English’s former fiancee arraigned

Todd English and his former fiancee Erica Wang. Todd English and his former fiancee Erica Wang. (Courtesy of Erica Wang)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
October 17, 2009

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Todd English’s former fiancee was arrested and charged yesterday with assault and criminal possession of a weapon - a men’s watch - stemming from a September fight with the celebrity chef. Erica Wang turned herself in to New York City police at 8 a.m., five days after English filed an assault complaint against her.

The would-be bride is represented by attorney Charles Clayman, who issued this statement: “Immediately after learning a complaint had been filed, my client voluntarily arranged to appear this morning at the 13th Precinct in Manhattan. This is just the beginning, because NYPD policy requires this process whenever a complaint of this kind is filed. My client will continue to cooperate, has done nothing wrong, and welcomes the opportunity for the district attorney to reach that conclusion and clear her name.’’

Wang, 33, was arraigned and released on her own recognizance. She is due back in court Jan. 14. The complaint alleges that the couple were arguing inside their apartment at 101 West 24 St. at 1 a.m. on Sept. 15 when Wang struck English in the face with a watch, causing a cut that required seven stitches. Wang faces up to seven years in state prison on the assualt charge, and one year in jail on the weapon charge.

What a difference a few weeks makes. Wang and English had dated for two years, and were scheduled to get married Oct. 3 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. But English had second thoughts and phoned Wang to cancel just hours before they were due to get hitched. English revealed in an interview with the Globe earlier this week that he and Wang had been having problems, that she had hit him during arguments, including the episode with the watch.

English didn’t file assault charges immediately, but decided to do so Monday after Wang told the New York Post that she’d been dumped on the day of her wedding and then booted from the New York apartment she shared with the chef.

Reached yesterday, English’s attorney, Danielle de Benedictis, said: “This no longer involves a dispute between Todd and Erica - it’s between the state of New York and Erica.’’ She said English felt compelled to take legal action. “He filed the complaint in response to her alleging, both publicly and in the press, that it didn’t happen and attempting to interfere with his character and good name.’’

On the waterfront

Just because Mario Russo is pulling up stakes and moving, along with LouisBoston, to snazzy new digs on Fan Pier, that doesn’t mean the coiffure king is abandoning Newbury Street. Quite the contrary. He’s just had the very in-demand architectural firm Office dA remodel his flagship salon at 9 Newbury St., where he’s been snipping and styling for 20 years. Still, the art-loving Russo says he’s thrilled to be opening near the ICA and plans to showcase work by contemporary artists at the new salon. “For me,’’ Russo said of the waterfront location, “this was a no-brainer.’’ Meanwhile, LouisBoston owner Debi Greenberg celebrated the upcoming move with a bash at the luxe retailer Thursday night. Among the revelers were Fan Pier developer Joe Fallon and car czar Ernie Boch.

Gisele looks to sell

Now that she’s spending so much time in Boston, Gisele Bundchen is downsizing. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Brazilian supermodel has a deal to sell one of her penthouses in New York’s West Village. The $4.5 million listing price was less than half of what Gi was asking when she originally put it on the market in September 2007. Tom Brady’s bride bought the 1,700-square-foot condo in 2002 for nearly $3 million. The two-bedroom, two-bath unit has a wraparound terrace, deck with a Jacuzzi, and views of the Hudson River. Bundchen has another apartment still on the market for $13.95 million.

Devil of time for Brady

Tom Brady’s got bigger problems than overthrowing Randy Moss in the end zone. No. 12 is going to hell, according to a North Carolina church. The Amazing Grace Baptist Church posted a list of athletes it believes to be headed to the hot place, and Tommy made the list. (The site was abruptly disabled yesterday.) Others on the list included race car driver Richard Petty, NBA players Joakim Noah and Marko Jaric, wrestler Torrie Wilson, and QB Matt Leinart.

Blustery day for RFK benefit

Ethel Kennedy and her celebrity golf gang braved a stiff wind yesterday at the 20th annual tournament benefiting the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. Kennedy was joined by actors Bill Murray, Matt McCoy, “The Unit’’ star Dennis Haysbert, No. 4 Bobby Orr, track star Rafer Johnson, journalist Jim Wooten, and the incomparable Bill Russell at the Hyannisport Club. The RFK Center is a DC-based nonprofit that provides support to human rights defenders around the world.

Hayley Kaufman of the Globe Staff contributed. Read the Names blog at Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.

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