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Where is Curry? Man Who Sued Morgan Vanishes - TheFrontPage
August 4, 2003 - New York Observer, The
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Byline: Frank DiGiacomo
Last July, Christian Curry told a New York Post reporter: "I don't owe
money to a single living ass!" But the former Morgan Stanley junior
analyst, whose termination became a cause celebre in 1998, couldn't make
that claim today. Gil Chachkes, an attorney representing the Manhattan-
based weekly newspaper The Black Star News, told The Transom that he is
currently searching for Mr. Curry's assets now that the State Supreme
Court in Manhattan has issued a judgment determining that Mr. Curry owes
in excess of $2 million for failing to make good on his agreement to
purchase a majority interest in the paper.
Mr. Chachkes' search may finally answer a question that has long lingered
in the halls of Morgan Stanley: When Mr. Curry and Morgan Stanley
announced in September 2000 that they had resolved, out of court, the
differences that led to Mr. Curry's $1.3 billion racial- and sexual-
discrimination suit against his former employer, the press release stated
Mr. Curry received "no payment" in exchange for dropping his complaint.
(The company did make a $1 million charitable contribution to the
National Urban League.) Morgan Stanley has never wavered from this
original statement. Nonetheless, several published reports that followed
Mr. Curry's free-spending post-scandal ventures indicated that he had
gotten tens of millions of dollars-the figures have ranged from $15
million to $52 million-via some confidential arrangement (the scenarios
have varied as well) with his former employer. The February 2001 issue of
Brill's Content, for example, cited "a source familiar with the
agreement" who claimed that Morgan Stanley "circumvented any direct
payment to Curry by compensating three other litigants, all of whom were
also suing the firm for discrimination in actions filed shortly after
Curry's, and all of whom were represented by Curry's attorney Benedict
Morelli." The source contended that it was left up to Morelli "to parcel
out the money among his clients."
And yet the trail of failed business ventures and lawsuits that Mr. Curry
has left in his wake since settling with Morgan Stanley seems at odds
with those reports of his windfall. Mr. Curry's much-hyped attempts to
become a nightlife impresario fizzled last summer when Conscience Point,
the Hamptons nightclub that he had leased and refurbished, closed mid-
season last July. Soon after that came reports that vendors were trying
to collect money owed to them by the club. And in October, Mr. Curry's
parents sued him over what the complaint called their son's "scheme to
defraud his parents of their valuable home."
And as Mr. Chachkes said in reference to the Black Star News case: "If
you have a lot of money, you don't walk away from these kinds of
The Black Star News, which was started in 1997 by its current publisher
and editor in chief, Milton Allimadi, aggressively covered Mr. Curry's
brouhaha with Morgan Stanley, where he was briefly employed as a junior
analyst. Shortly after photographs of Mr. Curry, naked and in an aroused
state, were published in Playguy (and two other gay-erotica magazines),
Morgan Stanley fired him for allegedly padding his expense accounts.
After he was terminated, Mr. Curry was arrested on criminal charges after
he allegedly attempted to hire an undercover cop to hack into Morgan
Stanley's computer system and plant racist messages. But the charges were
dropped when the district attorney's office learned that Morgan Stanley
had paid $10,000 to Charles Joseph Luethke, an acquaintance of Mr. Curry
who had brokered the meeting that led to Mr. Curry's arrest-a scoop that
was broken by The Black Star News. Mr. Curry then slapped his former
employer with a $1.3 billion discrimination suit.
On Oct. 10, 2000, less than a month after the announcement that he and
Morgan Stanley had settled, Mr. Curry made a deal with Mr. Allimadi to
purchase a 51 percent interest in the paper for $2 million. According to
a copy of the lawsuit, Mr. Curry made a $10,000 down payment for his
purchase. "He said he felt indebted in terms of what we had done," Mr.
Allimadi said. "Therefore he wanted to make an investment in the paper."
Mr. Curry then hired a publicist and held a press conference to announce
his purchase, placed his name on The Black Star News' masthead as
"Chairman and Publisher," designated the paper as a "Christian Leigh
Curry Co. Publication," got a press card and assigned himself a column
called "Curry's Corner."
What he didn't do, apparently, was make many more payments toward his
purchase. According to the complaint, Mr. Curry gave another $27,000
toward his agreement, which left more than $1.8 million to go.
Mr. Allimadi said that the last contact he'd had with Mr. Curry was in
April of last year. The complaint was filed in August, when, the paper's
founder said, "it became clear that he was either not going to fulfill
his obligations or just drag things out." More important than the money,
Mr. Allimadi said, was the fact that readers and potential advertisers
"were confused in terms of the ownership of the paper. We had to end that
Mr. Curry, who's pushing 30, didn't even put up a fight, according to Mr.
Chachkes. "He didn't defend this lawsuit. He didn't even answer the
complaint or appear at the inquest," The Black Star News' attorney said.
"He walked away from it completely. Maybe he didn't care." Mr. Curry also
didn't respond to attempts to reach him through his father, and his
attorney, Benedict Moretti, didn't return calls to his office.
The judgment against Mr. Curry was issued on May 29.
Asked what he made of Mr. Curry's behavior, The Black Star News'
publisher said: "I refrain from going into personal stuff. I'm much more
comfortable relating to the factual issues. People can make their own
"The only reason we ever met was because he was wronged by Morgan
Stanley," Mr. Allimadi said of Mr. Curry. He added that the legal
imbroglio hadn't changed his opinion on that matter. But Mr. Allimadi did
say that at the time he struck his October 2000 deal with Mr. Curry, "his
words and actions were much more different than more recent reports
Asked if he thought that Mr. Curry had received some kind of settlement
from Morgan Stanley, Mr. Allimadi said: "I think he had a strong case
against them. It would be difficult for me to imagine that he would just
walk away without getting anything." Indeed, after Mr. Curry had settled
his suit, Mr. Allimadi said he once saw that Mr. Curry had "at least a
couple hundred thousand" in his checking account, but when asked if he
thought Mr. Curry would make good on the judgment, he said: "We're not
holding our breath."
Still, Mr. Chachkes continues to look for Mr. Curry's assets. "If he
keeps assets offshore, there are countries that don't give out that kind
of information," the attorney said. "Who knows? From what I've been
reading about him, that may not be what his motivation is these days."
In his search for Mr. Curry's money, Mr. Chachkes may find that he's in
competition with Mr. Curry's parents, Dr. William T. Curry Sr., a
surgeon, and Katherine Curry, a homemaker. Last October, the couple sued
their son in the State Supreme Court in Westchester County. Their
complaint charged that Christian convinced them to transfer the title of
their 6.9-acre Chappaqua, N.Y., home to a company he had formed called
Villa Christian L.L.C. In exchange, Curry fils promised to pay his
parents $2 million and to give his father an interest in the company, but
instead he allegedly encumbered the property with $2 million in
mortgages. The suit charged that "Christian intended to use the Premises
as collateral to obtain massive loans to finance his lavish lifestyle and
various purported business ventures." The lawsuit also "seeks to recover
substantial monies" -nearly $1 million, according to the complaint-that
Dr. Curry had advanced to his son.
Reached at his Upper East Side practice, Dr. Curry told The Transom that
"the whole thing's in reconciliation now" and "nearing resolution." He
said that he and his wife hadn't lost their house.
Asked if he was certain his son had received a monetary settlement from
Morgan Stanley, Dr. Curry said: "The form of his settlement is sealed.
That information is not really available."
Dr. Curry said he didn't have a number for his son, but offered to let
him know that The Transom had called. When asked if he knew what his son
was up to these days, he said: "He basically has been involved with
financing and money management." Dr. Curry didn't know the name of his
son's firm. "I'm not even sure who the principles are," he said. But he
did know this: "He's quite busy, in fact."
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