By Sonja Sharp, Murray Weiss, Shayna Jacobs and Leslie Albrecht
MANHATTAN — The Morgan Stanley banker who sources say was a financial backer of accused millionaire madam Anna Gristina defended the suspected brothel-running mother of four Wednesday, and denied a business relationship with her in an exclusive interview with DNAinfo.com.
David S. Walker is the banker prosecutors say was with Gristina when she was busted for running a multi-million dollar prostitution service out of her Upper East Side apartment, sources told DNAinfo.
In an exclusive interview with DNAinfo, Walker described Gristina as a "very caring, very giving, very loving" woman.
"I'm surprised at having to answer these questions," Walker said at the door of his Midtown apartment. "She was the mom next door."
Walker told DNAinfo he wasn't there when Gristina was arrested. He also said the pig-loving alleged madam had many other connections at his high-powered firm.
"She had plenty of other people at Morgan Stanley, I don't know why they're talking about me," he said.
Walker said he and Gristina met through mutual friends years ago and "I never had any business dealings with her."
The banker said he was home sick Wednesday and didn't comment when asked if he had been contacted by the DA's office or Morgan Stanley insvestigators.
A spokesman for Morgan Stanley said Wednesday the powerful Wall Street bank is investigating possible connections to Gristina internally.
Prosecutors said at Gristina's Feb. 23 indictment that she was arrested while meeting with a Morgan Stanley banker who she'd been trying to convince to help her expand her empire online.
Prosecutors say Gristina has some very influential people in her Rolodex.
"She has business contacts worldwide," said Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan at the Feb. 23 indictment, adding that Gristina "claimed to have made millions over the 15 or so years, she has been in business as a madam."
"She counts many high wealths [sic] among her friends and clients," he added, according to a transcript of the hearing.