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— Jana Vorce, a real estate agent and friend of Coutinho, is convinced, as his "friend and mentor," that he never could have battered Ivanova. Vorce once suffered at the hands of a "boyfriend who battered me," so it angers her that any woman would file abuse charges when she hasn't been abused.

Vorce admits to thinking about "immigration issues" when remembering the relationship between Coutinho and Ivanova. Yet she says she "has nothing against Russian women," who are often stereotyped in American media as conniving to escape Russia. The Web has numerous sites that debate the suitability of Russian brides for American men and whether in the long run the Russians are "gold diggers."

Vorce and De Marco differ on how genuine Coutinho and Ivanova's relationship was. "He did love her," says Vorce, "but he did not want to marry. Then the ultimatums made him pull away."

But De Marco doubts there was ever anything solid in the relationship. "Men get into that trap of beautiful women," she says. "Lou is handsome and a sweetheart and he's been married. But the Russian girl turned him off women."

But a new woman has stepped forward to claim she is Coutinho's current girlfriend. "Not all foreigners have bad intentions," Brazilian Najla Abdala, 36, writes me in an e-mail. "Most of them actually date and marry for love and not because they want an easy green pass to America."

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sweetamerica Feb. 9, 2009 @ 7:05 p.m.

What a none sense. As for so called "friends and mentors" they really enjoyed coming over to his home, drinking like crazy and performing their "mentorship" to him. NO wonder he had a couple participating in the article. They had nothing else to do so they were his friends with benefits and the real girlfriend did not like that. The guy definitely sounds like a loser, especially blaming his girlfriend for him not being faithful to her. There are lots of men who would take an immigration issue as an excuse to cheat and not to get married to a foreign woman. Foreign women are easier to manipulate. But thank god not all of them just got off the boat yesterday.

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