Darnay Hoffman

This is a very hard story for me to write today. I have been in tears throughout the weekend. My friend and lawyer Darnay Hoffman committed suicide last week at the home of his ex-wife, the elegant Mayflower Madame, Sydney Biddle Barrows.

No one knew they divorced a few years back. It was kept quiet, because we knew there would be a media frenzy. I even kept quiet. I don't think it was anything that anyone did, I think they just grew apart. They still remained good friends and I know they cared for each other very much. Darnay loved two women in his life. Sydney Biddle Barrows and his sister Toni. He adored them.

I think things got bad a few years back for Darnay. He had tried to commit suicide back then. He did it at the apartment he shared with Sydney on 70th street. I think the pressure of always helping everyone finally got to him. He always had to be the knight in shinning armor. He always had to save his family and friends. If you had Darnay as a friend, you were protected.

Darnay was never in the lawyer business to make money. Most clients he never charged, because most of his clients had no money, but they needed help and that was what was important to Darnay. He even spent his own money to help them. Darnay helped people who had nothing and asked for nothing.

Darnay Hoffman also had many high profile clients. The subway gunman Bernie Goetz, convicted child killer Joel Steinberg. He was involved in the JonBenet Ramsey case. But his most important clients were people who had no where else to turn. Over the years he took on cases for me against several landlords and he always won. He took on a magazine for me in Australia that refused to pay. He got the money. Recently he won two cases against a New York Newspaper that were suing my friends. I got the plaintiffs Darnay and he defended them and won. Anyone I ever sent to Darnay, got the best. If you had money, you got the best. If you had nothing, you got the best. Every case was important to Darnay and he was a master of the law.

I can only tell you some of the information I received from sources. I know much more, but I'm not saying more. I have lost a great friend and Darnay could never be replaced. I don't know what made him commit suicide. He was loved by so many people. He protected us and was what a true friend should be. I do not think there will be a funeral. I hear he's sitting in the morgue. I'm being told theres no money to bury him. Horrible end for a wonderful human being. May he rest in peace.....

Photo By: James Edstrom


Anonymous said…
Great story. May he rest in peace!
Anonymous said…
I miss you so much.
You encouraged us all to be authentic and loved us for it.
Your friend.
Anonymous said…
He could be very insightful and had a great sense of humor.
Anonymous said…
He was an extraordinary man and the most honest and forthright human beings one could know...his honesty was his demise.....his love and patience and generosity unrivaled...if only we could have helped him....how can friends help bury him...? It was his apartment as well not just hers....please give him that honesty...he was not homeless...he kept THEM from being homeless.God bless his dear heart..
April Sandmeyer said…
Darnay Hoffman was a true knight in shining armour and one of the most selfless individuals I have ever met. Unlike some other lawyers who profess to be "lawyers for the underdog", Darnay was the real deal, but sadly to his own detriment.I regret that we, his friends, couldn't save him or let him know how much we all loved and appreciated him. God bless him.
layla mayer said…
A wonderful, kind, quiet man who was a humanitarian to the downtrodden. Sidney would frequently scream at him, putting him down and call him stupid. It was a long descent to last week's suicide and her cruelty had a lot to do with it. We at the Bradford were witnesses to her cruelty. Now she is trying to get his social security benefits and will play the poor widow routine. Hopefully,he is in a much better place.
jameson said…
Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed.

I hope he is given a proper farewell. Perhaps Sidney will scatter his ashes on the streets of the city he so loved. No one could give a tour of the city like he could.