Back in 2003, W magazine’s Kimberly Cutter interviewed the then-22-year-old heiress not long after she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. (She was starring in the short-lived sitcom “The Tinsley Bumble Show,” in which she played German boy-toy-loving It girl Mimi von Lustig). In this story, we hear about Johnson’s precocious childhood—she started wearing high heels at age one—and witness her dog, Fannie Mae, take a huge dump on the grounds of Chateau Marmont. Portrait by Susanna Howe.
“Casey at Bat” by Kimberly Cutter August 2003
No one can accuse Casey Johnson of failing to make an entrance. When the supernaturally blond and buxom Johnson & Johnson heiress, 22, arrives for lunch at the Chateau Marmont, she flashes her big, real cocktail diamonds, swishes in her camouflage pants and starts calling, “Fannie Mae! Fannie Mae, come back here!” as her mutt, wearing a Pucci scarf, races onto the glowing green lawn and proceeds to take what one waiter terms “a huge dump.”
For anyone witnessing the scene—which continues with a polite 45-minute standoff between the heiress and the waiter, after which Johnson finally consents to deposit said dump in a white takeout box—it begins to seem like a downright shame that the folks at the Women’s Entertainment network spent so much time and money creating their upcoming comedy series The Tinsley Bumble Show (on which Johnson plays the title character’s nemesis) when they could have had a scrumptious reality hit on their hands just by following Johnson around with a film crew.
“I was a performer for years before I ever got onstage,” says Johnson, her cartoonishly full lips spreading into the sort of smile more commonly found on Sunset Boulevard billboards advertising gentlemen’s clubs. “I think that’s what’s called being a drama queen.”
Billed as a riches-to-rags comedy, The Tinsley Bumble Show follows the adventures of Bumble, its Park Avenue-born heroine, who is forced to get serious after her father is indicted on charges of white-collar crime. Johnson plays Bumble’s rival, a scantily clad fellow It girl named Mimi von Lustig, whom Johnson describes as a young Alexis Carrington. “Everyone’s like, This is you! and I’m like, It is not!” says Johnson, who as von Lustig is never without a riding crop and a pair of German “boy toys,” Horst and Dieter. “Our backgrounds are very similar, but