It’s time to check back with our favorite former Women’s Wear Daily writer, Peter Braunstein. New accusations suggest that the serial harasser — currently awaiting trial for entering a colleague’s apartment in firefighter’s uniform, chloroforming and sexually assaulting her for over twelve hours — is even more serial than previously thought. The Daily News reports that the prosecutors have submitted a motion to bring “prior bad acts” into the jury trial. What are these bad acts? Bad indeed. According to the D.A.’s office:
• Braunstein “tormented” at least three other women, all of whom worked in the fashion industry and spurned his advances in one way or another, with threatening phone calls and e-mails.
• Even while on the run, he found time to call and harass an ex-girlfriend, telling her “If you testify … you will die.” For an extra dose of crazy, consider the fact that Peter left that message with her assistant.
• On the lam, Braunstein found the darnedest ways to support himself. In one instance, in Cincinnati, he pretended to be (more?) mentally ill — ever the dutiful reporter, he noted in his diary that he was going for “really neurotic verging on manic-depressive psychotic” — to gain access to a psychiatrist’s office. Once there, he slapped plastic cuffs on the M.D. and took his wallet, netting $200. When the loot ran out, he repeated the procedure on another man.
It may come as a shock to learn Braunstein’s attorneys are planning to make full use of the insanity defense.