WITH BENJAMIN NUGENT
November 17, 2003
Marathon Man Runs Mad: Diddy vs. Bloomy
Looks like P. Diddy really does “run the city.” We hear the “bad boy for life” was miffed when Mayor Bloomberg wouldn’t let him decide how the approximately $2 million he raised for public schools by running the marathon should be spent. (Diddy wanted much of it to go for computers.) “Basically, Diddy got his people to call the mayor’s people and say, ‘If you don’t show more appreciation for what we’re doing, we’re going to make you look really bad,’ ” says our source. Apparently, it worked. Bloomberg later made an appearance on Diddy’s MTV special, saying: “When P. Diddy crosses the finish line, we start building new libraries and computer labs in four of our public schools. As mayor of New York City, I do hereby declare that P. Diddy runs the city.” Before that announcement, however, there was a clip of Diddy reading in the paper that the mayor said New York didn’t want his cash. “That’s why I didn’t vote for this bleep,” he mutters. Spokespeople for both parties denied any playa hatin’.
City of Angels
The buzz around Tony Kushner’s decade-old epic, Angels in America, was back at Tuesday night’s Ziegfeld premiere of HBO’s production, starring Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, and Emma Thompson. Guests like Rosie Perez, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Stanley Tucci (who called Angels TV’s “pinnacle”) seemed emotionally spent after the screening, while Justin Kirk, who plays aids-afflicted Prior, was relieved the filming was over. “I lost twenty pounds,” he said. “Smoking and running—but not at the same time.” Thompson ducked out of the after-party so she could get up to plug her new comedy, Love Actually: “It’s like you’re doing a matinee of King Lear and an evening of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Tarantino’s Tab: Kill My Bill!
Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol. 1 may have already grossed more than $60 million, but don’t expect the director to go on a spending spree. Don’t even expect him to pay for his own drinks. Our spy reports that Tarantino was shocked at Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss’s Halloween party at the Park when he got a $900 bill for three bottles of vodka. “He shrieked, ‘I can’t believe the bottles are $300!’ ” says our source, adding that Tarantino ended up paying only $50 each for them.
Back In The Doghouse … Terry Redux
A New York real-estate broker recently returned to her room at the Carlyle to find an associate of Shirley Maclaine’s standing in front of her door. The woman asked the broker if her dog was barking and inquired about the breed. Upon hearing that it was a Jack Russell that might have aristocratic rat-terrier blood (you know, the better, higher-quality terrier blood), she turned on her heels and returned moments later with MacLaine and her own pampered pooch, Terry. MacLaine—who, as we revealed only last week, has Terry sign her own legal documents—also claims to communicate with her in a “purer, more direct form of language” called “Humanimal.” But this time around, she seemed more interested in talking to another human about her own VIP treatment—or lack thereof. “She put the dog down and asked, ‘How much are you paying for this room?’ ” says the broker. “She started examining everything and saying ‘Hmmm,’ like she was getting the room’s ‘aura.’ ” The broker replied that she had a work-related discount and MacLaine asked, “How can I get a discount? I’m Scottish and I’m frugal.”
“It was sneaky and dastardly. When I saw Betsy Gotbaum’s smiling face in the paper, I was thrilled.”
—Erica Jong, on Mayor Bloomberg’s failed nonpartisan-election initiative.
It’s A … J Bird! Boyle’s Racy Tat
Lara Flynn Boyle’s sexy boyfriend, auto heir Jay Penske, 24, is getting under her skin. Literally. We hear the unemployed 33-year-old actress recently got Penske’s nickname, J Bird, tattooed on her shoulder (or possibly her shoulder bone, given Boyle’s lack of padding). Perhaps it was a token of appreciation—according to Us Weekly, Penske rushed to her side after she smashed her S430 Mercedes in L.A., staying until the tow truck arrived.
A Please-Don’t-Tell-All: The Simpson
If you missed Jessica Simpson’s sparkling wit and introspective commentary (“I’m not a good try-er clothes-er on-er”) on her MTV reality show, you may soon be able to find it at your local bookstore. The bubbleheaded pop tart is shopping around a three-page book proposal via literary agent David Vigliano, who also represents Jayson Blair (at least Blair can spell). The book would chronicle Simpson and Nick Lachey’s already painfully overchronicled first year of marriage with photos and her journal entries. To sweeten the deal, Vig is promising a People, article when the book gets published.
Richie’s Next Step? Rent Girl
Fresh out of rehab, Nicole Richie has displayed serious interest in singing and doing Broadway shows. (Call it the Liza Minnelli Syndrome.) The daughter of Lionel has been telling friends that she wants a role in Rent. “She’s being considered for the company,” confirms Rent’s casting director, Bethany Berg, adding that Richie would take on the role of Maureen, the bisexual performance artist. “We’d love to meet with her.” But could Richie’s track record (arrest for heroin possession, two stints in rehab, numerous questionable fashion choices) make Jasmine Guy look reliable? “We never have insurance on actors,” adds Berg.
Curtains: Indicted Tyco Big Dennis Kozlowski’s Duplex, Tacky Furnishings Not Included.
For $28 million, you can own the very apartment that fallen Tyco chief Dennis Kozlowski decorated with that infamous $6,000 shower curtain. The twelve-room duplex, on the tenth and eleventh floors of 950 Fifth Avenue (just beneath Mort Zuckerman’s pad), was seized when Kozlowski was indicted for securities fraud, and it quietly went on the market last week with broker Jean Meisel of Brown Harris Stevens; current co-op residents have first dibs. Kozlowski bought the apartment three years ago with $18.6 million of Tyco’s money.