NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A desperate move was attempted Monday to get the accused Upper East Side madam out of jail.
The so-called “millionaire madam” may be moneyless, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reports.
Anna Gristina is facing just a single charge of promoting prostitution, but she’s being held on $2 million bail because she allegedly has rich, powerful friends who might help her flee.
On Monday, her lawyer offered more than legal advice. He offered to have Gristina and her family live with him at his $2 million loft on North Moore Street in Tribeca to secure her release.
“I feel so comfortable giving them access to my place. I want them to move in with me,” Atty. Peter Gleason said.
The alleged madam’s husband, Kelvin Gorr, left court with “no comment” on the unusual offer.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Story
It was just one of several unusual requests from Gleason. He asked the judge to fire his court-appointed co-counsel Robert Siracusa, whose low-key approach isn’t satisfying Gristina, according to a private eye working on her defense.
“He’s a good lawyer. He’s not as vivacious as Mr. Gleason, but he’s a good lawyer. He knows his job. If he works together with us we can get past this,” P.I. Vincent Parco said.
Gleason said his client is not the mastermind madam the Manhattan district attorney has alleged.
“I really honestly, truly in my heart feel that she is being railroaded by the system,” Gleason said.
The defense said her alleged brothel on East 78th Street was just a crash pad she lent to friends. And as for making millions, Gleason said “she doesn’t have two nickels to rub together.”
The prosecution said Gleason’s offer to use his home to secure her bond is “unethical.”
Civil rights attorney Ron Kuby disagreed, saying Gleason has a passion for justice and a hatred for bullies when he sees somebody being pushed around.
“He is literally risking everything he has on this case. That’s in the highest tradition of zealous advocacy for a client,” Kuby said.
Monday marked Gristina’s second court appearance since being arrested and charged with running the high-priced prostitution ring. Gristina, a mother of four, has pleaded not guilty. The judge hearing the matter is disturbed that Gleason spoke to the media about the case.
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports
Gristina has been in a cell at Rikers Island since her arrest. Prosecutors said she is a flight risk, and point to recordings where she was overheard several years ago threatening to leave the country if investigators got too close.
On Sunday, Baker’s attorney told CBS 2 he’s been in contact with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Baker is suspected of helping run the alleged multi-million dollar prostitution ring.
Baker was said to be on vacation at the time Gristina was arrested and charged.
Sound off in our comments section below.