Who Is In The Million Dollar Manhattan Madam's "Little Black Book"?

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Combine the Famed Defense Attorney Robert Shapiro, with Jenny Paulino, dubbed "Manhattan's Million Dollar Madam", and April Masini, "The New Millenium's Dear Abby" and Sex Is Gonna Hit NYC's D.A. Right Where it Hurts -- in the Polls. Question: What does it take to get Robert Shapiro, the world famous criminal defense attorney - living LifeStyles of the Rich & Famous - on an all coach fare economy airline, Jet Blue? Answer: AskApril. (Literally.) April Masini, nicknamed by the media "the new millennium’s Dear Abby," the blonde bombshell, socialite, who is also the real life Jessica Rabbit behind AskApril.com - took a mortgage on her home this week to help her old pal, Jenny Paulino, dubbed "Manhattan's Million Dollar Madam." Yes, April was so completely outraged by the injustice, that she launched into action ... setting her sights on NYC's D.A.s and calling upon her attorney idol, powerhouse Robert Shapiro, to assist her. "If those D.A.s think going after Jenny is going to make them Rudy Giuliani -- give me a break!"

I don't see any reason for any bail.

Shame on the New York D.A.'s Office

When April got wind of the recent arrest of her old Vertical Club workout pal, Jenny Paulino, dubbed "Manhattan's Million Dollar Madam", they hadn't spoken in years. Yet, the more April learned of the case of The People of the State Of New York - against - Jenny Paulino, 2004NY088938, the more outraged she became. For starters, all of Paulino's financial assets had been frozen, and her bail set at $500,000, which she could not raise. Equally, the DA would not accept Paulino's two homes as security, so the unindicted Jenny, whom had never before been arrested, spent the night in jail.

Fortunately, a subsequent Criminal Court Judge, Martin Murray, was equally unimpressed with the assistant district attorney's treatment of Paulino stating, "I don't see any reason for any bail." And Jenny went home that night.

But home sweet home isn't so sweet any more. Most of her possessions were seized - including her cell phone. Is it just me -- or couldn't the D.A. have seen a history of her calls from her phone bills? Because she was phone-less, a mutual friend of April's and Jenny's helped Jenny call April.

April smelled a rat. The discrepancy between a $500,000 bail and a $10,000 bail only 24 hours later was the first sign that Paulino was being singled out by the New York City legal machine. The second sign that Paulino was being singled out was that all of her assets were frozen so she couldn't pay bail or hire legal counsel. The idea that she would jump bail is ridiculous because she's currently seeking treatment for breast cancer at Sloan Kettering. The third sign that something was wrong was that although Paulino was charged with prostitution, none of the male clients in her black book, which police confiscated, are being charged with the exact same evidence that was used to arrest Paulino. The fourth sign that Paulino was being singled out was the DA's choice to announce her arrest to her 75-year old mother at her senior citizen bingo game. It had been a good night before that -- with Jenny's mom winning a whole dollar at bingo. But when the police burst in, Jenny's elderly mother was devastated and humiliated. This questionable venue for notifying Jenny's mom may have made a great photo op for tabloid photogs, but the if the New York District Attorney's office makes this kind of notification a regular practice, it would be interesting to note if the Enron boys' arrests were announced at their father's health clubs or golf courses - or when the last time that someone's mother was notified at a senior citizen social event.

The story enraged April and she took action... Tracking down Robert Shapiro on a weekend (Saturday 22, 2005), subsequently insisting he meet with her, immediately, and then hiring him (on the spot) to help Jenny Paulino. Paulino, April feels, has become a victim and a pawn in a politically motivated strategy to create a high profile media case that will be easy to prosecute - especially if the injustices applied so far are allowed to continue -- in order to illuminate the prosecutors who will run for District Attorney Walter Morgenthau's job, when, at age 85, he will probably retire in November of this year.

Sex and the city

The truth is the District Attorney's office has chosen to go after Ms. Paulino with a very expensive vengeance, simply not because she's rich, not because she's made lots of money, not because she's committed crimes that hurt children, that involve cocaine or heroin or crystal meth, not because she was disturbing the peace and not because she didn't pay her taxes - but because she's attractive, glamorous and can make headlines. In fact, being in the same headline with Jenny, is the closest Morganthau or any of his minions will ever get to a babe. Giuliani goes after Gotti. Morganthau's team goes after the nearest 105 pound blonde he can knock down with the least resistance - and freezing her assets so she can't hire legal help, definitely makes it a less than fair fight. Can't these city attorneys go pick on someone their own size? After all, with all the murders, rapes and assaults, that were crimes with victims, that happened in New York on the same night Paulino was arrested, wouldn't a photo of a real criminal arrest be more representative of New York's reality? The answer is yes - unless you have a campaign to run, and taking down a pretty woman is your idea of politics. C'mon, boys..

In addition, Paulino's touted $2.5 million total income - if it is that (other papers have reported anywhere between $1 million and $2 million) - is more like $500,000 a year, at most, before taxes - which she did pay, annually and on time -- is closer to $150,000 a year, at most, after that. While that's a great take home pot for anyone, the District Attorney should really cough up the figures it cost the city's taxpayers to splurge on a two to three year sting operation, and the prosecution that is taking our city's attorneys away from crimes against children, crimes against victims, and crimes against property - rather than a crime against morality.

My friend, Jenny

April and Paulino met at the gym, where along with April's other long time buddy, Marva Hamilton, now manager of Human Resources McGrawHill, they worked out about six days a week. Paulino and April lost touch when April married (her now ex-husband) Al Masini and moved to Hawaii.

April remembers Paulino as a hard working girl whose parents are from the Dominican Republic, and who went to work in a factory, along with her mother, at the age of 13, when her father left the family. April recalls that Paulino came from a difficult background, and worked to help pay the bills for the one bedroom Hell's Kitchen apartment she and her mother shared after her sister moved out. Paulino also helped put her nephew, Augusto Paulino, through Westbury College.

April describes Paulino as, "the sweetest girl you ever met. She was never nasty, she was never jealous and she always made me feel important." But April insists, "what stood out most about Jenny is the way she treated people. Regardless of who you were (or weren't) Jenny treated you with kindness and respect," said Masini. "Jenny has class, and that is something no amount of money can buy."

That she has been running an escort service is a choice she's made and is taking responsibility for. "Her beauty, her sweetness, and her charm were the main things she had going for her," said April. "She's supported several families and always paid her taxes. In fact, now, she's worried about paying her taxes since her assets were frozen."

But Paulino isn't the only one with questions about money that need answering. The D.A.'s office has spent thousands upon thousands of dollars in what has been described as a two to three year sting operation to nail Paulino during a time when the city's money might have been better spent on education for special needs students, fighting crime in poorer neighborhoods, rather than Paulino's Upper East Side area where crime is relatively low, or on terrorism prevention - or compensation for the families of the victims of the 9/11 Twin Towers mass murder.

Women's work?

When women act like, well, women, who are demure as they run businesses, and are caretaking in all their endeavors - even taking care of the men who were their clients, and are listed in their black books, because naming client names could ruin lives and bust up families, and who follow their hearts rather than their, well, you know what I mean, they end up victims. Chandra Levy is gone, but Gary Condit isn't. Bill Clinton told us all he did not have sex with that woman - is still paying off her legal defense bills. Barney Frank, the Democratic Representative from Massachusetts, admitted paying $80 for a male prostitute who he later befriended. This "friend" of Representative Frank's had previous felony convictions for possession of cocaine, oral sodomy and production of obscene items involving a juvenile. Frank's "friend" then proceeded to run a brothel out of Representative Frank's Capitol Hill apartment. The pornography industry makes way more money than little Jenny, and speaking of porn, last we heard nobody in the VIP room of Scores has been arrested - but then again, that would ruin the men's fun.

Selective prosecution, selective morality

Q: Why did the District Attorney arrest Paulino for prostitution charges, confiscate her client, black book - and not prosecute a single man in it?

A: We're waiting, Mr. Morgenthau....


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