Jeane's blog, fashion show were school projects, says dad
Napoles daughter Christine pleads: Stop persecution
MANILA - Jeane Napoles' videos and photos on her blog and other social media accounts showing her extravagant lifestyle in the US were allegedly "school requirements."
This was the assertion of her father, retired Marine Major Jaime Napoles, when asked to address criticisms of Jeane's lavish lifestyle as a Los Angeles-based student.
Jaime, whose wife Janet has been implicated in the P10-billion pork barrel and Malampaya fund scandal, spoke with ABS-CBN News shortly after a private mass held for their family at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Quezon City on Thursday.
"Hindi po siya nagfo-flaunt ng wealth," Jaime said of Jeane's online accounts, where she had posted photos of Porsche cars, designer bags, shoes, and jewelry her parents bought for her.
Her Tumblr account, in particular, shows her taste in fashion, as well as her passion for travel and parties.
"Kung titingnan niyo, on the brighter side, 'yung blog na 'yan, is requirement po sa klase nila," Jaime said. "Kasi this school is training them to be in the fashion industry, so kailangan pag nasa fashion ka, dapat updated ka, even the blog. Kasi titingnan lahat 'yon eh."
He added: "So 'yung blog na 'yon, lahat ng kasama niya sa school nila, sa course na 'yon, may sarili po silang blog, and it is a school requirement."
Jeane supposedly graudated magna cum laude from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise, which carries an estimated P1.3 million annual tuition.
Jeane's Instagram account has since been deleted, but other photos and video clips showing her lifestyle continue to circulate online.
One Vimeo video clip shows her 21st birthday party at Beverly Hills. The video was later made private but a copy was uploaded on YouTube.
'Required' fashion show
Jaime also brought up a fashion show seen in an audio-visual presentation of Jeane's 21st birthday party, which was reportedly held at a Beverly Hills hotel. He said this fashion show, which featured his daughter's designs, was also for a school project.
"Isa sa mga pangarap niya (Jeane), magkaroon ng isang fashion icon someday na galing dito sa bansa natin. As a matter of fact, 'yung mga disenyong ginawa niya na 'yon, pinalabas niya sa birthday niya para makatipid kasi whether nag-celebrate siya ng birthday o hindi, talagang magkakaroon siya ng sariling fashion show as required para sa kanya," he said.
He added Jeane opted to hold the fashion show during her birthday to manage expenses. Jaime explained that Jeane's guests taking part in the showcase saved them from having to hire professional models.
"Kaklase po lahat niya 'yon, so wala tayong binayaran do'n," he said.
According to Jaime, their family is pleased with the "outcome" of Jeane's education. Aside from graduating with honors, Jeane was supposedly recognized by French fashion house Hervé Léger for her designs.
"Scholar din po siya ng Bebe (US-based clothing line), so isa siya sa mga kinuha para mag-design ng Bebe," Jaime added.
The retired Marine major admitted his family was affected by the criticisms directed at Jeane, following the viral spread of the video and photos of her lifestyle.
"Iyon nga ho ang ikinasasama ng loob namin kasi mga magulang kami, pati 'yung mga anak namin nadadamay. Bilang magulang, gusto ko lang namin mabigyan ng magandang edukasyon 'yung anak namin.
"So 'yung mga pinapalabas nilang gano'n, 'yung paninira sa kanya, after all, it's all part of the school requirement," he said.
Another Napoles daughter, Christine, had a similar message when she spoke at a press conference held Thursday afternoon.
She urged the public to put off judgment, pointing out the investigation on her mother's alleged part in the pork barrel scandal is still ongoing.
"Nagmamakaawa po ako na huwag niyo kami basta-basta husgahan. Hintayin nalang po natin 'yung resulta nung investigation na ginagawa," she said.
Christine, who withdrew her nomination as representative of the OFW Party-list on the same day, brought up the criticisms against them on social media.
"Masyado na pong nasasaktan 'yung aking pamilya sa kung anu-anong binabato nila sa amin na panghuhusga sa social media, sa dyaryo.
"Wala pa naman pong resulta 'yung imbestigasyon. Hintayin nalang po natin. Para naman masyado na kaming hinuhubaran sa kung anu-anong alegasyon na sinasabi," she said.