CBS was clearly looking for a fresh start when it replaced the Memogate-tainted Andrew Heyward with Sean McManus as president of its news division. But unfortunately the appointment seems to have brought McManus a tawdry blast from his own past. We hear a mentally unstable former bra model who once had a one-night encounter with McManus—and whom the exec had arrested after she threatened to tell the press—recently went on a rampage after hearing about his promotion.
The sordid affair began when McManus, at the time V.P. for CBS Sports, went to an Upper East Side bar on the night of the 1997 U.S. Open and met Charlotte von Vogt, a then 46-year-old part-time prostitute and former bra model once known for having “the most beautiful breasts in the world”—at least according to famed flack Dick Falk. The exec reportedly enjoyed a few rounds of cocktails with the buxom blonde, then invited her back to his Park Avenue apartment for a nightcap.
It was at this point that their memories of the evening diverge. Von Vogt has claimed that she and McManus embarked on a night of drinking, drug use, and kinky sex. In court, an attorney for McManus categorized the whole encounter simply as “a chat, a walk, a drink, [and] a simple and chaste goodbye.” The one thing that’s certain is that after the two parted, von Vogt began to call McManus nonstop, demanding that he acknowledge what she claims transpired between them and pleading with him to attend a session with her psychiatrist. When she finally threatened him in February 1998—after 15 fruitless calls, many of which McManus secretly recorded—that she would go public with her story if he persisted in denying what ocurred, he had her arrested for harassment and “telephone stalking.” (McManus, incidentally, had just gotten married the previous June.)
When the case went to court in 1999, McManus was cross-examined twice about the evening in front of a press-filled gallery. (So much for keeping it out of the papers.) Von Vogt, however, suffered a nervous breakdown during the proceedings—brought on, she claimed, by the investigators CBS had sicced on her—and the judge declared her unfit for trial. Afterwards, her attorney, David Breitbart, suggested she see a new therapist to deal with the emotional fallout from the case.
According to a source close to the trial, von Vogt only saw the therapist briefly before dropping out of sight—until October of this year, when McManus was announced as the incoming CBS News head. We’re told she began calling the female shrink nonstop, venting her anger over the exec’s promotion and claiming “she was going to use [the psychiatrist] to get to McManus.” Then, last Halloween, von Vogt followed the shrink from her office and attempted to push her into oncoming traffic on York Avenue and 75th Street in Manhattan, screaming, “You Bitch! You piece of garbage! You’re just a pawn to get to McManus!” She was arrested and, last we heard, was being held without bail.