Roger Stone, the long-time Trump associate, has been a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. The Mueller investigation has been probing whether Stone had improper ties to Wikileaks, which released a trove of information from Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the lead-up to the 2016 election. On Friday morning, Stone was arrested by the FBI after being indicted for allegedly lying to Congress in connection to the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election. Stone is accused of obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements, and witness tampering.
Stone was born in 1952 in Norwalk, Connecticut, to a family he has described as middle class, blue collar, and Catholic. He has been married twice. Here’s what you need to know about Roger Stone’s family:
1. Stone’s Mother, Gloria, Was a Small Town Reporter; His Father Was a Well Driller
Roger Stone was born in Connecticut into a family of Italian and Hungarian Americans. His family moved to a more rural area when he was a boy, and then eventually settled in Lewisboro, Westchester. Stone’s mother, Gloria, wrote for the local newspaper. His father, Roger, ran a well drilling company.
Stone has said that he became a staunch conservative by the time he was eleven years old and living in Westchester. That’s when a neighbor gave him a copy of a neighbor gave the 11-year-old boy a copy of Barry Goldwater’s “The Conscience of A Conservative,” a book which, Stone said, changed his life.
“I read this book,” he told the Washington Post, “and I was completely transformed into a zealot.” The young Stone started volunteering a the local Republican headquarters every afternoon, where he would lick envelopes and run errands. He told the Post that he decorated his bedroom “like the Goldwater headquarters. I had posters of Barry Goldwater and vice presidential nominee Bill Miller on the wall and bunting and bumper stickers.” When Goldwater lost to Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 election, Stone was “crushed. I didn’t eat for days.”
2. Stone’s Grandson, Nick, Started a GoFundMe Page to Raise Money for His Grandfather’s Legal Defense
Roger Stone’s grandson, Nick Stevens, is 20 years old and sometimes appears side by side with his grandfather in social media posts; you can watch the two of them in an Easter message here. There isn’t a lot of information available about Nick Stevens, although a New York Times story mentions that Stone has three grandchildren by way of his second wife, Nydia. The Washington Post notes that Stevens set up the lighting and audio equipment in his grandfather’s man cave.
In 2018, Nick Stevens started a GoFundMe page to pay for Stone’s legal defense. Stevens wrote, in his request for funds, “My name is Nick Stevens. I am the grandson of the legendary Republican Political Operative and longtime Donald Trump advisor, Roger Stone. While it is very cool to have your grandfather be an important part of history, I can tell you that is not fun for me to see my grandfather and our family under attack.” The GoFundMe page has since been closed, after raising a little under four thousand dollars (the initial goal was $100,000).
3. Stone Met His First Wife, Ann ‘Bitsey’ Stone, in College & Is Now Married to Nydia Stone
Ann ‘Bitsey’ Stone grew up in Stratford, Connecticut. She told the Washington Post that she spent her childhood “near the poverty level” — her father died when she was just four years old, and she was raised by her mother. She remembers buying dollar dresses at the thrift store. She says that she got interested in politics at an early age and that by the time she was nine years old, she was a firm conservative. By the time she was in middle school, she said she was fascinated by the wonkier side of policy, like welfare reform. “I remember having conversations with myself about this walking home from school,” she told the Post.
Ann met Roger Stone when they were both students at George Washington University. They both were members of the college’s Republican Club and married soon after graduation, in 1974. As a couple, they were famous for living a lavish lifestyle and for throwing extravagant parties. They stayed together for 16 years and then divorced. “We both decided it was the right thing,” she told the Post. “You know you’ve grown apart when you go to the video store together and pick out separate videos and go to the house into separate rooms to watch them.”
In 1992, Stone married his current wife, Nydia. Nydia, a Cuban American, first met Stone in the 1980s, when she was working as a photographer for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign. Nydia’s father worked as a military attache in the United States for the US-backed Batista regime, which was eventually overthrown by the Castro revolution. Nydia has described herself as a devout Buddhist and, she says, she often “chants” for her husband’s benefit. “I chant for Roger’s Buddha nature to emerge,” she once told the Washington Post. You can read more about Nydia Stone here.
4. Stone Has Close Ties to ‘Manhattan Madam’ Kristin Davis & Is Godfather to Her Son
Kristin Davis says she met Roger Stone after she got out jail, where she had spent some time for running a high-end prostitution ring. Davis, who became notorious in the 2000s as the “Manhattan Madam,” says she first got the idea of opening up an escort agency when she was working for a hedge fund; Davis said she was sometimes asked to find escorts for her male colleagues as part of her work at the hedge fund, so she decided to start her own escort service.
Davis says she met Roger Stone in 2008 when they were guests together on a radio show; she had recently gotten out of New York’s Riker’s Island jail. She said that after the show, Stone called her up and said, “You’re brilliant. Can we talk about what you’re going to do with your life?” The two became good friends and, when Davis had a son, she chose Stone to be his godfather.
Stone likes to post photos of his godson and says he is “outraged” by rumors that he is the child’s father. For her part, Davis told the Washington Post that Carter brings out the “softer side” of Roger Stone. “He loooves Roger,” Davis told the Post. “The softer side of Stone, I like to call it.”
5. Stone Had a Regular ‘Pizza Night’ With His Family
Before his arrest on January 25, Roger Stone had a simple Friday evening routine: he loved going to his favorite New Haven-style pizza restaurant for a family dinner. Stone’s old friend, Michael Caputo — who has himself been interviewed by the Mueller team — told CNN earlier this month that Stone was relaxing enough to start up his pizza night again.
“There was a time when Roger didn’t make plans on Fridays,” Caputo told CNN, because of a fear that he might receive an indictment from Mueller’s grand jury. But Caputo said that Stone had gone back to the restaurant in recent weeks. Then on Friday, January 25, Stone was arrested by the FBI at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is accused of obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements, and witness tampering.