Jeanine Pirro, Trapped In Her $5 Million Gutter

For those possessed of wealth and class, one of the things one never does is put price tags on one’s possessions. It is, to be blunt, low class. It’s gauche. So naturally, it’s exactly where Pirro goes:


How impressive. Most people wouldn’t get to live in a $5 million home after their husbands go to prison, but Pirro is special. And she’s not shy about saying so, though most people don’t call the maid’s room in the basement a “guest wing.”


Pretty sad that she felt the need to say she was the “current host” of her show (as if there might be a new host next week?), but then, it’s not like it’s popular among people who think. The Saturday night time slot is saved for filler.

Nobody stuck Judge Judy into that time slot, but then, Judith Sheindlin may be a bit much when she decides people are liars before they say anything, but at least she has a firm grasp of law.  One of the worst kept secrets in criminal law was that Pirro was a dolt. Even as a TV judge doing small claims cases, it was painful to watch. She aspired to achieve Nancy Grace-level legal acumen. Not really. Just prominence, as in “everybody look at what a big deal I am.” Ohh cool, look at her very expensive house! She must be really important.

Why would Pirro take a stroll through the gutter of her life?  Because the New York Times did a piece about her being sued by Lisa DePaulo*, whom Pirro hired to write a book she could put her name to as if she had the capacity to actually write something.

A lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Thursday against Ms. Pirro by her original collaborator, Lisa DePaulo, claims that Ms. Pirro had “little regard for truth and accuracy” as she directed the writer to “describe events and circumstances that never occurred and to aggrandize” Ms. Pirro’s “role in the story at the expense of the truth.”

What a shock. But Pirro promised plenty of shock and awe.

Within a few weeks, Ms. Pirro signed a contract with Simon & Schuster based on a proposal, according to the lawsuit, that included “false and outlandish” promises, including claims that her book would expose a “massive cover-up” involving Durst family members.

She also claimed that the jurors in the Galveston murder trial had been “paid off by Durst.”

How could Simon & Schuster not bite at such revelations, especially when they came from the person who was then the Westchester County District Attorney?  There was only one problem.

But details in her 313-page account, which was published on Tuesday, are already being challenged by some of her former investigators; friends and relatives of Kathleen Durst; the Durst family; and the original co-author of the book, who was fired in June.

See, the “disgruntled” defense doesn’t fly when everybody, including your own team, calls bullshit.

Aside from recounting the history of Mr. Durst’s misdeeds in three states, Ms. Pirro devotes many pages to excoriating a half-dozen figures long associated with the case who have been critical of her role or, in her view, committed some other offense.

Her enemies list includes the original State Police investigator (Joseph Becerra) who reopened the case in 1999 and brought it to her office; the prosecutor whom she promoted (Kevin Hynes) and put in charge of the case; the judge in Galveston, Tex., (Susan Criss) who presided over Mr. Durst’s 2003 murder trial there and placed Ms. Pirro under a rule of silence; an acquaintance of Mrs. Durst (Ellen Strauss) who has been critical of Ms. Pirro’s actions; and Douglas Durst, Mr. Durst’s brother, whose lawyer has warned her against repeating “factual errors” about the family.

And what did Pirro have to say about the trial in Galveston?

Susan Criss, the judge who presided over the 2003 murder trial in Galveston, is dismissed as “completely out of her depth” and all too willing to accommodate Mr. Durst’s defense lawyer, Dick DeGuerin.

Or her own people?

“He Killed Them All” dismisses [Kevin] Hynes, Ms. Pirro’s former prosecutor, as a “nosy” assistant who “had nothing to offer about Durst, or to law enforcement in general,” despite her having promoted him to the No. 2 spot in her office and sending him to California to interview witnesses.

And then there’s her own investigator, Joe Becerra.

One evening after a round of drinks with her investigators at a hotel, Ms. Pirro related, she rose to go to her room. Mr. Becerra, she says, slipped into her elevator and propositioned her. “There was no question in my mind what he wanted,” she wrote.

Because Pirro is so very sexy.

“She had him thrown off the case because he was getting more press than she,” said Ed Murphy, a retired senior criminal investigator who is praised by Ms. Pirro in her book. “I don’t understand it. Joe was the one who did all the legwork.”

In the world of Pirro, there are no stars except Jeanine. Becerra got way too much attention, which Pirro couldn’t bear. Off with his head!

Lisa DePaulo, who was Ms. Pirro’s original co-author, cast doubt on her account of Mr. Becerra’s unwanted affections. She had flown to Galveston in 2001 with her and joined the group at the hotel bar.

Ms. DePaulo said she continued talking with Mr. Becerra and the investigators after Ms. Pirro went to her room. “I’m pretty sure Joe and I were the last ones there,” she added.

So much for Pirro’s sexual fantasy world. And now it’s Lisa’s turn to be the target of Pirro’s smears. Except while it’s one thing to make stuff up in a “she said/she the former District Attorney, current TV star said” sort of way, such as whose dog poop Lisa was cleaning off the floor, fabricating stuff that can be easily disproven isn’t quite as easily dismissed.

In 2015, DePaulo was unemployed and having difficulty finding new employment and paying her bills.

Except she was employed by Bloomberg and doing fine. It’s kinda shocking that David Boies (what does she have on Boies that he would stoop to represent her?) would allow verifiable facts in Pirro’s affidavit, rather than her usual everybody is an alcoholic, drug user or sex fiend defense, which Lisa’s lawyer, Richard Emery told the New York Post’s Page Six (where Pirro feeds her best smears) “It’s an unbridled egotist’s defense mechanism.”  Then again, maybe Pirro insisted he include her fantasy?

In any event, Pirro has been a perpetual source of lulz in the legal community, and it doesn’t appear that it’s going to stop any time soon. You would think she would be satisfied with her closetful of shoes or garageful of old Jaguars.

But Jeanine Pirro doesn’t appear to have any interest in stopping until she’s achieved the recognition she so desperately needs. And there’s no way she’s going to let facts get in her way. People who live in $5 million houses, and still feel the need to tell you so, are like that sometimes.

*Full disclosure: I’ve known Lisa DePaulo since she did a story on one of my cases for Vanity Fair, and we’re long time friends. I’ve also represented Lisa, but not with regard to this case or any criminal case.

7 thoughts on “Jeanine Pirro, Trapped In Her $5 Million Gutter

  1. Ross

    Durst bought the jury in Galveston? No, he hired a lawyer who was way better than the idiot DA who insisted on charging Durst with a crime that required proof of intent to kill the victim. If the DA had settled for what Durst actually did, the conviction would have been a slam dunk. Criss wasn’t out of her league, just grumpy, when she set bail at a billion dollars.

    Pirro is apparently not interested in the truth.

    1. SHG Post author

      Perhaps it wasn’t clear. It’s not that Durst bought the jury in Galveston. It’s that Pirro said she could prove that’s what happened.

  2. Jonathan Edelstein

    “most people don’t call the maid’s room in the basement a ‘guest wing.’”

    Most people don’t have a maid’s room in the basement. Or a maid. (Or, in many cases, a basement.)

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