5 million for her children. But Trant did not deny spending to compensate for the huge emotional loss left by the events of 9/11.

She told her side of the story to Joe Scarborough in an interview last week.

KATHY TRANT, LOST HUSBAND IN 9/11 ATTACK: First of all, this is not 9/11 cash, it's my cash. I signed on the dotted line for money for my family because my husband was murdered by terrorists.

SCARBOROUGH: But they say that you blew $5 million. We talked before you came on the air here, and you actually said that your children get $2.5 million of it. You invested in $1.5 million in real estate, your own home, also, which of course has been appreciating. So where do they get this $5 million figure from?

TRANT: That's how much money I got all together.

SCARBOROUGH: Tell me about this whole situation. Obviously, again, you didn‘t blow through $5 million worth of cash. But you say you have wasted about $500,000. Talk about that. You say it‘s part of an addiction problem that's happened since 9/11. Let us understand what you've been going through.

TRANT: I wake up in the morning, get my children to school, feed them breakfast. Then I go on to the computer, and I learn about September 11 through a man that lost his son, Joseph, Bill Doyle, who e-mails all the victims.

Every day, when I read something that really bothers me, I start making about 100 phone calls a day. When I get nowhere, I get so frustrated, I go out and I shop, because it's the only thing that makes me feel good, because I run into a brick wall with city hall.

SCARBOROUGH: You say it takes your mind off the problems. And you say actually you‘ve yet to really face down the demons caused by September 11.

TRANT: No, I keep trying to fight for my husband. When I was signing for the compensation money, I had no idea that our country would allow for 1,500 victims to be dumped in a Staten Island landfill. I feel that's against the law.

SCARBOROUGH: All right, Kathy. You know what? You need to educate Americans about that, because I'll guarantee you most Americans would be shocked that there are still victims who have yet to be found after 9/11 that are in a landfill on Staten Island.

TRANT: When they removed all the remains, I guess the coroners felt he did as much as he could, and they didn't know what to do with the remains, which still had bone fragments, teeth — horrible things to hear about, but there were still in the remains.

And so they put them in this huge container and brought them to a dump and threw them down there. I cannot believe the world thinks it's more important to learn about how many shoes I have. They are calling me Carrie Bradshaw of 9/11 instead of the fact that I am hurting and I am dying inside because I have no rights to get my husband out of a dump.

Who would dump our heroes? Some of these firemen and policemen didn't have to be in there. They stayed in there trying to put the fire out so my husband could possibly get out of that building, and other people.

SCARBOROUGH: You know, Kathy, though, you told me that, because you signed a release, when you got the $5 million, you now have absolutely no say over your husband's remains, over the memorial, how the city of New York or America remembers him. And for that reason, you are calling this $5 million blood-money. Talk about it.

TRANT: Yes, it is blood-money, because, in hindsight, if I knew what I know today, I don‘t think any of us would have signed it.

'Scarborough Country' airs weeknights, 10 p.m. ET

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