The entire cast (minus the fabulous Caroyln Castiglia, who was capturing this joyous moment on her camera) of All the Way, For the Children, my big "Celine Dion" extravaganza at Mo Pitkin's, on January 28, 2007. This photo was taken backstage right after the show. (No, I don't normally wear eyeliner.) Front row (from L. to R.): Laura Mannino; Katina Corrao; Shawn Hollenbach; Alana Harrison (love that smile!); back row (L. to R.): Adira Amram (gettin' down!); Paul Case (looking very handsome and solemn, like an extra on Law and Order), me, and Eric Poindexter.
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First off, if you haven’t read Parts I through IV, see below. (Go ahead, scroll down and read them in order. No, seriously. I’m not in a rush.)
OK… we’re back. So here’s where s&%$ really starts to get real for S%#@.
For me, losing in small claims court was the last straw in a very exhausting and frustrating series of events. So on that fateful day in the fall of 2007, I put a curse on Brent.
Not an actual, gypsy-lady, Ouija-board, “Rosemary’s Baby” kind of curse. No. (If only I had that kind of power!) I just wished him ill. You know, like one of those “God’ll get ya’, Walter!” curses that Maude used to use on her husband when he was an a-hole.
"Oh, for God's sake Walter--of course I didn't vote for Nixon!"
After that, time went on, as it does. I had a new apartment. Everything was once again fine in the world. But every once in a while, I would do a Google search for Brent’s real name, just out of curiosity. And lo and behold, I discovered recently that fortunes have changed rather dramatically for our old friend Brent S%#@.
To begin with, in 2009, he got hit in the head with an ice bucket by a former business partner during a business meeting because, evidently, Brent has perfected the art of being a douchebag, which his (former) business partner could no longer stomach. (Yes, the ice bucket incident actually happened.) Then, one of S%#@’s major lenders on another development project sued him and got a $28.5 million judgment after he defaulted on a personal loan relating to that project. And around the same time, he was also sued by the employees of my old building for not paying their benefits. (Douchebag to the extreme!)
But wait. There’s more.
Turns out, Brent is also currently going through a messy divorce from his wife. Remember her? She the one who’s billionaire father was Brent’s one-way ticket to Real Estate Successville back in Part I. So it sounds like Brent won’t be a welcome guest at Daddy-in-Law’s private club this Christmas season! (It’s like a 21st century version of Trading Places.)
I want my festive bread pudding... NOW!
But it gets even worse.
In June of this year, the ritzy co-op that Brent and his soon-to-be-ex-wife own at 740 Park Avenue (the famous building where Jackie Kennedy grew up) is being… FORECLOSED!
Isn't karma AWESOME?!
Which got me to thinking-- maybe, just maybe my curse worked! Or maybe it was the combined force of all of the curses that must have been put on Brent by the hundreds of people whose lives he screwed over. Or maybe it was just bad luck. But whatever it was, it has restored my faith in the Universe!
Now here’s where it starts to get really, really ironic. Remember my old building? The one that I (along with several hundred other tenants) got kicked out of so that Brent could swell swanky, million-dollar condos to the Downtown crowd? Well, because of the recession that began in early 2008, not only did he fail to sell enough units in the building to break even, he is now poised to lose his entire interest in the project because his primary lender, the bankrupt Lehman Brothers, has obtained permission from a bankruptcy judge to foreclose on the property. And guess what? This past summer, under new management, the building signed (wait for it…) their first new tenants.
Yes, that’s right—tenants! You know, the people who sign pieces of paper referred to as “leases” and then rent their apartments from a person known as a “landlord”?
It’s hard to believe but it’s true: after 5 long years, and following untold disruption in the lives of hundreds of former tenants—not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on legal and other costs to force the tenants out and pursue a condo conversion that was ultimately abandoned—all those apartments, which sat empty for almost 5 years, will once again be available… for rent. Insane.
So, the moral of the story is: if you’re already rich, and want to get even richer, try not to screw over too many people in the process; because if you’re not careful, you too may end up bankrupt, divorced, and with a large ice bucket to the head.