Ladies and Gentlemen, the Original Celebrity Broker

What would you do if you could do anything? Go back to music?

I would live in Paris or Rome—and not New York.

Why not go into real estate there?

That’s always a fantasy, but you know they have their tests and their brokers—it’s not like you pop in. You don’t, at a certain age, just pop into a town like, ‘Yo! I’m here,’ when there are 15-year-old gorgeous children taking the jobs of brilliant people.

… I obviously have some kind of personality or sales acumen that’s been working for a while, so I’m not willing to surrender that, as I am not willing to surrender telephones as opposed to e-mails. Because I like to see the reaction when I say, ‘Well, sir, the truth is, you do have to come up another million dollars.’ I want to hear a gasp, a breath, a curse—whatever. I want a reaction as I say it, and to the way that I say it. I find that a lot of the forte of a salesperson is taken away when there’s no voice and personality.

You first left Edward Lee Cave’s boutique brokerage for Prudential Douglas Elliman in 1990, though you later went back and forth. How do you describe Mr. Cave?

He is a true gentleman; it’s almost a rare species. All I can tell you is that if you chew gum at Edward Lee Cave, you don’t work there for more than five minutes.

How do you find new clients?

I try and go out where interesting wealthy people are. It depends on the restaurant; it depends upon the event. You know, you don’t find poor people at [Estiatorio] Milos, where you’re paying hundreds of dollars for a piece of fish. You don’t find paupers in the Grill Room at the Four Seasons at lunchtime.

But the expense accounts have been cut, and certain restaurants have been eliminated. I know that for a fact! Corporately, some restaurants have been eliminated.

How many grandchildren do you have?

One. But [my daughter] crawled out of her crib when she was 2 years old and found Iggy Pop rolling a joint on the living-room floor with Paul Simon and Elton John sitting there. So for my daughter to be wrapped up in a white picket fence is the most extraordinary thing.

What’s your ex-husband, music mogul Seymour Stein, like? Is he crazy?

Of course he’s crazy. If you’re not crazy, you’re boring. Seymour’s crazy. I’m crazy. Bob [Dylan] is crazy. In a good way!