USA / SUV-plowing Elizabeth S. Grubman labeled a vegetarian by NY Times
- The New York Times
November 30, 2002
Grubman Leaves Suffolk Jail After Serving 38 Days of Term
By LESLIE KAUFMAN
The reporters and camera crews were out at dawn and ready to pounce,
as they have been at every juncture of the very public case against
Elizabeth S. Grubman, the Manhattan publicist. But yesterday morning,
Ms. Grubman gave everyone the slip as she was released from the
Suffolk County jail.
Ms. Grubman, 31, had finished serving two-thirds of a two-month
sentence for backing into a crowd outside a Hamptons nightclub,
injuring 16 people, and then fleeing the scene.
In the afternoon, outside her apartment on the Upper East Side of
Manhattan, the newly freed publicist resurfaced. Looking freshly
scrubbed and wearing black boots and jeans, she appeared, smiling, on
her building's front step.
"I can't tell you all how happy I am to be home," she said to a group
She brushed aside questions about life behind bars and what she
learned there, saying she planned to spend a quiet weekend with
family and friends before "dedicating all my time to my business on
Her spokesman, Dan Klores, later filled in the details: his client
would spend Sunday celebrating a belated Thanksgiving with her
family, and Sunday and Monday watching the Jets and the Giants.
"She learned a lot in prison," Mr. Klores said. "She felt, even
though it was jail, there were other decent women in prison."
In the end, Ms. Grubman served 38 days of the 60-day sentence she
received for backing her father's Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle
into a crowd outside the Conscience Point Inn in Southampton in July
2001, then driving away. More than a half-dozen of those injured
filed civil suits against Ms. Grubman, however, and many of those
suits are still pending.
Officials at the jail in Riverhead gave her time off for model
behavior. While there, Ms. Grubman taught classes in computer skills
and career management and won an election to represent her tier. One
of her lawyers, Edward Burke Jr., visited Ms. Grubman on Thanksgiving
Day to discuss her release and said yesterday that she was doing
well. Ms. Grubman was offered a turkey meal, but it is unlikely she
partook, since she is a vegetarian.
By about 10 a.m. yesterday, more than a half-dozen inmates had
trickled from the jail after their release, but Ms. Grubman was not
among them. Alan Otto, a spokesman for the Suffolk police, said only
that all the inmates scheduled for release had left. Ms. Grubman
showed up at her Manhattan apartment about two hours later.
Although her jail time is over, Ms. Grubman is hardly a free agent.
She still has to complete 280 hours of community service, and could
be on probation for as long as five years.
She is scheduled to meet with her probation officer for the first
time on Monday at the department's offices in downtown Manhattan. She
will probably have to check in at least once a month for the
foreseeable future, members of her legal team said. Probation
officers can impose significant restrictions on their wards'
activities, including monitoring and restricting travel.
Next on Ms. Grubman's agenda is presumed to be revitalizing her image
and that of her public relations business, which has lost clients and
sustained high-level defections of colleagues. Eventually, Ms.
Grubman is expected to give an interview to one of the television
networks, but in the meantime will put her energy into winning back
the trust and dollars of the high-prestige, image-conscious
businesses that were the mainstay of her clientele.
"I would be surprised if she is not back at her office by Monday,
Tuesday latest," said Stephen P. Scaring, the other lawyer who
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