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Judgment Days

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With the arrival of the autumnal equinox, the city seemed to enter a judgmental mood, meting out chastisement to some while showing surprising leniency toward others. A judge sentenced Dennis Kozlowski to a grueling state-prison term of 81/2 to 25 years for his looting of Tyco. During the sentencing, a D.A. read a rather embarrassing letter Kozlowski had written to a Houston judge in 1995 demanding that a Tyco employee convicted of stealing be shown no mercy. While Lil’ Kim’s supporters complained that the Philadelphia jail to which she was assigned for her one-year perjury sentence was less commodious than the “camp cupcake” where Martha Stewart paid her debt, at least the rap diva fared no worse in her lodgings than the still-incarcerated Times reporter Judith Miller. A luckier week was had by John Gotti Jr., who dodged a possible life sentence for conspiracy and kidnapping thanks to a hung jury. “God hears a mother’s prayers,” exclaimed family matriarch Victoria Gotti. Others thought the outcome was more a case of fortune proverbially favoring fools; still others, like alleged Gotti victim Curtis Sliwa, entertained darker theories about why the jury deadlocked. Also fortunate was Christian “Thumper” Slater, who saw a “forcible touching” charge dismissed. When asked whether the whole episode—in which the actor had allegedly grabbed a female passerby’s buttocks—arose from a “misunderstanding,” Slater responded, “That’s what my publicist said.” The Independence Party of New York ousted Lenora Fulani, finding her claim that Jews were “mass murderers of people of color” to be too anti-Semitic for its taste. In her defense, Fulani insisted that she had many Jewish friends. And Kate Moss was judged too risky for the ad campaigns of Chanel, Burberry, and H&M after photos surfaced that seemed to show her snorting cocaine. Some wags wondered whether the waiflike mannequin might be reduced to seeking an endorsement deal with a Colombian drug cartel or, even more sadly, to standing on the street with a sign reading WILL STARVE FOR FOOD.


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