The protagonists in the tale are two well-known players in the City of Hollywood: Alan Koslow, an influential and controversial city lobbyist, and Meredith Brown, managing editor of the Hollywood Gazette.
The 35-year-old Brown says she had a longtime love affair with 52-year-old Koslow, a married father of three. After the lobbyist abruptly terminated the relationship to remain with his wife, Brown tried to get him back.
What happened next is in dispute. What is known is that Koslow, who is no stranger to sex scandal, filed a restraining order against the Gazette editor, had her committed to a mental facility, and ultimately had her arrested on a felony charge of aggravated stalking.
But Brown, whose family owns the monthly newspaper and who reluctantly commented on her case after I contacted her, claims she's the real victim of Koslow, whom she now calls "a predator."
It's the latest chapter in the incestuous world of Hollywood politics and the dubious reign of Koslow, the city's most powerful lobbyist and close confidante of Mayor Mara Giulianti.
Brown, who is single, says her romantic relationship with Koslow ended after his wife found out about his infidelities and gave the lobbyist an ultimatum. He chose his wife.
At the time, she says, she had given up her apartment and was living in a hotel because Koslow had promised her that they would move in together. She admits that she tried to get Koslow back and to make him take responsibility for what he'd done, but she says she didn't deserve to be charged with a crime and believes the lobbyist exercised some of his considerable clout in the city to affect her arrest.
"I got burned bad by someone I trusted and loved deeply," says the dark-haired Brown, whose newspaper receives substantial advertising revenue from the city and that she freely admits is "pro-Hollywood."
"I think a lot of what happened to me was unwarranted and severe despite some very inappropriate reactions I had to what was done to me. I'm trying to get past it; it was a very tough summer and a very tough ordeal."
Koslow didn't respond to numerous requests for comment left at his home and office. His wife, Sharon, also filed an injunction for protection against Brown, claiming that the editor had harassed her at the Koslow home in Hollywood and threatened to kill her and her daughter.
When reached at a phone number she provided in court records, Sharon Koslow said only, "I don't have a comment, and you have a lot of nerve calling me."
Brown says she and Koslow met at various city functions that both habitually attended and first became friends several years ago. Koslow, after all, was the ultimate source for her Chamber of Commerce brand of journalism. She says their relationship became romantic in December 2004, while he was having a "rough spot" in his marriage.
"He was brilliant and charismatic," she says. "We gravitated to each other because we both have these larger-than-life personalities."
For months, the relationship wasn't serious, but she says that she eventually fell in love with Koslow and thought he felt the same for her. She says he promised to leave his wife and move in with her, prompting her to give up her apartment.
About the beginning of June, she was staying in a hotel and waiting for Koslow to come take her to dinner. She says they also planned to look at condos. Then came the phone call.
"He was in his office with Sharon, and he said, 'I'm going back to my family,'" Brown says. "I remember that I said, 'You're kidding, right?' It was surreal, like I was put in another dimension."
What ensued, Brown admits, was a lot of "pleading." Koslow, apparently hoping to convince her the relationship was over, arranged for a clandestine meeting with Brown on a boat on the Intracoastal Waterway.
And that was the day, June 8, when she jumped ship.
The meeting, which was attended by two mutual friends and a deck hand, was marked by a near breakdown by Brown. She had several drinks and began sobbing, pleading for him to come back to her.
"I lost my composure, and I was pleading for some answers and some clarity," she explains. "I was asking him questions. 'Where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do?' I was pathetically begging for answers and hoping to change his mind."
At one point, she threw her keys off the boat and jumped into the dark water.