Entries in Penthouse (2)


Penthouse Owner: Leave Bill Clinton Alone

Frank Polich/Getty Images(MONTE CARLO) -- Marc Bell, the private-equity mogul who owns Penthouse, thinks the whole Bill-Clinton-posing-with-porn-stars business has gotten out of hand.

“It’s unfortunate that a harmless picture has gotten so much play,” Bell told ABC News in a phone interview from Monaco.

Bell was at the Monte Carlo gala, a fundraiser for the Prince Albert Foundation and the Clinton Foundation, where porn actresses Brooklyn Lee and Tasha Reign posed with Clinton in a photo first reported by TMZ. The two actresses attended as Bell’s guests.

Lee and Reign told TMZ they had wandered near Clinton in the hopes of meeting him. A Secret Service agent shooed them away, the actresses said, but Clinton told the agent to call them back over.

Bell seemed frustrated with the notion, which he insinuated that media reports have fed, that the photo signified anything untoward. He was not with Lee and Reign when the photo was taken, but he said they had met Clinton earlier in the evening.

“They were just guests at a party,” Bell said. “It wasn’t done for publicity, it wasn’t done for malice, it was done because they thought it was really cool to meet the president.”

While Lee and Reign expressed uncertainty and hope to TMZ that Clinton did, in fact, know who they were -- or at least that they were porn stars -- Bell said that wasn’t the case: “He didn’t even know who they were. When he met them, he had no idea who they were. They were there not under their stage names. They were there under their real names,” Bell said.

“The man had no clue,” Bell said. “We met him earlier. It was, ‘Hi, how are you, very nice to meet you, it’s a pleasure,’” Bell said.

“He made some comments about how Monaco [has] the world’s greatest life expectancy … so this is a good place for someone who’s older to be,” Bell said. "It had nothing to do with anything.”

Bell founded and runs Marc Bell Capital, the private-equity firm that owns Penthouse. Bell said the magazine and accompanying clubs, website, etc., accounts for a small part of his firm’s portfolio.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Penthouse Founder Bob Guccione, Dead at 79 

Photo Courtesy - Ron Galella/ WireImage(PLANO, Texas) -- Bob Guccione, the founder of the provocative men's magazine Penthouse, has died at a hospital in Plano, Texas after a long battle with cancer.  The publisher started the magazine in 1965, billed as a more artistic and more graphic competitor to Hugh Hefner's Playboy, which started in 1953.

The magazine, and Guccione's fortunes, rose and fell through the years.  In 1982, he made the Forbes 400 ranking of America's wealthiest people, with a net worth of $400 million.  He was quoted as saying his magazine had earned billions in its heyday, but in his later years his fortune was drained by bad investments, back taxes, and expensive mainstream publishing ventures like the former science magazine, Omni.

In 2002, Guccione's personal fine art collection was sold to try to pay his debts.  In 2006, he was forced to sell his 22,000-square-foot New York City mansion.  He and his wife, April Guccione, moved to Texas in 2009.  His son, Bob Guccione, Jr., is best known for creating the music magazine Spin.

The Penthouse name, magazine, and affiliate websites are now owned by another company which purchased the brand at a bankruptcy sale.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio