Even Glenn Hoddle is laughing at this. From the New York Daily News’ Christian Red and Michael O’Keefe (link taken from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory).
Azra Shafi-Scagliarini is a psychic to the stars, a spiritual adviser to some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment, a “consultant” whose client list has included Britney Spears, Mark McGwire, New Kids on the Block and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, and Giambi to name a few. She resists being described in mystical terms, says she simply helps her clients untap their true potential. “I consult with people on how to better their lives and their careers,” she says.
“With Jason, he never, ever tried to defer attention from himself or throw anyone else under the bus,” Shafi-Scagliarini says. “People always talk about people shifting blame, but he was the first person who stood up for everyone else and took the bullet.”
Despite her A-list clientele, the 41-year-old Shafi-Scagliarini says she is basically a suburban New Jersey mother whose typical day revolves around caring for her 7-year-old son Adam. She professes to know little about baseball. Last week she baked crumb cakes (using a recipe she says she got from the late Luther Vandross) and highlighted copies of Richard Bach’s “Illusions” to send to the Mets, Yankees and Orioles spring training camps
Ballplayers who are looking for the keys to the universe should look elsewhere: Shafi-Scagliarini says she’s no conduit to the cosmos. But she often has “feelings” about people that randomly come to her. During the middle of a conversation, she’ll unexpectedly tell someone they are going to have a baby or take a trip to a far-away land. In 1999, she advised Oakland’s Tony Phillips to sit out a game in Toronto, a warning players still talk about. He ignored her advice and broke his leg, ending his career.
Bergen County prosecutor Pia Perez says Shafi-Scagliarini wrote 80 bad checks totaling $96,000 to New Jersey banks and businesses over a two-year period ending in 2005. Perez says Shafi-Scagliarini has repaid the entire sum and has fulfilled the conditions of her probation, making restitution to her victims through a fund run by the state of New Jersey.
Shafi-Scagliarini says her legal problems were caused by a former business manager, and that she has emerged a stronger person as a result. She says she never ran to any of her famous clients to bail her out financially – she raised the money by selling her home and other assets. She’s even become friendly with the Fort Lee detective who investigated her case and the judge who sentenced her.
“I did it by myself, and that was such an empowering feeling,” she says. “I’m living proof to my clients that you can find courage and strength when you need it.”