Celebrity publicist Lizzie Grubman, who founded the New York-based Lizzie Grubman Public Relations in 1996, acquired the sort of fame that PR people dread most, when she became the topic of tabloid journalism after an incident in which she threw a tantrum and backed her SUV into a crowd outside a Hamptons nightspot, injuring 16 people.
Grubman, who came from a wealthy family, specialized in throwing parties and making sure that "A-list" people showed up at the events. Her clients included celebrities such as Britney Spears, rapper Jay-Z, and the Backstreet Boys. On July 7, 2001, however, she lost her temper when a lowly bouncer at a party told her to move her father's $30,000 Mercedes-Benz SUV from the fire lane. After calling the bouncer a piece of "white trash," she got in the SUV, put it in reverse, rammed into the bouncer and 15 other people, and drove away without waiting for police to arrive. After police apprehended her at her home, she refused a breathalyzer test.
Grubman was eventually brought to trial and served 37 days in jail after pleading guilty to assault and leaving the scene. After she was released she offered a tearful apology in front of reporters. "Please tell them and please tell their families how terrible I feel. I've felt this way since this happened. I'm so sorry," she said. However, New York tabloid newspapers speculated that the sobs were orchestrated by her PR counsel, Dan Klores Communications, which specializes in crisis management for clients embroiled in scandals. The two handling her case were Dan Klores and Joe DePlasco.  (sub req'd) In addition to Klores, Grubman also used the services of crisis counselor Howard Rubenstein.
After her release from jail, Grubman began a new job as a gossip and entertainment reporter for the New York radio station WNEW-FM, "102.7 Blink."
Other SourceWatch Resources
- "Grubman's Wild Ride Hurts PR," O'Dwyer's PR Daily, July 11, 2001. (Sub req'd).
- "Grubman Crash Crisis is a PR Classic," O'Dwyer's PR Daily, July 16, 2001. (Sub req'd).
- Alex Williams & Beth Landman, "Reversal of Fortune: Lizzie Grubman was a girl who had everything: burgeoning career, glittering social life, powerful father. And when a girl like that gets into trouble like Lizzie's Conscience Point catastrophe, the war really begins", New York Magazine, July 30, 2001.
- "Lizzie Hires Klores," O'Dwyer's PR Daily, July 19, 2002. (Sub req'd).
- "Lizzie Grubman, Gossip Reporter," Editor and Publisher, June 27, 2003.
- "Is It Lizzie?" O'Dwyer's PR Daily, July 8, 2003. (Sub req'd).
- Lynn Harris, "Thin Lizzie: Work hard! Be a people person! Use Google! And other useful tips from Ms. Grubman's new seminar for suckers", Salon, August 7, 2003.
- Adam Sternbergh , "Lizzie Grubman’s Star Vehicle: Is the original Power Girl a new woman?", New York Magazine, March 7, 2005.