TORONTO- Alana Kindree is laying low, changing her phone number and wondering how she came to be characterized in court documents as someone who “may have been an escort or prostitute.”
Kindree’s name came up in a police interview with former mayoral staffer Isaac Ransom, who said she was with Mayor Rob Ford on St. Patrick’s Day, 2012.
“Ransom believes that she was a professional escort who knew Mayor Ford well,” state recently unredacted police notes.
That’s news to Kindree’s friend and colleague Michael Lavelle.
“Are you kidding me?” he asked in an interview. “Alana is not a sex trade worker” – or a paid escort.
Kindree did not respond to requests for comment Thursday. None of the statements in police documents have been proven in court.
Lavelle wasn’t with Kindree and her cousin when they went out the night of St. Patrick’s Day, 2012. But she told him about it afterward.
“They bumped into Ford, he was dancing and having fun, and that was it,” Lavelle said. “No big deal.”
Read more: Full Rob Ford coverage
Statements from former Ford aides and a Bier Markt employee have suggested Ford and his entourage engaged in illegal drug use – possibly including Oxycontin and cocaine – and brought the party back to city hall, where Ford allegedly verbally abused a now-former staffer.
Ford denies all of this and has said he’ll sue the people who told this to police.
“I don’t appreciate people calling Alana a prostitute,” he told reporters Thursday morning.
“Alana is not a prostitute. She’s a friend. And it makes me sick, how people are saying this.”
Lavelle said Kindree didn’t go back to city hall with Ford, and as far as he knows hadn’t met the mayor before.
Police documents indicate she has no criminal record. Lavelle says Kindree, a model and environmental studies student, has big filmmaking ambitions.
Under almost any other circumstances, the attention she’s getting would be welcome. “I think she can turn it around and use it to her advantage,” Lavelle said.
He’s known Kindree and her parents for a couple of years now – he met her while she was volunteering at Planet In Focus, where she’s now an intern (the organization declined to comment Thursday).
“I met her folks this summer,” he said. “Hung out, went to the beach together.”
Kindree, who’ll be 24 next month, studied environmental studies at the University of Waterloo from 2007 to 2009, but didn’t graduate, the school confirmed Thursday.
She’s now studying Environmental Studies and Community Arts Practice at York University.
“I host/promote charity events, festivals, environmental events & tourism throughout the city of Toronto. With that I am a spokeperson and role model for the people of the city,” reads a blurb on her modelling profile. “I want to expand my modeling experience in all genres.”
Bridal-gown photos online indicate she’s done work for wedding photography workshops.
Kindree’s Planet In Focus intern bio says she’s an “artist and activist,” interested in “technological advances and tools used to educate others about sustainable living.”
“I believe that art and community is a powerful force to create social change and inspiration,” the bio reads. “In the near future, I will be launching my own company/environmental blog, ‘GreenvsBlack.com’.
I am eager to network with others and I am always up for new and challenging projects.”
“Alana is a great person. It’s a real tragedy for her name to be marred like this,” Lavelle said.
“If you Google her name now, the first thing that comes up is ‘alleged sex worker.’ I mean, this is crazy.”
© Shaw Media, 2013