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Buckley Cheating Scandal...New Hilton Reality Show?...Kitchen Confidential

Buckley prep school, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Alison Becker Hurt, Robert Gurvich and more.

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June 14, 2004

Crib Notes on a Scandal: Test Subject
Parents who send their kids to Buckley may get the best educational resources $20,650 a year can buy, but they won’t necessarily end up with better-behaved boys. A cheating scandal at the prestigious Upper East Side prep school erupted after a seventh-grade boy stole a final history exam from a teacher’s briefcase, copied it, and distributed it among friends. When the administration demanded the guilty parties come forward, several boys did. The headmaster, Gregory J. O’Melia, declined to discuss the boys’ punishment, but a source says Buckley parents all received a letter from him explaining what had happened and strongly reassuring them that the school does not tolerate such behavior.

Hiltons in the Hamptons: Social Studies
Kathy and Rick Hilton are not, as reported, opening up their Waldorf-Astoria apartment to a family of would-be socialites from the boondocks for their upcoming NBC reality show. But they are playing Henry Higgins to seven girls and seven boys at yet-to-be-determined Manhattan and Hamptons locations. “They’ll be in some kind of bunking area,” says Kathy. Hilton will begin training them next month, and part of the process will likely be outsourced to well-connected friends, who will be providing the little Eliza Doolittles with internships. . . . In other East End news, real-life socialite Anne Hearst has sold her $1.69 million, five-bedroom Bridgehampton house on Butter Lane to Lorraine Bracco, who had been renting it for the past few summers. And Patricia Duff, socialite and ex-wife of Ron Perelman, has signed on to host a weekly political television show on the Hamptons cable channel Plum TV. Dandy lawyer Ed Hayes was slated to join her, but backed out of the arrangement about a month ago. “I’m an old man,” explains Hayes. “I’m bald and I’m desperately trying to hold on to what remains of my youth.”

Center of Activity: Program Changes
Conspiracy theorists watching Manhattan real-estate transactions may be particularly suspicious this week as the adherents of one cult replace the followers of another—as tenants of 152 East 55th Street, between Lexington and Third. The old Atkins center is becoming a new Kabbalah Center. The Jewish-mysticism group recently closed on a deal for the property, for $5.5 million—$1 million under the asking price. Broker Paul Wexler of the Corcoran Group represented the seller.

Recipe For Disaster: Kitchen Confidential
Last month, while getting ready for a Memorial Day weekend opening in a new location, restaurateur Alison Becker Hurt (Alison by the Beach) had a falling-out with her chef of six years, Robert Gurvich, who stormed out of the new space, in what used to be 95 School Street in Bridgehampton. “Robert had his combustion,” says Hurt. “He wanted to do his own thing, so he found a reason to leave.” Hurt found former Il Buco sous-chef Jeffrey Harter—“Chef Jeff”—on the Internet, and he’s been cooking Basque-influenced fare for her ever since. Gurvich, who wants to open his own place in Sag Harbor, says the split was anything but amicable—but declined to elaborate on what he said were financial disagreements.


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