We’re not going to say we were expecting this. But when a certain balding, brutish, and short lawyer with a taste for yachts and beachfront property (and video art installations featuring Salma Hayek) gets caught allegedly creating $700 million in phony promissory notes and selling them to a dozen hedge funds, but then just as quickly claims to be completely penniless, one of the first things you have to ask is where the money went. Now, at last, we have another clue. Hollywood madam Jodi “Babydol” Gibson has kindly leaked Marc Dreier’s name from one of her little black books, claiming that in the nineties, the ambitious and aggressive white-collar lawyer, then embarking on his own solo practice, was regularly looking for partners at her escort service.
The madam had already named Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis in her 2007 tell-all book. They denied everything — as, through his lawyer, does Dreier. But those close to Dreier always had an idea that his much-younger lady friends weren’t with him for the brilliant conversation. “I was embarrassed for who he brought with him,” says one old friend of Dreier’s who has heard the escort rumors for a while. “I mean, she’s beautiful and tall and skinny, but stupid, just stupid. It was a little bit disappointing, frankly.” Said another friend, months before the madam went public: “The escorts rumor doesn’t surprise me. Dreier was always with women. He liked to be around good-looking women.” There were others whispering, too: Even the immortal Jason Itzler, self-styled “King of All Pimps,” told me a few months ago that Dreier was a regular customer, though he had nothing to back this up but a claim he was “a nice guy.” If Dreier himself ever heard the speculation, it didn’t seem to register. As recently as last year, people still saw him practically every night at the Le Cirque bar — his local watering hole, around the corner from his Beacon Court triplex — with different women, all much younger than he was, often two at one time.
What can we learn from all this? Aside from never giving sole-signatory power over client escrow accounts to a known horndog, perhaps it’s best to think of Marc Dreier as a transaction-minded fellow in every facet of his life. After all, this is the man who, according to prosecutors, gave his 19-year-old son Spencer the title to his two Hamptons houses as a birthday present last October. All the boy had to do, apparently, was agree to spend the summer with his dad. Ah, intimacy: Can you really put a price on it?