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Coupled Up

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Word that Alex Rodriguez and his wife would separate after A-Rod had been making late-night visits to Madonna’s Central Park West home base hogged the spotlight from the week’s other odd couples. (Mrs. A-Rod, meantime, was reportedly canoodling with Lenny Kravitz.) Barack Obama swooned over a “terrific” phone conversation with former critic Bill Clinton, while John McCain anointed Karl Rove acolyte Steve Schmidt to run his campaign. Mayor Bloomberg spoke wistfully of “Simon and Garfinkel” while announcing a Bon Jovi show on the Great Lawn. The Peter Cook–Christie Brinkley divorce trial opened with a bang when he admitted he’d hired then-18-year-old Diana Bianchi as his assistant to sleep with her and that he spent $3,000 per month on porn Websites. Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein copped a plea for soliciting sex from minors and began eighteen months in a Florida jail. Convicted hedge-fund thief and amateurish suicide faker Samuel Israel III turned himself in to authorities in Massachusetts. (Mom talked him into it.) The fashion world puzzled over 20-year-old model Ruslana Korshunova’s killing herself. A Con Ed strike was averted, but the city’s cement-truck-drivers union walked out. The wings on Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center transit hub were clipped. As word leaked out that Leona Helmsley had hoped her more than $5 billion fortune would be spent on the betterment of canines, separate pit-bull attacks cost a 90-year-old Staten Island man a leg and a 3-year-old East New York boy part of an ear. Lobe-biter Mike Tyson denied he’d spent $50,000 to put a hit on the Brooklyn drug dealers who killed one of his bodyguards. The NYPD graduated a new class of Finest. A 500-year-old Italian sculpture crashed to the floor at the Met. Manhattan apartment prices, at an average of $1.67 million, didn’t crash, though without over-the-top sales at 15 Central Park West and the Plaza, the figure fell to a paltry $1.49 million. The Dow officially entered a bear market, with prices off 20 percent since October. A state judge ruled that former NYSE chairman Dick Grasso gets to keep all the $187.5 million that Eliot Spitzer had tried to take away.


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