Last week we published a blog about Eric Spofford, the politically connected multi-millionaire founder of Granite Recovery Treatment Center, who recently sold the for profit business for 9 figures, and has been accused by several women of sexual harassment and assault according to a well-researched story published by New Hampshire Public Radio in March.
Last Friday Spofford posted a letter on Facebook that his former business associate and sponsor Piers Kaniuka sent to NHPR, stating that he regretted comparing Spofford to Harvey Weinstein, but not denying any of the things he said about the allegations made against Spofford in the story. The letter was signed on May 19, and Spofford was upset that NHPR didn’t retract or update their story after Kaniuka sent them the letter.
This is Lauren Chooljian Baer, the NHPR reporter who wrote the story about Spofford.
The timing of this letter sent by Spofford to her employer, and his subsequent Facebook post is very interesting. On May 21, two days after NHPR received the letter and chose not to update their story, Baer’s house had a brick thrown through it. Her parents and boss’ house were also vandalized, and the brick thrower was caught on video.
5 incidents of vandalism targeting journalists.
The c-word spray-painted in red on my parents’ garage. 2 separate times.
The c-word in red on @danielbarrick’s front door. And on a house I used to live in. Bricks thrown through windows.
Here’s my house. It’s not okay. pic.twitter.com/N6KJnOmsJt
— Lauren Chooljian (@laurenchooljian) May 31, 2022
This should be a much, much bigger story. Journalists and truth tellers having their homes vandalized and lives put in danger for doing their job is the kind of thing you expect in third world countries. Not in the a nation where free speech and a free press are at the core of our democracy.
According to Chooljian’s NHPR bio, she has not published a story since the first piece she did on Spofford in March. Prior to that her last story was also about a COVID outbreak at one of Spofford’s facilities, so she clearly is not a fan of his. But there’s literally no one else she could’ve offended or pissed off with her stories, except for Spofford.
The vandalism occurred on May 21, the media reported on it on May 26, and Spofford’s Facebook post was with Kaniuka’s letter was on May 27. It’s plausible that Spofford threatend Kaniuka with a lawsuit if he didn’t write that letter, expecting NHPR to remove their story because he’s dumb enough to believe that it somehow exonerates him. It’s also plausible that he became upset when his plan didn’t work, and he has the resources to pay any one of the thousands of loyal drug addicts and questionable characters he’s met through his program to vandalize the reporter’s property in order to send a message.
Spofford not only denied involvement in the incidents, he suggested that the brick throwing was either part of the “coordinated attack” against him, or the work of one of his former residents looking to avenge his honor:
“I would certainly think [Spofford] may be interviewed by the authorities. He may have some information that might support a case. It would be too early to say he would be a person of interest,” Melrose Police Chief Michael Lyle said on Tuesday. “After the article came out, all this trouble started for the reporter or the news organization. At some point [investigators] may have a conversation with him.”
In a statement provided by his attorneys, Spofford denied any role in the vandalism and alleged that NHPR’s coverage of the incidents is part of a “coordinated attack” to deter him from filing a defamation claim over Chooljian’s previous article. He suggested that one of the other people Chooljian spoke with for that article could be behind the vandalism.
“Not only was I completely uninvolved with these incidents of vandalism, I also do not support or condone them. I also don’t need to vandalize someone’s property. I have truth on my side and I will vindicate myself through lawful means,” Spofford said. “I have no motive to vandalize a reporter’s property months after an article was written about me, when I am already expending significant resources to litigate these defamation claims.”
“Many people in recovery have credited me with saving their lives,” he continued. “Perhaps one of them felt compelled to do these acts in a misguided attempt to defend me. I would never condone it, but I have no control over what other people do.”
Even in his denials he can’t stop talking about what a great person he is.
You would have no idea looking at Spofford’s Instagram and Facebook pages that he has anything to do with drug addiction and recovery. He pays camera crews to follow him around and document him getting off his private jet and meeting up with rappers and celebrities at his house to shoot rap videos.
He’s made dozens of videos filled with meaningless cliches about business, and how to be an entrepreneur.
His advice for being a good salesman is “go sell shit.”
He made his fortune by becoming a junkie, “accidentally getting clean,” obtaining a loan for a house, and then selling beds in it to healthcare companies. At the end of the day he profited off the destruction of opiate epidemic. He opened his facilities in a state where healthcare companies treat drug addiction like a disease, and pay millions of dollars for recovery programs. He’s received millions of dollars in no-bid contracts from a state run by Republican politicians, many of who he raised money for and donated money to.
— Kelly Ayotte (@KellyAyotte) December 8, 2015
Now he primarily lives in his $20.75 million home in Florida – a state with way more drug addicts than New Hampshire.
Many former residents have come forward and claimed that they received unsolicited dick pics from Spofford as soon as they left the facility. Some relapsed as a result. Spofford is a juicehead who is quite full of himself and clearly thinks he can have any woman he wants.
He’s a real tough guy.
The mother of his most recent child is his girlfriend Persephanie Lesperance, a Maxim model turned drug addict.
Before dating Spofford she was featured in a 2016 story about her battles with addiction and her criminal history.
Because of heroin, she was incarcerated in two states, lost her Maxim modeling contract and was brought back from the dead with the opioid overdose antidote Narcan. But unlike many of her friends, who died from their addictions, Lesperance is now 14 months sober, a volunteer in the recovery community and in the home stretch of earning her certification to be a recovery coach. In 2013, Lesperance was arrested by Portsmouth police during a so-called drug sweep, accused of heroin sales and crack possession.
Lesperance said so many of her friends were dying of overdoses, if she didn’t hear about a death for two weeks, she’d be surprised. She was caught driving after her license was suspended in Massachusetts, and sentenced to serve eight months in jail there. After, she was extradited to New Hampshire to start facing the Portsmouth heroin-trafficking charge, as well as a new charge alleging she breached bail conditions by going through a window in the Gosling Meadows neighborhood.
Eric Spofford shouldn’t be meeting and impregnating recovering drug addicts he met through his work in recovery, if his primary focus is recovery. Is he in this to help people, or is he in it to promote his own brand, meet vulnerable women who have a hard time saying no, and make millions of dollars in the process?
He almost never posts about Persephanie anymore though, and she seems to do stuff without him all the time while he’s living the baller lifestyle in Miami.
If Lauren Chooljian Baer would like to speak to us on or off the record about this, feel free to reach out at [email protected]. But a reporter having bricks thrown through her windows because she refused to retract a story about a sexual predator should be a much bigger story, and if Spofford is involved somehow he should go to jail.