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Ex-deputy mayor to revive burlesque career for charity

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — A former deputy mayor in New Jersey is resurrecting her career as a burlesque dancer for charity.

Former Jersey City deputy mayor Leona Beldini will take the stage as Hope Diamond for the first time in more than 40 years.

She tells The Jersey Journal (http://bit.ly/2pd5KHa ) she won’t be dancing three months after knee surgery, but she can “still strut a little bit.” She won’t be stripping either, although she may “take off a glove.”

Beldini, who is in her early 80s, was a deputy mayor under Jerramiah Healy and arrested in 2009. She was sentenced to prison in 2012 for a bribery conviction and released in 2014.

In the early 1950s, she was known as the “gem of the exotics.” Though she bared mostly all, Beldini says “by today’s standards, we were nuns.”

The May 11 fundraiser will benefit the city’s Kennedy Dancers company.

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Information from: The Jersey Journal , http://www.nj.com/jjournal

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