Somehow, a Sedgwick Overcomes

Growing up rich is hard, what with all the money and the drugs and the famous lineages and pressure. Take, for example, Rob Sedgwick, the brother of Closer star Kyra and Warhol muse Edie's cousin.

Profiled in today's New York Observer, Rob is an old-money descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He grew up "middle-middle" in Croton-on-Hudson before his folks got divorced and his mom married wealthy and moved the kids to Manhattan. Eventually the family moved to the Upper East side, into "one of the greatest townhouses in New York City," according to Mr. Sedgwick. There, as a rebellious prep school-hopping teenager, he (and Kyra) got into coke and quaaludes and all manner of things. He drifted off to Bennington where he "developed a dancer fetish," then moved back to New York and started dealing drugs with his friend Jordan.

Well, eventually they got caught and he folded like a cheap card table and got his pal sent to jail and got some probation for himself. He became an actor who drank all the time and habitually called 900-number sex lines and was just a general mess. But don't worry! He's sober now, still lives in Manhattan, has a devoted dog, has opened up a vegan ice cream parlor, and is, of course, penning a memoir.

“I’m not going to lie to you, I wrote the book to make money, I did the store to make money,” Rob said. “You know, I want a wife and kids, I want to own my own apartment.”

“It definitely hits a lot of the commercial elements,” said his agent, Christopher Schelling of the manuscript. “There’s the drugs and sex and the celebrity, but he really pulls it together in a beautiful way. He’s a really excellent writer, and I don’t know if he told you, but there’s also an incredible love story with this dog, that’s the first thing that drew me in.”

A touching story, and a well-earned publishing deal no doubt. That someone of his background and means could manage to overcome it all is worthy of so much attention. I mean, we've already heard so much about the people who have it easy.

Slurping Down Sedgwick [NYO]

Photo Josh Hamilton, for NYO