A Navy admiral in full regalia, his scantily clad girlfriend for the night, a pinstripe-suit-wearing NYPD detective, an exhausted exotic dancer and the entourage of an ex-NFL star hovered over a table full of champagne while they smoked marijuana and discussed the accuracy of the one rumor that drew them all to a castle in Water Mill: a no-holds-barred after-party orgy.
Kevin Brennan, the “admiral,” asked his girlfriend Lynn Marie what she thought of the potential nightcap.
“I don’t know, I’d like to watch but not partake,” the woman said. “I’ve been in situations with too many hands in bad places. It’s not fun, but I’ll watch.”
As Mr. Brennan shook his head in disappointment, a bejeweled cape came flying through the air and the host of the “Sailors and Sinners” themed-party, Ivan Wilzig, screamed through a megaphone: “Welcome aboard!”
A massive, sword-toting member of the NFL entourage, also dressed as a Navy officer, pulled Mr. Wilzig aside and tried to finagle an invite to the famed sex dungeon for himself and his crew.
After a brief conversation—the sweat-soaked Mr. Wilzig didn’t stand in one place for more than a few moments all night—the sword-toter calmly returned.
“It’s easy, all you have to do is stick around and have a female with you by the time the party is over,” he said, confident that the second part wouldn’t be an issue.
It was just one of many Gatsby-esque scenes from the wild 16th annual Labor Day party thrown by Mr. Wilzig, the middle-aged son of a banking tycoon who goes by Sir Ivan and performs his techno music as Peaceman.
It is hard to reconcile the two common, but competing, views of the man behind the triumvirate of identities.
Some at the party, mostly those who admit to being invited to the five acres of prime real estate by a friend of a friend, see Mr. Wilzig as embodying an embarrassment of riches, wasting his time and late father’s money on excess extravagance. They see an old man with a bad hip playing with glow sticks, so desperate for publicity he hired a film crew of about seven to follow him around the party in the hopes of landing a reality television deal.
Others, mostly those who have met the Ivy League-educated, philanthropy-geared recording artist, see an incredibly loving and giving man, so desperate to do good that he repeatedly puts his name and legacy on the line despite constant barbs being thrown his way by the very people he welcomes.
On one hand, the self-knighted Mr. Wilzig is a man who quit his job of 20 years at his father’s bank to pursue his dream of being on Broadway, build a 16,000 square-foot, nine-bedroom, 11-bathroom castle, worth about $60 million, and throw infamous parties.
On the other hand, Mr. Wilzig’s parties and new career help fund The Peaceman Foundation, which contributes money to organizations battling violence, hatred, bullying and post-traumatic stress disorder—all causes close to the heart of Sir Ivan’s father, Siegbert, who endured the Holocaust despite losing 59 family members to Hitler’s regime. The family name is even on a New Jersey hospital, the Wilzig Hospital, because of generous donations.
“It’s tough to balance. I have a Medieval Madness pinball machine, a sauna, a dungeon that the Marquis de Sade would be jealous of. I have four fireplaces, seven waterfalls and the tallest gates in the Hamptons,” Mr. Wilzig began to explain about a month prior to his party. “When I saw my bedroom had a normal Jacuzzi in it, I yelled, ‘What, are you out of your mind? Get that thing out of here and get me in a bigger tub, one that holds four people. When have you ever known me to take a bath with one girl at a time?’”
Then the always entertaining storyteller started to tie it all together.
“Superman, Batman, Spiderman, they’re all make-believe. Peaceman, my superhero persona, is real. I’m really singing, I’m really raising money,” he said. “So I need to have RuPaul, Mike Tyson, Sofia Vegara here at my parties. I need the reality show for the exposure. It’ll allow me to sell more music and then raise more money for charity. I already live the celebrity life and have all of the creature comforts. I have no other reason to do it if not for others.”
Noting that he hasn’t spent a night without a guest in his house in the 16 years since he built it, Mr. Wilzig had expected Sunday’s party to be bigger and better than any he’s ever held because his foundation raised $50,000 alone this year.
With the castle draped in a gigantic gray slip, making it look like a three-story battleship named the U.S.S. Sir Ivan’s Castle, about 500 guests, including celebrities big and small, danced and drank the night away, taking in the scene by fire and strobe light.
As midnight passed and the party was officially over, the transition to the after-party came and went with only about half the guests leaving. As everyone tried to find any evidence of the rumored debauchery, still-single guests were herded towards the driveway, while paired-up couples were told to continue dancing inside the castle’s club area.
Before the party, Mr. Wilzig had said, “If I can get the whole world high just by inviting people over to my castle, then I’m going to do it again and again.”
The faux-noble may not have gotten the whole world high, but as throngs of sailors and their sinful counterparts left the premises on shuttles, telling stories of what they thought they saw and further feeding the rumor mill, the bar for next year’s party was certainly going up.