Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyNo shortage of people who will take advantage. I remember this lady.
Sounds like you are jealous.
CTV News Staff
Date: Tue. Mar. 12 2002 3:48 PM ET
An elderly Toronto panhandler known as the "Shaky Lady" held a press conference Monday at her Bay St. lawyer's office to dispute a media report alleging she rakes in thousands of dollars a week and lives in a comfortable apartment with her family.
The Toronto Sun reported last week that Margita Bangova, who claims to tremble because of a medical condition, collects about $2,500 a week by begging on a downtown street corner.
Bangova spoke through an interpreter at the press conference.
"She's saying that because she really suffers that when she was sitting on the street it was not comfortable and agreeable. Sometimes there was snow, wet, and so on. It was not a pleasure for her...sitting," the interpreter said.
Bangova normally wears ragged clothes and holds a sign reading "Please help me. I am poor. I will pray for you," while begging at the corner of Bloor and Yonge.
Speaking through her lawyer, Leonard Hochberg, Bangova said she panhandles to supplement her disability pension of $900 a month.
"It was reported that she made approximately $1,000 a day and that's really a wild exaggeration. She was making about $40 or $50 a day," said Hochberg.
But, a Sun writer said he recently watched her take in at least $500 in five hours and that Bangova's shaking quickly disappeared as she walked briskly to a waiting car at the end of the day.
Bangova lives with her son and his three children in a one-bedroom apartment with leather furniture, a big screen TV, and computer, according to media reports.
The Sun reported that Bangova hired Hochberg last summer to help her with a refugee claim.
Bangova is originally from Slovakia and was seen in a 1997 Czech documentary encouraging fellow Gypsies to follow her to Toronto, touting Canada as some sort of promised land.
After the film aired, hundreds of Gypsies from the Czech Republic reportedly swamped airlines trying to get tickets to Canada.
The Sun coverage has evoked a bitter backlash in Toronto. But, Hochberg said people were being too hard on his client and that she doesn't deserve it.
Hochberg refused to say who was paying his fees.
Bangova, who abandoned her corner when the story emerged, reportedly hasn't decided whether to return to panhandling.