Peggy Siegal Has Returned to Oscar Events

Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images
Peggy Siegal
Matthew Belloni
December 6, 2021

With the Ghislaine Maxwell trial in full swing, I was reminded of the many connections between Jeffrey Epstein and various Hollywood people. That, of course, got me thinking about Peggy Siegal, the NYC event planner and awards-season publicist whose entanglements with Epstein spilled into public when he was arrested and jailed in 2019. After Epstein’s previous incarceration for soliciting a prostitute, Siegal had facilitated her friend’s return to elite entertainment circles via invites to her star-studded events. So when the toxic connections were made public, Siegal became persona non grata among the studios that once hired her during Oscar season. One of New York’s most public people essentially went into hiding.

But two years and one pandemic later, someone sent me a Peggy sighting from Searchlight’s Nightmare Alley premiere at Lincoln Center last week. She was also spotted at Amazon’s Being the Ricardos event as a guest of her longtime pal, journalist Roger Friedman. That led me to wonder, is Peggy Siegal back? And if so, are studios working with her this season?

So I called her up, and, as is typical of Peggy, she was very busy and late for a meeting. She either didn’t have time or didn’t want to chat—but no, she’s not doing studio work this season. Of course, there aren’t many Peggy Siegal-style events at all these days, with the pandemic having killed most large tastemaker lunches and dinners. Many of the venues that Siegal favors—21 Club, Lambs Club, Le Cirque—have closed.  

Instead, Peggy’s living much of the year in Southampton and working on a book about her decades of celebrity adjacency. And Friedman, for one, hopes she’ll be welcomed back to the Oscar season if, and when, those events return. “This is ridiculous,” he told me. “She’s been maliciously attacked. She did nothing wrong. Nobody really knew what [Epstein] had done.”