Is Jay McCarroll Homeless? He Sure Said So (and So Did His Publicist)
In this week’s cover story on the challenges facing winners of Bravo’s reality shows, New York’s Jennifer Senior noted that two years after winning Project Runway’s first season, Jay McCarroll is still homeless in New York, using his studio and other people’s couches as crash pads. How did Senior know McCarroll was homeless? He told her so. But once the fact appeared in print, he denied it, posting mocking YouTube videos of himself wandering city streets with a cardboard sign reading “Will Design for Food.” Then his best friend and publicist, Nancy Kane, responded more aggressively, as publicists and best friends are wont to do: She left an angry voice-mail message for Senior Tuesday charging that the suggestion McCarroll is homeless is “unequivocally untrue.” She went on: “His studio is a live/work space, and it might not be ideal, but it is more than a lot of people have in New York City, and he pays rent every month.” Later in the day, however, she must have realized this wasn’t much of a response; in fact, it was exactly what Senior had written. So Kane proceeded to tell various gossip columns that New York Magazine had fallen for a hoax. Jay, she said, in fact lives in a beautiful apartment building at 72nd Street and Riverside Drive. Perhaps. (Why Kane’s so defensive we don’t know. There’s no shame in struggling for your success, which was the whole point of Senior’s story.) We’ll choose to believe the version enshrined in her voice mail, reported in the magazine, and detailed by McCarroll himself. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the transcript, after the jump.
in the magazine
Jay McCarroll Will Design for Food
Jay McCarroll, Project Runway’s first-season winner and a major character in Jennifer Senior’s “The Near-Fame Experience,” the cover story in this week’s New York, is not, it appears, happy with how he was portrayed in the piece, particularly with Senior’s characterization of him as “still homeless in New York.” Where did she get such an idea? Well, probably from this direct quote:
“I haven’t been living anywhere for two years,” he says. “I sleep at other people’s houses. I sleep here [his sewing-machine- and fabric-filled studio] if I’m drunk.”
And how do we know he’s not happy about this? He’s posted to YouTube at least six videos mocking the characterization, largely filled with him wandering lower Manhattan while repeatedly howling, “I’m homeless, I’m homeless,” and “Will design for food.” One version — we kid you not — is set to Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Women,” which makes no sense contextually but at least blocks out the howling. It’s the best one.
UPDATE: McCarroll heeds our advice, maybe? He’s removed all the videos except the Crystal Waters version. Be thankful.
Jay McCarroll Homeless Crystal Waters Remix [YouTube via Radar]
The Near-Fame Experience [NYM]