Duo charged after NJ beauty queen dies from night of booze and drugs
An HBO producer and an ex-con are both now facing drug charges after a former New Jersey beauty queen died of an overdose during a night of booze- and cocaine-filled partying with the producer, according to the New York Post.
Kiersten Rickenbach Cerveny, 38, a dermatologist who most recently lived in Long Island, had been found in a Chelsea doorway early Oct. 4. The Post report notes she was found "with her panties in her purse."
Cerveny was crowned America’s Junior Miss in 1995. She graduated from Washington Township High School in 1995. She was listed as the chief of dermatology at Brooklyn Hospital Center and was an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College. She and her husband had two children, according to multiple reports.
In a Facebook post last year, The Distinguished Young Women program — the new name for the Junior Miss contest — said Cerveny “was a stunning and intelligent young woman, destined for greatness even before she captivated the hearts of America in Mobile, Ala.. We will always remember her warmth, her laughter and her desire to make a difference in this world!”
According to the Post report, citing unnamed sources, she met up with HBO producer Marc Henry Johnson on the Lower East Side before they went to drug dealer and ex-con James Holder's apartment on West 16th Street. The two were arrested Tuesday by Drug Enforcement Administration agents and the NYPD on charges of narcotics distribution, narcotics conspiracy and accessory after the fact, after allegedly plying her with drugs, the report said.
Cerveny died of acute cocaine and alcohol intoxication, the medical examiner’s office said last year.
She and Johnson had pulled up to a modest five-story walk-up around 4:30 a.m. Oct. 4. Four hours later, surveillance video showed Johnson and another man carrying Cerveny down the stairs to the building’s entryway, the Associated Press reported at the time.
Johnson called 911 and stayed with Cerveny until EMTs arrived, then left. When police officers showed up, Cerveny was in the lobby, unconscious and unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Detectives questioned Johnson but he was not charged with a crime at the time.
Johnson is the producer of “The Deuce,” an HBO pilot starring James Franco that focuses on the rise of the porn industry in New York in the 1970s and `80s.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this story.