Amidst all the controversy surrounding Wednesday Martin’s new book, Primates of Park Avenue, PEOPLE spoke with a mom who is a part of the uptown scene Martin describes and asked her about the alleged “wife bonuses.”
“I’ve never heard of them, and everyone who would know is asking, ‘How can a fabrication like that be printed?’ ” the New York City mom, who requested not to be named, tells PEOPLE.
“I think it’s an effort to dehumanize these people – it seems to be a divisive book designed to humiliate a group of people, and I was saddened this person had to go this route because the people we know in common are just moms.”
The mother says Martin is writing about some of the most philanthropic people she knows, “and to belittle them and make them feel less than – it’s shameful.”
“These are women who are showing up for their kids every day at school. They are not showing up because it’s a fashion runway.”
Martin has responded to the claims that wife bonuses are fictional and continues to stand by her book.
“Not everyone calls them that, but these types of arrangements were described to me about a dozen times,” Martin tells PEOPLE.
Well-known mom Jill Kargman, whose new Bravo show Odd Mom Out is a scripted comedy about wealthy New York moms, chimed in at the show’s red-carpet premiere last Wednesday in New York City.
“My friends don’t have a wife bonus and I certainly don’t have one, but I’d love for my husband to call her up and get some instructions!” she joked.
• Reporting by LIZ MCNEIL and HAIWEN LU