A New York Times interview published on Wednesday with former Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló —his first public interview since he was forced to resign in 2019— revealed that the disgraced politician now lives in a $1.2 million home in the D.C. area. Rosselló also claimed that he suffered PTSD right after Hurricane María devastated the U.S. island-colony in 2017.
“After a year of hopping from small apartment rentals to Airbnbs, he is now living in a $1.2 million home outside Washington, which he purchased last month,” NYTimes journalists Frances Robles and Patricia Mazzei wrote in the piece.
Later in the interview, the Times reported this: “Mr. Rosselló believes that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from the hectic days after Hurricane Maria, the near-Category 5 hurricane that wrecked the island in the fall of 2017 and killed nearly 3,000 people.”
The interview also noted that he works for a cloud-based networking company that “had a $25,000 contract with the government to provide networking services at a trade expo fair.” The company is “owned by someone he worked with on one of his father’s campaigns,” the Times reported.
Overall, Rosselló tries to offer his side of a political journey that ended in a massive demonstration in 2019 against him and his administration after private text messages exposed a frat boy culture that accurately reflected Puerto Rico’s political elite. That led to a forced resignation, and more than a year later, Rosselló has chosen the path of trying to get his reputation back through a publicist and politically crafted answers to the Times—a trait that Rosselló is know for.
A few of his quotes from the Times:
“I need to show the other side of that story. From my vantage point, everything I did, I did it for the people of Puerto Rico.”
“I don’t aim for people to think I’m, you know, God’s gift to the world, but I hope they don’t see the opposite either. I just want to work. I just want to help.”
“The deaths in Maria are a terrible, terrible pain that I always carry.”
“It was painful to lose the job as governor. It was painful, because I worked so hard for it, and I thought we were doing good things. But I think what was really painful was the sort of complete devastation of my reputation.”
What was clearly missing from the interview was actual contriteness, a trait that Rosselló has rarely exhibited in the past.
As expected, reaction to Rosselló’s interview is probably not getting the response he expected. Here is just a sampling:
His exit left Puerto Ricans with many unanswered questions. I think many might see this NYT interview as a slap in the face.
Rosselló did something similar during the protests—while he ignored local media, he gave an exclusive interview to Fox News to try to clear his name.
— Adriana Rozas Rivera (@AdrianaRozas) January 13, 2021
(1/2) ?? ?? ?????????? ??? ???????:
-Rosselló no habla de perdón, más allá de decir que se arrepiente de haber trabajado mucho.
-No renunció por las protestas masivas o la indignación del pueblo, sino por un hoyo en la carretera que asustó a su hija. pic.twitter.com/yVSc5F7DU4
— Aiola Virella (@AiolaVirella) January 13, 2021
@nytimes the article on Ricardo rossello is a shame. Thousands of people died on the island due to such ineptitude.
— WashYourDamnHands (@Joweel) January 13, 2021
La entrevista a Ricardo Rosselló en el @nytimes es un claro ejemplo de que los resultados en relaciones públicas no se alcanzan meramente por la publicación de un reportaje en un medio reconocido. El contenido no tiene un objetivo claro de por qué él concedió esa entrevista
— Neisha Torres-De León (@neisharugido) January 13, 2021
He seemed as much sad his personal reputation is damaged as the thousands of death and corruption that took place under his watch. Nice… #PaFuera
— Michael Collazo (@MCollazo215) January 13, 2021
[…] In the summer of 2019, Rosselló resigned from office, after a massive anti-corruption protest emerged in response to the #TelegramGate scandal. Last year, the former governor spoke to the New York Times in an interview where he tried to rebuild his image. […]