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Gossip Queen of Queens

Rupert Murdoch branches out to the outer boroughs.


J ust because Dee Richard, the top gossip columnist in Queens, is now working for Rupert Murdoch doesn’t mean she’s going to change how she does business. News Corp. has bought 28 mostly free weekly community newspapers in Brooklyn and Queens, including the TimesLedger, where Richard, 80, a longtime Beechurst resident, writes “Dishing With Dee.” Richard reveals that unlike her new corporate sibling “Page Six,” she’s never been accused of taking advantage of her power to get free things. “Places might offer me a drink on the house, but they do that for anybody they know well,” she says. Like Liz Smith’s, her column also has favorites: “[Councilwoman] Melinda Katz is very nice and pretty, with a great singing voice.” Which isn’t to say she shies away from controversy. “A community activist once showed me her new plastic surgery,” she says. “She looked great—like a young Liza Minnelli. Then she flips up her shirt to show me her new breasts. Of course I wrote about them. She was furious. But if you’re having lunch with a columnist, you know you’re fair game.”

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