Graydon Carter appeared as a witness yesterday at the trial of Anthony Marshall, the son of Brooke Astor who stands accused of swindling his mother when she was suffering from Alzheimer's. The Vanity Fair editor recalled the three articles he asked her to write for the magazine in the late '90s (she was paid $1,000 for her efforts). And he described their regular lunches at the Knickerbocker Club and the Four Seasons, and the time when he even managed to convince her to travel downtown to dine at Da Silvano.
Carter also shared how he saw the socialite's mental state decline over the years.
Once, he came to meet Astor at the Knick and she didn't recognize him. "She asked where Graydon Carter was," said the editor, who is likely not used to having people forget him. "I'm Graydon," he said. "Oh yes, of course you are," responded a flustered Astor.
By their final encounter, in 2003, Astor no longer could identify her onetime editor. "Do you know Graydon Carter?" she asked. "I'm right here," he gently reminded her.
Obviously, under the circumstances, Carter was more than willing to give Astor a pass for not recognizing him. Possibly less forgivable? That after blanketing the press with news about his latest restaurant, Monkey Bar, there are still members of the media who can't keep the name straight: "'Can I get a reservation at the Monkey Club?" shouted one as Carter hopped on the elevator."