Home Pop Culture The curious breakdown of socialite Melissa Berkelhammer.

The curious breakdown of socialite Melissa Berkelhammer.

SHARE

 

Melissa Berkelhammer. And the myth of the ever elusive socialite continues ….

Melissa Berkelhammer homeless, internet reacts: ‘Another worthless tramp.’

Melissa Berkelhammer evicted: The delusion of being a NYC socialite

Melissa Berkelhammer’s eviction stalled cause of crafty lawyer

Melissa Berkelhammer gets a job and stops begging for hand outs

Melissa Berkelhammer confession: ‘Give me $65k or I will be homeless you ingrates. It’s all your fault!

Melissa Berkelhammer: ‘I just need a new daddy or husband to take care of me’

Melissa Berkelhammer, NYC socialite accused of squatting in 5th ave home: She refuses to leave

Melissa Berkelhammer socialite shoplifter caught with $4k Bergdorf goodies

Melissa Berkelhammer, suicidal socialite suffered two broken legs after car strikes her 

The continued myth of Melissa Berkelhammer and the media.

To be honest we really don’t know much about Melissa Berkelhammer except to say she’s mommy’s kept girl while she trudges the social landscape with her existential angst and the occasional column for whom ever the bell tolls.

In some weird wonderful way, we sympathize with Ms Berkelhammer in so much we understand all about existential angst and the occasional dole out, after all we too are in the business of pain, dilemma and scandal. The scandal in this case being that of Melissa Berkelhammer.

Here are the facts. This past Friday, we came across this long string of facebook dialogue which had us and quite a few of the people responding that today was the day that Melissa was going to pull the plug. Notice the opening sentence to her expressed dementia:

‘I can’t live in a world that is totally against, and I have all of you to thank. Goodbye. Thanks for treating me like shit me whole life. Hope you can live with yourself.’

Who is this brat talking to? Is this a stunt, a self imposed digression into vanity? An honest cry for help, or just a media whore soliciting unbridled attention. A cursory look at the chain of comments as they follow should elucidate a few things for us….

A close up should help us…so let’s all go to page 2 where Melissa and her sword of existential angst and collective woe that is us. Shall we?

 

But before we continue trudging along in the minefield called Melissa Berkelhammer, a cursory backdrop story will do us good the way a shot of patron does us good in a sea of unease and new guests to hobnob amongst.

Courtesy of the NY Observer:

Party photographers didn’t always know how to distinguish Melissa Berkelhammer. “I was once identified as a girl named Stephanie Monahan,” Ms. Berkelhammer said the other night. “I first moved back to New York, and I was at the Whitney Art Party, and it was in a magazine called Manhattan Style, which does not exist anymore, and there’s a picture of me with my gold Judith Leiber bag, which I still have, because I think someone asked me to it hold up—Fancy! Hey!—and then they, like, misidentified my name anyway. But then everyone was like, ‘Oh, like, I saw a picture of you—but it’s not you!’ That was, like, my first picture in a magazine.” This was in 2001.

Kids, I don’t know about you, but my heart is violently weeping. Not to be recognized by a photographer in the social minefields is akin to being invited to a pompous dinner party with your seat facing the servants. Not that Melissa keeps servants (well perhaps except for her parents…)

On the hot evening of July 18, Ms. Berkelhammer’s driver dropped her off at Rockefeller Center. She was clad in a What Goes Around Comes Around vintage psychedelic knee-length summer dress—hot pink, lime green, geometric. “My mom has a couple of really cool vintage things, but the majority of stuff she gave away to our housekeeper,” she said.

Housekeeper? We keep ours next to the closet where the chipmunks Fyodor and Mazeltov grovel all day long. That said, let’s get back to Melissa’s ascent to self exasperation and self hate. Shall we?

1
2
3
SHARE
Like Scallywagvagabond on Facebook    
  • oh, whatever

    If you choose to engage in such histrionics in a public forum like facebook, then you’re opening yourself up to mockery and scrutiny. This article is not distasteful. The woe-is-me socialite who throws a temper tantrum amidst the throes of melodrama on the other hand…

  • tiny litte ones

    young poo naa nee naa nee is a terrible thing to waste…………..

  • ADP

    Sure it’s sensational, but what’s more sensational: creating an intentionally theatrical public suicide spectacle in your Facebook feed (the 21st century equivalent of screaming from the ledge of 40-story building) or writing the followup article about it? Unnecessary value judgments about either action aside, If we’re going to argue that the article is sadistic — and it surely is to some extent — aren’t Berkelhammer’s status updates that prompted it just the properly masochistic side of the same endlessly compelling sadomasochistic coin?

    And moreover, why publish an article such as this if you don’t intend to draw at least a little bit of ire, ridicule — in the end by trying to be sadistic it becomes masochistic too. Which is to say: by lashing out at the author you only do exactly what he wants you to do, gain exactly the same sadistic pleasure for which you reserve your ridicule.

  • Scallyhag

    Ya sensationalist content targeting innocent people is how you get your hits and traffic, good work getting attention.
    And I have no affiliation w Melissa.

  • Scallywag’s intern

    Someone please send over the thought police…

  • Scallyhag

    Who are you to question where her friends were during all this? As if you of all people could genuinely care? And please don’t try to placate your repulsed audience by claiming you wanted to “explore” the issue of depression amongst the upper-class.. It’s obvious that your malice was intentional as you continue to make crude under-the-breath remarks about MB. Why don’t you admit you’re wrong, apologize and pull this article? Otherwise, I hope you don’t sleep tonight.. How could you, with this on your conscience?

  • Attention is attention…

  • F

    This is hilarious, all anonymous comments are Mellissa!

  • Dr Compassion; As opposed to bad people who deserve to be humiliated?

    It’s the aesthetics and the situation i was addressing, not Melissa B or anyone as a person worthy of ridicule.

    In any case the article has certainly received a lot of attention and as i had hoped stirred debate.

    One wonders were Ms Berkelhammer’s friends were before she felt the need to go public…

  • Christopher London

    Research shows that depression and even suicide is more prevalent in the so called guilded classes, among the more highly intelligent and creative. Fountain Gallery, a wonderful charity is devoted to celebrating the work of artists and former doctors, lawyers and other uniquely gifted people who are challenged with mental illness.

    Before you further humiliate someone who is not a bad person, a little research might be in order. These are real people with real lives.

  • Trailer trash

    Yes, it’s time to kick this writer while he’s down. Despicable pig!

  • Scallyhag

    This is my first time on your blog and you can guarantee I will never come back. You call yourself a writer? Writers are human. They criticize, they debate.. They can be heartless, too, but intelligently at the very least. You, however, are a sensationalist pig, feasting on the misfortunes of another, unable to look at someone else’s experience objectively and with no attempt at empathy. How could you kick a dog when it’s down? If someone in your life made a plea for help, privileged or not, would you want them to face the onslaught of useless “journalism” we’ve seen here on your blog today? Shame on you. You are not a writer. You’re scum. And from a writer’s perspective, maybe you should work on your skills before you talk about others’ personal lives. There’s a lot to be desired in your attempts at drama and suspense. Perhaps find a new topic.

  • The Editor’s notes…

    I think all your comments are very thoughtful and Melissa’s case certainly in my opinion warranted attention. What most of you don’t know is while Melissa was responding to comments on Facebook and people’s concerns I too also reached out to Mr London quite concerned as to Melissa’s well being. I was assured she had survived the brunt of her momentary despair, something we all I can personally assure you we all go through, as artists, writers, socialites, celebrities, publishers, good friends, husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends.

    Frankly I was beguiled by the manner as to how Melissa reached out and wondered out aloud to myself how perverse that someone who resides in the coveted classes was feeling the depth of despair that Melissa was. The irony was too palpable.

    That said, I decided to pen a piece in the same irreverent vernacular tone that Scallywag is fondly (for the better part, oh dear…) regarded for.

    Rather than belittle Melissa, and be malicious my intent was to explore the inherent conundrums of being, no matter what station of class we inhabit. I think the very last paragraph of the piece does offer hope and some degree of faith in Ms Berkelhammer’s ability to overcome the awful feelings we are all (unfortunately) privy to.

  • http://www.papermag.com/2010/11/in_defense_of_socialite_meliss.php#comments

    Go here for Peter Davis’ take- very thoughtful indeed.

  • Also Anonymous

    No, Le Drop Out, my point is to show compassion for everyone!!!! Not just the privileged, but not to exclude someone from your compassion simply bc they are privileged. It is my belief that something like this is not public info. Granted, she put it on Facebook, a questionable move at best that shows perhaps exploitation (but more likely naievte) but I question the integrity of those such as Scallywag who run with it and choose to make it an internet worthy “story.”

  • Le Drop out

    That’s what’s wrong with this country, we can show movies with kids killing and shooting up, but the minute some privileged person fxcks up we are all suppose to show compassion and pretend life is always perfect for that block.

    Melissa you’re a dumb ass for going to facebook looking to exploit social media for a freebie and Scallywag, I promise if you retract this article to never read you again!

  • Also Anonymous

    Dude, her father died of cancer a little over a month ago. Show some compassion! Retract your “story”!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Chris, do you honestly think of yourself (and your writing) as so omnipotent that you have the ability to influence someone’s decision to commit (or not commit) suicide? And regardless, if she (or anyone else for that matter) were to contemplate it again in the future, are you suggesting that you would find it worthy of another feature on your blog?

    And just because someone’s “social position” is “coveted” do you honestly think that fact illegitimizes their feelings? Are the well to do and/or socially prominent members of our society automatically immune from feelings of depression, isolation and suicidal ideations??

    Not only are you sadistic and verging on unethical in your “journalism” you are also ignorant.

  • As a writer, I have to make choices as to what to write about. Maybe i crossed the border here, but the themes and irony of a privileged girl going thru despair when everyone covets her position socially was just too ironical for me and i felt compelled to document the experience.

    best Chris.

    Who knows maybe Melissa will go away thinking never think suicide again, or maybe not…

  • Anonymous

    Hey Chris, normally i find your writings amusing and funny. I read this one just now, and I feel you crossed the boundary between social journalism and just plain bullying. I read the piece and feel like you were …the guy yelling at the man at the top of a building who is distraught to jump already because you need something to write about. I just feel it’s in really poor taste. Find something else to write about, I don’t think you want to illicit this type of reaction from people. This was I believe, in really poor taste.

  • This comment is courtesy of Mr Christopher London who has written a very thoughtful response to the issue at hand- here is part of his blog, the rest can be found here. A very good read indeed.- the Editor.

    http://christopherlondonblog.com/2010/11/24/social-bullying-the-new-social-journalism/

    Melissa Berkelhammer, like you and me, is hardly perfect, and she will be the first person to tell you so. Moreover, it must be emphasized that she does not see herself as a victim. While I would hope that she develops thicker skin and becomes a tad less expressive on Facebook, she is human and it would be disconcerting to anyone to have to be subjected randomly by conduct which would amount to bullying were she gay, a teen or adolescent. Those that truly know her on a personal level, and who have met and conversed with her and many of her close friends, confidants and family outside the social milieu in New York, know her to be a responsible citizen and a friend of some local charities. Melissa Berkelhammer’s mistake was sharing some personal angst about the knocks on her by anonymous detractors rather publically and not realizing that venting in an overly expressive way will set off alarm bells. Likewise, a blog ridiculing her is hardly the work of an aspiring Jimmy Breslin.

  • Tin Foil

    I don’t know who’s more pathetic- the writer of this article or the writer who wants to pull the plug. Probably both. Go get a real job Melissa.

  • anonymous as well

    seriously…shame the fuck on you. that was not funny. that was sad and horrifying. I kept reading it going…why would they print this? why would they go through the effort of getting the screen saves. if you operate on the belief that very few people in the world care what she does then this is mean and sadistic, and I hope you pull the plug before she does.

  • Anonymous

    While I cannot fathom why anyone in their right mind would post on FB their suicidal ideations, allbeit short lived ones, and while I suppose this girl does crave publicity, why you would choose to poke fun at someone who clearly is going through something is beyond me. Whatever was really going on here, the fact that you are basically laughing at this story is sadistic. Shame on you.

  • Trust fund

    We all go through BULLSHIT in this city! Melissa does MEAN things to people constantly! This is just KARMA.

    Melissa has a Law degree from Harvard, she should USE it.

  • Melissa’s comment to me – Scallywag.

    And why exactly would I want to read this? It’s vile. Whatever I was going thru you would think there would be certain things you would respect and leave alone, and not try to stir up trouble. And you want to be my “friend” on FB? What a joke. That is all, unless you have the decency to retract this crude piece of work. Yours, Melissa

  • Scallygirl

    Get your popcorn, kids! Welcome to the new breed of reality show—suicide by social media.

    Does anyone else find it somewhat telling and suspect that in all Melissa’s groveling, of all the frantic posts and calls she was apparently getting from concerned Facebook “friends” the only one that she, at least publicly, admitted to reaching out to was Christopher London? Who, may be a personal friend from the nature of the conversation, albeit, he isn’t he part of the axis of evil she blames her problems (ahem, self chosen path of media whoredom) on? Is Christopher London now more than just a writer? Is he now the saving grace from all the PR pariahs hounding poor innocent women (ahem, wannabes) like Ms. Berkelhammer? Or is he just their savior until some other photographer with a bad memory forgets poor Melissa’s name or chastises her and sends her into another suicidal tailspin— live on Facebook?

    In the end, this is, unfortunately, a case of melodramatic business as usual. Is social status really so important to some, that bad publicity is enough to end a life? And if that’s the case, what kind of quality of life does she have, really? To end it all because the count next to your name on PMC isn’t high enough? Because some mildly attractive, snot-nose with a state school PR education makes a snide comment? The bottom line, you can’t save a suffering soul, no, not even you Christopher London. And oh, how Ms. Berkelhammer must be suffering.

    Thanks, Melissa. If anything good came out of your suicide stunt, you’ve just showed me how lovely it sometimes is to be a groundling in this circus we call New York society.

  • anonymous

    Rumor has it that it was Kristian Laliberte that had Melissa go round the bent. So sad of Kristian…

  • wow

    you did it. You had me go breathlessly through five pages of bloomies about a socialite – still a very confusing type of creature to me, what brought them about and to what puprose? – whose name I had never heard.
    It’s remarkable. Facebook and the hearts turmoil… I like that all the comforting outpourings of love had very little effect but that the somewhat cryptic promise of retaliation against the usurping PR outfit had the damsel shift gears very promptly…
    Quite a risky line of work anymore, PR, if I am to believe these pages, what with the front page ridicule, the life and death threats by way of social networking…
    Time to bring Kiki back.