Robert Nylen

Back to LifeQs

Who were some famous people Robert met?

Steven Waldman
The most famous one we met together was Michael Jackson. Bob described it best: "In 2000, a megacelebrity asked his counselor — our contributor Rabbi Shmuley Boteach — for introductions to acquaintances in finance and new media. So Steve Waldman, Tony Uphoff, Highland Capital VC Jo Tango, forty strangers, and I met in the Four Seasons hotel suite of the most recognizable human on the planet. We munched finger foods and evaded jumpy PR ladies and the Good Rebbe in the star’s spacious living room.
More or less on time, the King of Pop strode from an anteroom: Michael Jackson went straight to work. A young man assisted, holding two dozen illustrated storyboards. Jackson wished to build a Peter Pan theme park. A misapplied Band-Aid held his nose to his face as he spoke diffidently, then with mounting confidence as his voice dropped from alto to tenor. It wasn’t a bad idea, aside from the unbelievably creepy factor. Theme park? Peter Pan? From a guy living a pedophilic life that J.M. Barrie only simulated? Hmm.
Mr. Jackson took financial questions for fifteen minutes,. His concentration began slipping. He lobbed grapes at his colleague, who reciprocated. Rebbe Shmuley asked us to pose, one by one, for photos with M.J., and oh, by the way, how about donating to a new charity to benefit kids? Each of us in turn grasped the naked right hand of the famous germaphobe, flesh-to-flesh, and chatted him up, too. Subsequently, I coughed up a hundred dollars for the charity, but no photo. As I recall, the charity was called 'Save These Children.'”