Ellen Barkin Kept Gabriel Byrne’s Jewelry


"I kept every piece of jewelry he ever gave me," Ellen Barkin tells Alex Witchel, of first husband Gabriel Byrne, in this coming weekend's Times Magazine. If that doesn't sound like a veiled insult to you, then you don't remember when she made $20 million by auctioning off the more than 100 pieces of jewelry that former husband Ron Perelman gave her during their marriage. (Maybe you remember it when it was a subplot in the first Sex and the City movie?) Barkin, who doesn't often give interviews, opened up to Witchel about the craziest stories that involve her.

The best moment in the piece — after the time when Witchel tells Barkin that her apartment smells like the Upper East Side, and Barkin frantically blows out every scented candle — is when Witchel asks about the time Barkin allegedly threw a drink in Perelman's face at the Waverly Inn:

She sighed. “Do you want me to go jail?” she said. “Look, it’s a fact. It happened and it was in print. You know, I had a very bad time in high school, and all I thought about when I was a young actor was, How good am I going to have to be before they stop asking me what happened in high school? They didn’t. So finally I’d just say, ‘I’m 35 years old, I don’t want to talk about high school anymore.’ I look forward to the day when I’m not asked about this anymore.”

Ellen, we promise not to ask you anything that will tempt you to throw a glass in our faces. But if you want to throw jewelry, we won't object.

Ellen Barkin Is No Uptown Girl [NYT]
PS: You should read the NYTM story just to hear her talk about what her play, A Normal Heart, means to her. "I remember my first friend who got sick," Barkin explains. "It was 1981, and the disease was called the gay cancer."