Grammy-winning producer John Forte and friends no doubt raised a glass to President Bush Monday night while partying at Electric Lady Land Studios in the East Village. The occasion was Forte's freedom after serving seven years for cocaine possession, courtesy of the lame duck prez.
Bush commuted the coke-dealing sentence of Forte, who worked on the Fugees' first album, back in November. Yesterday Forte walked out of Fort Dix Correctional Facility a free man at 9:39 a.m., reported the New York Post.
The odd duo of singer Carly Simon and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch had lobbied for the release of Forte, 31, who was busted at Newark Airport in 2000 carrying a briefcase filled $1.4 million worth of liquid cocaine and charged with possession with intent to distribute.
Simon's son Ben Taylor attended the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy with Forte and the two classmates had struck up a friendship that led to Forte to sing backup for Simon.
When Forte was busted, his one phone call was to Simon. And Simon liked Forte so much that she fronted his $250,000 bail.
Forte, whose dreads are shorter and grayer than they were when he was sent away seven years ago, had no comment when he was spotted buying a cookie outside the studio last night.