Last night, Ashley Alexandra Dupré, a.k.a. "Kristen," told the New York Times she was worried about paying her rent in the fancy Flatiron district building in which she lives. But in fact, in the less than 24 hours since that interview took place, Dupre's personal wealth has increased considerably. The two songs on her Amie Street profile, which each cost 98 cents, have reportedly been downloaded more than two million times, and according to that site's business model, Dupré should receive 70 percent of the total profit. Plus! Playboy and Penthouse are both reportedly interested in setting up photo shoots. "We've already discussed some options," Penthouse publisher Diane Silberstein tells Radar, adding that they'd pay in the "high six figures." Book publishers, however, are dragging their feet. "I don't think it's worth anything," HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham tells Portfolio today, making us want to wrap our hands around his neck and administer a light throttle. "There's no story there." Seriously? Does no one remember for instance the best-selling Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, soon to be an HBO series with Darren Star? Hookers are so hot right now.
Roger Clemens's friendship with the black sheep of the Bush family, Sharon Bush, may cost him a pardon from George W. if he is convicted of perjury. Both HarperCollins and Random House are set to come out with books about George Steinbrenner. A "Page Six" spy thinks Howard Stern's fiancée, Beth Ostrosky, wants to have a baby because she, uh, stopped to say hello to one. Will Ferrell and Tom Brokaw did an onstage bit together at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday for Ferrell's Funny or Die tour. The New Yorker reveals that the late Bishop Paul Moore was a closeted homosexual. Tracy Westmoreland, owner of erstwhile dive bar Siberia, may play a bouncer in a movie called The Bouncer.
Today's Observer story on the Judith Regan lawsuit offers a good peek into the former publishing magnate's thought process as she tries to take down HarperCollins, Jane Friedman, Rupert Murdoch, and even Rudy Giuliani. The salmon paper reveals that at the start of all of this, the wannabe If I Did It publisher was offered $6.5 million to settle, but she turned it down. They even talk to Judith herself! Her quotes are actually sort of tepid and unrelated to the case, which makes sense, as she's probably banned by her lawyers from talking about it. But there are a lot of quotes by people who are "familiar" with her thinking and with the lawsuit. So let's play a game! Which of the below quotes from unnamed "sources" are actually from Regan herself, dementedly speaking in the third person?
• "The men don't want a woman who can outshine them," one source with knowledge of Ms. Regan's thinking told the Observer. "They want women who can look up to them and bat their eyelashes. But honestly? She was more interesting than they were. She had a better life. She had more creativity. Men want to be on top."
This morning, the Daily News ran an excerpt from a first-person Harper's Bazaar article by Judith Regan, in which the former editor announces that she's going to start staying out of the spotlight. Hidden at the bottom of the News summary was a reference to an evening where Regan, licking her wounds from the bad publicity of her O.J. Simpson If I Did It book debacle, ducks into a karaoke bar in Chinatown and belts out Frank Sinatra's "My Way." Of course, we were dying to hear more about this anecdote, and not just because we're pretty sure we've sang that exact song in that exact bar. So we tracked down a pdf of the article to read more:
During the ordeal, my friends stood by me. Blair Sabol made bracelets in support of me. Kate Li, with whom I used to sing in the Vassar Madrigals, traveled to visit me in New York in August. We wandered into a karaoke bar in Chinatown. It was crowded, full of young people who couldn't sing, and thankfully too noisy to really hear anyone. I'd studied voice as a young woman but always hated performing. For the first time in my life, I didn't have stage fright. The song we sang was "My Way."
• Credit crunch, what credit crunch? Goldman's record profits, which involved somehow shorting the mortgage market, have left a bonus pool of $17 billion, even larger than last year's record. [WSJ, DealBreaker]
• The surge in the markets aside, the Fed rate-cut had one immediate bad effect: The Canadian dollar, a.k.a. the Loonie, pulled even with U.S. greenbacks for the first time since 1976. The euro also pushed past $1.40, another record. [NYP]
• It's tough out there for a billionaire: While sixty-four New Yorkers made Forbes's list of the 400 richest Americans, eighty-two Americans failed to make it with their paltry billion dollars. [AP]
A new Annie Dillard novel is a bona fide literary event. A prolific writer of essays — her meditation on nature, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction — Dillard just published her second novel, and first in over a decade, The Maytrees. A slim, poignant tale of a marriage on the rocks in Provincetown, it's been receiving the sorts of praise normally reserved for the fiction gods.