Notorious gay school boss jailed for embezzling millions slams new Hugh Jackman film about his crimes for ‘bringing his sexuality into it’
Frank Tassone has slammed the new HBO Hugh Jackman film Bad Education for its depiction of his sexuality.
Bad Education retells the story of Tassone, who spent 12 years of his life working as superintendent in New York’s Roslyn school district where he was well-known for his apparent dedication to his job.
But all of that came crumbling down when, in 2004, it was discovered that he had embezzled $11.2 million from his school district.
He was discovered to have spent $2.2 million on a luxurious apartment for him and his partner Stephen (Thomas in Bad Education), and thousands more flying to Las Vegas to see his lover Jason (Kyle in the film)
Hugh Jackman plays Tassone in the HBO film, with Allison Janney as business administrator Pam Gluckin, who joined him in his embezzlement scheme.
In a new interview, the disgraced superintendent praised both actors for their performances in the film, but said that only about 40 to 50 per cent of the story is actually true.
Bad Education implies superintendent hid his sexuality.
In particular, Tassone slammed the film for inaccurately representing his sexuality and relationships.
Bad Education suggests that Tassone hid his sexuality, showing him spurring advances from women by telling them about the death of his wife some years earlier.
When asked if he had issues with the film’s portrayal of his sexuality on The Coach Mike Podcast, Tassone said: “Yes, I did.”
“I’m not ashamed of being a gay man, and again, they made it seem somewhat sordid.
He hit out at Bad Education writers for implying that his long-time partner Stephen did not know he was once married to a woman.
“All of that just was not the case, and I don’t understand why they had to bring my sexuality into the film.”
Frank Tassone denies he had a sexual relationship with a student, says his relationship was open.
He also criticised the film for implying that he had a sexual liaison with a former student and for suggesting that he kept secrets from Stephen.
Tassone said he has a “wonderful relationship” with his partner to this day.
“We have a 45 year relationship, and I did not keep secrets from Stephen,” he said.
“We did go through a period where we had an open relationship, and when I went to Vegas I did meet someone, and what bothered me terribly was [it was] never a former student.
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It’s crazy because I have never, ever in my 36 year career in education, had any relationship with a student in school or someone who had graduated.
“Now, did I have a relationship with someone at that time? Yes, and Stephen knew about it — but never with a former student.”
Tassone was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison in 2006, and was released in 2010 for good behaviour.
He said that watching the film brought back his guilt for his crimes, and he was unable to sleep afterwards.
“It was very, very difficult,” he said.
“I recognise that what I did was wrong, and I broke the law, but that was 20 years ago, and I finally thought I could go forward.
“And for it to come all back 20 years later brought back feelings that were hurtful that were warranted in many respects, so it was a challenging time to watch the movie.”