Karen Feld, Washington party fixture, moves to New York


Karen Feld in her Georgetown home, 1989. (Ellsworth J. Davis)

After six decades, thousands of parties, and enough personal drama to fill a Lifetime movie, Karen Feld is leaving Washington for New York City.

“I’ve always wanted to live there, and I think now is the time, “ said Feld, who’s buying a condo in Manhattan and selling her Georgetown home of 32 years.

One of the more colorful figures in D.C. social circles, the former syndicated gossip columnist (with stints at the Washington Times and Examiner) is famous for carrying a notebook in one hand and one of her toy poodles — Champagne, Cappuccino, Amaretto, Biscotti or Campari — in the other. Her journalism career never got a lot of traction but in her prime, Feld waltzed into six Washington parties a night, sometimes on the arm of high profile bachelors like William Webster or Al Neuharth.

Feld, 64, is equally well known for her bitter, decades-old feud with estranged brother Ken Feld, sole heir to her father’s Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus empire. Their latest battle — a nasty altercation at their aunt’s shiva — ended up in federal court last year. After two weeks of testimony, Karen lost her bid for $110 million in damages; the jury rebuffed his counterclaim that she crashed the event.

But the family drama wasn’t a factor in her decision to leave D.C. “Not at all,” Feld said. “I’ve been here— and done it.”


Karen Feld and her dog, Campari, with Kevin Spacey in 2006. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Feld will be in and out of D.C. for a few more months: She’s emptying out her home office before settling into Manhattan permanently: “It feels right.”

Read also: Karen Feld's troubled life highlighted in circus family feud trial, 5/23/11

Gossip scibe finds bumps in the road as travel writer, 7/2/06

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