Citi chairman Dick Parsons has love child with younger model

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Former CEO of Time Warner (TWX) -- which ultimately owns DailyFinance, through AOL -- and current Citigroup (C) chairman Richard Parsons, 61, has a little problem. Seems he had an affair with a 32-year-old model, MacDella Cooper, and she somehow managed to get pregnant and give birth to a little girl last August. Between then and today, Parsons was able to keep that little problem secret from his family and co-workers. Not anymore.

It looks like Parsons is doing the right thing by Cooper -- setting up a trust to take care of his daughter. But he must also have a little conversation with his wife of 31 years and his three grown children. I am sure that this conversation, if it has not yet happened, will be a difficult one. And it remains to be seen whether his wife will be comfortable with his explanation or ask for a divorce which could cost him half of what must be his substantial holdings.

Parsons has a track record of praising his wife and crediting her for persuading him to enter law school and to pursue his exceptionally successful career in politics and business. But he met Cooper at her foundation which she founded in 2004 to help orphans and abandoned children in her homeland of Liberia. In October 2007, Parsons gave the keynote address to the foundation. Then something happened that is not a very pleasant payback to Parson's wife for her 31 years of support.

No word on how this news leaked out or how Parsons was able to keep it quiet for so long. But there's no doubt that it will create a big personal problem for him and does not reflect all that well on Citi.

Peter Cohan is president ofPeter S. Cohan & Associates. He also teaches management at Babson College. His eighth book isYou Can't Order Change: Lessons from Jim McNerney's Turnaround at Boeing. He owns Citi shares and has no financial interest in the other securities mentioned.

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