The Upper East Side 'Mommy Madam' who has been the focus of the tabloids for days -- and in Rikers since February 22 on a charge of promoting prostitution -- may be released. According to the New York Post, Anna Gristina's lawyer Peter Gleason will offer his TriBeCa loft on North Moore Street as collateral on the $2 million bond required for her release, a move that is "extremely unusual, but not unethical." Per the Post's Jeane Macintosh, Jamie Schram, and Chuck Bennett:
Gleason will even allow Gristina, 44, her four kids and her third husband, Kelvin, to stay at his North Moore Street condo if the judge doesn’t want her to leave the Big Apple, according to the affidavit to be filed today.
One interesting note in the piece in the Post today is that sources have said the five-year span of the investigation into Gristina's alleged brothel was at the behest of "[DA Cy Vance]" who "'wanted a sensational bust from the black book,' one source said. 'They let [the investigation] keep going because some big names were suspected to be customers.'” Of course, blaming Vance for the length of the investigation doesn't quite track as he was elected in 2009. Further, no "high profile" john has been revealed, as of yet; it's hard to say if that's because there is none, or because Gristina has simply refused to talk, but either way, this bust is clearly playing out differently from the Eliot Spitzer case, in which there was a "Client-9" to hone in on from the beginning.
The paperwork requesting Gristina's release, which will reportedly be filed today, must be approved by the judge (Gristina says she'll wear an ankle bracelet for monitoring purposes if the judge gives the OK). As for the loft: It's worth about $2.5 million and has four rooms and two bathrooms. Which sounds like a step up not only from Rikers, described as "sweltering" and smelling of cat urine, but also, possibly, the $600-a-month rent-stabilized walkup where Gristina allegedly ran her brothel. In related news, Jaynie Mae Baker, Gristina's alleged accomplice, is expected to turn herself in today. She'd been, depending on who you ask, either on vacation with family or on the lam.
Trend watch: TriBeCa is, maybe, the new hot spot for house arrest?