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40th Anniversary

Headliners

What became of ten memorable newsmakers.

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Hedda Nussbaum
Joel Steinberg’s abused girlfriend; her testimony helped convict him of killing their adopted daughter
In 1988, Nussbaum testified that her live-in boyfriend, Joel Steinberg, had beaten their 6-year-old adopted daughter, Lisa, to death. (The adoption was never formally recognized by the state.) Nussbaum, a children’s-book editor at Random House, had suffered severe beatings at Steinberg’s hands; police discovered the couple living in squalor in a West Village townhouse. Prosecutors dropped murder charges against Nussbaum in exchange for her testimony, triggering criticism from those who believed she was complicit in the crime. Steinberg was convicted of first-degree manslaughter; after the trial, Nussbaum had extensive reconstructive surgery and found work at a battered-women’s shelter. (She’s now retired.) Today she speaks publicly about domestic violence, but lives in hiding from Steinberg, who was released from prison in 2004. She’s had her name legally changed. “Sometimes I think maybe after all these years it’s overly cautious,” she says, “but then I just don’t know.”

Frank Serpico
Blew the whistle on NYPD corruption
Serpico, the Brooklyn-born cop who exposed systematic corruption among fellow NYPD officers during the late sixties—and was profiled in a best-selling book by Peter Maas and then played onscreen by Al Pacino in the seminal 1973 Sidney Lumet film—retired 36 years ago. Living off pension and disability payments, he spent over a decade traveling through Europe and North America before settling upstate “in a nice little cabin in the woods.” He spends his time, he says, acting, sculpting, teaching ballroom dance, meditating, practicing homeopathic medicine, and playing the Japanese shakuhachi flute. Affable and happy to discuss his varied interests, Serpico nonetheless lives under an assumed name and expresses a deep mistrust of what he calls the “iron triangle” of industry, government, and the military. (He posts his thoughts on such matters at frankserpico.blogspot.com.) He has few kind words for the NYPD. “I still get e-mails from cops telling me what’s going on,” he says. “They say, ‘Oh, it is as bad as ever.’ ”

David Guthartz
Provoked a Rudy Giuliani tirade about ferrets
In 1999, WABC-AM radio caller David Guthartz (“David in Oceanside”) made headlines when his criticism of the city’s ban on ferrets—posed to then-mayor Rudy Giuliani during a call-in show—provoked a lengthy rant from the mayor about “excessive concern with little weasels” in which he advised Guthartz to seek psychological help. These days, Guthartz still lives in Oceanside with his parents and continues to champion his cause through the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Ferrets, a nonprofit organization he founded in 1991. He hasn’t forgiven the ex-mayor: “Giuliani is a diminutive man who needs to make himself bigger by putting other people down. If a brick fell off a building and crushed his head, I’d say, all right, he got his.” Guthartz hopes his nonprofit will eventually become an international authority that regulates the ferret industry. “In Japan,” he claims, “ferrets have become the No. 1 pet.”

Antoine Yates
Kept a tiger in his Harlem apartment
In 2003, Antoine Yates made the cover of the Post when medical professionals who’d treated his “pit-bull bites” ratted him out to the police for keeping a tiger and an alligator in his West Harlem apartment. After serving five months in jail for reckless endangerment, Yates returned to Harlem, where his only current pets are two parrots. He has been helped financially by Michael and Jermaine Jackson and former Kool and the Gang keyboardist Amir Bayyan—“animal fans,” says Yates, who took an interest in his case. Yates, who wears tiger-eye-styled contact lenses to “brand” himself, has sold his life story to a movie-production company for a seven-figure payment, which he’s currently using to live on. With the Jackson group, he’s purchased property in Las Vegas, where, he says, he hopes to become the first African-American to operate a private zoo.

Marla Maples
Donald Trump’s second ex-wife; said in headlines that sex with Trump was “best sex I ever had”
Since her 1999 divorce from Donald Trump, Maples and her 14-year-old daughter by Trump, Tiffany, have lived off settlement money—reported to be in the low seven figures plus child support—in Malibu. Earlier this year, paparazzi caught Maples “canoodling” with a Bachelor alum named Andy Baldwin, and she was also linked to Indian fashion designer Anand John Alexander, who appeared on America’s Next Top Model before he was arrested and accused of sexually assaulting underage models (Maples says Alexander is just a family friend). Maples herself starred in the short-lived 2007 reality show The Ex-Wives Club with Shar Jackson and Angie Everhart, and frequently hosts health segments for nightly entertainment shows. She spends much of her time, she says, at the gym or yoga and Pilates classes. Says Maples: “I’m on a mission to enhance people’s lives through spirituality, health, and fitness.”


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