I subscribe to Vanity Fair because it gives me a glimpse of a world I cannot enter, the realm of the entitled and the pretenders. Sometimes their antics amaze and amuse and sometimes, they confirm what I already know: that people everywhere are pretty much the same, except some make fools of themselves in some pretty fancy places. The center of gossip gravity these days is Mayfair, London where, according to writer James Reginato, “that bastion of the 1 percent of the 1 percent has seen plenty of drama this season.” (“The Talk of Mayfair, by James Reginato, Vanity Fair, December 2015, pg. 130.)
Of interest this month is the lock out from her flat of “Sotheby Mayfair widow,” Judy Tubman. Returning from a holiday, she discovered her stepchildren, with whom she’s estranged, had claimed a couple of apartment paintings which Tubman’s friend described as almost worthless – a mere 300,000 each. (Ibid, pg132) Tubman was not allowed to enter her property for 8 hours until the paintings were removed. Incensed, she called the press who came out in time to find a well coiffed widow with 10 large pieces of luggage waiting to be admitted into her own home. Not that the lady had nowhere to go. Her husband, who served nine years in prison for art fraud, left her not only with the Mayfair property but with a palatial duplex on Fifth Avenue in New York, the lifetime use of a baronial manor in Southampton, a large, modern house in the Detroit suburbs, and a chalet in Gstaid. She received a lump sum of between $200 to $400 million from the estate and an annual $10 million for sundry expenses, not to mention the jewels her husband purchased for her estimated to be worth $100 million.
One wonders why, if she didn’t want to stand in the street for 8 hours, Judy Tubman didn’t flag down a cab and ride to the nearest Motel 6. She probably wanted to make a point to the world that she’d been victimized by her wicked stepchildren. She needn’t have bothered. No one cares.