He’s So Vain: Carly Simon and The Wannabe Madoff

“Why would you want to get in touch with him?” someone at his office said. In January, as she tells it, she waited an hour to speak to him. “I said, ‘Ken, why don’t I have any money?’”

“What do you mean?” he said. “Everything’s fine.”

She left him, wiped out. Beyond the question of negligence, she and her attorney, Marty Singer, say she may be a victim of the Ponzi scheme he’s been accused of. Last year, The Times called him the “go-to guy for star-crossed stars.” “We are at the stage,” he said this week, “when we could be suing.”

“She claimed things, that he allowed her to spend too much money on her house, stuff like that,” said the attorney Bert Fields, who has done work for Mr. Starr for years, and helped him with Ms. Simon’s complaints earlier this year. “That’s the kind of thing my wife might accuse me of.”

“Oh, bullshit,” she said. “I think you spend too much on your investments based on what your money manager tells you to spend.”

“I would be reluctant to file the suit,” said Mr. Fields. “But listen, it costs $65, I think, to file.” A few years ago, The Times called him “the man to call when taking on a studio.”

Mr. Starr was arrested with the former president of the City Council, Andrew Stein, who was charged with lying to federal officers about a shell company that was used for Mr. Starr’s fraud; Mr. Stein was released on bail. Attorney Ed Hayes, an inspiration for Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities, met with Mr. Starr in jail. “He didn’t seem cocky in the slightest; he seemed very disheartened and upset,” Mr. Hayes said.

Mr. Hayes was only involved for a few days. “In the beginning, he said, ‘I’m going to have the money,’ and then he didn’t come up with it.”

When Ms. Simon heard about the agents and the arrest and the jailing, she said she felt sorry that she hadn’t left Mr. Starr earlier. “There was one friend of mine that said, ‘I just feel I’m too old to deal with this. He takes me out to lunch when I’m in town!’ So there was one friend of mine who just wasn’t going to do anything about it.”

Her West Village duplex has been on the market for years, but she still has her house on Martha’s Vineyard. There, waiting for a Lyme disease test early this week, she was in bed again in the late afternoon, but optimistic. “I’m a believer,” she said. “So I’m a believer that the next great thing could happen.”

mabelson@observer.com