NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — In the early 1990s, Michael Alig was the ringleader of the notorious New York “club kids,” but a few years later, he was serving a prison sentence for a manslaughter conviction.
A documentary about Alig titled “Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig” will premiere at the Ninth Annual Manhattan Film Festival Saturday night.
Alig was released from the Mid-State Correctional Facility in upstate Marcy in May 2014. He spoke with 1010 WINS about the death of drug dealer Andre “Angel” Melendez in March 1996, and its aftermath in his life.
Alig, 49, was part of a decadent 1990s party scene characterized by wild costumes and rampant drug use. In 1997, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Melendez’s death, and admitted that he and co-defendant Robert “Freeze” Riggs killed Melendez, cut the body up and dumped the parts in the Hudson River.
“Have I paid my debt to society? Legally, I have,” Alig told 1010 WINS. “But morally and ethically, I mean, nothing short of, you know, them killing me, I don’t think anything is going to ever really balance out the scales of karma.”
Alig said he had resented Melendez for dealing the drugs that had left him addicted.
“I saw somebody getting rich off my addiction, and me sinking deeper and deeper into addiction, and him getting richer and richer, and it’s easy to understand how you could resent something like that,” he said.
But Alig said he had never intended to kill Melendez.
“We were kind of in another reality…. Things didn’t seem as real as they do right now, and nobody meant to kill Angel,” he said. “We didn’t love him, but we also didn’t hate him. He just wasn’t a great friend, I mean, I’m just being honest.”
The story of the club kids’ and Melendez’s death was turned into the 2003 movie “Party Monster,” in which Macaulay Culkin played Alig.
Alig took issue with one element of the movie script that suggested Melendez had been injected with Drano. He said that never happened.
“We did pour Drano in the bathtub along with baking soda, but we did not inject him with any Drano – nothing like that,” he said. “You know, it makes a huge difference. There are people that I know that would not speak to me for the whole time I was in there because they thought that was true. And that was the only thing they had an issue with. They didn’t with anything else. That was the issue.”
Alig added that the reason he has never publicly apologized for the crime does not mean he is not sorry.
“They just always talk about me, ‘Well, is he going to say ‘I’m sorry?’ or you know, whatever, and the reason I haven’t publicly or literally just said I’m sorry isn’t because I’m not sorry,” he said. “It’s because that doesn’t mean any… I mean, it would just seem so trite, and so cliché, and so, I would just feel like saying it, people would be just looking at me like, saying, you know, ‘Well he’s only saying it because he has to say it.’”
Riggs also pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the case. He was released in 2010.
“Glory Daze” will premiere at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal St., according to a news release.
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