Reverse of Fortune

Photo: Ed Betz/The New York Times/Redux; NY Post/Splash News


“Fuck you, white trash.” If publicist Lizzie Grubman hadn’t allegedly uttered those four words before backing her SUV into a line of people waiting to get into Southampton nightclub Conscience Point Inn, the crack legal team that power lawyer Allen Grubman assembled for his 30-year-old daughter might have had an easier time making the case that the crash, in which sixteen people were injured, was an accident. As it was, the words clung to her like “Let them eat cake,” despite her frequent denials. Literally overnight, Grubman became the pinup girl for a class war that had already been brewing. Hand-wringing editorials painted her crime as characteristic of the dangerous entitlement of the new-­monied elite. When Grubman, pale, makeup-less, and Nicole Richie thin, pleaded guilty to felony charges and served 38 days of solitary confinement, it was viewed as the end of this era; a sign that henceforth, even the rich would be punished for their sins. But in the end, Grubman was ­rewarded for her behavior with her own reality show—and as for the Hamptons, the worst was still to come.

From the Archives: ‘The Girl Who Had Everything,’ (July 30, 2001)

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Reverse of Fortune