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After All the Bad Publicity, Publicist Ready to Leave Jail

November 29, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — For publicist-to-the-stars Lizzie Grubman, there was the scandal, the media skewering, the mea culpa and the click of handcuffs. Now, in a drill Grubman knows well, there's the comeback.

Grubman is scheduled to get out of jail today after doing time for backing her Mercedes SUV into a crowd outside a nightclub, then bolting, leaving 16 injured.

She will have served 37 days of a 60-day sentence at the Nassau County Jail, having gotten time off for good behavior.

The publicist's publicist, Dan Klores, knocked down rumors that Scene 1 of Grubman's second act would be an exclusive network interview.

"I'm sure she'll be back at work on Monday, raring to go," he said. "Her work ethic is second to none."

Grubman, 31, built a thriving business promoting careers and parties for the likes of Britney Spears, rapper Jay-Z, hip-hop mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and the Backstreet Boys.

She was jailed Oct. 23 after pleading guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and assault charges in the incident outside a Hamptons club in the summer of 2001. A teary Grubman apologized to the victims of the crash -- "I'm haunted by it daily" -- before she was led away in handcuffs.

It was hardly hard time. Reports in the city's tabloids -- some generated by Grubman in jailhouse phone interviews -- revealed that she occupied herself reading a Danielle Steel novel, snacking on Oreos and winning an election as representative of her tier. Life on the inside also meant giving a flannel Victoria's Secret nightgown to a fellow inmate who was cold, and signing autographs for other inmates.

"Most of the inmates were rather fond of her," defense attorney Stephen Scaring said.

Grubman earned top-10-list status on David Letterman's "Late Show" -- her (purely fictitious) No. 1 complaint about jail: "You can't, like, leave" -- and advice from Long Island Lolita-turned-columnist Amy Fisher.

Fisher, once jailed for shooting and wounding the wife of her auto-mechanic boyfriend, warned Grubman about a common jail affliction -- foot fungus. "It would look hideous all squished up in a new pair of Prada shoes," she wrote.

The crash heightened tensions between locals on the east end of Long Island and the wealthy out-of-towners who flock there every summer. Some locals viewed Grubman, the daughter of a high-powered entertainment attorney, as just another rich, spoiled outsider.

The Grubman tale was told in an ABC-TV documentary on the Hamptons. The New York Post sponsored a contest that awarded an SUV like the model Grubman drove. Top associates defected from her public relations firm, as did A-list clients.

Klores said Grubman's only offense was being "young and blond and ambitious," and predicted her business would rebound.

"The past year and a half has taught her the invaluable lesson of humility," he said.

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