Here is the forty-first video in a series of computer animations called The Unicorn With An Attitude that I started back in the 1990’s in an ill-fated attempt to show off my abilities as an artist and a computer whiz in the hopes of either 1) get famous or 2) get a higher paying job than the office administrative work that I was frequently offered.

“Stopping Lizzie” was a parody of this story that briefly became the biggest celebrity gossip sleaze news of 2001. As the original writeup for this animation stated:

The Unicorn With An Attitude faces off against Lizzie Grubman, the public relations executive/rich lawyer’s daughter who is accused of mowing down 16 patrons with her father’s SUV outside a tony nightclub in the Hamptons.

Lizzie Grubman is the daughter of entertainment lawyer, Allen Grubman, whose clients—both past and present—include Bruce Springsteen, U2, Madonna, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lizzie followed her father into the entertainment industry but she opted to specialize in public relations instead. Her own clients have included—both past and present—Britney Spears, Jay-Z, the Backstreet Boys, Lil’ Kim, and Kylie Biscotti.

Lizzie Grubman’s name became a household word for reasons that had little to do with celebrity public relations. On July 7, 2001 Lizzie Grubman’s Mercedes SUV was parked in the fire lane outside the Conscience Point Inn in the Hamptons. When security guards asked her to move her car to another location (other than a fire lane), she responded by driving her SUV directly into a crowd of people waiting outside the Conscience Point Inn. Sixteen people were injured and Grubman was arrested and charged in a 28-count indictment including driving while intoxicated, second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment.

Within a week someone came up with this video game called Lizzie’s Hamptons 500 where the object of the game is to ram the SUV directly into people walking to and from the Conscience Point Inn. The video game went viral and I remember many publications mentioning that game.

There was another controversial parody site known as LizzieGrubman.com, which was looking for photos, stories, audio, and video of Lizzie Grubman. That site led me to create my latest Unicorn With An Attitude animation known as “Stopping Lizzie.” I downloaded some photos of Lizzie and the Mercedes SUV, searched through my clip art collection for people who could portray the innocent bystanders who were ultimately mowed down, imported everything into Flash (which I had just recently learned), then created my own song using the GrooveMaker software for the Macintosh (which I wrote more about last week). On August 18, 2001 I uploaded it on my own now-defunct TwistedUnicorn.com website and provided the link to the e-mail contact at LizzieGrubman.com. I remember the person behind it sending me a response where the person expressed being totally thrilled with what I had done and began to ask and beg me if they could post that video on their own site. I agreed mainly because I thought that, at long last, my animations would get more wider exposure than it had been despite my all my efforts.

It all came to a sudden grinding halt just a few weeks later when the Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airplanes, flew two of them into the World Trade Center in New York City, flew another one into the Pentagon, with the last one being directed towards Washington, DC but it ended up crashing in a small town near Pittsburgh because the passengers on that flight had heard about what happened on the other three planes and decided to revolt against the terrorists. Overnight the country had changed. Nearly 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001 and it made the Lizzie Grubman incident seem pretty paltry by comparison. On top of it, my church was one of the many venues that hosted the funerals for the terrorist attack victims—this particular one held at my church was for an entire family of four (mother, father, and their two young daughters) who were flying on the airplane that hit the Pentagon and it drew media attention.

I never checked to see if LizzieGrubman.com did anything with my animation but, at that point, I no longer cared. In fact it wasn’t until I was doing this Throwback Thursday that I finally looked through the Internet Archive and it was not only posted on that site but there was also a link to my own site. Basically there was a 50-50 chance that I may have started to gain more national attention for my animations had Osama bin Ladin and his pals not set their deadly plan in motion. And many of the people who died on September 11 would probably be still alive today—including that family whose funeral was held at my church. And that family’s two young daughters, who perished on that plane at ages 3 and 8, would’ve actually have had the chance to grow up living normal childhoods.

To put it bluntly, people were too concerned with dealing with the terrorism aftermath to even care about what happened to Lizzie Grubman. The Wikipedia said that Grubman, who faced eight years in prison, ultimately made a plea bargain where she only served thirty-seven days in jail and she got five years’ probation. It figures that a wealthy white woman with powerful connections ended up serving a lesser sentence than she would have had she been born—let’s say—a poor African American man.

Did the incident ruin her once-promising public relations career? Nope. She still has her own pr agency and she can be found on Instagram and Twitter. In 2005 she even starred in her own short-lived reality show called PoweR Girls. Basically her public relations career is thriving more than ever today but these days she’s more focused on calling attention to her clients than to herself. The only positive thing I can say is that at least she hasn’t assaulted anyone else with anything (such as an SUV) since 2001.

So, without further ado, here is “Stopping Lizzie.”

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