[New York Observer] From the article Paid Friends: Weary of Genuine Relationships, Rich New Yorkers Hire Stand-Ins.
“There’s nothing more painful than a paid friend breakup,” said a respected entrepreneur with an extensive infrastructure of PFs.
“How so?” I asked looking out his office window across Manhattan to New Jersey, where life suddenly seemed much less complicated.
“In some ways, it can be frightening. You allow people access to your home, your kitchen fridge, your children’s schedules. So let’s say someone you’ve allowed ‘in’ falls off the wagon, shows signs of having a dr*g or alcohol problem,” he leaned back in his leather chair 50 stories up. “You have to be careful.”
“If you have that nagging fear, sometimes, and I’ve done this, you actually have to pay them to leave. You have to, because it becomes emotional, financial and reputational for the paid friends.”
“Have you ever let a paid friend back after you fired them?”
“There was a situation where my wife’s personal shopper started stalking her at events and stopping by with new items. I had to get firm with her.”
“How did she take it?”
“Not well,” he puffed on his cigar. “No one’s happy when they’re on the gravy train and the gravy train stops running.”