Priyantha Silva, the notorious Sri Lankan–born party crasher known for his loud shirts, heavy boozing, and a tendency to impersonate Condé Nast editors, has found a new M.O. Now he's impersonating Hearst editors.
He first came to Hearst's attention a few months ago, says Ted Lotti, Hearst's assistant director of security, when he used a Condé editor's name — Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief of Glamour — to get into a Bridgehampton polo match but then wandered through the event saying he worked for Cosmo, a Hearst title. More recently, Silva placed a call to an event planner who'd worked on the polo match, RSVPing to a movie star-filled party for Donna Karan's Gold fragrance line at the designer's Madison Avenue boutique. "The call sounded like it was coming from someone who was literally standing on the sidewalk at a pay phone," says the planner, "so I had him e-mail an RSVP." The e-mail was from a Gmail account masked as a Cosmo address. It was signed "Sara Lithke, Fashion Editor, Cosmopolitan Magazine" — the real fashion editor at Cosmo is Erin Dineen — and it listed an address in the signature that Hearst has moved out of. Even odder, the phone number provided went only to a voice mail that repeats "Are you still there?" Hearst sent security to the Donna Karan event, but Silva never showed.
Since then, he has been spotted trying to get into the unveiling of the new Hearst building (he was turned away by security guards), as well as inside the opening of Christie's Marie Antoinette exhibit and the Cosmopolitan 50 Most Beautiful Bachelors party. "It's distressing," says the planner. "You work very hard with your client to come up with The List. You want the right people in. And to have the Shaggys" — Shaggy is another legendary New York crasher — "and the Priyanthas of the world detracts from the specialness."
— Jada Yuan