Monday, May 20, 2024

RIP Dana Giacchetto, Defrauded Hollywood Clients, Was Still Lying About Harvard Education on LinkedIn


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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News