Have you heard the one about the disgruntled cuckold who discovered his editor wife was cheating with a literary-agency heir and forwarded their sexts to the scion's powerful father, agency partners, and a few other innocent bystanders? Oh no? Let the New York Post tell you.
Earlier this week, Page Six ran an "exclusive" item about notable fashion photographer Paul Costello (at left in the photo above), who'd apparently learned that his wife and the mother of his children, former Domino Magazine creative director Sara Ruffin Costello, had long been carrying on with Luke Janklow, a shaggy musician-turned-literary agent. Costello forwarded their correspondences to Janklow's tony colleagues, his father, and at least one of Luke's other romantic partners. Janklow's lawyer Ed Hayes confirmed the Costello-Janklow affair to the Post, but specified that Costello had been separated from her husband when it happened. What the Post didn't say: Costello's vindictive text outing was motivated not by his discovery of the affair—he'd long known about it—but by the fact that his wife persisted in stepping out long into her pregnancy with the couple's third child.
Why does anyone care beyond rubbernecking the schadenfreude of psuedo-elite humiliation? Well, not only are the Janklows the sort of family who show up as style icons in Esquire, but Luke's inherited agency, Janklow & Nesbit Associates, is the New York literary powerhouse, co-founded by Luke's father Mort and Lynn Nesbit, that's responsible for negotiating landmark deals for Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park and Thomas Harris's Silence of the Lambs. Mort has built his legacy representing such mass-audience writers as Danielle Steel and Barbara Walters. Lynn is a Joan Didion confidante (she's the first person to be with Didion after her husband John died) and Jimmy Carter's agent. Luke has personally represented clients like Demi Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow; he's also, for example, credited with wrangling Anderson Cooper $1 million for his memoir. Having Luke's "racy pictures" (read: dong shots) widely passed along isn't befitting for the likely successor to Jimmy Carter's agency.
But since the Page Six item ran, we've heard from a number of tipsters who insist the Post only has part of the sordid story. For one, the Janklow and Costello couples were all friends before the affair—here's a Patrick McMullen photo of Sara, a Wall Street Journal contributor, at a holiday party thrown by Luke and his ex-wife Julie. For two, sources say Janklow's girlfriend at the time, Vogue editor Meredith Melling Burke, received them too, which might help explain why they apparently broke up around the same time.
For three, one tipster in particular writes in to offer the real reason Luke's dick pics made the rounds. "Paul Costello discovered his wife Sara was fucking lit agent Luke Janklow during her pregnancy with their third child. They had a four year affair which was discovered more than once which is why Paul moved his family to New Orleans... to get away from Janklow." The tipster continues, "[Paul Costello] found text messages between the two where Sarah cautioned Luke 'Paul must never find out we were fucking during this pregnancy...he'll hate the kid.' Luke was having a torrid affair with Sarah during her entire pregnancy!"
Oh, you'd like to see some people having a worse week than you? Here they are.
[NY Post; photo by Getty Images; composite by Jim Cooke]