In the ongoingsaga of Lynn Tilton vs. The World, the self-appointed “Diva of Distressed Debt” tried out a fresh line of argument with the court reviewing her lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission, which she said “grossly overreached” in its fraud case against her.
Her new angle is this: “An investment in Zohar Notes,” her lawyers said in post-trial briefs, referring to her embattled private equity funds, “was really an investment in Ms. Tilton’s judgment.”
Leaving aside all the legal quibbles and quiddities – like the fact that Tilton's firm provided Form ADVs that set out, in print, what investors could expect from her management of Patriarch Partners – it's worth rereading the above: “An investment in Zohar Notes was really an investment in Ms. Tilton’s judgment.”
In other words, an investment in this private equity fund was an investment in the judgment of someone who:
- Regularly sent scantily clad portraits of herself to clients as Christmas cards;
- Said, on her television show, “It's only men that I strip and flip. My companies I hold long and close to my heart”;
- Said her investing chops come from having absorbed Kabbalist wisdom and “studied with the Mayan Indians for a decade”;
- Reportedly planted unexpected and traumatizing kisses on male clients;
- Was accused in a lawsuit of “conducting a work atmosphere so filled with sexual innuendos and a river of vulgarities as to create needless job stress, tension, emotional distress, and humiliation on the part of the employees in her presence”;
- Reportedly annihilated an employee's libido by holding a team-building exercise that involved body shots and whipped cream.
Then again, maybe that's just the sort of person you want plowing your money into failing companies: someone impervious to humiliation, unafraid of failure and essentially devoid of compunctions.