Palm Royale: Is Perry’s Condo Collapse Based on a Real Scandal From the 1960s?

In ‘Palm Royale,’ Douglas Dellacorte Simmons, Maxine’s husband, returns to Palm Beach after his aunt Norma’s health declines, using the opportunity to establish his footing among the high society. Despite being cut off from the Dellacorte inheritance, the man and his wife scheme up a plan to benefit from their role as the elder Dellacorte’s caretakers, siphoning money into their own pockets. However, near the latter half of their arrival in Palm Beach, Douglas runs the risk of losing their assets by getting involved with Perry Donahue and his egregiously unsuccessful real estate deal. Thus, as the illegal scam involving bribery charges and a fake prince of Luxembourg unravels on the screen, fans are bound to wonder about the connections between this plot point and reality. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Perry Donahue and Palm Beach’s Fictional 1960s Condo Scandal

Although ‘Palm Royale’ is set in the period setting of the late 1960s, specifically 1969, the show remains a fictionalized drama that explores various social dynamics of the era. As such, while the show refers to several iconic staples of Palm Beach from the 60s and 70s, such as the Shiny Sheet, it equips a more fictitious route in depicting the elements that drive the story’s narrative. As such, the real estate scandal that Douglas finds himself roped into by his close friend Perry remains one such fictitious narrative element. Since the characters of Douglas Dellacorte Simmons and Perry Donahue are purely fabricated pieces of work created in service of the show, their actions and influences over Palm Beach retain a similar level of fictionality.

Perry Donahue, who is involved in the real estate sector, is known for his lucrative deals. However, unbeknownst to the authorities, the man partakes in shady business practices— bribing different people at procedural levels to fast-pace his project’s developments. As such, the negligence behind one of his condo’s construction eventually leads to a collapse that erupts into a scandal. Furthermore, after Linda Shaw and her group of activists reveal the truth behind his business practices, Perry comes under federal investigation, halting the development of his current venture with Douglas. Moreover, the same venture is simultaneously involved in another scam by a fake prince of Luxembourg.

Therefore, instead of defining the show’s period setting, Perry and his scheming serve a more narrative-driven function, imbuing Douglas and Maxine’s lives with even more complications. For the same reason, the plot point holds little connection to any similarly prominent condo scams and scandals that may have occurred in Palm Beach during the 60s and 70s. For the most part, the storyline remains confined to the show’s fictional landscape with no real-life counterpart. Ultimately, a tool for storytelling rather than world-building, Perry’s condo collapse is a fictional element within the show.

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