Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An American Tragedy

Nestled at the bottom of page 25 of Friday’s Times right below a much larger article reporting on the Clinton’s Sagaponack rental (“In Hamptons Again, Clintons Get to Work on Their Vacation,”NYT, 8/23/13) was a piece about one Jason Lee, a “Goldman Sachs Banker Charged with Rape"(NYT, 8/23/13) to quote the exact headline. It was not exactly an odd placement, since both pieces deal with happenstances amongst the rich or the famous in the Hamptons. In fact the house where the rape purportedly took place and the summer rental taken by the former president and former secretary of state are only one town apart. The piece about the Clintons would have done Tom Wolfe proud as it was a cataloguing of connectivity. One particularly juicy tidbit had to do with the fact that the Clintons “usually sample the menu of Almond restaurant in Bridgehampton, which is owned in part by Jason Weiner, who is the brother-in-law of Mrs. Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin." The Times piece described a “Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton foundation fundraising gala at Topping Rose House—a new hotel-restaurant ooperated by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio” and attended by Ronald O. Perelman, Mort Zuckerman and Peter Kalikow. Bill Clinton was also credited with an appearance at the writers artists softball game and the article noted that the Clintons have been known to visit Stephen’s Talkhouse, a music venue in Amagansett where Bo Diddley, Van Morrison and Paul Simon have played and where the power went out to the chagrin of “their secret service detail” during a 2011 visit. While all this was happening Mr. Lee, the Goldman Sachs banker provided the Dreiserian backdrop, having posted $20,000 bail on the rape charge. Remember, Dreiser’s An American Tragedy was based on news story which took place in another playground of the rich. While the Clintons occupied a six bedroom house on 3.5 acres with a private path to the beach, the house Mr. Lee and his wife rented was a more modest four bedroom affair which commanded a price tag of $33,000 for August through Labor Day. The article revealed that the woman Mr. Lee is accused of raping is 20 and that he lives in Tribeca. An article in The East Hampton Star (“Source: Accused Rapist Hid in Range Rover,” 8/24/13) reported that Mr. Lee’s wife, Alicia, was in New York at the time of the incident. 

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