January 26th, 2015

The Day Gossip Died (Updated)

NY Post-TurkewitzMany strange things have happened to me as a result of this blog. I’ve been on the side of a bus, punked the New York Times in an April Fool’s gag, and found myself on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.

But my name in boldface on the legendary Page Six of the New York Post? Me?! Get outta here!

Page Six is where Paris Hilton was born. It’s where Kardashians and Lohans live. Where celebrities of all types go to die, both metaphorically and literally. It may be the nation’s top tabloid gossip column. Or so I am told.

According to this Manhattan Media profile:

It launches books and movies, sells magazines, and makes and breaks restaurants, reputations and sometimes marriages. It has followed the exploits of Hilton and Pamela Anderson and broken news of scandals that became Page One stories. It got the first scoop on Marla and Donald, and more recently on Ellen Barkin throwing water at Ron Perelman at the Waverly Inn. In the world of politics, Page Six has uncovered former Secretary of State George Schulz’s posterior tattoo and the rift between Presidents Carter and Clinton, and it had a field day with the “portly pepperpot” that Clinton “canoodled” with, aka Monica Lewinsky.

What did I do to deserve such disgrace an honor!?

The article I was boldfaced in was, ostensibly, about recently arrested New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. In order to make news, Page Six Grand Poobah Richard Johnson discussed — are you ready to follow these connections? — that Silver simultaneously worked for Weitz & Luxenberg as a rainmaker.  OK, we knew that, it’s all over the news.

But he also writes that Perry Weitz (and the feds haven’t brought any charges against him or his firm) once worked for Weitz’s father-in-law, Morris Eisen. And Eisen was disbarred for little things like using a pick ax to make a pot hole bigger, or smashing a car with a sledge hammer to make the dent look bigger.   I wrote about Eisen six years ago after he was himself hustled by Bernie Madoff.

Back then I noted:

“Murray Eisen the hustler has now been hustled by Bernie Madoff. Don’t expect me to shed a tear for either of them.”

So the Post pulled that quote from my post six years ago, about Eisen being hustled by Madoff, to attach to a wholly unrelated story about Sheldon Silver. Exciting, huh!

Did you follow that trail?  Silver is connected to Weitz who is connected to Eisen who is connected to Madoff! I keep waiting for the connection to Kevin Bacon.

But we all know what these three degrees of separation really means, don’t we? It means there weren’t any celebrities that could be found over the weekend that entered rehab. Or got married. Or punched out a photographer. Or “inadvertently” let a booby slip loose. Or were photographed eating a cheeseburger.

When Page Six sinks so low for stories that it uses me as boldface then you know we have a problem in the gossip industry. Let me be the first to say it: Gossip is dead.

Photo credit: Swarm of Photographers

Photo credit: Scrum of Photographers

Or so I thought, until I found the scrum of photographers on my front lawn when I got home last night, itching for more on the Silver to Weitz to Eisen to Madoff connection. But as you can see from the photo here, I wasn’t quite ready for my closeup.

I know how this works: We live in a world that has gossip, and gossip must be written by men with keyboards. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Johnson? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for …

Oh, crap, that meme won’t work…but the film does have Kevin Bacon.

I’m on Page Six. The world is a funny place.

Update: To those spreading rumors about me with Bethenny Frankel, please stop. My wife reads this blog.


March 23rd, 2009

Morris Eisen, Disgraced NY Personal Injury Attorney, Is Also A Madoff Victim (Irony)

Morris Eisen once had a personal injury firm in New York with dozens of lawyers. Many trumpeted his legal smarts. Then he was busted. For rigging cases by fabricating evidence. He was convicted in 1991 of bribery, mail fraud and racketeering and disbarred in 1992, and will forever be a disgrace to the community.

And now it seems, the crook Eisen has been victimized by another crook, Bernard Madoff. Eisen is on the Madoff list with two separate accounts, one on exclusive Fisher Island in Florida and one in Manhattan:

Morris Eisen Fisher Island FL 33109
Morris Eisen & Caryl Ellis New York NY 10022

While he may have been disbarred, he still clearly had substantial assets. (And his cases continue to be argued in one fashion or another.)

A little summary of Eisen’s problems from a June 2007 post of mine:

Some of the conduct included shrinking the size of a ruler down on a xerox machine, so a pothole would appear larger when the “ruler” was used, and paying a witness to give testimony about an accident when, in fact, he was in jail at the time and nowhere near the scene.

And when I did my prior summary, I didn’t even bother with the sledgehammer that was used to make the accident seem worse.

How much of Eisen’s success was based on being a good lawyer and how much based on him being a crook is known by only a few. But one thing is certain, he was an embarrassment to the profession and fed all the worst fears and jokes about lawyers being crooks and ambulance chasers. He tried to claim that the prosecutors picked on him because they were in league with the insurance companies and wanted “to send a chill through the ranks of the lawyers who represent accident victims.” I am no less angry today about that crap than when I heard it nearly two decades ago.

For many of us, whose reputations were tarnished merely by being in the same profession as he, no punishment was too great. He served 57 months in prison.

As the old saying goes, what goes around in life comes around. Murray Eisen the hustler has now been hustled by Bernie Madoff. Don’t expect me to shed a tear for either of them.

Photo: Associated Press

Update: Walter Olson has more on Eisen at Overlawyered, in Live by the swindle…
(hat tip to Louis Schepp for the find)

Links to this post:

blawg review #205
orrery closeup by binks. welcome to blawg review #205, the music of the spheres edition. the english composer gustav holst (1874-1934) was hugely prolific, but he is unquestionably best known for his orchestral suite, the planets.

posted by George Wallace @ March 30, 2009 3:01 AM

live by the swindle…
call it karma? among bernard madoff’s victims, eric turkewitz has discovered*, is none other than the infamous morris eisen, who made a ton of money in personal injury practice by faking evidence for his cases (highlights: taking a

posted by Walter Olson @ March 25, 2009 3:05 PM

Non-Sequiturs: 03.24.09
* The AIG bonus tax is also sexist. And, of course, communist. And most likely racist, homophobic, ageist, it certainly doesn’t do enough to fight AIDS or cure cancer, and is solely responsible for the death of every puppy in North
posted by @ March 24, 2009 6:27 PM