WITH DEBORAH SCHOENEMAN
Move over, Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas. Sources tell us Brad Pitt is in serious talks to design a hotel or bar for Rande Gerber, the Whiskey Bar impresario who owns twenty properties throughout the world. While the Hollywood hunkster has no formal training whatsoever in architecture or design, he’s known to spend hours sketching out designs for homes and furniture and can wax on about Gehry, Koolhaas, and Frank Lloyd Wright. “Brad and Rande are good friends,” an insider tells us. “Nothing has been signed, but they’re in very deep conversations. I can see something opening in about two years.” The only thing they have definitely decided on is that Pitt’s work will be for a West Coast property. After making Fight Club in 1999, Pitt took a year off so he could completely gut and renovate two buildings on his Hollywood Hills estate, including the installation of a state-of-the-art bathroom with a tub carved out of a thirteen-ton slab of marble. Pitt’s rep denied a project is in the works, and Gerber’s declined to comment.
Don King Takes Tyson for a Ride
Don King is trying to kill Mike Tyson—with kindness. It seems the former champ’s $100 million lawsuit against King (for breach of contract) goes to trial in September, and to avoid taking the stand, King is hoping to settle with Tyson the old-fashioned way. According to a court affidavit filed by a former FBI agent, private eye Warren Flagg, King purchased a candy-apple-red 500-series Mercedes-Benz for Tyson (estimated base price, $81,000) along with a black one for Tyson’s gal pal, actress Luz Whitney, and is in the process of procuring a Rolls-Royce for Tyson. Flagg also alleges that King picked up an $85,000 tab Tyson ran up while “partying” at the Peninsula in April. Flagg’s affidavit is part of a $385 million suit Lennox Lewis filed against both King and Tyson for not fulfilling Tyson’s obligations to fight on June 21.
Dennis Rodman: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Dennis Rodman is ready to enter politics. No, the former hoopster isn’t pulling a Jesse Ventura and shooting for high office. It’s all part of his idea for a reality show he’s been pitching to television networks. An insider tells us that Rodman’s scheme involves having a camera follow him 24/7 as he moves out of his Newport Beach, California, home (where he’s had more than a handful of run-ins with neighbors and police because of his unruly house parties) to a more conservative area, like somewhere in Orange County. He expects that once he’s there, his fame, fortune, and winning personality will make him a beloved member of the community. To top it all off, he’ll make a run for a local political office. Despite his new surroundings, he said, he won’t change his partying ways. “He said he is going to win his neighbors over by letting them come to his parties, just like he did with a lot of people in Newport Beach,” our tipster reports. And if the proposal isn’t ludicrous enough, Rodman will name one of his many pets as his running mate.
The Hamptons: Arrivals and Departures
The Hamptons real-estate market may be nose-diving, but the celebs and socialites are settling in all the same. Alexander von Furstenberg has rented a house on Flying Point Road in Water Mill, where he spent past summers with his estranged wife, Alexandra. Last week, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and her husband, former State Department spokesman James Rubin, moved into a place on Jobs Lane in Southampton for six weeks while they wait for work to be done on a nearby property they recently bought… . Meanwhile, some are fleeing. We hear former Halston designer Randolph Duke has put his Bridgehampton estate up for sale because he’s making a permanent move to Los Angeles (his most recent claim to fame was being a judge on ABC’s Are You Hot?). Another refugee is retired Metropolitan Museum of Art honcho Ashton Hawkins, who’s trading the Hamptons for Hudson Valley, where he bought a house two years ago. His Sag Harbor abode is on the market for $4.4 million.
PARK VIEW: Real-estate brokers are going to have to come up with a new nickname for 770 Park Avenue, a.k.a. the Agnelli building. The estate of the late Italian mogul Giovanni Agnelli, who died in January at 81, recently put his ten-room penthouse on the market for $25 million. While the building has other high-profile residents, we doubt it will be renamed, say, the Schiff building, for resident David Schiff and his wife, Lisa (whose son Drew is married to Karenna Gore), or the Lynne building, for resident Michael Lynne, co-CEO of New Line Cinema. Broker-socialite (and Agnelli-family friend) Serena Boardman of Sotheby’s didn’t return calls.
Additional reporting by Geoffrey Gray.