Craig Carton says the two months since his arrest and later resignation from WFAN have been “hell” for him, and that his inability to talk publicly about his situation “is killing me.”
Speaking to USA Today in an interview conducted Monday and posted Tuesday, the former morning co-host offered no specifics about the legal case against him, which will proceed with his scheduled arraignment on Wednesday.
His lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, has said Carton plans to plead not guilty to federal charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.
Until the USA Today interview, Carton had communicated publicly only through formal statements since his Sept. 6 arrest, when he was accused of taking part in a Ponzi scheme involving a ticket-reselling business aimed in part at repaying his gambling debts.
Carton, 48, of Manhattan, resigned a week later and since then has been replaced by fill-in co-hosts alongside Boomer Esiason. Gregg Giannotti is believed to be the favorite to replace him permanently.
Carton, 48, spoke to USA Today at his attorney’s lower Manhattan office, near where his arraignment will be held Wednesday afternoon.
“It is killing me,” Carton said. “I made my living speaking and being opinionated on whatever it was I was speaking about. Now I am the focus of that. I am the subject that people are talking about. It is extraordinarily frustrating. It is maddening. It was beyond difficult to keep my lips tight for the last two months.”
If found guilty, Carton could face up to 45 years in prison.
He called the effect on his family, including his wife, Kim, and four children, “devastating.”
“As far as the personal toll, I was employed for 10 years at my dream job,” he said. “I have no income now. My life unfortunately is kind of on hold. The last two months have been hell.”
Carton returned fire in the interview against Geno Smith, the former Jets and current Giants quarterback who after Carton’s arrest posted a comment on Twitter referencing Carton’s past criticism of him.
Smith wrote that it is “funny how life works.”
“Geno Smith?” Carton said. “Who’s that? Is he still playing football? It says a lot about Geno Smith’s career that I made him relevant again. [The Giants] lost by 34 points [on Sunday] and he still had negative stats. So I don’t worry about Geno Smith. Geno Smith’s career speaks for itself and mine does as well, and I would put mine against his any day of the week.”
Carton told USA Today he thinks about being on sports radio “every minute of every day. You can bet your [expletive] that I will do it again at some point.”