Accused madam's family sets up donation website

April 26, 2012 2:22:15 PM PDT
There is an unusual public plea from a husband and his two kids. They are trying to raise $2 million in bail money so his soccer mom wife can be home for Mother's Day.

His wife is Anna Gristina, the accused Upper East Side "Millionarie Madam."

The plea is on a website, and it calls her high bail "cruel and unusual." The site says they need donations to help "bring her back to us." It features family photos and information on her pot-belly pig rescue farm.

"There's Mother's Day, the prom, graduation. She should be out, these are once-in-a-lifetime things she's missing," it says.

They also say she's living in horrid conditions at Rikers Island, because she is kept in solitary confinement in a room where the temperatures exceed 100 degrees. It says authorities also attempted to humiliate her by making "her wear only a T-shirt and diaper."

In response, New York City Department of Correction spokeswoman Sharman Stein released the following statement:

"There is absolutely no truth to these allegations. Ms. Gristina is being held in protective custody in a single cell for her own protection, as is DOC's customary practice for all high profile inmates. She is able to leave her cell."

She's been held since her February arrest. Gristina's lawyers say she was simply trying to start a legitimate dating service.


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