Julia Allison, the provocative but usually dignified sex journalist, really needs to think twice about inviting former Harvard "Duchess" Erica Birmingham to her 27th birthday party, and not just because the photo of Birmingham drinking Bud Lite in a tank top that surfaced earlier today. A classmate of Birmingham, who once shared a villa with her in Mexico, wrote in about her notoriety on campus, including "awesome or terrifying" parties involving midgets and dirty parrots. Her email — UPDATE: plus Birmingham's response and another email — after the jump.
UPDATE: Gawker discussed the email below with Erica by phone, her comments are [in brackets]. Also, an email from a Birmingham defender follows below.
i was the same year as erica at harvard, and she was by far the most notorious person on campus. of course she walked around in mini skirts and manolos all year long... [snip] here are a few examples of her party planning capabilities, for julia and anyone else considering inviting her to a soiree...a bunch of us went to acapulco for spring break senior year. erica paid locals off the sidewalk to push her shopping cart around the local walmart and buy party supplies [UPDATE: Erica says she hired help to help staff the party throughout the day, and they lived at the rented Villa, not on the sidewalk.] . their villa was hosting a big party the last night we were there, and erica loudly promised everyone that there would be mexican midgets walking around wearing sombreros full of guacamole [Erica says, sadly, the guacamole hat "didn't happen, and it would have been so cool if it did"]. sadly she could not find enough midgets in time [Erica says the midget thing did indeed fail to happen!]. but she did train a parrot to say really filthy things [the parrot was pre-trained, says Erica]. back on campus, erica fitted out plastic wading pools/scorpion bowls filled with 151 and giant straws for guests at one club's spring garden party.
awesome or terrifying? probably a matter of opinion..but either way far from cupcakes and tulle skirts.
Also, here is most of an email from someone identifying themselves as "Duchess Defender:"
As a fairly prominent student at Harvard, Erica was more than used to addressing rumors about her and almost always has a great sense of humor about them no matter how outrageous. I want to keep this short so let me just address some inaccuracies I've observed so far:
- I stayed in Villa Cristal with Erica in Acapulco that spring break, and Erica didn't pay off locals to push around a cart at Wal-Mart. Also, it was a Super Wal-Mart.
- The filthy-mouthed parrot named 'Lorenzo' had already been trained when we arrived. Erica had no part in his training, but that is funny.
- The scorpion pool did not contain giant straws, just little ones. So fun!
- And I'm not sure where you dug up that picture, but Erica's drink of choice is a Kir Royale, not a Bud Light.