The last six weeks have been a fairly stressful time for Anna Gristina/Scotland. On March 6, she was arrested for allegedly running a brothel out of an East 78th Street apartment, where she provided hookers to “wealthy, powerful men” (“politicians, top-law enforcement, influential lawyers, bankers, entertainment execs and Fortune 500 businessmen”), which meant her plans for global expansion (the details of which she'd been hammering out with a broker friend just that morning) had to be shelved. On April 3, her request for reduced bail (set at $2 million) was denied for a fourth time. On April 9, it became clear she was probably going to have to send her pet pigs to a farm "upstate." Right now, as she sits in a jail cell on Riker's Island, it would be fair to assume Gristina/Scotland's spirits are pretty low. And while it may be little consolation, she should know that everyone back home, across the pond, is not only rooting for her but swelling with pride over her accomplishments, which they speak of in terms generally reserved for local athletes bringing home Olympic gold medals.
When David Cameron spoke recently of entrepreneurs banging the drum for British business, he possibly wasn't referring to the woman whose entrepreneurship has become the talk of New York. In her own way, though, Anna Gristina, 44, could be cited as a curious example of British excellence. The Scottish woman, who allegedly ran a high-class prostitution racket from her Manhattan apartment for 15 years, has been showing that when it comes to sex scandals the Brits still lead the world. Heidi Fleiss may have had an A-list clientele but she didn't have Playboy models working for her, royalty and former presidential candidates on the books, an ex-husband who is a noted politician, and a stunning stand-up comedienne sidekick. For wild originality alone the "McMadam" story surely wins out.
District Attorney Charles Linehan told the court that there "was no plainer example that she (Gristina) is a flight risk." If the prosecutors are playing hardball, however, so is Gristina. From her cell in Riker's Island she sent word that she would sooner bite her own tongue off than betray any of her prominent clients. One would expect nothing less of a doughty Scot, who decades ago left behind her tiny village of Kirkliston, near Edinburgh, to make her fortune in the big city but is still well remembered back home.
That's our girl!