After weeks in a haze of ayahuasca and spiritual mumbo jumbo, Southampton billionaire Derwood Hodgegrass is clearly back on his game—and he’s showing the Hamptons what it means to be wealthy and eccentric.
On Sunday, September 22 Hodgegrass set up an impromptu booth under the main tent at the Montauk Seafood Festival, offering “Free Curative Caviar Baths in Mike Tyson’s Bathtub,” according to his sign.
Hodgegrass, who bought the boxing champ’s former tub for $1.2 million in June, had it placed under the tent, surrounded by ice and filled with glistening, black roe early Sunday morning. Two models clad in white bikinis posed on either side of the golden tub, while a third demonstrated the art of caviar bathing. Four brutal looking bikers lurked nearby, keeping watch over the tub, the girls and Hodgegrass.
Within minutes, local seafood mavens and other curious tourists began congregating around Hodgegrass’ display, and before long they were stripping down to their small-clothes and taking turns soaking in the increasingly acrid fish eggs.
“Everyone should know what it feels like to be rich,” Hodgegrass shouted, announcing his odd seafood fest attraction to the crowd. “We bathe in caviar, swim in Champagne and burn money for warmth!”
The approximately 60-gallon bathtub appeared to contain some 50 gallons of black beluga caviar, which typically costs about $200–300 per ounce. With 128 ounces in each gallon, the retail cost of Hodgegrass’ decadent display would be at least $1.28 million, if he used real beluga—and that’s not including the models, bodyguards and cost to transport the very heavy bathtub from Southampton to Montauk and back in the same day.
“This stunt was outrageously expensive, even by Derwood’s standards,” his friend Finnegan James noted, adding, “I guess he’s making up for the weeks this summer when he spent almost nothing.”
It’s still unclear whether Hodgegrass used the cheap stuff in place of his usual high-end beluga, but after it sat out uncovered for hours, and was slathered on dozens of nearly-nude festival goers, the caviar was not exactly edible ready for a taste test.