There’s a new chapter in the Subway Superman saga, and it takes what used to be a straight-ahead narrative (one good deed and a few just rewards) into a progressively sadder territory. When Robert Kolker’s New York profile last left Wesley Autrey, two weeks ago, he was getting ready to sue his lawyer, Diane Kleiman; Kleiman and her partner had allegedly tricked Autrey into signing a contract giving her 50 percent of his life-story earnings. Now Kleiman is doing what lawyers often do when they’re being sued: countersuing.
She accuses Autrey of breach of contract, demands legal fees, and charges that he’s ruined her reputation. Andrew Laufer — Kleiman’s lawyer and thus the newest character on the scene — says that the “boilerplate” 50 percent deal would somehow whittle down to 16 percent in the long run, and that Autrey was encouraged to go over it with his own lawyer. Kolker’s story describes the conflicted and slightly spooked hero besieged by moochers, and the Kleiman camp doesn’t disagree — it’s just that the real moochers, Kleiman says, are the do-nothing PR people, accountants, and other lawyers that Autrey had cluelessly retained. That said, she wouldn’t mind settling. Either way, we’re just pleased to see this once-uplifting tale has now turned into a lawyer-laden orgy of finger-pointing. That’s the kind of story we New Yorkers can understand.
Hero & a $lice [NYP]
Related: This Is the Part Where the Superhero Discovers He Is Mortal [NYM]