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The Gooch Keeps His Pad

Porn king Bob Guccione is still the Caligula of his castle. An eleventh-hour deal reached yesterday afternoon kept the Penthouse publisher from being tossed out of his E. 67th St. townhouse and into the gutter.

Despite a moving truck parked outside the palatial digs, a locksmith at the ready and three sheriffs set to evict him, Guccione managed to pull off a deal to pay creditors more than $17 million and win back the deed to his 30-room mansion.

“This was pretty tense to the very last minute,” attorney Robert Feinstein said after the deal was struck. “This is a great day for him. We are about to go inside and pop open the Champagne.”

As he spoke, cheers erupted from Guccione’s employees, gathered at the base of a marble staircase inside the House that Smut Built. The day began on a very different note. At 9:45 a.m., a red, white and blue truck with the legend Celebrity Moving parked outside the mansion, awaiting orders from Guccione’s chief creditor, Kennedy Funding, on whether to pack off the pornographer. Guccione owed Kennedy, a New Jersey-based lending company, more than $17 million and had been negotiating with them for months.

Kennedy founder Joe Wolfer said his company had the deed to the mansion – which boasts a swimming pool, gym, ballroom, 11 fireplaces and at least one male nude statue – but really just wanted its money. He said he called in the sheriff, locksmith and moving company because the time for negotiating was running out. But Guccione found a new lender, who wired Kennedy $1million as a sign of good faith.

By about 4 p.m., Wolfer said, another $15 million was received. Wolfer said he’s still owed about $2.7 million, secured by Guccione’s upstate country estate.”The townhouse is now in his control,” Wolfer said. “We have called off the sheriff.”

Guccione declined comment, but Feinstein insisted the deal was not just a temporary reprieve. “He’s going to live here for many, many years. Kennedy has been paid off and they are going home,” Feinstein said.The struggle to keep the townhouse was just the latest setback for the porn baron, who was once worth $200 million but has seen his publishing empire slide into bankruptcy.
 

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