Investment adviser Ken Starr was arrested Thursday for allegedly defrauding a long list of Hollywood stars like Uma Thurman. And the story keeps getting better (trashier): His wife, Diane Passage, is a former Scores stripper and pole dancer.
Starr—not related to the Clinton prosecutor with the same name—was arrested on Thursday alongside former Manhattan borough president Andy Stein and accused of running a Ponzi scheme on a client roster drawn from Hollywood, major league sports, and Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, Wesley Snipes, and Annie Leibowitz are all former clients, and Uma Thurman was named in the criminal complaint). According to the U.S. attorney, Starr funneled money to his son and his wife—Diane Passage, who just so happens to be a former Scores stripper and pole dancing enthusiast.
Here she is:
Passage is the founder of a group called Pole Superstar, which puts on a pole dancing competition. Its mission is to "recognize the increasing interest in pole dancing as a sport, fitness activity and art form, worldwide." She has also guest-blogged at Pumps Mag, "the voice of the exotic dancing industry," where she posted most of these pictures:
The 2009 Pole Superstar event was judged by Jennifer Lopez's ex-husband Chris Judd and Lost Boys actor Jason Patric. It was covered by—who else—Justin Rocket Silverman, who until recently held down the "weird sex stuff" beat at the New York Post. Passage told Silverman,
"People ask why I'm not holding this event in Vegas. It's because these girls don't do what strippers do. New Yorkers are more understanding of pole dancing as a sport."
Huh. Pole Superstar, we should note, says that it "benefitted a new organization called S.P.I.N. (Single Parents In Need)," which is apparently a charity founded by the very busy Passage. Her bio also claims that she's working on a movie adaptation of Larry McMurtry's book Desert Rose, about which she wrote this on Pumps:
Coincidentally, I have the movie rights to Larry McMurtry's novel The Desert Rose, which is a story about a Las Vegas showgirl. I obtained the rights about five years ago and started working on the movie with Martin Bregman, whose films include Scarface, Serpico, The Bone Collector, and more. This movie has been a slow process since I manage multiple projects, but I feel like my involvement with the Pole Superstar Las Vegas show will help me along with the movie since there are similar elements. The Desert Rose is about an aging Las Vegas showgirl whose underage daughter is being groomed to take the mother's place as the star of the show. The story merges female competitiveness with mother/daughter tension – something that women can relate to, in the enticing Vegas setting that men can relate to.
The criminal complaint details some of the nice things Passage got from her husband, including a $70,000 diamond bracelet and a $32,000 wedding band:
It's also got a description of the $7.5 million condo they bought, which has a pool:
It's unclear how much Passage was aware of her husband's alleged fraud, and her pole dancing advocacy had nothing to do, directly, with Ponzi scheming. That we know of. That being said: She seems way more fun than Ruth Madoff.