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Wronged ex-wife urges no mercy for B-52 pilot

May 21, 1997
Web posted at: 11:11 p.m. EDT (0311 GMT)

Latest developments:


MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, North Dakota (CNN) -- The woman whose former husband had an affair with 1st Lt. Kelly Flinn urged that the first female B-52 bomber pilot be punished. Flinn's lawyer responded that the woman's anger is misplaced and should be directed at her ex-husband.

In a letter to Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall, Airman Gayla Zigo accused Flinn of "trying to break up our marriage." Zigo said that within a week of moving to the base, "Lt. Flinn was in bed with my husband having sex."

Zigo said in the letter, dated May 17, that she told her first sergeant about the affair but did not want anyone else to know about it. She contrasted her status as an airman with Flinn's celebrity.


"How could I compete with her? She had power, both as an officer and Academy graduate. She also had special status as the first female B-52 pilot," Zigo wrote. "If Lt. Flinn gets away with these crimes, what does that say to the rest of the Air Force populace?"

Flinn, 26, was scheduled for a court-martial Tuesday morning on charges of adultery, fraternization, lying and disobeying an order in connection with an affair with Zigo's ex-husband, civilian Marc Zigo, and an unmarried enlisted man.

But the Pentagon ordered an indefinite delay until Widnall makes up her mind on Flinn's request for an honorable discharge. Sources tell CNN that Widnall will make her decision by Friday.

General: 'Not an issue of adultery'

In Washington Wednesday, the Air Force's top general issued harsh words for Flinn, saying the public does not understand that the case involves much more than her admitted affair with a married man.

"In the end, this is not an issue of adultery," said Gen. Ronald Fogleman, the Air Force chief of staff. "This is an issue about an officer entrusted to fly nuclear weapons who lied. That's what this is about."

Fogleman, testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee, cited the charges other than adultery pending against Flinn and said, "I would really like to see people not comment on it until they get all the facts."

Meanwhile, Flinn's attorney, Frank Spinner, said Wednesday that Ms. Zigo should focus her anger on her ex-husband, not Flinn.

"All the focus has been on Kelly Flinn committing adultery but the fact is, she's single," Spinner told a news conference. "Marc Zigo is the one who is married. Marc Zigo is the one who violated his marital vows."


Attorney: Ex-wife, pilot both victims

"The ultimate tragedy in this case is that Marc Zigo has destroyed the lives of two women: Gayla Zigo and Lt. Flinn. Then he just goes off to Florida or wherever he is," Spinner said.

Spinner claimed Ms. Zigo was a victim of her husband's transgressions.

"We can understand what Airman Zigo is expressing here," he said, referring to the letter. "If we disagree with anything, it's that she should direct her anger at Marc Zigo, not Lt. Flinn. No doubt he lied to her on a number of occasions. He's admitted to lying to Lt. Flinn."

Flinn claims Marc Zigo told her he was separated from his wife and preparing for a divorce at the time of their relationship. But in a phone call to CNN Tuesday, Zigo said Flinn knew he was married at the time of the affair.

"She was well aware of the marriage," he said. He said he was wrong to be involved with her and did not want to ruin her reputation but that "the truth needs to be told."


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