RadarOnline.com can reveal that crooner Harry Connick Jr. has been caught in a shocking scandal involving his father — and a Catholic priest!
The former American Idol judge has always praised his 90-year-old dad — a longtime New Orleans district attorney — as a pillar of morality.
"Although my dad was very busy politically, he always found the time to ... set the right example for me and my older sister," the 49-year-old rookie talk show host has said.
But according to child-welfare activists and a former New Orleans criminal investigator, the elder Connick failed to prosecute a sick predator.
"This could be hugely embarrassing for Harry," said a Hollywood insider. "It's the family's worst nightmare to have their name dragged through the dirt — especially when Harry's projecting a family-friendly image."
The scandal unfolded in 1988 when a slew of child pornography was uncovered in Father Dino Cinel's room in the rectory of St. Rita's Roman Catholic Church in New Orleans.
Despite the mountain of damning evidence, Connick Sr. declared the case was too weak to prosecute.
Gary Raymond, an investigator for the D.A., claimed he sent Connick a three-page letter in 1990 urging him to prosecute Cinel.
When Connick took no action, Raymond asked, "When are you going to prosecute this priest?"
Connick Sr. allegedly replied, "NEVER, as long as I'm D.A."
Cinel was eventually hit with a minor charge of possession of pornography, which was dismissed on a technicality in 1995.
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