When Jean-Claude Duvalier, the notorious Haitian dictator known as "Baby Doc," ended his 25-year exile this week, he made a surprise return to Haiti with an elegant woman on his arm. But it wasn't the same woman who was forced to flee alongside him a quarter century ago.
Anyone who saw Ed Bradley's fantastic 1986 piece on the ouster of Jean-Claude Duvalier, probably wondered: Is that Michele? The one who refrigerated a room of the presidential palace so she could comfortably wear her fur coats in tropical weather? The one who pilfered millions of dollars from Haitian coffers for shopping sprees and parties?
Michele Bennett was a divorcee and mother of two when she married the young dictator and became the first lady of Haiti. As you'll learn in this classic "60 Minutes" piece produced by the late George Crile, Michele enlisted the Haitian TV network to promote her efforts to alleviate the extreme poverty of the Haitian people. But behind palace walls, Michele's story took a very different turn, and with it, turned Haitian history.
Jean-Claude Duvalier, who took the title "President For Life" at the age of 19, ruled the country from 1971 until 1986, the year this piece was broadcast. After being chased from Haiti by angry mobs, Michele and Jean-Claude spent years living in luxury on the French Riviera. The couple has since divorced, and Veronique Roy (pictured at left with Duvalier), is the female companion who arrived in Haiti on his arm this week.