The Fall of the House of NoelS

The Noel family was once the toast of Greenwich, Connecticut. Dad ran a hedge fund. Mom and the daughters were social queens. Now, they've reportedly been kicked out of their country club. An American tragedy:

The problems began—as so many problems do—with Bernie Madoff. Walter Noel, the patriarch, is co-founder of Fairfield Greenwich Group (FGG), which funneled billions of its clients' dollars into Madoff's own funds. That was the point at which the Noels started their now-crushing downward social slide.

Monica, the matriarch, was a Brazilian-born socialite who started her own children's clothing line. She was known for pushing her daughters to be even bigger and, uh, better (?) socialites in New York. The five daughters—Marisa, Alix, Ariane, Lisina, and Corina—all graduated from top schools, and all ended up marrying businessmen. Four of their husbands went to work for Walter Noel.

The Fall of the House of Noel

You can see, then, that when the domino fell, everybody was in line to get knocked down. Since the Madoff scandal broke, FGG has been flooded with investor lawsuits. The family lost a huge portion of its own wealth as well. This was a convenient excuse for the other Greenwich richies to despise them.

But actually, they were despised long before that, because the flaunted their wealth and were all apparently huge obnoxious spoiled brats, to one degree or another. At least by the standards of the other huge obnoxious brats there. Among the outrages:

"The Noel women showed up in 'thongs and sarongs' [to a beach club]."

"The first summer they were here, I won't forget seeing two of the daughters blocking traffic on Jobs Lane, leaning out of their convertibles, talking to each other and making what sounded like idle plans and blowing kisses, as if they owned the street-literally for five full minutes while a line of too-polite-to-honk Southampton matrons sat in silence."

"They lit up their house like a Vegas casino, which shocked some of their neighbors on the pond [Lake Agawam]."

Okay, so maybe the neighbors were actually bigger pricks than they were. At any rate, their ostracism is now complete. Guest of a Guest says that the fawncy Round Hill Club has now "revoked their membership" for being too undesirable. Oh, the shame. When all the lawsuits are done they will probably be left with only the Palm Beach House. It's an object lesson to all rich families: Don't be a rich family.

[P6 Mag, Vanity Fair, Guest of a Guest. Pics: NY Mag, VF]