Courtroom Sketches From the Astor Trial

cityfile · 06/16/09 08:11AM

It's really a shame there haven't been cameras at the trial of Anthony Marshall, the son of Brooke Astor who now stands accused on plundering his mother's fortune. Hundred (thousands?) of Upper East Siders would have been glued to their TV sets the past few weeks. Sketch artist Jane Rosenberg has been in attendance the past few weeks to document the goings-on with paper and colored pencils. Can you identify the notable people above who've appeared on the witness stand? As always, answers below.

Happy Birthday

cityfile · 06/11/09 06:53AM

There haven't been too many reasons for New York Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson to celebrate in recent months. But today there is! Robinson turns 59 today. Other people with something to smile about today: Charlie Rangel is turning 79. Shia LaBeouf is 23. Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren turns 55. Actor Peter Dinklage is 40. Public advocate Betsy Gotbaum turns 71. Cardiologist (and Oprah BFF) Mehmet Oz is turning 49. Mets shortstop José Reyes is 26. Hugh Laurie is 50. Actor Joshua Jackson is turning 31. Former housing secretary Henry Cisneros is 62. And former football great Joe Montana turns 53 today.

Madonna & A-Rod's Tryst at Casa Seinfeld

cityfile · 10/31/08 05:49AM

♦ Madonna and Alex Rodriguez were able to fly out to the Hamptons for a "quick and cozy rendezvous" without anyone knowing, but only because Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld picked the couple up (separately) from the East Hampton airport and let them hang out for several hours at their waterfront manse. [P6, The Sun]
♦ With her husband Rossano Rubicondi filming a reality show in Italy, Ivana Trump has been hanging out with a 23-year-old Belgian model named Marius Rusovici. [P6]
Tina Brown and Cathie Black are enemies, apparently, since they "disagreed on just about everything" and "wouldn't even look at each other," at a conference this week. [R&M]
♦ Is John McCain making an Saturday Night Live appearance this weekend? Does anyone care? [MSNBC]

Who Wants to Meet One of the World's Worst Dictators?

cityfile · 10/16/08 09:36AM

Islam Karimov is the autocratic leader of Uzbekistan and a man routinely described as one of the worst dictators on earth by the likes of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. (The group Common Dreams once suggested he's so bad that he made Saddam "look good.") Since taking over the oil and gas-rich country in 1989, he's plundered billions, held fake elections to keep himself in power, censored the media, and tortured those who dare to challenge him, often using some of the most barbarian methods to do so, like submerging them in boiling water. And now he's coming to visit New York! Not really. But we wondered: What would happen if one of the most evil tyrants did decide to come to New York. Would he receive a warm welcome from the local political establishment? We wanted to know. So we did what you'd probably do in such a situation: We printed up some official-looking letterhead and sent out letters to various City Council members and local congressmen to see if they'd take the meeting. And guess what? Lots of influential politicos have no objection to sitting down with one of the worst men on earth. Details on the people we duped—with audio of their calls to Karimov's "office"—after the jump.

Mayoral Aspirants Divulge All

cityfile · 09/04/08 12:40PM

Don't you love it when politicans disclose how much they make and how much they have in the bank? Bill Thompson, the city's comptroller, earns $185,000 and makes ends meet renting an apartment to his ex-wife. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn makes $141,000 a year and owns 50% of a house on the Jersey Shore that's worth more than $500,000. Betsy Gotbaum makes $150,000 a year and has between $450,000 and $1.2 million in various investment accounts. Michael Bloomberg? He's still worth $20 billion. [NYP]

Happy Birthday!

cityfile · 06/11/08 08:06AM

Peter Dinklage is short and old. He turns 39 today. Also celebrating: Scientology-lovin' Fox News legal eagle Greta Van Susteren is 54.'s Candy Pratts Price looks damn good for someone turning 59. Harlem's own Charlie Rangel is turning 78. On the local political front, fire department commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta is 76 and public advocate is Betsy Gotbaum's turning 70. Mets shortstop José Reyes is celebrating his 25. Indiana Jones cutie Shia LeBeouf turns 22. Times CEO Janet Robinson is 58. Surgeon (and friend of Oprah) Mehmet Oz turns 48.

Betsy Gotbaum

cityfile · 02/03/08 09:26PM

As former New York City Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum held an ill-defined job with little formal power—she's the city's "ombudswoman."

World's Most Suspicious Death Gets Even Murkier

abalk · 10/04/07 09:00AM

A lawyer for the family of Carole Anne Gotbaum—the daughter-in-law of New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum who died in police custody at the Phoenix airport—announced yesterday that an eyewitness reported seeing police carrying a "noncombative, not resisting" Gotbaum to the holding cell. "She wondered if she was dead," said attorney Michael Manning. For their part, Phoenix police are sticking by their original claim that an agitated, screaming Manning was left alone with her arms handcuffed behind her and somehow managed to bring her cuffed hands over her head before accidentally choking herself to death. Guess we'll wait and see what the autopsy report shows.

How To Escape Handcuffs

abalk · 10/02/07 12:35PM

Could Carol Anne Gotbaum—the daughter-in-law of New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum who died in police custody at the Phoenix airport—really have strangled herself to death while trying to lift her handcuffs over her head? Can anyone actually perform that maneuver? Slate investigates and says yes. Sorta!

The World's Most Suspicious Death

abalk · 10/01/07 02:45PM

One of the more bizarre stories this weekend concerned the death of Carol Anne Gotbaum, the daughter-in-law of New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. On Friday, on the way to rehab in Tucson, she arrived late to the airport in Phoenix and demanded to be allowed to board her flight. She was arrested for disorderly conflict, cuffed, and placed in an airport holding room. Half an hour later she was dead.