back to DEC. 1978: STUDIO 54 IS RAIDED

Studio 54 is Raided

Bob Colacello:

"Federal agents grabbed Ian Schrager at the disco one morning and found almost a million dollars hidden everywhere, from behind the pipes in the basement to up in the cupola. Steve [Rubell] was stopped in his Mercedes, with another hundred thousand dollars stashed in the trunk. It was the story of the decade, and we were in the middle of it, but the only reference Andy [Warhol] allowed in Exposures was: 'All the scandals help business because there's no publicity like bad publicity...'

My first reaction was to put Steve on the cover of Interview... Despite Andy's sudden nervousness, we rushed Steve into a tux and onto the February 1979 cover, with a red background for Valentine's Day...

The Studio 54 scandal hit the front pages... when Steve accused White House chief of staff Hamilton Jordan of asking for cocaine at the disco. On the way uptown that afternoon, Andy told me, 'I don't think Steve's a nice person. Because he probably offered it to Hamilton Jordan in the first place, right?'

I told him I thought Steve had performed a great public service, and also reminded him of Carter administration officials and advisers we saw taking coke, and not only in discos. I also reminded him how worried he had been about the pressure Steve was under to name names in exchange for a deal from the prosecutor. 'Why should I be worried, Bob?' he said. 'I never took anything at 54.' Right, Andy, I thought.

Three days later, the FBI called the Factory and asked for Andy. He made Fred [Hughes] take the call and say he was out. And he instantly came up with his alibi in case he was subpoenaed: 'I never saw anyone take anything because I never went to the men's room, because I only go at home.' (BC423)

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