The tabloid beef of the week so far is the ridiculous Meatpacking District fight between a 24-year-old prince (the grandson of Grace Kelly) and a middle-aged former club owner. It makes the cover of the New York Post today (again), because of course it does: It has every component of the perfect tabloid tale -- foreign royalty, expensive vodka, models, an undercurrent of misogyny and traditional paternalistic roles gone bad, a pointless beef about nothing between a couple of drunk dudes, violence, and an arrest. And now, criminal complaints, threats, veiled threats, and more stupidities! Oh, the intrigue.
Why the punches? Maybe, as is written in both the News and the Post, Casiraghi wanted to sit at the table where Hock was sitting. Possibly, according to Andrea Peyser, he and his friends taunted Hock, and also drank from their vodka bottles (quelle horreur). Possibly, then, Hock punched Casiraghi in the face, and then began punching his friends (including Stavros Niarchos,Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, and Diego Marroquin). A full-blown bar brawl apparently ensued, in which, Three Stooges-style, an overpriced bottle of Grey Goose was nearly cracked over Hock's head. Hock was arrested, arraigned on misdemeanor charges of assault and harassment, and released.
Hock is talking to the tabloids, and says he feels he "was victimized by several drunk, entitled guys who felt they deserved the prime table with the most beautiful girls,” and also that he fears Casiraghi could now ruin his life:
“I am concerned these guys will make my life difficult,” he said. “I imagine they are sitting with their parents strategizing how to destroy me. I am getting married in June. I want to start a family. I don’t want enemies like this.”
Despite or because of that, he's considering pressing charges, which means, if we're lucky, the tabs may get a few more day's play with this story. (The prince's family, meanwhile, is apparently not very happy they're in the papers in this fashion.)
Not unexpectedly, Andrea Peyser comes out staunchly on the side of Hock, largely because she seems to hate ascot-wearing European royals. Similar anti-European sentiment is seen from Hock's lawyer, who told the Daily News, "They were touching the girls, grabbing them the way Europeans feel they can touch whatever woman they want in New York." (A not very veiled reference to DSK?)
But American club owners who hang in the Meatpacking District swilling $500 bottles of vodka with model entourages and then punching people, you might say, are just as bad. There is no winner here, not even the Manhattan DA, who is reviewing surveillance video of the incident which we suspect will prove that all of the men involved acted pretty much like idiots. Can defending the "honor of women" start meaning guys just act like grown-ups? That would be nice.