- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 24, 2002

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. Lizzie Grubman, a New York publicist with a star-studded roster of clients, pleaded guilty yesterday in a hit-and-run crash that injured 16 persons outside a nightclub in the Hamptons.
Grubman, 31, is likely to receive two months in jail, 280 hours of community service and five years' probation under the plea agreement. She could have faced up to seven years behind bars if convicted.
Sentencing is set for Oct. 23.
According to witnesses at the Southampton club on July 7, 2001, Grubman became upset when a bouncer asked her to move her Mercedes-Benz sport-utility vehicle from a fire lane. The bouncer, Scott Conlon, said Grubman called him "white trash" before slamming her SUV into reverse and driving into the crowd.
With 16 persons injured outside the Conscience Point Inn, Grubman was whisked away in another vehicle. Police later tracked her down.
Grubman, the daughter of entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman, was one of Manhattan's highest-profile publicists, with clients that included singer Britney Spears, rappers Jay-Z and Wu-Tang Clan, and Sony Music Chairman Tommy Mottola.
In court yesterday she remained composed, providing only yes and no answers as she pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and leaving the scene of an accident.
She also was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor. Grubman has said she was sober and that the crash was an accident.
Grubman left the courthouse yesterday surrounded by bodyguards, family members and friends. She made a brief statement outside the courthouse, apologizing to those injured in the crash.
She still faces at least eight lawsuits seeking millions of dollars.
Prosecutor Joy Watson said Grubman received no preferential treatment in the plea deal. "I didn't even know who she was when I took this case," Miss Watson said.
The crash exacerbated tensions between locals on the east end of Long Island and the out-of-towners who arrive every summer. The seasonal crowd is often regarded as rude and condescending to year-round residents, with Grubman held up as the poster child for such behavior.
Grubman had been out on the town the day of the crash with actress and client Tara Reid. She also represented the club where the accident occurred.

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