AND BENJAMIN NUGENT
Week of November 10, 2003
Not-So-Simple Life: Little Richie
If you’re wondering why Nicole Richie hasn’t been on IM lately (her AIM moniker is Ballerinagirlm), it’s because she’s been in rehab at Cirque Lodge in Utah. Richie’s reality show with Paris Hilton, The Simple Life (socialites shovel manure; hilarity ensues), debuts December 2, but the 21-year-old daughter of Lionel skipped Fox’s L.A. junket earlier last month and has been refusing any interviews. The show’s publicist has insisted that Richie is “totally unreachable.” Richie was busted for heroin possession last February and released on $10,000 bail. (After her arraignment, Daddy shipped her off to rehab in Sierra Tucson, Arizona, on a private plane.) On October 8, she was sentenced to a “drug-diversion program,” and she has to go back to court for a progress report shortly before the show airs.
“I like The New Yorker, although I think they go on too long,” said Chloë Sevigny, no doubt echoing the thoughts of many a New Yorker reader at the party for Shattered Glass. Media people love nothing more than movies about themselves, so Tuesday’s screening was crawling with journalists—and the actors who love them. “She said they’d be there all night!” Sevigny said with awe about the New Republic writer she plays. Peter Sarsgaard added that he “got trashed” with his alter ego, ex–New Republic editor Charles Lane. Even Hayden Christensen, who plays prevaricator Stephen Glass, gushed, “I have a newfound respect for what you guys do. To report on something without putting your own bias in is hard.”
Canine Legalese: Paw on the Line
We often wonder if Shirley Maclaine was as strange in her previous lives as in this one. (Well, maybe often is too strong a word.) MacLaine recently taped an episode of The Charlie Rose Show to promote Out on a Leash: Exploring the Nature of Reality and Love, the book she co-wrote with her dog, Terry, a terrier. Guests are asked to sign releases, and our spy was told that MacLaine requested a separate one for the dog. She has a Xeroxed imprint of Terry’s paw for legal paperwork. MacLaine was unavailable, but her publicist assures us, “I wouldn’t know if that happened. I wasn’t there.”
“I wouldn’t worry. None of us are that interesting.”
—Nan Kempner, on whether New York socialites are in danger of having their secrets exposed by the butler.
Toilet Talk: Miming Marilyn
We wish we could say that finding Geri Halliwell dancing in front of a bathroom mirror and pouting sweet sexy nothings to herself at a trendy restaurant surprises us. But it doesn’t. A diner at Table 8 in Los Angeles recently discovered the erstwhile “Ginger Spice,” palm pressed to her heart, diligently rehearsing for her role as Marilyn Monroe for the “Divas Simply Singing” benefit. (Or was she reenacting the heart-stopping climax of Spice World?) “Sorry,” said Halliwell as she continued her performance, undeterred.
Fighting Words: I’m the Hip One!
It’s the battle of the hipster humor writers! Again. Robert Lanham, author of The Hipster Handbook, and Josh Aiello, author of the Field Guide to the Urban Hipster, seem destined to fight for the same audience. Lanham just sold The Unclassifieds, another collection of facetious stereotypes (like “Gay Men With Tiny Dogs”) to Plume. Aiello struck back with the sale of The Office, which focuses on the workplace. The deals were announced on the same day, and Lanham calls the rematch “frustrating”—he had first pitched The Unclassifieds to Random House, but the publisher wanted an office-only version. Then Random House approached Aiello with the idea. Hold on to your ironic handlebar mustaches! This could get ugly.
Kathleen Turner trades spaces—and loses 1,000 square feet.
Kathleen Turner’s downsizing her real estate to match her diminishing box-office clout. She recently signed a contract for a 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment (with river view) at Trump Place, 220 Riverside Boulevard, for about $2.5 million. A few weeks ago, Turner and her husband, Jay Weiss, put their 3,138-square-foot, four-bedroom apartment at 1965 Broadway on the market for $3.95 million. (Perhaps Turner can use the $1.45 million difference to buy—and destroy—every last copy of Serial Mom.)