With Deborah Schoeneman
The annual July 4 AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA) benefit at André Balazs’s Sunset Beach on Shelter Island may be the only event where the richest guests are the most underdressed. Of course, it’s a lot easier to pull off the beach-bum look when you arrive via yacht. Just ask guests Donna Karan, Kelly Klein, Barry Diller, and his stepson, Alex von Furstenberg—all arrived barefoot in bathing suits, fresh off their dinghies. But Sex and the City siren Kim Cattrall may want to bring sunblock next time. “I don’t usually get to wear a bikini and shorts to a party,” said a very sunburned but happy Cattrall. “This is my first, and if it stays this hot, it might not be my last.”
Could a jealous Naomi Campbell be attempting to sabotage her billionaire ex-boyfriend Flavio Briatore’s relationship with supermodel Heidi Klum? That’s what it looks like, says a source who spied Campbell trying to bait the Formula One mogul with young mannequins at a New York nightclub in the hope that he’d stray. We also hear Campbell was responsible for setting Briatore up with Kat Mack, another model whom “Page Six” reports he’s seeing on the side. Meanwhile, Campbell—who’s dating Italian fashion tycoon Matteo Marzotto—also introduced Linda Evangelista to her new boyfriend, Italian oil scion Ugo Brachetti Peretti.
Mend It Like Beckham
If the Spice Girls ever get back together, at least some of the blame can be directed at Soho House. Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham recently took a room at the Anglophilic members-only club while she was in town working on her new CD with Jay-Z. A few days later, Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell called Soho House to say that she would be needing a room while shooting a guest spot on Sex and the City. The problem? Halliwell and Beckham loathe each other. A tipster tells us that the manager was so nervous about the possibility of a catfight that he breached the club’s confidentiality rules and warned the two about their overlapping stays. Beckham saw this as an opportunity to try to patch things up. “The day Geri arrived, Victoria had a note delivered to her room,” our tipster reports. “She wrote something along the lines of ‘Let bygones be bygones. If you can, let’s get together.’ ” No word on whether Halliwell took her up on the offer.
“This is devastating. Where is the next generation of Calvin Klein models going to come from?”
--Joan Rivers on the recent study showing nearly half of New York City public-school students are overweight.
Realty Bites: Bono Buys the Big Apple
U2 singer nabs Steve Jobs’s CPW apartment.
Looks like co-op boards are getting soft on celebs. Last Thursday night, Bono passed the notoriously difficult board at the San Remo on Central Park West, which rejected Madonna in 1985. He’ll be moving into Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s 3,500-square-foot two-bedroom duplex with a 1,200-square-foot terrace overlooking the park. A source said U2’s front man paid close to the $14.9 million asking price, but broker Roger Erickson of William B. May declined to comment.
Panic In the Park
The curtain almost fell on Central Park’s 150th-anniversary concert before it even began. First it was announced that Andrea Bocelli would headline the July 19 opera performance. But Bocelli pulled out after the city failed to make good on its promise to secure a TV deal to broadcast his gig. Marcelo Alvarez and Salvatore Licitra were then lined up as replacements. But about three weeks ago, Alvarez’s management called to break the news that he didn’t have a visa to work in the States. Visas typically take months to get approved. Fortunately, an immigration lawyer got on the case and was able to get Alvarez the proper paperwork July 10, just four days before he and Licitra were to land in New York.
The Fiction Issue
Stephen Glass is returning to the scene of one of his many crimes: Rolling Stone. Glass has been assigned to write a piece for the magazine about the changes in Canada’s marijuana laws. Staffers at the mag are baffled that Jann Wenner is welcoming Glass back after he landed the mag in court. Rolling Stone was sued by D.A.R.E. America for defamation after it published an article Glass wrote that included fabrications that were critical of the anti-drug group. Wenner lawyers got the case dismissed by arguing that Rolling Stone was not responsible for Glass’s wrongdoing because as a freelancer he was an independent contractor, not an employee. A Wenner rep defended the mag’s flip-fop. “He’s a good reporter,” the rep said (without even the slightest giggle). “We thought he would be the perfect person to do the story.”
Some members of Britney Spears’s camp have come up with quite an excuse to explain her recent less-than-flattering fashion efforts. An insider tells us that handlers at her label, Jive Records, are insisting that it was all part of her master plan leading up to the release of the August issue of W (that would be the one in which she finally admits to losing her virginity to Justin Timberlake). “They’re saying that they made her look so ugly that when Michael Thompson’s photos came out she would be so hot that people would be shocked,” our insider reports. Fashionistas find this all quite amusing since the shoot was apparently inspired, in part, by Teri Toye, a legendary transsexual from the eighties who modeled for the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Jean Paul Gaultier. Toye returned to her native Des Moines, Iowa, in 1987 to live the life of a suburban housewife. A W rep says that the only inspiration came from Velvet Underground singer Nico. Spears’s rep insists the pop princess never planned to be ugly and is thrilled with the pics.