Words keep clanging in my mind: now you have nothing. The cottage in West Palm Beach is already on the market, my little country house is being appraised, and I can’t even think what will happen to my apartment.
So, she has nothing, yet she owns three properties. My bleeding heart is starting to heal. Of course she feels sorry for herself. Who wouldn't? Who wouldn't feel cheated? Who wouldn't feel profoundly depressed, not to say humiliated? But Alexandre Penney is far from destitute. She owns properties with a joint value probably in excess of $2 million. The ones I feel sorry for are those whose entire savings were lost, mainly due to Madoff's crookedness but also partly due to the failure of the regulatory system which failed to identify his business practices as fundamentally illegal. At least Alexandra Penney can call on friends in high places...
I call my good friend Ed Victor, the literary agent, and say I need to write something, anything.
Not everyone can pick up the phone and ask a mate to organise for them to paid a fortune to write the lead story on the Sunday Times Review. The fee was probably somewhere north of £2,000. Oh well, that should keep the wolf from Ms Penney's door for a few more days.
I don't mean to sound cold hearted, but it sickens me to think that even in today's meritocratic society the media establishment does this sort of thing. It looks after its own even when the literary merit of pieces like this is questionable. A far better piece would have been 2,000 words from a media non-entity who really was on their uppers due to Madoff's crimes.
Alexandra Penney made her name, so I have googled, by writing a book called HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO A MAN. It made number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Her next four books did the same.
At least she has the chance to write another one and get a cracking great advance. Others don't have that option.