The Socialists’ ghost writer

Estranged wife of the fired director of party think-tank steps forward to admit she was the one who wrote articles under the ‘Amy Martin’ pseudonym

The writer Irene Zoe Alameda. / BERNARDO PÉREZ

An author came forward on Thursday to claim she is the writer who uses the pseudonym Amy Martin and who wrote articles that her estranged husband, Carlos Mulas, the former director of the Socialist Party’s Ideas Foundation, had contracted for the organization.

Irene Zoe Alameda said that Mulas hired her — without knowing her real identity — to write columns on politics and current affairs for the foundation’s website.

“Because of the events that have occurred over the past 24 hours, I, the author Irene Zoe Alameda, announce publicly that Amy Martin is the pseudonym I used to sign various articles written for the Socialist Party’s Ideas Foundation and the newspaper Público,” she said in a statement.

The author, who doesn’t live in Spain, said that her husband “has been demonized in a strange and irrational manner and demolished by an enormous ball of fury, which only demonstrates the thirst for sacrifice in our wounded society.”

She said that only her agent knew Amy Martin’s true identity but she never had any contact with Mulas because they are separated.

Mulas was fired from his job on Wednesday after an internal investigation found that Amy Martin never existed but was paid between 50,000 and 60,000 euros for her articles. The inquiry was sparked by articles appearing in the Popular Party-leaning El Mundo newspaper and the conservative daily Abc, which first broke the story more than a year ago.

I have always portrayed myself as Amy Martin. I even described my face to them so that they could illustrate a book"

“He lied to us. We feel like we have been duped,” said one person close to Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, who presides over the foundation. Party sources believed that Mulas, or someone close to him, had written the articles under the pseudonym and charged the foundation as part of a bonus or, at the least, extra pay. However, they say no misappropriation of funds or anything else illegal had taken place; only deceit.

Mulas had admitted to El Mundo that the commercial brand “Amy Martin” was registered to a company that he owned, and his wife had designed a logo for the name.

But questions still remain. Zoe Alameda maintains that her husband didn’t know because Mulas dealt specifically with her agent who never released the identity of the person behind Amy Martin.

“In the two years that I have shared my ideas, including through telephone conversations with members of the foundation, I have always portrayed myself as Amy Martin. I even described my face to them so that they could illustrate a book in which I participated as a political analyst, including as a ‘ghost writer’ for some writers,” she said in her statement.

Alameda offered to return the money the foundation had paid her. Jesús Caldera, the vice president of the Ideas Foundation, has ordered an exhaustive investigation into Mulas’ paychecks and finances while he was at the organization.

“We are going to recover all the money that we have paid out,” Caldera said, while insisting that there was nothing illegal about his alleged actions. “The only thing that happened was that he violated out trust in him.”

Since 2004, Mulas has held important roles within the Socialist Party. He helped draft the economic platform for José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and served as assistant director at the economy department of the then-prime minister’s office. The entire affair has unsettled many inside the Socialist Party, especially given that Mulas comes from a prominent background: he studied at Cambridge and also served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund.

According to El Mundo, Mulas also handed out some 600,000 euros in contracts to a firm that belonged to a friend of Xoan Cornide, a manager at the Socialist Party, and for translations to the sister of Elena Valenciano, who is now the party’s secretary general.

On Monday, Soraya Rodríguez, the Socialist spokeswoman in Congress, said that there was nothing illegal about those contracts. “These types of contracts are usually given to people who are close to the party and share the same views.

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