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In New Year’s Eve Melee, Millionaire Socialite Pleads Guilty to Disorderly Conduct

(JTA) — A New York millionaire socialite pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a case stemming from a New Year’s Eve incident in which she allegedly hit a lawyer with a glass handbag and made an anti-Semitic remark.

Jacqueline Kent Cooke, daughter of the late billionaire Jack Kent Cooke, who owned the NFL’s Washington Redskins and other pro sports franchises, issued her plea and was sentenced Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court to three days of community service.

Cooke, 29, originally was charged with second-degree assault for hitting attorney Matthew Haberkorn with the purse. Disorderly conduct is considered a violation, not a crime, and so Cooke will have no criminal record.

According to the New York Daily News, Haberkorn, 52, of the San Francisco area, his mother, wife and four daughters were collecting their outdoor gear from a coat check after eating at a high-end Manhattan restaurant when Cooke allegedly told him, “Hurry up, Jew. I got places to be.”

Cooke continues to dispute the claim, insisting she said, “Excuse me, I have to get through.” Haberkorn’s wife, Linda Thomas, who according to the Daily News is not Jewish, replied: “We all got places to be. You know what? I take total offense at that. You’re small-minded.”

Cooke’s boyfriend got involved, allegedly saying “Happy bat mitzvah, girls,” the Daily News reported.

When Haberkorn confronted Cooke outside over her alleged comments, she reportedly hit him over the head with her glass purse, a Lulu Guinness Chloe Mirrored Perspex Box Clutch that sells for $300, and pulled him to the ground. He sustained a large cut on his head. One of Haberkorn’s daughters shot video of the incident outside the restaurant on her cellphone.

In February, Cooke told the Manhattan Criminal Court that she sustained serious injuries in the incident that she said required the surgical insertion of a titanium implant into her right ring finger.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Jacqueline Kent Cooke admitted to hitting a lawyer with a glass handbag and making an anti-Semitic remark. In fact, she pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct violation that did not directly address either of those allegations. Cooke says any action she took was in self defense and denies making any anti-Semitic remark.


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