Last week producer and tenant activist Scott Griffin signed a publishing deal to write what promises to be a "definitive, tell-all" biography of venture capitalist and Chelsea Hotel minority shareholder, Marlene Krauss. ""My pitch was 'It's Scarface meets Yentl, with a hint of Coal Miner's Daughter,'" Griffin said over cocktails at Elaine's.
"For nearly two years now, I've had half the world calling me with all of their stories about Marlene" -- incredible stuff, Griffin said -- "and agent friends have been trying to get me to write a book for years. But nothing ever seriously took hold of my imagination. Then, a few weeks ago, I couldn't sleep and I was reading a copy of the speech Marlene supposedly made at her father's funeral, and I mean, it's very, very, moving stuff, so I thought, you know, why not? Let's do it. So I made the call."
The book promises drama galore, Griffin said. "I mean, you have to hand it to the woman, it's a gripping story: an immigrant plumber's daughter in the Bronx, through good grades and determination, climbs the icy ladder of the Ivy League to dominate the medical profession AND outshark the sharks of Wall Street -- all as a woman in a man's world -- only to possibly lose her entire fortune to Bernie Madoff! Or did she?
It could be a rags to riches to rags classic. But that's the exciting part of writing about a living person -- she gets to choose the ending! Will Marlene come out on top or not? It's Shakespearean, really. Most importantly, though, is that you understand her humanity and not just her ambition. But I know everyone secretly wants the Kitty Kelly stuff since that's what sells books."
The publisher, Amour Livres, said, "Scott Griffin knows dealmaking and the psychology of stars inside and out and is in a strong position to understand groundbreaking multihyphenate Marlene Krauss. We think this will be an explosive, essential book for the holidays and are very excited to be working with his team."
While Griffin said he'd love to turn this around quickly for a fall release, he says he intends to be thorough. "Let's get real, it took me and my staff three weeks just to read all her SEC filings."
And, while Griffin declined to reveal the amount of his advance, he has pledged to donate any and all proceeds from the book to a legal defense fund for Chelsea Hotel tenants facing eviction under Krauss's regime.
"It's a small but respectable sum in keeping with Marlene's growing public persona. But if it can help a needy person keep a roof over their head, then that's a good thing."
So, if you, or anyone you know, would like to contact Scott with information on Marlene Krauss -- photos, stories, letters or emails -- you can write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned, curious-minded Bohemians, for further updates. -- Ed Hamilton