Dana Giacchetto is dead. The unrepentant Hollywood fraudster was 53. He was found by his roommate on the Upper West Side on Sunday, after a wild night of partying.
I wrote the original piece about Giacchetto in the New York Observer in 1999, unmasking him as a liar, a fantasist, and a criminal. Some of the crimes he committed came after a Vanity Fair article in which he was portrayed as Leonardo Di Caprio and John F. Kennedy Jr.’s best friend and Mike Ovitz’s “life advisor.” In fact, he was running a Ponzi scheme.
Giacchetto claimed to everyone he was a Harvard graduate, but he’d only taken a six week summer course at the Ivy League school. It was just one of his many complex lies as he bilked clients out of millions of dollars.
So it’s to my surprise this morning that despite several years in prison and a failed life that Giacchetto was perpetuating that Harvard lie still on LinkedIn this morning, two days after his ignominious death.
He did not receive a Bachelors Degree from Harvard University or attend the school from 1986 to 1990. This was just some kind of terrible fantasy that fueled Giacchetto’s mania to be a celebrity.
Here’s the full Giacchetto story. Or some of it, because there’s always more. What a pitiful end to his life, considering he’d fathered two children with his estranged girlfriend.