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Mell to provide financial support for daughter, grandkids when Blago heads to jail

11-26-10 Cook County Board Elections 69 W. WashingtChicago -  Attorney Burt Odelsaddresses reporters after filing an objector's petitiagainst Rahm

11-26-10 Cook County Board of Elections, 69 W. Washington, Chicago - Attorney Burt Odelson addresses reporters after filing an objector's petition against Rahm Emanuel at the Cook County Board of Elections office Friday in Chicago. - John J. Kim/Sun-Times

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Updated: January 8, 2012 8:11AM

The Blago beat . . .

A tortured family: Ald. Dick Mell, the father of Rod Blagojevich’s wife, Patti, is not only grieving for her, but Sneed is told he will become the primary financial supporter of her family during her husband’s prison term.

◆ The upshot: “He’s distraught for his daughter and his two granddaughters,” said a close family source. “He loves them deeply and his late wife, Marge, isn’t here to help him with them. They were a real family . . . very close.”

◆ The backshot: “Patti has been a real trooper and not abandoned her husband. Dick will not abandon his daughter and will provide all the resources for them totally. Patti is not working now, and they have not had a bite on their home in Ravenswood, which is for sale.”

◆ Sneed’s conclusion: Mell is a man of a certain age. He appears to be in good health, but this situation provides a possible chilling effect in the future for financial help to his two other children and grandchild . . . and for him if he wants to marry again. If Rod is sentenced to 15 years in prison, his eldest granddaughter, Amy Blagojevich, will be 30 by the time he gets out.

◆ The endshot: “But make no mistake. He adores Patti and will do anything for her,” said the source.

Scoopsville . . .

Sneed hears attorney Burt Odelson , who led the pack to kick Rahm Emanuel off the mayoral ballot, is in the process of being recruited to represent Chicago’s black aldermanic caucus to fight the controversial new remap. Sneed is told Odelson was scheduled to meet with Ald. Latasha Thomas at her 17th Ward office Tuesday night. Stay tuned for a battle.

The Knox file . . .

Uber media lawyer/literary agent Robert Barnett, who hails from Waukegan — and is a friend whom Sneed affectionately calls “The Waukegan Warrior” — has not only been chosen to bring the Amanda Knox story to book form, but Knox could land a seven-figure book deal for her story.

◆ Translation. It’s payback time. While trying to exonerate their daughter, Knox’s parents spent huge fees on lawyers, travel costs and money on publicists.

◆ Backshot: Barnett, who has handled book and other deals for just about everyone who has lived or worked in the White House (including Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton), is the man. Knox’s conviction on charges she murdered her English roommate was overturned after she spent four years in an Italian jail. She recently returned home and is living with a new beau in the Seattle area.

A sad note . . .

Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, the daughter of legendary actress Rita Hayworth and the late Ali Khan — who has been an international mainstay of support for the Alzheimer’s Association — just lost her only child, Andrew Ali Aga Khan Embiricos, 25. “It’s a tragedy,” said her friend, Sugar Rautbord. “She took care of her mother the entire time Alzheimer’s disease began shredding her mother’s life,” said Rautbord. “Then to lose your only child. It’s unthinkable.”

Film femmes . . .

Auction action: Now comes word the foxy folks at the Doyle auction house have scheduled the sale of the late legendary Hollywood doyenne Joan “Mommie Dearest” Crawford’s jewelry Wednesday in anticipation of Christie’s Dec. 13 auction of Hollywood queen Elizabeth Taylor’s glitzy gem gabobs.

Sneedlings . . .

Wednesday’s birthdays: Ellen Burstyn, 79; Aaron Carter, 24; C. Thomas Howell, 45; Larry Bird, 55; Tom Waits, 62, and Johnny Bench, 64.

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