Home Celebrity New York Story: Dead Billionaire Bruce Wasserstein Really Got Around

Lots of stories today in the New York papers about Bruce Wasserstein, the billionaire financier and publisher of New York magazine. He died suddenly in 2009 at age 61 after being hospitalized for heart arrhythmia. Wasserstein had three children from his second marriage. Then he had two more kids from his third marriage.

It turns out he had an illegitimate child from another relationship they, after his marriage ended in 2008. Then he married another woman, Angela Chao, in 2009 right before he died. The funny thing is, I saw him on a date with Chao in 2006, at least, while he was still married to wife number 3 and before he fathered that other child with Erin McCarthy.

How do I know? On November 23, 2006, after the whole Michael Jackson trial was over and things calmed down, one of the principals came to New York and we had dinner at Peter Luger’s restaurant in Brooklyn. We each brought a friend. While I was waiting for our table to be set, I ran into Wasserstein at the bar.He was waiting for his table with Chao. They were obviously a couple. The problem was, he wasn’t divorced or separated. We acknowledged each other in Peter Luger with mutual nods, and he and Chao went upstairs to dinner.

Strangely, I ran into them again a week later. It was a dark blustery day. They were walking arm in arm, wind howling against their backs, on University Place. I saw them, they didn’t see me. I remember thinking, oh, that’s still going on? I did speak with a member of Wasserstein’s family to see if a change had occurred in his marriage. I was going to write about. But the relative expressed surprise and I let it go.

Now, McCarthy is trying to get use of Wasserstein’s mansion in the Hamptons for her child. That kid, by the way, is getting $75 million from Wasserstein’s estate.

No wonder he had heart trouble. Oy vey!

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