Image Credit: Todd Williamson/WireImage.comQuitting your job usually leads to bookmarking Monster.com on your laptop and watching M*A*S*H DVDs in your underwear, not fame and fortune. Of course, if for your final act at said job you lay down an expletive-laced tirade over an intercom system and exit via an emergency escape tube, the way former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater reportedly did, the standard rules may not apply. After a week of his story saturating a strangely obsessed media, on Sunday Slater procured the services of top publicist Howard Bragman to help deal with media relations and manage the numerous offers said to be coming his way.
First, however, there’s the little matter of sorting out the legal ramifications stemming from Slater’s public display at the end of that fateful JetBlue flight (he’s been charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, felonies that could have him looking at seven years in prison). “We don’t get out of the starting gate until we get through the criminal charges and deal with what happened on the airplane,” Bragman says.
Though there are, apparently, plenty of opportunities to consider. “There’s a lot of stuff that’s coming in through e-mail, phones, faxes, camels, every which way you can,” Bragman says. “Books, endorsements, hosting reality shows, speaking engagements, personal appearances.” Bragman is surprised by the amount of attention Slater has received, but he’s also confident that his new client has hit upon something in American culture that won’t soon go away. “I’ll tell you honestly, when this story first broke just a little over a week ago, I was surprised it had the legs it did,” he says. “But then I really thought about it, and I think I understand why. It touched on a certain nerve in society.”