A lot of people still haven’t gotten the message that a while back Peggy Siegal sold her publicity/movie screening business to fashion agent Bryan Bantry and she works for him as a employee.
“Bantry pays her a low six-figure salary and provides a chauffeur-driven BMW SUV. He pays her staff and her rent and collects her fees”, an associate told Orbmagazine.
Bantry’s professional profile at prabook.org states the agent/producer is “Managing Partner of the Peggy Siegal Company”. It does not specify the percentage of his equity ownership, or how much if any equity Siegal retains, or if there are other equity participants/investors. Siegal has called Bantry a “genius” at handling her finances, so presumably they are both doing well.
“Peggy’s good at corralling people for movie screenings, but she’s lousy at running a company,” another industry figure said. She previously went into partnerships at different times with the well-known publicists Harriet Weintraub and Lizzie Grubman, but those forays were dissolved when it came down to sharing office space with the volcanic voluptuary.
As Variety wrote, “Ms. Siegal has been called aggressive, demanding, a social climber, lacking interpersonal skills, and criticized for abusing assistants, kicking people out of seats, and pestering invitees with insistent emails.”
Other than that, she’s a mensch.
Michael Gross wrote the following about Miss Peggy in New York magazine:
“Loyalty is not one of Siegal’s virtues. ‘She goes hot and cold with people,’ says a former intimate, who asks to be described as ‘one of the disposable people.’ Behind their backs, this woman says, Siegal regularly disparages her friends and the people she works for. ‘Art dealer Larry Gagosian was a pig. Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein was a fat slob. The first time she saw Patty Hearst’s house, she said it looked like a dentist’s and was a tasteless mess. There’s no friendship with her.’ (Siegal says her remark about Hearst was a joke. ‘I was naïvely expecting to walk into San Simeon,’ she explains. She acknowledges that she was angry with Weinstein, who demanded she work for him exclusively, but adds that she considers him ‘the most brilliant and tenacious filmmaker in the industry.’ As for Gagosian, she laughs and qualifies her remark: Gagosian is still a pig, perhaps, ‘but in hindsight, one with impeccable taste.’)”
“It isn’t only clients and friends who get the Siegal treatment, however. She even disdains the journalists she depends on for coverage. When a female friend started dating one, Siegal first yelled at her, then dropped her from the A-list. ‘I have no respect for writers,’ Siegal told her. ‘They never make money. They’re like poor people looking in the windows.’”
“‘I started introducing her to friends and the rest is history,’ Hearst says. ‘It’s the age-old Edith Whartonesque story.’”
The other day, Richard Johnson wrote about the heated litigation between Bantry and his ex-partner Bob Felner over the ownership of Goose Creek, the lavish Hamptons estate they rent out for photo shoots and movie screenings. The Post columnist referenced Bantry’s ownership of Siegal’s publicity company in the online version of his column, but in the print version the editors cut it out to save space.