Paper magazine threw a party in honor of Penélope Cruz’s new Pedro Almodóvar film, Broken Embraces, at the newly opened Casa Lever on Saturday, and Madonna made a surprise appearance. Her Madgesty sat in the center of the room, of course, directly between Cruz and Almodóvar, and made small talk — babies? Beauty? Latin studmuffins? We’ll never know — with Cruz, and she flirted with Almodóvar. “I must confess, I introduced myself to one of her friends’ friends," said Paper’s Mickey Boardman, who co-threw the soirée. "It’s my birthday, so I was joking that I wanted Madonna to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. When everyone was singing, everyone I had said that to was like, ‘She sang the whole time!’” So how did he get her to come and sing him the birthday song? "She’s a big fan of Pedro’s. One thing I’ve learned — actresses who want to work with him love having an opportunity to have dinner with him."
As a party reporter in the presence of perhaps the most famous woman in the world besides Princess Leia, we had to at least try to talk to her. So when the right moment arose, we shyly said, “Excuse me, Madonna,” on behalf of Intel. There was a real moment where she pretended that this wasn’t happening, but finally she shook our hand — at which point we noticed she was wearing fingerless gloves — and we blurted out that that was very cool. “Thank you,” she said, and she returned to her dessert, which she did seem to be eating.
It was a little moment, an innocent one involving a tiny web journalist and a tiny international superstar, but it caused quite a ruckus. Some person purporting to be Madonna's handler (it was not Liz Rosenberg, whom we love, so we didn't bother to remember his name) immediately swooped in and called us a "liar" and said we "disrespected" him. Even dropping the all-important words "Daily Intel" had no effect, because he said, "I don't have a boss, like you. I own my own company." [Eds: We are hardly Vilensky's bosses. He's more like our affiliate party pixie.] Truthfully, we had tuned out after about nine seconds because we had just touched Madonna. Not even Jesus — the Biblical or Brazilian one — could have distracted us at that moment. Meanwhile, Boardman’s speculation that she may want an in with Almodóvar, lauded Spanish auteur, may be correct: We hear she sat through the screening of his new film the next night.