7-Up vs. Coke, Part 2: From dot-com darling to disaster, the spectacular flameout of Andrew Gladney. Heir to a fortune, Andrew Gladney went from John Burroughs to Yale and came home to found Savvis Inc. Then he squandered it all.

 Editor's note: This is the second part of a two-part story. Read Part 1 here.


On December 14 of last year, FBI agents arrested 45-year-old Andrew Gladney at his home in Clayton. He was indicted six days later on federal extortion charges stemming from threatening e-mails sent to a Virginia man and jailed at the Jennings Police Department.

Andrew Gladney and Susan Wu, in an undated photo. Federal law enforcement officials believe Gladney has threatened his wife's life.
Jennifer Silverberg
Andrew Gladney and Susan Wu, in an undated photo. Federal law enforcement officials believe Gladney has threatened his wife's life.
December 5, 2007: Booked and jailed on four different arrest warrants.
Jennifer Silverberg
December 5, 2007: Booked and jailed on four different arrest warrants.

He awaits trial there at the order of U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Ann Medler, who has deemed him a "danger to the community." Gladney's wife of two years, Susan Wu, whom law enforcement officials believe he may have subjected to physical abuse in the past, now visits him for the allotted fifteen minutes twice a week.

When he graduated from high school back in 1980, Gladney's classmates at John Burroughs predicted that by age 28 he'd be "Chairman of the Board of the Coca-Cola Company."

Though it was a riff on the wealthy Gladney's family ties — his grandfather, Franklin Gladney, was a co-founder of the 7-Up Company — by the mid-1990s the soft-drink scion was indeed running his own business, having launched the Internet startup Diamond.Net (soon to be renamed Savvis Communications Corporation) and assumed the dual role of president and CEO.

But beneath the big-time boardroom veneer of success lurked less-glamorous realities. By the time Savvis held its initial public offering, Gladney had been cast aside. A second ambitious Internet-based sports media venture, MAX Broadcasting Network, went belly-up almost before it got off the ground.

And now, as the fabric of his marriage was fraying, Gladney spiced up his trust fund-draining lifestyle by embarking on a new love affair — with cocaine.


Big time, all the time!"

It was the MAX Broadcasting slogan, but as one former colleague puts it, "it's how Andrew lived his life."

Money was a main accessory. A Harley, a Porsche, a $30,000 stereo system, lockers at private clubs — Bellerive, Racquet, Fox Run — Gladney relished them all, not to mention family heirlooms like his mother's Steinway piano and his father's antique guns.

He refused to marry in 1992 without a prenuptial agreement, and was insistent — despite Cindy's efforts to change the clause — that in the event of a divorce he would never pay alimony. (She acquiesced.)

Ex-Diamond.Net/Savvis employees recall Gladney carrying wads of hundred-dollar bills. He held court Fridays after work at the old Ramon's Jalapeño in Clayton, regularly picking up the tab. Gladney also fancied himself a ladies' man, former associates say. "I always called him a buck in rut," Gary Zimmerman remembers. "If you went out to lunch with him and a good-looking woman walked by, the next thing you knew he'd be off trying to get a date with her."

It was during Diamond.Net's first year of business that Gladney's marriage dissolved. Cindy complained of her husband's alcohol and drug use and infidelity, going so far as to include in court documents an allegation of "an attempted sexual relationship with [her] sister." Gladney in turn griped that Cindy was controlling and uninterested in him sexually. The couple's only child was nine months old when they separated.

Tim Roberts says the domestic drama caused collateral damage: "I teamed up with Cindy, and that ended Andrew's and my relationship."

Gladney's wandering eye is also said to have contributed to his demise at Savvis. For years stories of questionable after-hours activities at the office had swirled among the rank and file. (Dick Ford, John McCarthy and then-company president Clyde Heintzelman did not respond to requests for comment for this article.)

The Gladneys fought it out in a five-day trial in 1997. In the end they shared custody of their son. Cindy failed to obtain alimony and Andrew kept the couple's home on Picardy Lane in Ladue. His girlfriend, Jeanie Haines, a Savvis employee, moved in.

And for a time Gladney kept up his lavish lifestyle. According to a New York Times real estate article from 2000, Gladney and Haines were looking forward to spending part of that summer in a $25,000-a-month East Hampton rental on Long Island. But by early the following year, MAX Broadcasting was no more and Gladney was out of work.

In the spring he was arrested on a felony drug charge for delivering cocaine to a woman at the (since-shuttered) T.G.I. Friday's on Brentwood Boulevard. Represented in court by Scott Rosenblum, Gladney received three years' probation and a suspended sentence.

Around the time of the arrest, Gladney struck up a relationship with a nineteen-year-old woman from Springfield, Illinois. Subsequent court records indicate the two met via an Internet sex chat room for which she worked part-time, where paying customers could chat with her online or by phone and watch her simulate various sex acts. The first night Gladney telephoned her, the woman would later state in a sworn deposition, she gave him her personal number.

Gladney and the young woman — he knew her by her middle name, Rachelle — got together three times in St. Louis. What enticed her, she'd later say, were his promises of cocaine and cash. "I was desperate for money," she stated in her deposition.

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