Cid Brunet attended prep school, graduated from Harvard University, earned an M.B.A., and then became a top-ranking executive in retail and finance. Then, when he was 28, his life became the stuff of B.S. fiction. The first thing he did after resigning from his job was to walk to the nearest Kings County Strip Club, ask an employee for a lap dance and ask her to strip “for me.” Because he thought it would be so nice to see for himself, and was rewarded for his audacity with a $200 bill, he spent the next week lap dancing regularly. He understood that one could make money doing this, because “a stripper could draw at the same rates as the men at Club New York for just an hour.” As for why people were so interested in sex when they’re in a place “like a bordello,” Brunet said, “I assume it’s because it’s so new to them. We’re waiting for hookers and prostitutes to show up, like fish in a dark pond to people who’ve never seen them before.”
The money Brunet had been spending took him from Harvard to Wall Street. From there, he led a successful career, eventually became known as “the undisputed daddy” of the highly successful I. Magnin department store. Yet when he decided that he was done with Wall Street, all of his advertising and publishing jobs disappeared. “I was being paid how much I thought I should be paid,” he said. “I decided I wanted to earn what I deserved for myself, and that was enough.” Now, several years later, Brunet is ready to talk about the way that he managed to come so far in life while making his own personal sacrifices in the bargain.
After the interview is published, please see Sidebar for remarks on potential roles the newsmaker might want to play in a film based on this story.