Report: Buyer Finds Bizarre Items In Penthouse Founder’s Storage Space
ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A hedge funder has uncovered an assortment of eclectic and bizarre items from some storage lockers he bought from the estate of late Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione, according to published reports.
Jeremy Frommer, former managing director of the Royal Bank of Canada, found the well-preserved and largely X-rated items after buying up the storage spaces in Englewood, N.J., according to a New York Post report.
The items included unpublished nude photos of Madonna and Lauren Hutton, an assortment of amateur submissions to the magazine, plans for the Penthouse Boardwalk Hotel and Casino that never got built, and a racy picture of a young former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to the newspaper.
Also in the storage lockers were correspondence with everyone from former Vice President Dick Cheney to Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, reels and artifacts from the infamous X-rated movie “Caligula,” and ad campaigns that mocked Hugh Hefner and the Playboy empire, the newspaper reported.
The newspaper said Frommer has partnered with producer Rick Schwartz of “The Black Swan” fame to preserve the items and perhaps launch an exhibition.
Guccione died in 2010 at the age of 79. He estimated that Penthouse earned $4 billion during his reign as published, and was listed in the Forbes 400 ranking of wealthiest people – with a net worth around $400 million – in 1982, according to CBS News.
But Caligula — the epic 1979 film starring Malcolm McDowell and featuring Helen Mirren and Peter O’Toole, but also featuring numerous scenes of hardcore pornography – was considered an epic failure. Guccione had invested $17.5 million in the film, according to published reports.
Guccione also lost money in the proposed Atlantic City casino, which was never built when he failed to receive a gambling license. Drops in sales following the 1986 report by U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese’s Commission on Pornography, and the migration of pornography to the Internet, also contributed to business problems for Guccione and Penthouse, reports said.
Penthouse ultimately declared bankruptcy in 2003, and was acquired by a private-equity investor from Florida the following year. Guccione ended up resigning from the company.
Guccione was born in Brooklyn in 1930, attended prep school in New Jersey, and attended a Catholic seminary before dropping out to become an artist.
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