Lyndon LaRouche, the perennial presidential candidate known for his elaborate conspiracy theories, has been sued for libel by a former supporter, who claims LaRouche pushed her husband to commit suicide, then publicly blamed her for the tragedy.
Marielle Kronberg is a former national committee member of LaRouche’s National Caucus for Labor Committees. In April 2007, her husband, Ken Kronberg, himself a devoted LaRouche supporter who ran the organization’s printing operation, killed himself by leaping from a highway overpass into oncoming traffic. The morning of his death, one of LaRouche’s organizations had circulated a statement attacking the “baby boomers” in the movement and suggesting they commit suicide. The “morning brief,” as it was called, singled out Ken Kronberg’s print shop for criticism.
At the time, Kronberg’s death attracted attention from publications such as Washington Monthly. According to Marielle Kronberg’s lawsuit, filed Friday at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, LaRouche undertook a concerted campaign to blame her for her husband’s death.
In 1988 Marielle Kronberg testified at LaRouche’s trial for mail and tax fraud. That year her testimony helped convict LaRouche, who served five years in prison for lying to lenders who had supported his political operation. The new suit reprints alleged recent statements by LaRouche in which he accused Kronberg of lying during her testimony, suggesting she was disloyal to the movement. LaRouche also allegedly said, in an e-mail to his followers, that Ken Kronberg committed suicide because his wife had donated to President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.
The suit also reprints an article from Larouche’s Web site in which he discussed Kronberg’s death, writing: “Now you’ve got a situation, where he kills himself, because he is living with that witch.”
Marielle Kronberg is represented by John Bond, a solo practitioner in Fairfax, and John Markham of Boston’s Markham & Read. There is no lawyer listed yet for LaRouche.