200 People Show Up To Cathy Seipp’s Funeral Friday Morning

Mt. Sinai. 90068. 9:45 a.m. I drive up. There’s a crowd outside the chapel of assimilated Jews and goyim. This is definitely the place for me to advance my social prospects.

Attendees include Matt Welch, Emmanuelle Richard, Denise Hamilton, David Rensin, Luke Thompson, David and Julie Scott, Eugene Volokh, Larry Miller, Robert and Karen Avrech, Cathy’s ex-husband Jerry Lazar, Andrew Breitbart and his wife, Tim Cavanaugh, Moxie, Ruth Shalit, Jill Stewart…

Wilshire Boulevard Temple Rabbi Karen Fox presides over the funeral. Cathy Seipp met with her Nov. 29 to plan the thing. Because Cathy belonged to the temple, there was no charge to have a rabbi officiate at her funeral. But if one does not belong to a synagogue, the Los Angeles Board of Rabbis has set the fee for a rabbi to do a funeral at $500.

Judaism does not believe in having an open casket, nor an expensive casket nor flowers. It’s not a Jewish tradition to have the family sitting off to the side hidden from the attendees, but that is what is done Friday. Jewish funerals rarely take place in synagogues. Only for extraordinary religious leaders such as Ariel Avrech.

It doesn’t appear that any of Cathy’s family knows the words to the mourner’s kaddish.

Cathy’s aunt Jill, publicist Allan Mayer, author Greg Critser and humorist Sandra Tsing Loh speak.

My audio from the third row starts with the rabbi, then Jill, Allan, Greg and Sandra. Video of the crowd after the service. Video. Cathy Seipp’s Final Ride. Cathy Seipp’s Final Resting Place. A longer view. Cathy Seipp with baby Maia Maia, Jerry Lazar, Cathy and Michelle Seipp Cathy Seipp on her wedding day Cathy Seipp on her wedding day Cathy Seipp on her wedding day Cathy Seipp Cathy Seipp on her wedding day with her sister Michelle Cathy Seipp on her wedding day Cathy Seipp with baby Maia Cathy Seipp with baby Maia Cathy Seipp with baby Maia Cathy Seipp with baby Maia Cathy Seipp with baby Maia Cathy Seipp with baby Maia Cathy Seipp with baby Maia Cathy Seipp with baby Maia

One topic of conversation at the funeral was Gazergate.

My thoughts:

* As soon as I saw Brian Grazer was going to guest-edit Current, I was jarred. Before I even thought about it, I felt something was wrong. Vanity Fair magazine has show business guest editors, but the LA Times Opinion section? It was a stupid idea. Steven Spielberg as guest editor is an equally stupid idea.

* It was a stupid idea for Andres Martinez to seek suggestions (let alone take one) from Allan Mayer or any publicist. Mayer’s job is to mold his client’s public image. Publicists are the journalist’s enemy. It’s fine to sleep with them but it is wrong to take their direction.

* I’ve heard from within the LA Times Opinion section that this was a "left-wing coup" to get rid of Andres Martinez for being too "pro-business." For instance, Martinez’s section opposed the city’s living wage proposal. Tim Rutten’s column March 24.

Rose (the fake name of a real person I know, the situation below is real though I am not going to apportion blame) writes:

Hi Luke, I am writing this anonymously…….but I must tell you, Cathy Seipp was a bitch! She invented a horrible, vicious, cruel lie about someone in my family. It was a hurtful lie and it did terrible damage to my entire family, but she never apologized. In fact, she kept perpetuating that lie to everyone right until she died. I’m shocked as I read the blog comments about Cathy. People are saying "She’s now an angel in heaven" and "She’s smiling upon the face of God." Others are saying "The world is a colder place because she’s gone." What bullshit!


My God….they never knew the REAL Cathy Seipp, did they? She was a selfish, malicious woman who obviously had borderline personality disorder. The damage she did to my family was horrendous beyond belief. And what’s really pathetic is….she taught her daughter to be the same kind of cruel bitch that she was. I actually laughed when I read her final blog comments…..she complained because caring and compassionate people brought her soup, she bitched because well-wishers brought her the "wrong" kind of food. Instead of saying thanks, she criticized them.

I’m not surprised that she was rude to you when you visited her in the hospital. I read a quote of hers….that cancer didn’t make her a better person. That was certainly true! Often, when people know they are dying, they become kind and compassionate. But Cathy remained a bitch to the very end. She didn’t know the meaning of compassion. Those who are praising Cathy on various websites and blogs weren’t libeled and slandered by her, as my family was. That’s the Cathy I will always remember. I don’t think she’s "singing with the angels!"

Sincerely, …..a Los Angeles resident [Eliot Stein’s wife] who was tormented by Cathy Seipp.

Cathy only mentioned her mother to me once or twice and it was only when I pushed. Aside from her ex-husband, there was nobody Cathy was more cutting about than her sister Michelle. The one person Cathy asked me not to interview was Michelle.

Friday evening, Michelle had had enough of guests at the home where Cathy lived with her dad Harvey, and so Moxie and others were asked to leave.

Much of Cathy’s family remembers Cathy as a difficult and domineering woman. I was a friend of Cathy but I was never a Cathy partisan. I had no illusions about how difficult and domineering she could be. I was lucky in that I never needed her nor depended on her. I could walk away when she got mad at me. After a week or two, she’d always get over it and we’d be friends again.

Maia’s having hallucinations that she’s seeing Cathy.

Chaim Amalek writes:

Luke: Elizabeth Irwin and I (all of us here in New York) would like you to extend condolences tomorrow on our behalf to the Seipp/Lazar family – especially to Maia, who lost a mother, and to Harvey, who buries a daughter. Sigh . . . this is so sad. Elizabeth feels herself to be truly at wit’s end, with no place to go. I know you miss her (I do, and I only met her on two occasions), but consider yourself very, very lucky to have gotten to know Cathy Seipp and to have counted her as a friend. Most of us could go through fifty lifetimes without being lucky enough to ever meet someone like Cathy, let alone be able to look to such a person for advice. (In the future, will not her fans often find themselves asking, "What would Cathy have done/said/written?") When the time is right, you should suggest that her friends collect a sampling of Cathy’s work into a "The Best of Cathy Seipp" anthology.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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