Wall Street's masters of the universe have a new enemy: Adrian Barrie Smith.
Mr. Smith, a British recruiter who supplies butlers, maids and other domestic workers to some of the world's wealthiest families, has turned on his former clients.
Over the last 18 months, Mr. Smith has filed lawsuits against the families of some of the most prominent names in finance, including Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chairman of the Blackstone Group; Carl C. Icahn, the activist investor; Leonard Blavatnik, the Russian investor who recently acquired Warner Music; Howard Lutnick, the chairman and chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald; and George Soros's former wife, Susan Soros Webber. To top it off, he filed a suit against Jerry Seinfeld and his wife, Jessica. Before that, he sued Ron Perelman, the billionaire investor, and the singer Mariah Carey.
This week, Mr. Smith is expected to be in court with case againstthe wife of Kenneth A. Buckfire, co-founder of Miller Buckfire, the restructuring firm.
In virtually every instance, Mr. Smith has accused his clients of some form of breach of contract and has then trotted out a list of complaints about race and age discrimination. His targets see it as mudslinging, even extortion. Mr. Smith says he is simply trying to get the truth out about New York's powerful.
"I could tell you stories that you simply would never believe," Mr. Smith told me in a recent e-mail. "Who sits in the private planes and homes, dinner parties of the elite? The butlers, the nannies, the housekeepers." He added, "And who do they e-mail, and tell all the gossip to? Me."
When I first heard of Mr. Smith a little more than a year ago, I have to admit, I was intrigued. He promised the secrets of the city's biggest names and stories worthy of a Park Avenue version of the TV show "Desperate Housewives." He offered himself up as a Robin Hood crusading on behalf of the working class that serve the wealthiest.
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