Lamenting that he has let down the "ordinary people," Adelphia Communications
Corp. founder John Rigas complained of health problems and depression as a
result of the financial scandal surrounding the cable company he built.
In an interview with The Buffalo News, Rigas said he has experienced
chest pains and has been to a hospital emergency room three times. He said he
also has struggled with depression. "I'd say I was depressed," Rigas told the
paper. "My doctor was concerned because I wasn't eating, but I think my health
is getting stronger and I hope to be out and about."
Rigas and his sons are accused of abusing their control of Adelphia, both by
getting the company to guarantee $3.1 billion in family debts and little things
like building a golf course on family land with company money.
Rigas wouldn't address the financial accusations, but he said he worries that he
let down the "ordinary people" of Buffalo whose financial position he hoped to
Rigas said he spends much of his days on the telephone with lawyers who
represent the family. Sometimes, however, he just sits and reads hundreds of
notes, cards and letters supporters have sent him, he said.
"It has been very inspirational to me and my family," Rigas said. "I read
them throughout the day. I go through them when I'm down and need a little extra