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Is Mary Starkey Persona Non Grata at the Denver Athletic Club?

If you want to work out in style, you head to the Denver Athletic Club. From the seafood medley served up in the club tavern to the shoe-shine stand, this 124-year-old institution is where the snobs go to sweat. It would seem obvious, therefore, that the DAC would be an ideal stomping ground for “First Lady of Service” Mary Louise Starkey, who, as the head of the Denver-based Starkey International Institute of Household Management, is synonymous with the swanky world of super-butlers. But it seems that Starkey isn’t welcome at the club – at least not anymore.

A very reliable source recently spotted a delinquent list posted in the lobby of the athletic club listing members who haven’t paid their dues. The number-one name, owing more than $1,700 – three times as much as anyone else – was Mary Starkey-Karim. That’s most likely Mary Louise Starkey, since she married a man named Adil Karim several years ago. It appears that Starkey’s gym membership is as mismanaged as several former students and teachers allege her butler school is. Starkey is currently facing second-degree assault charges for allegedly attacking one of her students last year; she’s due in Denver District Court on May 27 for a disposition hearing.

The DAC won’t discuss the list or its number-one delinquent member. “We won’t comment on that,” says pro shop manager Tom Maloney when reached by phone. “We are a private club and don’t comment on our internal issues.” The operation doesn’t seem to have a problem, however, with broadcasting in its lobby the names of its most negligent members – in full view of some of the most prominent movers and shakers in town. – Joel Warner

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner