Main | Monday, August 20, 2007

Queen Of Mean Dead At 87

Leona Helmsley, the anti-gay billionaire "queen of mean", died today at 87. Aside from having gone to prison for tax evasion, you may recall Helmsley losing a discrimination lawsuit after firing the gay manager of her Park Lane hotel. The manager, Charles Bell, won over $11M but the judgment was later reduced to $554,000. Bell told the court that when he was fired, Helmsley told him, "You know why this is happening. It has nothing to do with your business acumen." The most famous quote from Helmsley: "Only the little people pay taxes."

RELATED: Bell's 2001 firing occured shortly after Helmsley freaked out upon seeing a large group of gay men in leather in the lobby of the Park Lane. Black Party weekend of that year, I happened to be in the Park Lane to visit a group of friends from Fort Lauderdale who were staying as Bell's guests. I've always wondered if we were the ones that triggered the whole mess.

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