Last night, David Paterson told NY1 that he has used marijuana and cocaine "a couple of times." Not that he's hitting the chronic before looking over the budget, mind you — this was a while ago. "I don't think I've touched marijuana since the late seventies," he said. He doesn't think! But who can be sure? Can we? Do we care?
The rapidly deteriorating economy, the five-year anniversary of Iraq, and new governor David Paterson's seemingly limitless libido all may have distracted you from what's going on with our fallen former governor. But news is still dribbling out about the Spitzer affair, and perhaps more importantly, so are sexy pictures of hookers!
Eliot Spitzer slept with hookers. Jim and Dina McGreevey had threesomes with their driver. Governor David Paterson's list of conquests is starting to look like it could be longer than Wilt Chamberlain's. And then there's Ed Koch.
An astute historian of New York prostitution might have heard a small bell ringing in their head upon reading the name of the woman accused of arranging prostitutes for Eliot’s Emperors Club VIP: Tanya Hollander. You see, New York’s most notorious prostitute (and madam) ever, the Happy Hooker, was named Xaveria Hollander. Was it now a family business? We called the old girl in Amsterdam to check.
As with the Spitzer scandal, the news cycle for David Paterson's affairs has now moved onto the lucky ladies in question. Although Our Lady of Indignation Andrea Peyser names the new Governor's trysts as "too many to count," there's still only one woman who's an official notch on the motel-room bedpost, and a second who, while perhaps totally innocent of any hanky panky, still sounds a bit sketchy. But given what we do know, who are the ladies to whom David turned to during his dark, jealous hours of marital misery?
Counting Crows lead singer Adam Durtiz laments the fact that he's 43, single, and sits home a lot. Alan Greenspan is worried about the economy, but he can't be that worried: He celebrated his 82nd birthday the other night with a pricey dinner at Le Perigord. Jimmy Kimmel says he bought his ex-wife an engagement ring from Costco. Bill Clinton says his favorite movie of the year was Michael Clayton, but that he hasn't seen There Will Be Blood. Defense attorney Mickey Sherman says he uses Otter's "It's the system's fault!" speech from Animal House to justify defending shady clients. Tina Fey thinks she's funnier than Jon Stewart.
We suppose it was inevitable that Girls Gone Wild head honcho Joe Francis would get involved with the whole Eliot Spitzer mess. But even we couldn't have predicted the depth to which "Kristen," a.k.a. Ashley Dupré, had penetrated the promiscuity market. Imagine Joe's surprise when, after he offered $1 million to Dupré to film her, a Daily News reporter called him and told him that she already starred in one of the GGW movies! Francis told the Post: "I personally remember Ashley. She was really at her peak back then. I'm glad I got to her before Spitzer — she looked a lot better at 18." You can judge for yourself in the tabloid's online photo gallery of Ashley from the movie (they're pretty tame, nothing like the "very good shower scene that alone is worth the money" Francis describes). So let's review. Ashley Dupré was a high-class call girl and, by the age of 22, had arranged for an expensive topless photo shoot for herself, and had gotten it on with another girl for the Girls Gone Wild cameras when she was 18. And you thought there was only one gifted go-getter in Room 871.
The other night when David Paterson announced, in a rather blasé way, that both he and his wife, Michelle, had had multiple affairs during their marriage, we all (except the Post) basically shrugged. "I'm not shocked by anything a politician does anymore," one gentleman, interviewed in front of the New Jersey T.G.I.Friday's where Dina and Jim McGreevey had allegedly met their limo driver for their Freaky Fridays (or whatever they were called), told the CW. Cool, we said. We're turning into France! But we may have overestimated the French's tolerance for les liaisons. Today, the Sun interviewed New Yorkers of the Gallic persuasion about the recent spate of gubernatorial sexing, and while they were indeed laissez faire about affairs — "It's a well-known fact that some of our politicians have extramarital affairs or an active sexual life," Pierre Battu, the founder of something called French Tuesdays, yawned to the paper — using prostitutes is not okay, even in France. "The Spitzer case is a deep problem," said Laurent Guerrier, a French headhunter. In France "it would have been a big thing also." Especially because that Ashley Alexandra Dupré clearly did not know how to tie a scarf or make a cassoulet.
French Shrug At Paterson, Gasp at Spitzer [NYS]
Earlier: David Paterson Had an Affair! But It's Okay Because His Wife Loves Him. And We Do Too!
We're just going to say it: Our new governor rocks the house. Only moments after he shouted down the halls of the capital: "I am David Paterson and I am the governor of New York State!" he admitted to the Daily News that he had an affair for several years of his marriage. And that's not all: His wife, Michelle, also was unfaithful. Turns out the two had a rocky period in their marriage where they both looked elsewhere for comfort, but they decided to give it another go and try marriage counseling. It worked, and now they are a happy couple again. So happy, in fact, that they addressed the issue during Paterson's first moments as governor. (Hey, he did admit he had "a different kind of marriage.") But you know the best part? Both Paterson's affair and his later reconciliation with his wife took place at a Days Inn in Manhattan. And we thought nothing could top the Mayflower Hotel and T.G.I. Friday's! This is amazing. We're turning into France.Gov. Paterson admits to sex with other woman for years [NYDN]
Governor David Paterson was just sworn in and gave his first address as head of the state. And boy, was he excited. It was hard not to get giddy for him, even though he took about ten minutes to introduce everybody that came to see the event (Hillary Clinton! Chuck Schumer! The governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts! (The last of whom is also black!) Mayor Bloomberg! Paterson's stepdaughter! Yaaaaay!). Every dignitary in the audience seemed to be wearing at least one piece of ridiculous green flair, which added a comical air to the proceedings. Paterson allowed himself only one swipe at Spitzer, saying: "[My wife] Michelle and I have a different kind of marriage," before pausing for laughs. His speech was centered upon the theme of moving forward "in spite of obstacles and regardless of circumstance." He also challenged party leaders to work together on issues, unlike in the past. To close his speech, he couldn't resist a moment of triumph. "Let me reintroduce myself," he shouted. "I am David Paterson, and I am the governor of New York State." We wondered whether it was too much, but then, as the standing ovation stretched toward two minutes long, we realized it wasn't. This guy is going to be fun.
• Joseph Lewis, the British billionaire who built up his stake in Bear Stearns last summer, lost about $1.6 billion this past weekend, approximately half of his entire fortune. Bear's biggest investor, Dallas-based money manager James Barrow, whose firm had a 9.95 percent stake, also lost big — at least $750 million. Activist shareholder Bruce Sherman and departed CEO James Cayne each lost big on their 5 percent stakes, although Cayne might not care so much: He just closed on a $28.24 million Plaza pad and spent late last week playing bridge in a tournament in Detroit. [Bloomberg]
• Meanwhile, Bear's "fire sale" is spreading like wildfire down the street, singing Lehman Brothers, among other top banks. [DealBook/NYT]
• And Barry Diller's IAC is "sputtering." [NYT]
The hottest item up for grabs Saturday night at the Booker T. Washington Middle School spring auction was a tour for four (two kids, two adults) of Albany conducted by none other than Governor (as of 1 p.m. today) David Paterson. The lovable gov, whose son attends the Upper West Side school, had offered the outing way before his former running mate Eliot Spitzer’s call-girl troubles. Bidding began at an impressive $2,000 — the initial bidder had to leave the party early and left his offer by proxy — but quickly climbed to a final price of $3,700. The item “obviously got a lot cooler in the last week,” announced the auctioneer, who added that any money collected would be returned “if, with everything that transpired, David is not able to honor it … We haven’t been able to get a hold of him.” The winner, who had been bidding determinedly but wouldn’t discuss his prize with this reporter, won’t be able to ask Patterson about the events that led to his new position, however. A caveat included with the description of the item read: "In order to comply with New York’s ethical and legal guidelines, consistent with the public trust, and to prevent actions that are intended, or appear to be intended, to achieve personal gain or benefit by the successful bidder of this item, kindly refrain from the discussion of specific professional and government business activities during your visit." This is as it should be; Paterson clearly understands that people should be paying big bucks for a good time with him, rather than vice versa. —S. Jhoanna RobledoREAD MORE »
Okay, just because you're not as titillated by Eliot Spitzer's trampage as you were last week, you still want to know what's going on, right? Like, where the H is Kristen right now? Is Eliot Spitzer still chasing tail? And what's going on with Silda? Is she recovering with her mom in a condo in Florida right now with a glass of iced Chardonnay and a Danielle Steele novel? Here's what you may have missed over the weekend while you were too busy wandering around the East Village with green beads around your neck looking for a bar whose name began with a "Mc."
• Federal investigators are looking into payment records to a Spitzer consultant named Kristian Stiles, who used to put a lot of travel, lodging, and entertainment expenses for the governor onto her own credit card and ask for reimbursement later. [NYT]
• The Times took this opportunity to chat with three high-end prostitutes about their jobs, and they wrote a story that included this gem: "Undoubtedly, their willingness to speak publicly came with unusually upbeat perspectives on prostitution, which for many women is devastatingly exploitative." As they say, no one beats a happy hooker. [NYT]
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