WEST PALM BEACH — The co-owner of the 106-foot mega-yacht whose captain was busted last month while allegedly unloading 620 pounds of cocaine in a West Palm Beach marina tells Gossip Extra that she was “absolutely” blindsided by the highly publicized incident.
As a matter of fact, Leslie-Anne Meuser said, she learned that her jacuzzi-equipped boat, Secret Spot, was raided and the captain pinched along with a passenger while watching the news on the BBC in her London flat!
“The TV was on but I wasn’t really watching,” Meuser said, “until I heard that the name of the yacht was Secret Spot. I named the ship myself.”
Part-time Singer Island resident Meuser, who co-owns the ship with her elderly ex-husband Stan Meuser, denied that either she and Stan had even a remote idea that Capt. Jon Costenbader was loading up drugs in The Bahamas, and rushing them to South Florida on their $5 million boat.
“I trusted Jon with my life,” said Meuser, a documentary film producer and polo player. “We treated him like a member of the family. We let him take his parents to the Caribbean on the boat for their wedding anniversary and everything.
“I mean, I feel bad for Jon because he is in jail and I love him. He’s a good guy. But he shouldn’t do that.”
Costenbader and passenger Michelle Daniel — one of Costenbader’s numerous girlfriends, Meuser said — were arrested by Department of Homeland Security agents who’d been tracking the boat by satellite. They were charged with felony conspiracy to import cocaine.
Secret Spot is currently for sale, and can be chartered for $55,000-a-week.
“I’m told they were tracking the ship because its speed caught their attention,” Meuser said. “Normally, we run it at 11 or 12 knots. He was doing 25 knots, which not only consumes 300 gallons of fuel per hour, but it’s also terrible for the engines.”
Meuser, who said the yacht was not seized by the feds, said she was told by authorities that Costenbader received $800,000 to smuggle the shipment into Palm Beach County.
So, did she fire her captain?
“What do you think,” she asked. “He’s in jail and he ain’t coming out any time soon!”