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Richard Simmons takes flight . . . Numero Uma . . . Olsen Twins head downtown

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WITH BENJAMIN NUGENT

Week of October 27, 2003


Lonely At The Top: Numero Uma
Kill Bill star Uma Thurman may be winning at the box office, but she’s certainly not gloating. Last weekend, she told London’s Daily Telegraph reporter Tim Geary, “My opening weekend of the No. 1 movie in the country was probably the worst weekend of my life.” In an unusually candid interview, Thurman—who has refused to discuss her dissolving marriage to Ethan Hawke with any other media outlets thus far—says the recent split left her “a dash frozen.” But she isn’t complaining about living in a fishbowl: “The attention doesn’t piss me off anymore. It’s really the least of my problems. Look, you never get the disclaimer paper when you become a public person, no one ever explains what’s going to happen. You never sign off, but your legal status in the universe shifts. You trade this in, and in exchange, if you really, really love what you do, you get a beautiful life.”

Eighties Night
The age of excess was back in full force last Wednesday at Bergdorf Goodman, where photographer Patrick McMullan hosted a party for his new book, so80s. “We haven’t had a happening like this since Studio 54!” exclaimed Nan Kempner, as paparazzi took pictures of McMullan taking pictures of guests, who included Angela Bassett, Debbie Harry, Katie Holmes, Tatum O’Neal, and Carolina Herrera. “I keep running around saying I feel like I’m at Area,” said Paper magazine’s Mickey Boardman. “Even though I was never at Area.”

Overly Friendly Skies: Remain Seated
Just when you thought airports couldn’t get any scarier, along comes Richard Simmons. Our spy reports that on a Continental flight from Newark to Los Angeles last Thursday, the hyperactive aerobicizer played “greeter” in first class, bouncing around in tight Lycra shorts (a “disturbing package display”) and what appeared to be a deep spray-on tan. “He keeps introducing himself to people, and everyone’s sort of avoiding his gaze,” our source whispered via cell phone. “He’s acting like a lunatic.” Whenever Simmons learned some unfortunate passenger’s name, he insisted on singing it to the tune of “The Name Game” (you know, “Nancy-Nancy-bo-bancy . . . ”). He stopped to ask a group of military students what they were studying (“military-military-bo-bilitary . . . ”). Simmons later called us to say, “I get on a plane and help serve the food and water! Throw pretzels! Get people going! Sometimes I do a little chair aerobics. I’m like the court jester of the sky!”

Fashion Police: Straight Jacket
There is a scene in Jamie Johnson’s new documentary, Born Rich, in which textile heir Cody Franchetti is at his tailor’s surveying a perfectly made lapel—“cut high,” he says, so it looks “aristocratic” and not low, “like Clinton wears.” So it was not without a certain degree of anxiety that the film’s co-producer, Nick Kurzon, went shopping for a blazer only hours before the film’s premiere last Wednesday. “It was five, and the premiere’s at seven, so I was freaking out,” Kurzon told us at the Screening Room that night. “So I go to Barneys Co-op and I’m panicking and looking at this rack of blazers, and then he appeared. Like a superhero. That guy.” The guy in question was none other than Carson Kressley, from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. “He was like, ‘I didn’t know why I came into Barneys today, and now I know: I’m doing God’s work.’ So then he’s like, ‘This, yes. That, no. Okay, those shoes are horrible,’ ” Kurzon told a group of friends, including Franchetti, who were admiring Kurzon’s new striped brown jacket. “I was like, ‘You’ve got to come to our after-party,’ ” Kurzon added, “but he was gone by the time the words left my lips. Disappeared into the night.”

“If anybody can come back from the dead andwrite about it, it’s George Plimpton.”
-Kurt Vonnegut, toasting the late literary legend at the Paris Review’s 50th-anniversary bash last week

Boy Toys: Reid About It
Last week’s Us Weekly ran a story about Tara Reid’s “classy” new boyfriend, “businessman” Wayne Boich, 28. Yeah, we didn’t believe it either. So we investigated. “He’s wilder than Tara!” says a friend of the couple. (We don’t believe that either. But only because we don’t think it’s possible.) The friend adds that Boich is an “inheritor” with a jet, which they recently flew to a party in Miami. “She’s finally met her match!” Our favorite party girl, Paris Hilton, confirms that Reid and Boich have been together for about a month. Hilton also insists that she was never dating Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears, who’s actually married. “He’s an amazing guy, but we’re not together,” says Hilton. But another friend offered this explanation for Hilton’s denial of any romance with Urlacher: “She broke it off because he was getting divorced and it was too complicated.”

Bar Hopping: Closing Time
Serena Bass and her son, Sam Shaffer, are close to selling their popular bar, Serena, located under the fabled Chelsea Hotel, to some New York–based entrepreneurs. “It’s a hard decision,” says Bass. “But I’m interested in doing other things.” She’s busy writing her first cookbook and considering opening an Indian bistro. The bar will keep its name, and Bass insists things won’t change much, which should please regulars like Ethan Hawke and Parker Posey.

Full House: The Olsen Twins Double Up Downtown.
The golden Olsen Twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, haven’t been accepted to any New York colleges yet, but the teenage millionaires were recently spotted shopping for condos near NYU. (Dorm life isn’t an option, apparently.) So far, they’ve looked at a $3.5 million, four-bedroom duplex at 21 Astor Place and a $2.5 million penthouse at the Chelsea Mercantile—where Penélope Cruz, Kyle MacLachlan, and Bobby Flay own apartments. "They’re definitely looking at schools in New York” is all their rep would say.


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