COLUMNIST Miss Dish
PHOTOGRAPHER Jessica Glick
The infamous Sadie Sheppard was spotted outside the Plaza yesterday afternoon trying to hail a cab, hastily packed luggage at her feet. Miss Sheppard, you will recall, was recently caught impersonating Isabella Margrethe of Denmark, the reclusive Princess of the island nation of Faroe and supposed grand-daughter of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. It is said that that the real princess is a beautiful woman who rarely travels from the island, not even into her grandmother’s neighboring Denmark. Rumors float about as to why, but no one knows for sure. This made Miss Sheppard’s charade easier to pull off.
Two years ago, we remember well, this young girl made a huge splash on Manhattan’s social scene when she attended the Astor’s benefit dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria as Princess Isabella. She had all the makings of a young royal – immaculate manners, social grace, and diamonds sparkling at her neck and wrists. She was soon seen at every event where socialites mingled with dignitaries and celebrities, and she became famous for the stylish cat-eyed sunglasses she wore everywhere she went, night and day. Originally seen as one of those quirks that distinguishes all icons of style, Miss Dish suggests the glasses may have been used to hide the eyes which would have given away her life of lies.
The day after the Astor’s gala, Truman James, the last surviving heir to the James gunpowder fortune, gave her a necklace of pearls as a welcome gift. Mr. James, enraptured by her bright blonde hair and her sharp wit introduced her to his lifelong friend, Missy Du Pont, the most discerning and desirable of the Manhattan socialites, and with her influence Miss Sheppard was given carte blanche in all her social endeavors. Miss Du Pont took a special interest in her because as she put it, “She was in that phase of life where she was beginning to do philanthropic work.” This is Miss Du Pont’s territory, of which she is with good reason very proud. But her pride may have blinded her to the fact that Miss Sheppard had secretly been extorting money from the influential (and married) businessmen she was being, shall we say, “introduced to”. The police are currently investigating how severe these extortion charges are.
As Miss Sheppard was being introduced to Miss Du Pont’s friends she caught the eye of Missy’s elder brother, Richard. For “Princess Isabella’s” 22nd birthday, Mr. Du Pont gave her a yacht called The Mystic – christened such after she who had been so mysterious to them until now – and threw her a lavish party on board with a five star chef and a staff of the highest standards serving champagne and oysters. A blissful year went by, as Miss Dish readers know, and after much deliberation, and with the blessing of his parents, Mr. Du Pont finally decided to propose to the young beauty. One of The Mystic’s staff recalled that the two were on the deck sipping champagne when Mr. Du Pont gave Miss Sheppard his grandmother’s heirloom diamond ring, shaped in a beautiful teardrop. The staff member (who would like to remain anonymous because of the severity of Miss Sheppard’s situation) also said that for an instant a strange expression came over the young girl’s face. “She looked distraught, but I thought that maybe I was mistaken – it was just a flash.” After “The Princess” agreed, Mr. Du Pont said that they should set off right away to see her parents to tell them the good news. Miss Sheppard agreed and a fairy tale ending seemed assured.
Later that night however, a crowd of people saw the couple fighting outside a film premiere of one of her actress friends. “She was crying and he seemed irate,” a young partygoer said of the once-promising couple. The next morning, Mr. Du Pont awoke to find her missing and her personal belongings gone. He called his sister, and explained to her the events of the day before, and said that although he wasn’t sure, Miss Sheppard’s hesitation and their fight led him to believe that she wasn’t actually who she claimed to be. Miss Du Pont, who has always had a flair for the dramatic, was said to have flown into a frenzy, and feeling truly betrayed she called the press and leaked the story. It hit the headlines a week ago, and everyone in Manhattan has been buzzing over the scandal. A photographer saw her uptown last Sunday, but nothing had been heard of her whereabouts since. Is she fleeing in shame? Is she hiding out until the news dies down? Do the police have her in custody for her financial crimes? No one is certain of her fate, and it seems as though only time will tell what’s in store for this pretty little liar…