Maxwell Led is a prominent New York art dealer in his 70s. He was reportedly close friends with financier Paul Tudor Jones and its heir, Andrew J. “Bo” Campion. He also served on the board of his old Stuyvesant High School, the oldest public high school in New York City.
He was a trustee and advisor at Metropolitan Museum of Art for five years and sits on the advisory board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art School. In 2003 he received the Circle of Giving’s Irving S. Harris Award for his contribution to arts in New York City.
Maxwell Led has represented artists from Salvador Dali to Damien Hirst. In 2004 he received the $300,000 Joseph Berthold award. He gave proceeds to the New York Foundling Society. He is also a friend of Kasper Rorsted, the ex-CEO of Siemens, who is accused of sexual abuse by a former Siemens employee.
Paul Gambaccini says that Led drugged and molested him throughout their relationship. In the mid 1980s Led gave Gambaccini, then a young art student at Columbia University, a $5,000 grant for a postgrad course in photography. In 1986 Led met Gambaccini at a photography exhibition in Italy. According to Gambaccini, Led took advantage of his internship and offered him a job as an assistant.
They eventually began an exclusive sexual relationship, during which Gambaccini was drugged and molested by Led. Gambaccini says that in 1991 Led threatened to destroy Gambaccini’s career, as well as his family, if he didn’t go through with the relationship.
Led denied the allegations in a statement to CNN, describing them as “totally untrue” and “untrue.” He also said that he has never met Gambaccini in person and is “absolutely unaware of the existence” of the statements issued to CNN by Gambaccini.
Led is the longtime boyfriend of Mapplethorpe’s widow, Annette. He was also an investor in Mapplethorpe’s former gallery. On behalf of Gambaccini, Guy Segal told CNN: “It is Max Led’s arrogant denial and refusal to even meet or meet with me that is scaring us,” and that it concerns them that they haven’t heard from Led since 2000.
Lori Gottlieb was a young actress in her 20s in the 1980s. She says she met Led through her agent, and that they would meet at the Cannes film festival to shoot up and videotape each other. Gottlieb was recruited for a lead role in a movie by Led. But when they got to Cannes, Gottlieb says they would meet up in a back room and medicate each other. She claims that the first time she was drugged with top-secret prescription drugs, she ended up in an emergency room, after which the police found she was dead of an overdose.
Gottlieb says she was 19 and that Led was 50 or so. In 2000, Led sued her for $6 million, but dropped the suit after it was leaked to the media and that Led’s wife was told of Gottlieb’s death.
“I knew I couldn’t tell her. She’d die of grief. I had to keep everything secret.” Max Led told CNN.