Eever Norman was once a high-flying event planner for the W Hotels who helped organize Fashion Week.
But by 2014 he was just high, homeless, and running from the law.
So he used his industry smarts and flair for style to go on the lam at some of NYC’s ritziest hotels, such as The Plaza, St. Regis, and The Waldorf.
But eventually, he ended up in a suite on Rikers Island — which the 53-year-old credits for saving his life.
“I was headed downhill fast. If the judge hadn’t sent me to Rikers I might not be alive,” Norman told The Post.
Born in Oregon, he was living his dream in Manhattan working as a contractor at Fashion Week for eight years from 2004 to 2012 as part of the hotel chain’s sponsorship.
But an addiction to methamphetamines got him blacklisted from the event for selling front-row seats to shady characters for $500 a pop, he recalled.
“They said, ‘If you’re going to bring people to Fashion Week and have them sit in the front row please have them look less like prostitutes,’” Norman recalled.
Over the next months he lost all his money, and his apartment in Midtown, and found himself running from the law after missing court dates on charges of embezzlement, credit card fraud, forgery, and grand larceny, documents show.
He remembered searching for shelter on a bitter night in January 2014 — and picking the St. Regis Hotel in Midtown.
“I still had an overnight bag with me and it was a nice one and I looked decent,” he recalled. “I walked right in.”
He spent several nights sleeping in the hotel’s Astor Library, where he could close the pocket doors, charge his phone, and sleep until the cleaning crew’s vacuums woke him.
Anytime he thought he was being scrutinized he tried to look like he was eyeing up a space for an event or put a lanyard on to look like he belonged.
His success emboldened him, so for the next eight months, he did the same thing at other five-star hotels, including the Mandarin Oriental and The Pierre.
At the Mandarin, he would tuck into the hotel’s luxurious spa to shower, shave, and change his clothes.
He would also find refuge in the men’s bathrooms, which were locked from the inside and had lounge chairs so he could rest.
At the Pierre, Norman said he hid and freshened up in the men’s lounge’s large private stalls and slept in a storage space for chairs behind a curtain in the ballroom.
At the Plaza Hotel, he sometimes took refuge and napped behind a conch shell in a ballroom.
But after several months, managers caught onto his ruse.
In the summer of 2014, he and another drug addict began renting a 10×10 space at Manhattan mini-storage on 29th Street and 11th Avenue.
They had running water and electricity, he said.
The party came to a crashing end when Norman was busted for stealing a Vogue magazine and a soup at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods on Labor Day Weekend and cops ran his ID.
“They said, ‘Oh, Mr. Norman, [the judge] has been looking for you,’” he recalled. “You have several warrants out for your arrest.”
He was taken to the Manhattan Detention Complex in Lower Manhattan, where he claimed he was suicidal hoping he’d get sent to a hospital and released.
“I faked it, but it was a joke on me,” he said.
The next thing he knew he was on a bus — in a pink cage for psychiatric cases — on his way to Rikers, where the intake was “pure insanity,” he said.
At one point, they put a Latin Kings gangbanger in the cell with him and other inmates. The 6-foot-5 hulking member zeroed in on Norman, who is about 6 feet tall, blond, and weighs 180 pounds.
“What the f–k are you doing here?” the gang member demanded, backhanding him and sending him flying into a wall.
After a short time, the gang member known as Blitz calmed down and started asking him why he was in.
“You’ll be fine,” the gang member assured Norman after he explained.
Sometime during the night, Norman was escorted to a steel bed with no cushions or sheets in the mental ward.
He woke at 4 a.m. surrounded by Latin Kings who began yelling at him.
“Who said you could f—–g sit in that bed?” one of them yelled.
He thought his mother was going to have to pick him up “dead in a casket,” he recalled.
Then a voice rose up: “Leave him the f–k alone!” It was Blitz. The other inmates backed down because he was their leader, Norman said.
Norman became a sort of secretary to Blitz, keeping track of the drugs he was collecting from other inmates and organizing events like a talent show and a painting party.
They called him “Ken doll” and thought he was an actor, Norman said.
Norman made three appearances before the judge before she agreed to set bail.
“They didn’t smile upon bail-jumping,” he said.
A month later, an aunt who lived in the city ponied up $10,000 for his release and the judge sentenced him to five years probation and rehab at Samaritan Village in Ellenville, and he has been drug-free since, he said.
“Rikers was a scary place,” said Norman, who now lives in Harlem working as a sober coach throughout the city for the wealthy and freelancing as an event planner. “But in the end, in retrospect, that was the best thing that could have happened to me because it got me where I am today.”
One of his former bosses said she was proud to see how far he had come.
“Seeing him now, he is my hero,” said Krissy Guttroff, former Director of Marketing at the W Hotels, who worked with Norman at Fashion Week. “I just can’t believe someone who went through everything he went through has turned out to be a mentor for others. He’s incredible.”