AND BENJAMIN NUGENT
Cold Mountain’s stars may have braved some serious Romanian snow, but at the film’s premiere party last Tuesday night—attended by cast members Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and director Anthony Minghella—no one wanted to venture outside to steal a smoke. We busted Harvey Weinstein and much of Law’s Brit pack pulling a Graydon Carter by puffing away in a corner of the Public Library. (As if it were ever legal to smoke there.) “I wish you could smoke in here,” sighed Peter Dinklage, perhaps the only guest who could hide under a table for a fix. “At least if you get bored, you can read a book.”
Someone’s Gotta Shush: Boyle’s Boast
Lara Flynn Boyle may not be dating Jack Nicholson anymore, but that hasn’t stopped her from sucking every last bit of fame-by-association from his relatively larger career. At Playboy’s 50th-anniversary party, the 33-year-old fashionably emaciated starlet claimed that Nicholson’s new movie, Something’s Gotta Give, “is about me.” (It’s always about you, isn’t it, Lara? Never about us. Always you.) In the film, Nicholson falls in love with his trophy girlfriend’s mother, played by Diane Keaton. But Nicholson, 66, isn’t dating Boyle’s mother, Sally, and he has yet to say the film has anything to do with Boyle. (Ditto for director and writer Nancy Meyers.) Incidentally, we loved watching Boyle get “punk’d” recently by Ashton Kutcher on MTV. Under the impression that she’s getting free clothes, she gleefully snaps up $25,000 of merchandise, then wails “My mother’s going to kill me” when presented with the bill. (We’re thinking of sending copies of the video out as Christmas presents.)
Time, the TV Version: Stein’s Star Turn
Dude! remember that time we, like, went to Burning Man with Walter Isaacson? No? Well, we don’t either, because it didn’t happen. But Time humorist Joel Stein did go to Burning Man with Isaacson, and we only mildly hate him for it. (We’re taking Walter Cronkite to Lollapalooza, so there.) Warner Bros. Television recently purchased a sitcom pilot from Stein, about “a young guy without much journalism experience who gets hired by a really serious newsmagazine” (who could that possibly be?), and sold it to ABC. One character, “Walter,” is a not-so-thinly veiled version of Isaacson, who brought Stein to the magazine, and another will be a hybrid of political scribes Michael Elliott, Margaret Carlson, and Joe Klein. Walter “will like me more than I deserve, and more than anybody else does,” says Stein, clearly aiming for realism.
Cash-Flow Problem: Second Homeless
Catesby Kilmer, the former personal assistant who’s being sued by Ron Perelman’s business associate Howard Gittis for allegedly writing herself $2.5 million worth of checks out of his coffers, is also facing criminal charges, and could do up to 25 years in prison. (We’re guessing that the old “I just borrowed it from ‘petty cash’!” defense won’t hold up.) According to the Manhattan D.A.’s office, she’s been indicted for first-degree grand larceny. Far more important, a society source tells us that the East 75th Street resident is losing her house at 300 Hill Street in Southampton (which briefly went on the market for $1.65 million in September) and taking one of her children out of the Hewitt School. According to town records, the deed is still in her husband’s name. Hewitt had no comment, and Kilmer didn’t return calls to Southampton and her apartment in Manhattan.
“I don’t understand what all this stir is about. I think Lyndon Johnson used it every other word.”
James Carville, on John Kerry’s use of the F-word.
Weird Scientology: Mystery Buyers
Razor publisher Richard Botto may have unwittingly stumbled upon a new technique for boosting newsstand sales: antagonizing Scientologists. (Gruner + Jahr, take note.) Botto suspects that Scientologists in California and Florida have been buying up the last issue because it featured an unflattering article about the religion. “Our sales were up 8 to 10 percent over our next-best-selling issue,” he says, “and our reps report seeing people buying ten to twelve at a time.” Linda Hyte, director of media relations for the Church of Scientology, begs to differ: “The Scientologists as far as I know are not buying it up, but I can’t answer for what individual Scientologists do.” Not even Tom Cruise?
Chairman of the Board: Roth Gets In!
Last spring, when we first reported that Vornado Realty Trust chairman Steve Roth had made an offer to buy the late Gianni Agnelli’s $25 million apartment at 770 Park Avenue, he roundly rebuked us, so anxious was he to keep quiet about the deal. After all, tony co-op boards just hate reading about their potential new neighbors in the press—and have a tendency to nix anyone (Madonna, Mariah Carey) who gets too much attention. But if you see the real-estate magnate around, make sure you say Mazel tov! We hear he just passed the tough board, getting the green light to join residents David and Lisa Schiff (whose offspring Drew is married to Karenna Gore) and the formidable Michael Lynne, co-CEO of New Line Cinema.
Mooning Miami: Balazs Bares All
If you’re thinking of working for hotelier Andre Balazs (the Mercer), be forewarned: It may involve nudity. On December 4, Balazs (who’s split with his wife, Katie Ford) threw a birthday party for a staffer at his new South Beach hotel, the Raleigh. After dinner, he jumped into the pool naked. “I couldn’t help but succumb to the charms of the Raleigh,” he tells us. We stopped by the Raleigh, and we didn’t have any urges to strip down. But then again, says a source, “Andre skinny-dips with everyone.”
Room for Two? John Mayer Gets a New Luxury Condo.
Your body is a wonderlaaaaaaand. Your body is a—sorry, we can’t get this song out of our head, and it’s driving us to the brink of insanity. john mayer, the 26-year-old triple- platinum, Grammy Award– winning singer responsible for our mental undoing, is splurging on a $1.1 million, one-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot loft at 225 Lafayette Street, a new luxury-condo conversion on the corner of Spring Street. (Your new condo is a wonderlaaaaaaand. Your new condo is a . . .)