Okay, so you know by now that Steven Slater has hired a heavy-hitter publicist. The JetBlue flight attendant who grabbed some road beer before popping the emergency slide and driving for freedom in Queens clearly can’t go back to his old job, so he’s looking for some alternatives. There is talk of reality show action, but Howard Bragman, the big name representing Slater, notes that they have some … ummm, legal … matters to get out of the way first.
Bragman has some experience with Slater’s ilk, having rep’ed such “instant celebrities”, according to The Hollywood Reporter, as Monica Lewinsky and Oksana Grigorieva. He took Slater as a client because he believes he could stretch his 15 minutes of fame to more. Of course, Bragman is so much more than a publicist to Slater: “So I’m doing the media relations and also acting as manager.”
Before he starts pitching books and TV shows, of course, Bragman explains, “Our first job is to handle these very serious criminal charges against Steve and then to get as good a resolution as possible. After the criminal charges are handled, we’re going to evaluate things.”
What’s interesting, of course, is that publicist seems to be about as engaged with reality as client. In regards to the “very serious criminal charges”, Bragman says of Slater, “He’s handling the situation with intelligence and humor and integrity.”
What everyone wants to know, though, is whether the offers are rolling in. Apparently, there’s been a “huge array of things”, says Bragman, who won’t go into specifics. Apparently, being a flight attendant isn’t among them. He’s backing off Slater’s earlier claims that he wanted his old gig back. Dancing around the question about whether Slater wants to come back to the cabin, the famous publicist laments what it’s like to fly today:
Then, of course, there’s the whole airline experience today. Steven said to me, “I used to supply Chateaubriand for people going to Europe on TWA, and now I throw a bag of Cheetos at someone who can’t be bothered to take a shower before they get on an airplane.”
What’s most important to Bragman, though, is that he feels Slater’s fame has legs, though I think he means “with the right representation.” I suspect thinking about his future fees, Bragman says:
I think he’s an interesting character, and I don’t think America knows him. I think they’re going to like this guy. He’s very charming and very intelligent. I think there is real potential in him, but that’s secondary. Our first responsibility is the charges. If I didn’t believe in this guy, I wouldn’t be here.