A friend’s betrayal

Jamey Singleton’s tortured career as a weatherman at WSLS Channel 10 in Roanoke is over, killed by an act of vengeance by someone he thought was a friend.

For the 28-year-old Singleton, who battled heroin addiction and the near-fatal drug overdose of his friend Marc Lamarre, another meteorologist fired by Channel 10, the firing Thursday over a nude photo of him published on the Internet is the latest bizarre twist in a troubled life.

He says he doesn’t blame Channel 10 for their actions.

“What’s decent, what’s indecent, what shocks and what offends — that’s really up to them,” Singleton told Lindsey Nair of The Roanoke Times. “I can’t blame them if…after everything that’s happened they said, ‘That’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.'”

The photo, taken as he stepped out of a shower at a friend’s house several months ago, was — he thought — a joke. But Singleton stopped hanging out with that friend, and others, as part of drug rehab and the friend turned on him, publishing the photo on MySpace on the Internet and sending it out by email. That, Channel 10 said, violated the “morals clause” of his contract.

The bizarre story of both Singleton and Lamarre brings back memories 40 years ago of another Channel 10 weatherman, Floyd Countian Marty Hall, who was sacked by the station after he was busted for possession of marijuana. Marty died a couple of years ago.

Singleton got a rare second chance from Media-General, the large corporation that owns Channel 10. Many would have fired him because of his drug use but others have been given such chances. While we lived in the Washington, DC, area, popular Channel 4 anchorman Jim Vance went into rehab for cocaine use. The NBC-owned station didn’t fire him.

By all accounts, Singleton cleaned up his act but betrayal by a friend derailed that second chance.

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