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Guess Who's Coming To Dinner: Steve Cohen, Whether He Likes It Or Not

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[Steve] Cohen was among the roughly 2,400 people who attended Christie’s victory bash at the Asbury Park Convention Hall, as well as a private dinner Christie had with a handful of supporters, according to people close to Cohen with direct knowledge of the matter. Cohen was one of the few who received a personal invitation from the governor to attend, these people say. Further raising eyebrows is that the invitation came just hours after Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara announced a plea deal with Cohen’s hedge fund that includes the largest fine in the history of insider-trading cases, a guilty plea and an agreement by SAC to end its business of managing money for outside clients...Christie and Cohen are said to be friends; one person with direct knowledge of the matter said the New Jersey governor had heard that Cohen was depressed amid the legal pressure, including last week’s guilty plea, and “told Steve to get off his couch” urging Cohen to attend his victory celebration. Cohen reluctantly agreed, this person said. -- Charlie Gasparino, Fox Business

November 4, 2013. Christie Re-election Headquarters. The governor is talking to reporters about the following day's election, which he is all but certain to win. As we enter, he is answering a question from the Bergen County Times.

Christie: "...well you can tell him that if he wants to be an idiot, that's his prerogative. If he wants to be an idiot that's fine, but not in my state. You wanna be an idiot? Get the hell out of New Jersey."

An aide approaches Christie, hands him a folded up note, and whispers something in his ear. A look of consternation passes over the Governor's face. Christie apologizes and tells the reporters he's going to have to cut things short, then exits stage right and walks into a conference room, shutting the door behind him.


Steve Cohen’s Greenwich, Connecticut mansion.

Phones light up throughout the Cohen house. Alex is working out with her personal trainer in the state of the art fitness center and ignores the blinking red button. "If he's going to stay home from work the least he can do is pick up the phone," she thinks to herself, even though she knows he won't. The gym phone lights up again, this time with an accompanying chirp. On the fourth ring, she sighs and hits pause on the treadmill. "Just give me one second, Brian," she says, clearly exasperated.

"Cohen residence...oh hi, how are you...oh you know we would really love to but I'm just not sure about the timing...well, yes, he's been a little down...oh I don't know about that...well, if you think you can help..let me see if he's feeling up to it..."

Alex places the phone back in the cradle and presses the intercom button. Across the mansion, her voice comes in over the PA system. "Steve, pick up the phone, Chris Christie is on the line." No answer. "Steve, it's Chris Christie and he wants to talk." Nothing. "STEVE! PICK UP THE PHONE!" The only response is her echo ringing through the halls. PHONE...O-NE...O-NE...O-NE...

"Brian, I'll be right back, I have to deal with this."


Cohen family room, off the kitchen. The blinds are drawn and Steve is on the couch, where he's been all morning and afternoon under a cashmere throw. The TV is on but he's not interested in watching. All he wants to do is lay there.

Steve hears Alex telling him to pick up the phone but...he just doesn't have the strength, emotionally, to talk to anyone. Hell, he barely has the strength to pick up one of the Georgia Red Hots that was delivered earlier from Super Duper Weenie in an attempt to cheer him up. He thinks he might be off the hook, until his wife comes through the double doors.

Alex: "Steve, did you not hear me saying Chris Christie is on the phone?"

Steve, softly: "I heard you."

Alex: "Well, then why didn't you pick up?"

Steve: "It's not a good time."

Alex: "It's not a good time? It hasn't been a good time for the last week! Have you even gotten off this couch since Friday after work?" Alex loves her husband, but she's had it with this mopey routine.

Steve: "I'm resting."

Alex: "Have you pulled up these shades? Have you seen daylight?"

Steve: "It's not good for my skin."

Alex: "Look, Christie is on the line and he wants to talk."

Steve: "I can't. Tell him I'm busy or something."

Alex: "Busy doing what, exactly?"

Steve: "Tell him I'm watching my stories."

Alex: "You can tell him yourself, I'm not making up any more excuses for you."

They stare at each other, at a standstill, both glaring. All of a sudden, Alex reaches for the phone. Steve lunges toward her, shouting "Alex, no!" "This is for your own good!" she shouts back. He tries to knock the receiver out of her hand, but it's too late.

Alex, in the exaggeratedly chipper tone of a victorious woman: "Chris? I've got him right here and he'd love to talk." She holds the phone out to Steve, grinning. He takes it from her, mouthing words that can't be reprinted here. Alex smiles, satisfied, and quite nearly skips out of the room.

Cohen, like a small, scared child: "Hello?"

Christie: "Buddy! What's this I hear about you RSVP'ing no to my victory party tomorrow?"

Cohen: "Oh, I...[he trails off]

Christie: "What's that, pal?"

Cohen: "I said I'm not strong enough to face people."

Christie: "Hey, wait a second. Is this Steve Cohen?"

Cohen, confused: "What? Yeah, it's me, you--"

Christie: "Is this Steve Cohen the big time hedge fund manager?"

Cohen, still confused: "Yeah it's me...who else would you be talk--"

Christie: "So this is Steve Cohen, the big time hedge fund manager, who's beat the S&P for two decades? Whose mere presence causes people to cower in fear? Is that who this is?"

Cohen: "Yeah, Chris, IT'S ME."

Christie: "Oh, okay. Thanks for clearing that up. Because, I'll tell ya, maybe you have a cold or I have a bad connection or something, but you don't sound like Steve Cohen right now."

Cohen: "Chris, I just, I can't."

Christie: "Steve. This isn't a request. I'm not politely asking you to come to my party and you're not politely declining. This isn't if, it's when. I'm telling you. You're coming.

Cohen: "Chris, I just, I can't."

Christie: "I'm not asking to come, I'm telling you, you're coming."

Cohen: "Chris, even if I wanted to I don't even have anything to wear--"

Alex, whose been waiting outside, bursts through the doors and grabs the phone.

Alex: "Not true, I've got his suit all cleaned and laid out on the bed for him...okay good...okay great...okay, we'll see you tomorrow."

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