One time PR powerhouse Peggy Siegel is profiled in the new Vanity Fair, says The Daily Front Row, which appears delighted by her comeuppance—-as well as her dubious defenses and reportedly collapsing business—-in the wake of the cascade of indecent exposures regarding her close association with the late Jeffrey Epstein. In VF, per The Daily Beast, she even equated the generalized disdain toward her attempts to rehabilitate Epstein to Nazi-calibre anti-Semitism.
This all reminded me of something I wrote about Peggy back when she was still riding high, as opposed to hanging on the ropes. In Social Life in a Blender, a 1998 New York cover story, she spoke to me about some of her friends and clients, some of them newsmakers still:
Loyalty is not one of Siegal’s virtues, however. “She goes hot and cold with people,” says a former intimate, who asks to be described as “one of the disposable people.” Behind their backs, this woman says, Siegal regularly disparages her friends and the people she works for. “Art dealer Larry Gagosian was a pig. Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein was a fat slob. The first time she saw Patty Hearst’s house, she said it looked like a dentist’s and was a tasteless mess. There’s no friendship with her.” (Siegal says her remark about Hearst was a joke. “I was naïvely expecting to walk into San Simeon,” she explains. She acknowledges that she was angry with Weinstein, who demanded she work for him exclusively, but adds that she considers him “the most brilliant and tenacious filmmaker in the industry.” As for Gagosian, she laughs and qualifies her remark: Gagosian is still a pig, perhaps, “but in hindsight, one with impeccable taste.”)
It isn’t only clients and friends who get the Siegal treatment, however. She even disdains the journalists she depends on for coverage. When a female friend started dating one, Siegal
first yelled at her, then dropped her from the A-list. “I have no respect for writers,” Siegal told her. “They never make money. They’re like poor people looking in the windows.”
Siegel rarely invited me to her parties after that. So I never got to meet Jeffrey Epstein.
UPDATE: The Vanity Fair story is worth a read.