Beauty and the Big Shots
The white canopy bed was covered with heart-shaped pink pillows and wide-eyed blond dolls, one nearly four feet long. Hidden under a pink spread and dust-ruffle, the bed was surrounded by closets with full-length mirrors on either side, a man-sized armoire at the foot, and a triple-drawer dresserall as matching white as the headboard. A curtain rod extended across the front of the room, with a sheer (also white) fabric draped over it that extended to the floor and was decorated with roses, vines, and twinkling lights.
The only indication that the oblong East Harlem loft might be the top floor of the offices of the three-story National Museum of Catholic Art and History was the abundant collection of nun dollssome bought on the Home Shopping Network. On the floor below the loftconnected by a wrought-iron spiral staircasewas a dining area with a perpetually polished table, brass chandelier, two white couches, a pink-and-white lounge chair and hassock, an antique desk, grandfather clock, and huge arrangements of artificial flowers, rhinestones, crystals, and grapes. Off the dining room was a black Jacuzzi decorated with simmering candles, gold-plated soap dishes, and kitsch angel figurines.
Most of the townhouse extravaganceexcluding the Jacuzzihad been paid for with organization funds raised by the millions in the name of a museum that claims to be the nation's sole repository of sacred Catholic art. But after 10 years of fundraising, there is no museum, next to no art, and nothing but suspicion about the project from the official Catholic world. The real business of this nonprofit's half dozen or more employees is finding even more moneythe focus of everything that happens on the only floor of its headquarters that has always resembled an ordinary office.
In the last year or so, many of the group's fanciest furnishings have been carted off to the new $529,000 Jersey home of the museum's director, Christina Cox. A 49-year-old, very blond former model, actress, stewardess, and beauty queen, Cox says she got the idea to create the museum on a cathartic 1990 visit to Saint Patrick's Cathedral. A Rockland Community College dropout with one year of art-sales experience on a résumé whose high point was an appearance in a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous episode about the girls of Cannes, Cox has made her living ever since on the museum's tab. She survived some lean years, but drew a $194,000 salary from it in 1999, according to its latest filing with state agencies.
New Jersey Devils vs. Montreal Canadiens
TicketsMon., Feb. 27, 7:00pm
New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors
TicketsMon., Feb. 27, 7:00pm
Seton Hall Pirates Men's Basketball vs. Georgetown Hoyas Men's Basketball
TicketsTue., Feb. 28, 6:30pm
New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals
TicketsTue., Feb. 28, 7:00pm
Still left in the organization's 416 East 115th Street townhousewhich, ironically, was once the headquarters of Genovese crime family boss Fat Tony Salernoare the red-velvet-framed photos of a beaming Cox with the then president and the pope, as well as her favorite cardinal and favorite crook. The priestly photos are intended to lend credence to the false notion that the project has been blessed by Pope John Paul II and Cardinal O'Connor. The snapshots of Bill Clinton and Bill Fugazy, a felon the former president pardoned who helped found the museum and sits on its board, are a truer picture of its real sources of support.
However, a photo of Cox in her Playboy Bunny outfita career stop unmentioned in her résuméstays in the dresser drawer, shown off to museum insiders only after they get to know her. This piece of her history should come as no surprise. Sex has long been a museum selling point, attracting patrons and confounding clergy.
A painting by Penthouse owner Bob Guccione, for example, was once exhibited at a museum-connected show in the very offices of the Archdiocese of New York, much to the dismay of priests who saw the leather-clad pornographer and his cleavage-baring, flashbulb-popping entourage swoop into their First Avenue enclave. Indeed, a half dozen men who have reputedly dated the never married Cox or her onetime associate director, Stephanie Parker, have also been benefactors of this fantasy art museum, making it more a symbol of allure than altruism, of connections than collections.
Trading on its name as if it were a religious institution, the museum, whose 1995 provisional state charter was opposed by the archdiocese and expired almost a year ago, has become a magnet to the pandering powerful. Clinton attended the museum's last fundraiser in March at the Friar's Clubfresh from the White House and schmoozing with trustee Fugazy. Hillary Clinton appeared at its giant September 2000 dinner to say hello to Ed Malloy, the Building and Construction Trades Council leader who endorsed her in the Senate race, runs the state's largest private-sector union, and chairs the museum's board.
Malloy says that he's asked George Pataki, who is now courting his 200,000-member statewide organization just as Hillary did last year, for $4 million for the museum over the next two years. City Council Speaker Peter Vallone has given it $165,000 in council add-ons since 1997, with another $100,000 in this year's budget. Charlie Rangel helped get a $260,000 Empowerment Zone grant, and Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields has put up another $150,000 in the upcoming budget. Vallone, Rangel, and Fields have attended museum events, with mayoral candidate Vallone emerging as its most attentive public champion. Malloy also extracted an $800,000 capital commitment for the museum from top Giuliani deputies for next year, but he says that now appears to be on the back burner.
The Union Labor Life Insurance Company (ULLICO), a Washington-based fund for Malloy's national union, has already loaned it $1 million. Even before the ULLICO loan, a museum summary claimed that Malloy, Fugazy, and Donald Trump had raised more than $1 million for it. In addition, Malloy has persuaded several major contractors and unions to participate without compensation in the renovation of a closed Catholic school in East Harlem, converting it into the museum's sitean ongoing project that has already attracted millions in donated services. With last year's major fundraiser garnering $1.2 million in corporate and individual donations, the museum's cash and in-kind total receipts exceed $6 million, according to sources familiar with its books.
Cox is also now reaching out to the Bush administration. Though she used to display a photo of herself greeting Al Gore at an airport, she's gone down to Washington twice in recent monthsfor George W.'s inaugural week in January and again in May for the Presidential Gala of the Republican National Committee. The gala invitation listed her as a deputy chair, meaning she was supposed to raise $100,000 of the $23 million in GOP booty collected at the event. Her four-day stay in January was largely paid for by the museum, as was at least part of the cost associated with her overnight stay at the Ritz Carlton for the gala. In between these two trips, she took her son, sister, and two staffers to Romeon the museum's tabfor the February elevation of Cardinal Edward Egan.
The trips and the furniture are part of a pattern of personal expenses billed to the museum. Four former employees who, combined, cover virtually the entire history of the museumParker, Angela Marmo, Larissa Van Duser, and former director of development Christina Walkerhave detailed a decade of abuse. Walker, who joined the museum in 1999 and raised millions before leaving this March, was so disturbed by the recklessness of Cox's personal expenditures that she went to Malloy and other board members about it.
"Cox charged her dresses, other clothing, makeup, and jewelry to the museum," Walker says, "often using the ATM card at Lord & Taylor, Saks, and Dress Barn. She spent thousands for wigs at a store called Tiffany's. She bought furniture for her new home in Jersey, and had some of the furnishings in the office sent there. She'd come to the office with shopping bags filled with towels, sheets, curtainsand take much of it home. She spent thousands on Christmas ornamentsincluding $600 Santa Clausesthat disappeared from the office. She paid for groceries at the A&P near her house and frequent meals at the Macaroni Grill in Jersey too.
"Before she moved to Jersey, the museum paid her $3000-plus-a-month rent on her eastside apartment, as well as her cleaning lady, and other home expenses. The museum paid for her Jeep Cherokeelease, insurance, gas and E-ZPass. When she went to the Bush inaugural, I had to co-sign a $5000 check to her to cover her expenses. When she called back two days later for $1500 more, the bookkeeper told me it was to cover the ticket for the Boots & Black Tie party of the Republican committee, and I had to sign over another check."
Cox's personal expenditures were so high in 1999 that, Malloy concedes, an "adjustment" was made in her salary to cover some of them, raising it from the budgeted $85,000 to $194,000. "Of course when her salary shot up so much, she had to pay much higher taxes," Walker remembers. "So the museum paid her additional taxes." Records obtained by the Voice also show that the lease for an apartment where Cox once lived, at 150 East 56th Street, named the museum as the tenant, and a museum financial statement listed the tuition that this single mom paid for her son's Catholic school as an organizational "donation."
Van Duser, who was Cox's top aide from 1995 through 1997 and is now on a Fugazy payroll, wrote a letter to Cox in November 1997 charging that "museum funds have paid your rent, your son's tuition, and you have taken ATM cash withdrawals and other pay-outs." Van Duser ran the museum's midtown store during this periodwhen it was temporarily selling hundreds of thousands of dollars in religious items. She charged that Cox had "informed the staff that I am not to see the daily sales recorda journal that I set up and which I used to compile the quarterly sales figures [for taxpaying purposes]. I can only surmise that you have matters to hide from me."
When Van Duserwho is married to a lawyerthreatened to sue for $45,000 in unpaid wages, she was offered a job by Fugazy. Criticized by Malloy for "a history of filing lawsuits against employers," Van Duser, who runs a Fugazy nonprofit now and filed one lien a decade ago against a company she'd worked for as a consultant, would not comment for this article.
Walker adds that the museum ran another store on First Avenue in East Harlem from fall of 1999 through spring of 2000, and while it hardly earned what the one in midtown had, "there were no cash deposits made in the museum's accounts from the store." Walker and Marmo, who ran the store, say the cash proceeds were simply turned over "in an envelope on a regular basis" to Cox. The staff, rent, and inventory costs were all paid by the museum, and Marmo estimated salesparticularly at Christmas and Easterin the tens of thousands. The organization's financial statements over the years list state sales tax payments that are consistently less than what is due on reported sales, and Walker, Marmo, and the Van Duser letter suggest that all sales may not have been reported.
Without denying any of the specific personal expenses cited by the Voice, Malloy acknowledges that many were simply added to her salary. Malloy's explanation for the elaborate townhouse furnishings is that "the intent was that Cox would live up there," though he concedes the organization was also paying for her apartment. Malloy says some of the elaborate furnishings "are in storage and some are still at the museum," but he did not deny that others wound up in Cox's Jersey home.
Malloy also points out that Cox was paid $125,000 in 2000 and that, if her salary were averaged out over the past six years, she would have made only a reasonable $72,000 a year. But this analysis ignores thousands in "deferred compensation" paid heras much as $78,483 in 1998 aloneas well as the fact that her many personal expenses were not added to her salary prior to 1999.
In addition, Parker, Walker, and Marmo, supported by several other sources who asked not to be identified, have leveled a variety of sexual allegations at Cox and museum backers. The charges start with an admission. In the early days of the museum, Parker says she got Prince Albert of Monaco to allow the use of his name as an honorary trustee during a prolonged affair with him in the early '90s. The relationship is extensively described in a 1998 book, The Royal House of Monaco, published by St. Martin's Pressincluding a description of a four-day skinny-dipping trip to Texas taken by Albert, Parker, and Cox.
Parker also says she convinced a millionaire businessman she was dating, Arthur Altschul, to give $5000 to the museum through a small foundation he controlled, the Overbrook Foundation. The 1993 grant, which is listed on museum financial statements, helped finance a Cox and Parker trip to Rome. Informed of Parker's recollections, neither Altschul nor the prince responded. The minutes of a 1993 museum board meeting contain a discussion of attempts to hold a fundraiser at Altschul's or Guccione's home.
Parker, who shared her apartment with Cox in 1994, says she was introduced to Cox two years earlier by a businessman "boyfriend" of Parker's who contributes to the museum to this day. Cox allegedly drew her into the museum effort, persuaded her to pay for thousands in museum-related expenses, and encouraged her to get support for herself and the museum from "generous playboys" that the swinger Parker freely admits she knew. Though Parker concedes that she hardly needed encouragement, she says Cox "would dangle me in front of men, put me out there" as part of the effort to win patrons for the museum.
Museum trustees Malloy, Xenophon Galinas, Ed McGuinn, and Lee Iacocca have allegedly had intimate relationships with Cox, according to Parker and, in some cases, a variety of sources. All but Malloy have denied it. Asked if he'd ever had "a romantic or sexual relationship" with Cox, Malloy declined to answer. "She's a very, very good friend" who's done "a great job" with the museum, he said. When the Voice asked Malloy if Cox had relationships with the other trustees, he said he didn't know.
Cox refused, through a spokesman and during a brief phone conversation, to talk to the Voice, ascribing the allegations to "disgruntled employees out to get me." Parker is the only one of the ex-employees who has a pending action against the museumseeking $100,000 in back pay and damages.
Each of the four trustees reputedly tied to Cox has played a pivotal role at one point or another in the evolution of the museum. None has been more important than the married Malloy, whose frequent visits with Cox to the legendary loft bedroom were off-limits to staff, according to Walker, Marmo, and others who worked at the townhouse. While a half dozen museum sources have described the longtime personal ties between the two, Walker offered the clearest proof.
A seasoned nonprofit professional who talked to the Voice only because of her deep concern about Cox's misconduct, Walker traveled in February 2000 to Mar-A-Lago, the Palm Beach resort estate owned by Trump, with Cox and her then 10-year-old son, Patrick. "We saw Eddie in Miami first and had dinner with him and some construction guys," says Walker. "Then we went ahead to Mar-A-Lago and stayed in a beautiful, two-bedroom cottage. When Eddie got there the next day, Patrick moved out of Christina's bedroom and into mine. Eddie and Christina stayed together in the same room. We stayed there four days or so and flew back on Trump's plane.
"They said they'd been there several times before. The staff seemed to know them very well and referred to Christina as Mrs. Malloy. Trump even joined the four of us for a meal. Everything was paid for by Trump, except our airfare down, our hotel room in Miami, and a few incidentals, which were paid for by the museum."
Malloy acknowledges that Cox and he made "two or three" joint visits to Mar-A-Lago. Asked if he and Cox slept in the same room, he said, "I'm not going to comment on that." Malloy confirms that the Trump stay was gratis and justifies the museum expenditure by noting that Cox, her son, and Walker visited the nearby Norton Museum that had a Vatican exhibit. (Walker says this is untrue.) Malloy, who is such a church pillar that he was grand marshal of this year's Saint Patrick's Day Parade, has, by his own account, helped steer $200 million in union loans into Trump projects in New York, plus $13 million for the renovation of Mar-A-Lago.
Not all the sex charges, however, are so straight. Angela Marmo, a lesbian and convicted drug addict who worked as the museum's assistant registrar for two years, filed a State Human Rights Commission complaint in April alleging that Cox "suggested that I should approach potential patrons and contributors, mainly women, with the purpose of becoming sexually involved with them" to aid the museum. Marmo also charged that Cox reprimanded her for holding her girlfriend's hand while walking in the neighborhood on her own time, claiming she "was representing the museum 24 hours a day" and setting "a bad example." The complaint was dismissed 10 days later because there were "no witnesses" to corroborate the allegations, according to the commission.
A letter withdrawing the complaint was subsequently submitted to the agency, though Marmo says her signature on the document was forged. Marmo, who stated in her complaint that she "has feared for her personal safety" because of her conflict with the museum, talked to the Voice in on-the-record interviews in April. Among her charges, Marmo said Cox wrote $15,000 in museum expense checks to her that she cashed, turning most of the money over to Cox.
Confronted about her complaint and Voice conversations by Cox and others tied to the museum, Marmo called shortly before publication to declare, "You can quote me about everything I said to you, but I'm going to deny it." While Malloy ridicules Marmo's credibility nowcalling her statements "blatant lies"Cox once had so much confidence in her that she regularly trusted her and her sister to baby-sit Patrick.
Before Marmo's reversal, a museum board member affiliated with the East Harlem church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, hired her to clean the church and bingo hall and paid two months of back rent on her apartment. Having lived all her life on the same block as the church that is renting the school site to the museum with an option to buy, Marmo said she was acceding to relentless pressure from neighborhood supporters of the project.
When Christina Cox announced the launch of the museum on June 16, 1992, her public relations consultant, Don Softness, helped engineer a Periscope item in Newsweek heralding the supposed $50 million campaign "to create the first Catholic museum in the U.S." Just about everything in the story was spin.
Underneath a picture of Cox at Saint Patrick's was the caption "with the pope's blessing," a claim the Vatican's press office could find no record of (though a photo of her May 20, 1992, blessing shows her standing in a line of hundreds at Saint Peter's, clutching papers in her hand). The Vatican Museum supposedly pledged to loan art works for a special "pope's gallery"an assertion, Cox would later say, that resulted in a commitment to make 72 sculptures available. But Vatican Museum administrator Francesco Riccardi told the Voice that all it has ever done is to make "modest" sales of "museum-related merchandise" to Cox, which it does to "many museum stores throughout the world." When Cox and company went to Rome this February, the Vatican Museum refused to meet with her and her staff.
Newsweek also pinned a medal of support on Cardinal O'Connor, saying that "because of Cox's vision," he now stood to "gain an unlikely new title: patron of the arts." In fact, O'Connor had written a letter to Cox saying he thought "such an institution would serve a valuable service." But the letter wasn't the "endorsement" Cox's press release said it was. O'Connor warned that it might be "difficult to finance such a project without severely impacting other works of the Church," a concern that the Voice has learned gnaws at church leaders to this day.
The press packet announcing the museum start-up contained Cox's ironic biocalling her a "devoted Catholic" who had "attracted the attention of Robin Leach" at Cannes, modeled in London and Rome for the Jeffrey Wooten and International Models agencies, and had a bit part in Cannonball Run II. The release also celebrated the role Lee Iacocca was to play as honorary chairman of the museum's board. He was the first of several allegedly "intimate" Cox friends associated with the museum.
Iacocca had known Cox since at least 1986, when he was chairing the Statue of Liberty Foundation and his close friend Fugazy was heading up a similar state bicentennial committee. Cox was dubbed Miss Liberty by the bicentennial committees and parlayed it into a succession of scantily clad appearances she embellished into a mini-showbiz career that lasted years.
Cox's bio makes dubious claims about her marching as "queen" of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade and doing a world tour for the U.S. Information Agency. What she clearly did during her Miss Liberty reign was get to know Iacocca. Consultant Softness recalls his own conversations with Cox at the time of the museum launch: "Christina said she knew Iacocca very well for a long period of time and that he wanted to marry her, but she rejected him. He courted her. She is very, very beautiful, so it was not hard to believe. I believed her." Another Cox friend in the early '90s, a retired salesman named Mac Johnson, who baby-sat for her and volunteered for the museum, says, "She claimed she had dated Iacocca and balked at the condition that he didn't want any more kids."
Though Cox has told Parker, Walker, and many others close to her over the years about her Iacocca relationship (and her trips in the '90s to see him), the thrice-married millionaire responded through a spokeswoman that he and Cox merely "passed in the night" and that there was nothing "romantic" between them. He said he agreed to allow her to use his name as an honorary trustee for a year or so, but that he had no involvement with the museum.
Cox began fundraising for the museum in the name of the American Spirit Foundation, a nonprofit she'd formed in 1986, ostensibly to assist her Miss Liberty stint. ASF's incorporation papers made no reference to a museum among its long list of patriotic purposes. Nor was it chartered to raise funds for a museum, which state officials say it must be.
ASF was approved by the IRS as a tax-exempt organization in 1990, but it has filed the required disclosure forms in only two of its 10 years. The state attorney general's office wrote the organization a letter as recently as March 2000, noting that it had missed the last five years of filingscompleting a decade of virtually total noncompliance with state disclosure requirements. Yet in a May 1995 New York Observer article, Cox claimed the organization had already raised over $300,000.
Its first three years were a blur of bizarre events. That March, Parker and Cox flew to the Kentucky Derby, where ASF participated in an exhibit of Leroy Nieman's equine art, bringing home $21,500 as its share on the sale of a Nieman print. The ASF press release pointed out how Nieman's rise to fame started at Playboy in 1954, and Nieman told the Voice, "I probably knew Christina when she was a bunny. That's what was cited when she first called me about the museum." Parker alleged later in a letter to the museum board that the Nieman commission "was used to satisfy the personal debts of Miss Cox."
In August 1993, Parker took Cox to Monte Carlo to meet Prince Albert, the legendary playboy son of Princess Grace. Investment banker Ed McGuinn, a member of the museum's board who had played a key role in organizing a 1992 Hudson River Club fundraiser for it, made the trip too, together with another banker who had dated Parker and was listed as a museum supporter on a fundraising invitation. "I knew that Ed had visited her alone in her apartment," says Parker. "Christina had made overtures that they were together. She and I had a room at the hotel and so did the two guys. I didn't pay too much attention to what they were doing, but I had a couple of liaisons with my friend. They left without paying the bill and we called Ed and he eventually sent the money."
McGuinn says he "can't remember" if he ever visited Cox alone in her eastside apartment, but he adamantly denies any intimate relationship with her. He says he went to Monaco to attend the Red Cross Ball "as a business opportunity" when Cox told him she could arrange a meeting with the prince. McGuinn, who left the museum board a year later, denies paying the bill. Informed of the allegations, the banker who accompanied him declined to answer any questions about the trip.
Cox and Parker went to Texas right after Monaco for several days of wild partying at a friend's ranch. Parker was quoted in the book that later appeared about the royal family as saying that Cox "was uncomfortable around all the nudity" she, the prince, and the other partygoers engaged in at the pool. "She was acting very shy and prudish," Parker said then.
Parker adds now that it was "the open swinging" that bothered Cox, that Cox is a "one-on-one person," and that Cox did have a "few hours alone with the prince" at one point during the week, though Parker has "no idea what happened." In any event, Cox and Parker began listing the prince as an honorary trustee of the museum, and even after the Princess Grace Foundation insisted that his name be taken off museum letterhead, Cox stayed in touch. As recently as December 1999, she spent museum funds on a high-priced golf club for Albert and sent it to him. Malloy says Cox sent the putter "after a museum function that the prince participated in," though he could not say what event it was.
By December, the traveling duo had hit the road again, headed for Rome to see the pope. This time, unlike Cox's visit in 1992, a board member from Italy with connections at the Saint Peter's Basilica slipped them through a side door ahead of the line. Cox actually appeared before the pontiff in a Kentucky Derby T-shirt, partially covered by a jacket.
They'd had to rush from the hotel when the board member called. Cox carried a copy of the proposal, Parker recalls, and asked the pope to bless it. He made the sign of the cross, as he would again and again, for "the hundreds and hundreds of people" Parker could see in the line behind her.
Operating up to then from Cox's eastside apartmentwhich financial statements indicate was paid for by ASFthe museum finally found office space at Olympic Towers in the spring of 1994. According to Parker, Cox started dating Xenophon Galinas, manager of the Towers, "around the same time as he decided to give us the space pro bono." Single and living in the Towers, Galinas, who joined the museum board, was a frequent visitor to its 6000-square-foot, two-room office on the 12th floor, and Cox was a periodic visitor at his apartment.
"She said she slept in his apartment," Parker recalls. "She forgot her earrings there once. She dated him for a few months." He even made a pitch for Parker, she says, aggravating Cox, who then convinced Galinas to set Parker up with a friend of his. Galinas, who asked if Voice questions about his ties to Cox were "a joke" and hung up, rented ground-floor space to the organization in 1995 for the first museum store, located across the street from Saint Patrick's.
When Galinas later married someone else, Parker and Cox went to the wedding. Cox came with her new friend, Eddie Malloy. By then, says Parker, "the word was out that we were with everyone" associated with the museum, identifying two other board members who dated Cox and will go unnamed in this story. Parker says she and Cox seemed so available that a prominent and single lawyer, Jim Hallisey, who represented Catholic Charities and was an active member of the museum's board, suddenly suggested taking the two of them to a French villa, "popping the question out of the blue." Having never dated either, Hallisey, who is now dead, actually showed them drawings of the villa, pinpointing where he, two of his friends, Parker, and Cox would stay. "We declined," says Parker, and Hallisey soon left the board.
The turning point for the museum, however, was the night in 1994 when Parker and Cox met Eddie Malloy. The 66-year-old father of two and grandfather of seven, Malloy was at an all-male dinner of the Friendly Sons of Ireland at the Sheraton Hotel, an event Parker and Cox had decided to visit in hopes of meeting museum patrons. "We went to the bar in the hotel," says Parker. "We were either wearing business suits or long gowns. We timed it so we knew when they'd be coming down. They outnumbered us about 400 to 2. We noticed that this one guy was the center of attention in the bar conversation. We were brought into their circle and started talking about the museum. We talked for a couple of hours and went home. We felt like it was a successful night."
Cox then started calling Malloy and finally Parker fielded a return call. "I kept giving her the high sign. I said 'Do something with him.' I was thrilled," says Parker. The organization was so broke by then that Cox was facing eviction from her museum-subsidized apartment, moving in that summer with Parker and bringing her son. Working and living together, Parker witnessed firsthand the evolution of Malloy's relationship with Cox.
"It took off pretty quickly," Parker recalls. "He would pick her up at the apartment around dinnertime at least twice a week. They would talk constantly. I can't remember her exact words, but it was clear they were intimate."
That Septemberthree or four months after Cox moved inshe got her East 56th Street apartment. Parker, who wrote Malloy a letter this January alleging that Cox secured the $23,094-a-year apartment "under your patronage," says that Cox couldn't even pay a share of her phone bill at the time. While Parker recalls that Malloy helped Cox find the $3990 down payment, $1495 of which was paid in cash, Malloy denies it.
Malloy concedes that a year later he "asked the Rudin Organization" to give Cox another apartmentlarger and fancierat 300 East 57th Street. She lived for more than three years in the apartment that Malloy had secured from a major developer who does business with his union. Just as with the 56th Street rental, the lease for the Rudin apartment was in the museum's name, according to Malloy. He says art "was stored there," contending that the museum paid only half the $3100 monthly rent.
However, the organization's financial statements for that period list no art assets and take no depreciation. Every museum source who has talked to the Voice says the organization has very little art. While the Voice was unable to obtain the 57th Street lease, the one for 56th Street specified in its first sentence that the apartment "must only be used as a primary residence."
Within four months of meeting Cox, Malloy was the first name on the museum's four-page invitee list for a July 1994 fundraiser. He was one of three honorees at its September gala at the Hilton. That fall, he personally put together the first application for a charter for the museum, dumping ASF as the vehicle and seek
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.