Can Berney Seal Save Corpus Christi?

A hard-hitting investigative look at my dad.

Jan 1992
From the Web

A Flowering Evil

Inside the violent clashes that led to the shooting of Kenyan environmentalist Joan Root, who devoted herself to the dangerous mission of saving her beloved lake from the ecological ravages of Africa's lucrative flower-farming industry.

Aug 2006
From the Web

To Steal a Mockingbird?

The notoriously private author Harper Lee is now waging a public courtroom battle over the copyright to her only book, To Kill a Mockingbird. The author investigates a scandal packed with publishing legends.

Aug 2013
From the Web

The Shooting Star and the Model

When Oscar Pistorius—the South African “Blade Runner,” who overcame a double amputation to compete in the Olympics last year—shot his girlfriend, the millions he’d inspired were faced with a shocking possibility: that their hero was also a killer.

Jun 2013
From the Web

Cinema Tarantino: The Making of Pulp Fiction

How did Quentin Tarantino, a high-school dropout and former video-store clerk, change the face of modern cinema? Mark Seal takes the director, his producers, and his cast back in time, to 1993.

Mar 2013
From the Web

Prisoner of Kenya

With Kenya’s recent bloodshed, the murder trial of a white aristocrat, Tom Cholmondeley, who allegedly shot a black poacher on his 49,000-acre estate, could be considered a sideshow. But his family, the Delameres, was pivotal in the country’s colonial history: settling Masai land at the turn of the last century, playing a part in the “Happy Valley” scandals of the 1930s and 1940s, and fighting to preserve the land they loved. Visiting the 39-year-old heir, imprisoned in Nairobi, the author discovers that Cholmondeley’s case is a referendum on the past, as well as a sobering glimpse of the future.

Apr 2008
From the Web

Ruth’s World

Ruth Madoff professed her contrition—and her innocence—soon after her husband’s outraged victims learned she had cut a deal with prosecutors that left her with $2.5 million. Was this a fresh example of Bernie Madoff pulling the strings, even from behind bars? And how could she not have known about his Ponzi scheme? Talking to the Madoffs’ former close friends, the author probes the true nature of their 49-year marriage, from Ruth’s deep involvement in the business to the demons underneath her perfect-wife façade, to the bizarre life she’s led since Bernie was arrested.

Sep 2009
From the Web

The Man Who Ate Hollywood

A giant of a man, Marvin Davis lived a giant life. Rocky Mountain wildcatter turned Hollywood mogul, he treated Twentieth Century Fox as his personal playground, broke all the rules (even his own), and, when he died last year, left his family warring over what may be a vanished $5.8 billion fortune.

Nov 2005
From the Web

Mondo Cavalli

Pioneering animal prints on everything from leather to lamé, then putting Lycra in jeans, Roberto Cavalli made fashion ferociously sexy and fun, both for his celebrity clients (Beyoncé, Bono, the Beckhams, et al.) and for himself. Nothing has kept the Florentine designer down: not the Nazis’ murder of his father nor his hardscrabble youth; not the 80s minimalism that almost destroyed his business nor his tax-evasion trial; and certainly not a mere global recession. The author reports from Cavalli’s ever expanding world of purple helicopters, racehorses, and unbridled sensuality.

Aug 2009
From the Web

The Devils in the Diva

While the glory of her voice propelled Whitney Houston into the pop stratosphere, her demons kept dragging her down, a powerful undertow of drugs and toxic relationships. Following her death in a Beverly Hilton bathtub, Mark Seal investigates Houston’s final days: the prayers and the parties, the Hollywood con artist on the scene, and the message she left behind.

Jun 2012
From the Web

The Doctor Will Sue You Now

When famed dermatologist Arnold Klein, the Father of Botox, known for his flamboyant lifestyle and love of celebrity, landed Michael Jackson as a client, it was a dream fulfilled. But in the wake of Jackson’s death, Klein has been engulfed by a toxic cloud of accusation, litigation, and bankruptcy.

Mar 2012
From the Web

The Woman Who Wanted the Secrets

On receiving an estimated $2 billion inheritance after the death of her father, legendary Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli, in 2003, Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen asked for a full accounting of his vast estate. She claims she never got it. Five years later, de Pahlen is a dynastic outcast and has rocked the family empire—now run by her 32-year-old son, John Elkann—with a lawsuit against her father’s three longtime consiglieri. Hearing both sides, the author reports on a search for truth, a battle for control, and the possibility of a hidden Agnelli fortune.

Aug 2008
From the Web

The Man Who Played Rockefeller

Clark Rockefeller had incredible wealth and a powerful family legacy. Except he didn’t. In this exclusive adaptation from his upcoming book, “The Man in the Rockefeller Suit,” Mark Seal tracks how a German-born con man fooled New York City’s elite.

From the Web

The Temptation of Tiger Woods

First, a pivotal 1996 confrontation between Tiger Woods’s father, Earl, and his early adviser John Merchant taught the young golfer the limits of trust. Then Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and a posse of enablers showed him there were no limits—when it came to Vegas parties, high-stakes gambling, and beautiful women. Talking to an angry Merchant and to the mistresses who fed Woods’s massive appetite for extramarital sex, the author dissects the ruin of a champion.

May 2010
From the Web

Too Big to Sail?

The financial crisis sent panic through the world of super-yachts, with over-leveraged tycoons abandoning ship, and sales in a deep freeze. Two years later, the author delves into the motives, means, and lifestyles of the oligarchs, operators, and sea-lovers who are still riding the waves. Choose your vessel: from the naked aggression of Roman Abramovich’s record-size Eclipse, the floating advertisement of the Candy brothers’ Candyscape II, and the eye-popping Jeff Koons exterior of Dakis Joannou’s Guilty to the pure romance of Tara Getty’s historic Blue Bird.

Nov 2010
From the Web

Charlie Sheen’s War

The Crazy Charlie Sheen Show—as tragic as Sheen’s eight-season run on Two and a Half Men was successful—is a pure product of Hollywood: a movie star’s son, raised on location, addicted at age 23, and steeped in a cycle of drugs, hookers, and rehab. Wrapping up months of interviews with the actor’s friends, colleagues, and women, Mark Seal reveals how the CBS sitcom brought out Sheen’s best and his darkest sides, while a volatile mix of porn actresses, network execs, sober coaches, and nearly $2-million-per-episode paychecks pushed the 45-year-old star over the edge.

Jun 2011
From the Web

The Prince Who Blew through Billions

When two British lawyers, Faith Zaman and Thomas Derbyshire, signed on in 2004 to manage the affairs of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, notorious playboy brother of the Sultan of Brunei, they entered a world of orgiastic wealth: 250 companies, 2,000 cars, luxury hotels, planeloads of women and polo ponies, colossal diamonds. Caught in a feud between the prince and the sultan, they ended up in a court battle over $23 million. Following the couple’s legal victory, Mark Seal gets an exclusive on the story the jury didn’t hear.

Jul 2011
From the Web

The Godfather Wars

In many ways, the men who made The Godfather—director Francis Ford Coppola, producer Al Ruddy, Paramount executives Robert Evans and Peter Bart, and Gulf & Western boss Charles Bluhdorn—were as ruthless as the gangsters in Mario Puzo’s blockbuster. After violent disputes over the casting of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, they tangled with the real-life Mob, which didn’t want the movie made at all. The author recalls how the clash of Hollywood sharks, Mafia kingpins, and cinematic geniuses shaped a Hollywood masterpiece.

Mar 2009
From the Web

Big Trouble at 11:35

Even before 48 Hours Mystery producer Joe Halderman allegedly caught David Letterman kissing his girlfriend, Late Show staffer Stephanie Birkitt, the cash-strapped veteran newsman and the multi-millionaire entertainment star were on a collision course. In the wake of Letterman’s stunning on-air confession of sex with employees, and as Halderman prepares to stand trial for attempted grand larceny, the author tracks the converging emotional sides of the explosive triangle—Birkitt’s ambition, Halderman’s bitterness, and Letterman’s self-loathing—that rocked CBS.

Apr 2010
From the Web

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

By snatching his seven-year-old daughter from her mother’s custody, after a bitter divorce, the man calling himself Clark Rockefeller blew the lid off a lifelong con game which had culminated with his posing as a scion of the famous dynasty. The 47-year-old impostor charmed his way into exclusive communities, clubs, and financial institutions—marrying a Harvard M.B.A.; working at Kidder, Peabody; and showing off an extraordinary art collection—until his arrest brought him face-to-face with his past and with questions regarding skeletal remains dug up in a California backyard.

Jan 2009