That bizarre and obviously hilarious bit of knowledge comes to us courtesy of a Times profile of Alphonse Fletcher Jr., now infamous for his accusation of racism within the Dakota. Apparently back in the day when Fletcher Jr. and the board were lovey dovey they "enjoyed cocktails, nibbles and an occasional performance by Mr. Fletcher leading guests in sing-alongs as he played “Purple Rain” on his piano." Turns out board members are a lot more fun than we initially thought! Could it be possible that some of the most discerning boards are just looking for someone who can hit the right notes? If you've got a co-op board meeting coming up maybe just go in with your best Lady Gaga, you'll be a shoo-in. The secret life of the board isn't all Prince sing-alongs and drinks though, if you'll recall the board referring to buyers as the"Jewish mafia" and saying that Antonio Banderas (who was rejected by the board) wanted to live on the ground floor of the building so he could "buy drugs easily". In any case, we learned a lot about Alphonse in the piece, here are some of the highlights.
-Alphonse's brother Geoffrey won an Academy Award for writing the screenplay for the film "Precious". -"In 2002, Mr. Fletcher sought to buy his mother a ninth-floor two-room apartment, which once was Leonard Bernstein’s studio, for $1.06 million. The board demurred because Mr. Fletcher already owned other apartments, but agreed on the condition that only his mother and “no one else would be permitted to reside in Apartment 92, even overnight and even including close relatives,” according to his lawsuit." Most draconian co-op rules ever?
-"He had a string of chauffeured cars including a Bentley, a Porsche, a Mercedes and a Jaguar. He bought homes in Montauk and Southampton, which he lent out to employees during the summer; he later sold the homes. He bought 1,100 acres in Litchfield County, Conn., with a storybook house employees called the Castle. He had his own security team."
-"Christopher Marsh, a contractor, said that in 2003 Mr. Fletcher hired him to manage his Connecticut property after they saw each other at their 20th high school reunion. After several weeks, Mr. Marsh, who was engaged to be married, quit. He said that Mr. Fletcher had made repeated sexual advances toward him. The two reached a confidential settlement, Mr. Marsh said."