Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Steven Russell, immortalized in 'I love you Phillip Morris,' interviewed in Texas Prison via USPS

Steven Russell (top) and Phillip Morris
(Photo: George Hixson)

Laurence Watts, of Britain's Pink News, interviewed Steven Russell, now serving a 144-year sentence in Texas, by exchanging letters. Russell, portrayed by Jim Carey in I love you, Phillip Morris, first escaped to take care of his then boyfriend, Jim Kemple, who had AIDS, lived for 26 more months and died weeks after Russell was tracked down in Philadelphia and sent back to prison. After Russell was paroled, he got a job as the CFO of a health management organization from which he stole $800k in four months. He said he did so as revenge for how HMOs treated Kemple and because he watched his company "badger network physicians to get patients out of the hospital as soon as possible because otherwise it would affect their bonus."

Watts asked Russell about sex in prison:
I mention Britain’s Kray twins, both of who spent more than 25 years in prison for racketeering. While Ronnie Kray was openly bisexual before his imprisonment, his twin Reggie reportedly started having relationships with men only after many years in prison. Can prison change someone’s sexuality?

“No,” answers Russell. “I happen to believe that if a man has sex with another man in prison then he is either gay or bisexual. Coming to prison did nothing to change his sexual proclivity.”

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