So, former MSNBC guy Dan Abrams is starting a "consulting" firm full of random media people to give advice to rich corporate clients about how to handle media-related issues. Do you know what that's called? It's called a PR firm. But this PR firm would never call itself that, because that would make the media people it employs sound corrupt. The thing is, this firm's business plan is so annoying that the rest of the media (us) is going to cover its clients even harder to make up for it. For example! Abrams' first client is billionaire Ron Perelman. Now why would Ron Perelman need to worry about his reputation?
- Personal: Crazy divorces! Perelman's been divorced three times. He met his third wife, Patricia Duff, when they were both still married. They had a child together before they were married. A year later they were going through a nasty public divorce! "The court psychiatrist found Duff to be paranoid and narcissistic and Perelman to have serious anger management issues, Perelman caught a great deal of flak for testifying that it cost about $3 a day to feed his daughter, and both sides alleged physical abuse by the other party." That's bad. Perelman told Duff at the time, “I will destroy you, and I will enjoy it.” Then there was his dramatic marriage to and divorce from actress Ellen Barkin. Perelman once got mad when she did a movie sex scene with Laurence Fishburne. He was a narcissistic, controlling guy. Eventually they got divorced, and he gave her between $20-60 million. But he moved on quickly!
- Business: Perelman is a billionaire investor who got a reputation as a corporate raider way back in the 1980s. (He learned from his businessman dad, who made little Ron sit in on board meetings at age 12 and yelled at him and made him an angry young loner). Several times in his career he was accused of "greenmail," which means buying up enough shares of a company to scare the company into paying him a lot of money to go away. He made tens of millions in this way, which is great for Ron Perelman, and terrible for shareholders. Another fun thing was when he had one public company he controlled pay him four times market value for his shares in another company. Later he was forced to undo this because, you know, you're not allowed to take money from everybody else in order to buy holdings from yourself at wildly inflated prices. Another time, in a contract dispute lawsuit, an employee named Fred Tepperman "charged that the breakfast meetings [with Perelman] were nothing but a podium Perelman used to boast about his sexual conquests, and thus Tepperman was merely avoiding pointless meetings, as any worker would." Ha.
- And: Clinton operative Vernon Jordan tried to get Perelman to give a job to Monica Lewinsky at Revlon, a company Perelman got in one of the nastiest corporate takeovers in history. Then the Lewinsky scandal broke and Perelman's name was all over it, hilariously.
Stay tuned for more! Every time someone seeks out the advice on how not to get slimed in the press, it only reminds us of why they need the help.