June 8, 2007 -- The steamy e-mails that landed a CNN reporter in the news and out of a job detailed more than his adulterous affair - they revealed that the Africa correspondent apparently admitted paying militiamen to help him stage a story, according to several sources.
For months, Jeff Koinange had been dogged by allegations that in February, he paid off gunmen to put on a show for a story about Nigerian resistance.
The accusations from Nigerian government officials were so strong that CNN gave a denial during a February broadcast.
"CNN did not pay for or stage any part of the report," anchor John Roberts said. "CNN does not pay for interviews."
But a Swiss author - in an e-mail to Koinange's boss, CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton - details a months-long romance with Koinange, and quotes the correspondent as saying he traded cash for the story.
"Of course I had to pay certain people to get the story," Koinange says, according to the e-mail.
"But everything was done in agreement with CNN and in accordance with their usual standards. But you do not get such a story without bribing . . . You have to have financial resources. But at the end, it was worth it. CNN has its story and I have my 'fame.' "
Marianne Briner shared the alleged admission on a blog she launched after her romance with the married correspondent went sour.
Briner said she began writing to Koinange last August, about a book she'd written on the killing of a Kenyan government minister.
"Soon after, he started to call me and things changed to very private and personal matters," Briner said in the e-mail to CNN.
A meeting apparently led to sex and then to a long-distance correspondence. Sources said Koinange used his CNN e-mail address to communicate with Briner.
Koinange said he was scolded for talking dirty through company e-mail. "I have been reprimanded by CNN from e-mailing anything other than the basics," he wrote to Briner.
On her blog, "Distant Lovers," Briner wrote: "Jeff should have known that this could one day create a problem. But obviously, he did not regard this [as] serious."
Neither Koinange nor CNN executives could be reached for comment.