Flashback: Scott Brown was exaggerating his contacts with famous people 30 years ago

Bumped. This story, which BMG first broke in 2010, has picked up some traction recently, having shown up in today's MASSter list. Folks, please give us credit where credit is due. - promoted by david

This is an oldie but, in light of “kings and queens” and “the president, vice president, and Secretary Clinton call me all the time,” newly-relevant goodie.  I first posted a version of this story in January of 2010, and thought it was worth revisiting in light of recent events.  It seems that Scott Brown’s penchant for overstating his closeness to important people has been with him for a long time.

In 1982, as you may recall, Scottie the Hottie had just let it all hang out for Cosmo, thereby launching a reasonably successful stint as a male model.  A couple of months later, the New York Times did a story (login req’d – PDF here) called “Modeling: New Faces from Old Families.”  The article was about young, beautiful people who came from old, beautiful families. Saith the NYT:

these models today include a grandson and granddaughter of Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona. Also in the group is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia as well as the great-granddaughter of Lord Beaverbrook, the British publisher. Another top New York model is descended from not one but two former United States Senators, her father (Joseph Tydings) and grandfather (Millard Tydings), both of Maryland.

And Scott Brown’s in that article too! Wait a sec, you say, I thought Brown was a regular guy who drives a pickup. He’s royalty??

No, not exactly royalty. But — at least the way he told it to the NY Times — about as close as you can get in Massachusetts legal circles. The story says:

Until a few weeks ago, Scott Brown was a 22-year-old first-year law student at Boston College Law School who frequently ran across opinions written by his great-grandfather, Arthur Prentice Rugg, former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

“I read many of his cases this year,” he said, “which I found amusing.”

Wow! Scott Brown is Chief Justice Arthur Prentice Rugg’s great-grandson? That’s amazing! Chief Justice Rugg was, indeed, a giant of Massachusetts law. (Irrelevant footnote: the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray, for which I used to work, was at one time called Ropes, Gray, Best, Coolidge & Rugg.)

Awkwardly, though, it’s not true. The Times later had to run a correction, which read:

An article on the Style page last Sunday incorrectly described the relationship of Scott Brown, a fashion model, to the late Arthur Prentice Rugg, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. They were distantly related.


Also hilarious, though purely for entertainment value, is the entirety of Brown’s commentary to the Times in this article. It’s on the flip.

Until a few weeks ago, Scott Brown was a 22-year-old first-year law student at Boston College Law School who frequently ran across opinions written by his great-grandfather, Arthur Prentice Rugg, former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

“I read many of his cases this year,” he said, “which I found amusing.” Then, in May, Mr. Brown was named the Sexiest Man in America by Cosmopolitan magazine, based on a photograph submitted by his 16-year-old sister, LeeAnn. He posed for the magazine’s centerfold, received nationwide publicity and now is a model with Sue Charney Models in New York.

A Law Student First

“One thing should be clarified,” Mr. Brown said in a recent interview. “I’m a law student before I’m a model. One of the reasons I’m modeling is so I can make a lot of contacts that might one day lead to contracts when I become an entertainment lawyer.”

Mr. Brown, who graduated with a 3.5 grade-point average from Tufts University, where he was captain of the basketball team, recently invested $5,000 to print 10,000 colored posters of himself bare to the waist. He said if the posters sold well and he continued to get modeling jobs, he wouldn’t return to law school until next January. Otherwise, he said, he will return this fall.

“I’m not going to jeopardize a good legal career,” he said. “I was doing some good cerebral work in law school. You don’t need a good mind in the modeling business.”

Recommended by johnk, johnt001.


31 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Brown's bad week:


    BOSTON – Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown on Friday continued to advocate for the passage of a version of the Stolen Valor Act that he authored, which would make it a crime to lie about military honors for profit.

    Brown has been focusing heavily on the bill this week. The issue took on a political twist when the Huffington Post reported that the Vietnam veteran who inspired the original Stolen Valor Act, Doug Sterner, is supporting Brown’s Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren. Sterner said he likes Warren’s support for President Obama’s health care reform, which Brown opposes…

    • Also

      We have a Senator who is planning on sponsoring a bill the SCOTUS already struck down as constitutional. And that’s the one bill he sponsored that got passed. Time for a change.

  2. How much you want to bet

    that if he responds he alludes to Warren and the heritage question. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that our Walthamite would.

  3. what?

    Scotto has an issue with his family heritage?

  4. Scott has finally achieved his life long ambition...

    entertainment lawyer!

  5. Isn't it likely that Brown himself made the correction?

    Why do you assume that Brown claimed to be his great grandson, and not that the reporter made a mistake? If Brown claimed it himself, then how would there be a correction, wouldn’t they continue to believe him? The only explanation is that Brown himself saw the article, and contacted the reporter to say he was not a great grandson, only distantly related. Or perhaps Brown’s parents corrected Brown about the exact relation which he had been mistaken about. At any rate, it is normal enough for people to simplify their family tree to make famous indirect ancestors like distant cousins, a grandfather’s brother, into more direct ancestors in their minds.

    The question as it relates to Warren is, did he make that claim on his application to BC Law school, and did that help him get in?

    • Documentation?

      Did Scott Brown have any documentation – in the form of birth certificates, copies of census forms, or professional genealogical research – before making the claim that he was somehow connected to Arthur Prentice Rugg? Has he supplied that documentation to the press?

      Or was he maybe claiming the connection based on what his family told him?

      • P.S. Brown used hertiage for exposure

        P.S. The article was about young models from “old families”. This is a perfect example of Scott using undocumented heritage for an advantage, in this case, exposure in the NY Times. If he had no connection, he wouldn’t have been mentioned in the article. He likely “checked a box” on a form somewhere. It doesn’t get any more clear than that.

  6. The Scott Brown Crush

    Apparently inoculates against ever taking note of Brown’s fantasy life rich with kings, queens and the constant attention he receives from Presidents and Secretaries of States.

  7. If it were not

    If it were not for Scott Brown, no decisions would be made in our legal system because judges call him all the time and lean on his advice.

    If it were not for Scott Brown, our relations with the UK would be terrible because Ambassador Susman calls him for counsel at all hours.

    If it were not for Scott Brown, our rivers would cease to flow into the ocean but would instead back up and flood the country. Scott Brown keeps things moving.

    If it were not for Scott Brown, Congress would have to shut down and go on recess because it cannot function without him.

    • This is fun!

      If it were not for Scott Brown, the sky would be purple because Scott Brown is the one who soaks all the red out of the dye up there.

      If it were not for Scott Brown, birds would fly north for the winter instead of south, because Scott Brown is the magnetic center that they navigate by.

      If it were not for Scott Brown, root beer floats would taste like chalk, because he personally harvests the sassafras–I mean, wintergreen.

      If it were not for Scott Brown, marbles would roll uphill. He is the gravity they rely on.

      • He was a mighty wrassler, Scot Brown

        He wrassled a 12-foot bear and tied that bear into knots.

        He wrassled the great Merrimack River, which is why it turns east after coming down from New Hampshire.

        He even wrassled with the truth–and won that one too! Beat that mean old truth to a fare thee well.

        Wasn’t never a man like that Scott Brown!

    • Scott Brown

      once had a staring contest with the sun – and won.

  8. If it were not for Scott Brown

    the NBA would be shooting into a peach basket.

  9. Maybe NOM hired Kirk Cameron too soon

    Scott Brown would make a fine “non-cognitive elite” for them.

    • Interesting aside

      I visit the NOM site fairly regularly. So I went off to listen to Kirk Cameron being interviewed. A couple things seemed telling to me. First off, Mr. Cameron seems to believe that if something is obvious to him, it is because God is telling him. Similarly, I might assert that God is telling me Kirk Cameron is intellectually dishonest, because that’s what’s obvious to me.

      The second thing I find interesting is that the relations between the sexes, the nature of marriage, the notion of marital love, and divorce law were all very different in 33AD than they are now. Women were more likely to be regarded as property, for example. The diamond industry had not gotten started. Romantic love was not a thing. To imagine that Bible has anything truly useful to say navigating about modern marriages is like imaging it is has useful things to say about auto repair, filling out tax forms, or selecting dishwashers. That it has anything to “say” is a victory of ignorant anachronism and overinterpretation over a historical appreciation of the text.

  10. Scott Brown saves Bambi...


    Scott Brown arrived at the scene in Bellingham. While other deer stayed back, the fawn, who was possibly orphaned by the accident, ran up to him. Mark Francis recalled that the baby deer nuzzled up against Brown while “mewing,” reports The Washington Post.

    Those WaPo guys leave no stone unturned.

  11. Let's update this a bit

    Let me understand this correctly. If Elizabeth Warren loses her fall back position is a distinguished professorship at Harvard Law School. If Scott Brown loses it’s being a model for underwear ads for the mature adult or what???? The latter is what has me most puzzled.

  12. MassterList linked to my blog post!

    There was a lot of chatter on Milford Patch about the NA heritage issue, so I put that post up there, basically rehashing what was said here. It’s my 15 minutes of fame!!

  13. Brown finds legal opinion funny


    Someone on here made the important point that brown claims to be from an old new England family-and that’s nt true. Just look at him!

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Mon 24 Apr 11:20 AM