Following a Page Six-ready scoop from The Observer's Foster Kamer last week, that alleged Mommy Madam Anna Gristina had claimed to be a "very, very good friend" of The New York Post's Col Allan, the editors of The Post acted quickly. Allan denied the charge, calling it outrageous, and an article appeared in the Post on Friday by Jeane MacIntosh, who said that the person with the relationship with Gristina was in fact her—and that Gristina was merely a source. Monday there's another article about Gristina in the paper that makes us wonder if the editors have decided to go a bit harder on the Mommy Madam—and if that's the case, if it has anything to do with the claims of last week.
In Monday's Mommy Madam exclusive, three Post writers, including MacIntosh, explain that Gristina first caught the attention of investigators back in 2004, rather than in 2007, which had previously been the date cited as the beginning of the look into the alleged prostitution ring. Officials got involved because of a fight between Gristina and a woman named Jennifer Billo over the use of the apartment on East 78th Street (aka, the alleged brothel). In the fight, Gristina boasted "You better watch your back. I own New York!" and “I’m going down to the city, and I’m going to beat your head in with a baseball bat," in an apparent attempt to get Billo, who had been fighting with other women there, to leave the premises. Billo apparently retorted, "I’m going to have someone put a bullet in your children’s head, your husband’s head and your head!"
The result of the fight was that both women reported each other at the 19th Precinct, and both were arrested, though charges against each were dropped. This is important because, according to The Post, "the arrests clarify the start date of the massive investigation into Gristina, who prosecutors have said has been on their radar only since 2007." (Six months after the phone incident, investigators started "gathering dirt" on Gristina's alleged "laundryman," Jonas Gayer, who is free on no bail despite being arrested on charges of money laundering and promoting prostitution.) We also learn from this piece that the target of the investigation may be crooked cops—even though nary a cop has been arrested.
What's interesting is that there's not a recent quote in sight from Anna Gristina, the "very, very good friend," if not of Allan, then of MacIntosh, who visited her in Rikers on Friday to get a comment on whether she knew Allan (Gristina said no at that time). Her lawyer apparently declined comment as well. So, what we get instead is an old quote from a 2004 fight that functions to paint Gristina rather unpleasantly, and seems a bit of a divergence from the tone of previous reporting. So, we have to wonder, are The New York Post and Anna Gristina no longer friends? Or were they really never friends in the first place?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.