Felix Dennis: ‘I Killed a Man’The former Maxim publisher makes (and later tries to retract) the bombshell statement in a booze-fueled interview with the Times of London.
Bethenny Frankel Gets InkedThe Real Housewives star gets a book deal, Lindsay Lohan has a sex picture, Keith Olbermann may be a nepotist, and more in our daily roundup of what’s in New York’s best gossip columns.
Jamie Dimon: ‘Many’ of Bear’s 14,000 Employees Will Lose JobsDid Bear Stearns collapse in part because of a whisper campaign? How will Starbucks keep its customers if everyone starts pinching pennies? And what did Sarah Jessica Parker think of Maxim naming her the “unsexiest woman alive”? Our weekly roundup of law, media, and business news.
Back of the House
‘Esquire’ Escalates Chef-Fashion War With ‘Maxim’Has it really come to this? Maxim and Esquire are going at it hammer and tongs to see who can print more ridiculous images of chefs as fashion models. Esquire started it, with a never-to-be-forgotten Simon Hammerstein–David Chang tough-guy shoot. This year, Maxim released its April spread early to get the jump on Esquire, but both mags shared a few models (formerly known as chefs): Michael Psilakis of Anthos, Neil Ferguson of Allen and Delancey, and Craig Koketsu of Park Avenue Winter. Psilakis, for his part, is even wearing similar suits in both spreads. (Did he leave the Maxim refrigerator and head straight to his Esquire lunch at Insieme?) Other chefs of note in the shoot include Ben Chekroun, the elegant maître d’ of Le Bernardin, whom we interviewed for Ask a Waiter back in the day; San Domenico’s affable wine director, Piero Trotta; and the boyish Wesley Genovart of Degustation, tucking into a plate of duck and soba noodles. We give Esquire the edge for shooting the dapper John McDonald at Keens. Though he’s more of a bon vivant restaurateur than a chef, Johnny Mac is a quintessential Esquire man.
Man’s Gotta Eat [Esquire]
Related: Chefs Put on Something a Little More Comfortable
When Chefs Play Dress-Up
Chace Crawford and J.C. Chasez Hang Out With GirlsChace Crawford and J.C. Chasez hung out with girls and drank Cristal at a Vegas party thrown by Michael Strahan. A bunch of Upper East Side housewives at the premiere of The Real Housewives of New York City hated on the show. Because they were jealous. Among the stipulations in Kimora Lee Simmons’s contract rider is that her glass of Champagne must be filled whenever it gets below one inch. Employees at Philippe may have been watching celebs like Tom Brady and Gisele hook up in the restaurant’s private room via security camera. A party in honor of Baird Jones (open bar, naturally) will be held at Plumm this Friday, with a memorial service to be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine Saturday afternoon.
Eric Nederlander Just Can’t WinBroadway scion Eric Nederlander is divorcing his second wife just seven weeks after having a daughter with her. Theodora Richards is now vice-president of creative direction at some jeans company. Maxim gave Nas’s new album two and a half stars despite the fact that it’s not even done yet. (They did the same thing to the new Black Crowes record.) Grey’s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez flipped out at a midtown bar after a female fan chatted up her boyfriend. Lorne Michaels is in talks with a major Vegas casino to create a live SNL revue starring former popular cast members.
Hillary or Obama Getting the Nomination Would Be ‘Like A Rat Running a French Restaurant’“There is something relatable about someone following a dream when he doesn’t have a chance, an outsider who knows he is talented and is just looking for a way in,” “Maxim film critic” Pete Hammond told Reuters of Ratatouille, the Pixar movie in which a sophisticated rat called Remy fulfills his dream of becoming a French chef. Heartwarming stuff, right? It gets better. “Even in our presidential race, where either a woman or an African American is about to win a major party nomination — just like a rat running a French restaurant — who would ever have thought that would happen?” Hammond added. Right? And who would have ever thought that a news service would refer to a freeloading sexist-racist blurb whore who actually recently managed to get himself fired from Maxim as a “film critic”? Even in a land where impossible dreams come true, that’s a bit much.
This Year Oscar is in Love—With a Rat [Yahoo!]
Related: Fearless Couch Potato: Pearl Should Have Stayed Home
Kent Brownridge Still Stealing Silverware From the House of WennerMEDIA
• Kent Brownridge picked a new fight with his old boss Jann Wenner, poaching ten-year Rolling Stone vet Joe Levy for the top spot at Blender. Brownridge already stole Men’s Journal editor James Kaminsky to take over Maxim. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• The OK! issue with the Jamie Lynn–pregnancy exclusive sold only 900,000 copies on the newsstand, well short of the roughly 1.5 million the mag had predicted. [WWD]
• Steve Cohn on the Condé shake-up following so fast on Steve Florio’s death: “It sort of reminds me of The Godfather. They go to the funeral and then they blow everything up.” [NYP]
CNBC’s Erin Burnett’s Favorite Characteristic in a Mate Is MoneyCNBC business anchor Erin Burnett dreams of men spending copious amounts of dough on her. Gus Wenner, son of Rolling Stone honcho Jann Wenner, was accepted early decision to Brown, and Jack Byrne, son of Ellen Barkin and Gabriel Byrne, was accepted to Bard. Jimmy Fallon and new wife Nancy Juvonen ate at Pastis. An upcoming “oral history” of Rudy Giuliani chronicles the former mayor’s “petty, vindictive, small-minded maneuvering.” Jay-Z says he is not concerned with the problematic rumors surrounding the opening of his new 40/40 club. Mary-Louise Parker and boyfriend Jeffrey Dean Morgan had coffee at Local on Sullivan Street.
in other news
Sticks And Stones May Break SJP’s Bones (Okay, Just Sticks, Even), But Words…Sarah Jessica Parker claims that she wasn’t hurt when Maxim named her the Unsexiest Woman Alive, but we detect a certain amount of defensiveness in her response, which came out in the London Sunday Express. “I believe in the old ‘sticks and stones’ philosophy, so frankly their words don’t come close to hurting,” the Sex and the City star said, but couldn’t help adding: “How many women wouldn’t want to step into the Manolos that are waiting for me in the wardrobe department every morning?” Not many, we bet! But it doesn’t matter. “What they don’t know is that one day I’ll wake up fat,” SJP explained. “But I’ll still be happy, just like I am now.” Hmmm. Two things: One, the idea that you could suddenly wake up obese, having gone to bed a toothpick, is really awesome. (Can we make a ray gun that does that to people? Can we test it out on Ann Coulter?) And two, Sarah Jessica Parker barely gained weight when she had an entire other human inside her. Remember all those skimpy outfits she wore in the dreaded pregnancy season of SatC? She’s too much of a workaholic — there’s no way that lady is ever going to wake up fat. Until, you know, we get our hands on that ray gun.
The Sexiest Put-Down [British Vogue]
in other news
The Internet Finally Thinks of a Comeback for Ann CoulterFor some reason, Ann Coulter’s comment that Jews should be “perfected” has really gotten the Internet going (as opposed to her comments that 9/11 widows are “self-obsessed” and “enjoying” their husbands’ deaths, or that John Edwards is a “faggot,” yadda yadda yadda). Coulter said the quote to Donny Deutsch (a Jew) on his show, The Big Idea, last week. But like you, the Internet sometimes comes up with its best responses several days after a slight is delivered. Like today’s salvo from a hacker, who broke into Coulter’s Website and put up an open letter purporting to be from the ice queen herself. “I’ve been participating in a charade for nearly eleven years, now. Quite frankly, I’m sick of it,” wrote the faux Coulter. “You have all been a part of a sick joke that I began considering shortly after first getting on the air. At first, it was quite interesting to see how people would react when I would use twisted logic and poorly masked bigotry. But eleven years is a long time to be living a fake life, and I can no longer tolerate this falsity.” It was funny because it uncannily said what most people (okay, most people we know) assume has been going on in Coulter’s head all along. Equally harsh was Maxim.com’s effort, the image you can see above. It’s a map of how Coulter herself can be “perfected.” At first we thought it wasn’t as clever (“remove swastika from heiny?”), but then we realized that when Coulter sees the instruction “remove penis or make smaller,” she’s totally going to be mad she didn’t say that about Hillary Clinton first.
Ann Coulter Proclaims Herself a Sick Joke, But Is It All a Sick Joke? [Jezebel]
Perfecting Ann Coulter [Maxim]
Fox Business Network: Still Painting the OfficesMEDIA
• Looks like the Fox Business Network has a shitload of work to do on their studio before launching next Monday. They’ve got the requisite bright-red circle hung above the anchor desk, but otherwise the floor’s not even finished. NBC News, on the other hand, finally cut the ribbon on their new 30 Rock studio, which president Steve Capus compared to “the dance floor of the Stockholm Hilton.” Was that supposed to be a compliment? [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro, TVNewser]
• Jan Wenner failed to lure Ed Felsenthal away from the Journal (and Portfolio) and had to settle for Brad Wieners as new editor at Men’s Journal. Wieners has been acting editor since August, when James Kaminsky decamped for Maxim. [NYP]
• Poynter Institute: As a journalist, it’s your “duty” to read the print newspaper. Unclear how that affects bloggers. [Poynter]
it just happened
First Lad of Publishing Gets Laid OffIt looks like Jimmy Jellinek, the former editor-in-chief of Maxim and wunderkind of Dennis Publishing, has just been kicked out of his job. Right before a company cocktail party, no less! Gawker reports that Jellinek was fired by Kent Brownridge, who bought Dennis Publishing earlier this month and has been making massive overhauls of the struggling lad-mag empire. The site says he’ll be replaced by former Men’s Journal editor Jim Kaminsky, who was the executive editor of Maxim. We called a rep for the mag, but so far, no confirmation on the news. There’s a party going on right now at Cellar Bar to celebrate the new ownership (the company is now called Alpha Media Group), but we’re betting Jellinek supporters are playing hooky – probably drowning their sorrows in plastic cups at Siberia. It’s a sad, sad day out there for reality stars in wet underwear
Update: A Maxim rep speedily returned our emails confirming that Jim Kaminsky will be the mag’s first ever Editorial Director, and yes, Jellinek is “no longer with the magazine.” But he won’t be drinking at Siberia, as we forgot, it closed months ago. As Maxim would say, “double d’oh!”
Tinz and Olivia Hate Each Other More Than They Hate GenocideTinsley Mortimer and Olivia Palermo hate each other so much they couldn’t jointly host a benefit for Darfur. John Mayer took Mandy Moore to lunch (at La Esquina) and Cameron Diaz to dinner (at Indochine) on the same day. New School president Bob Kerrey, a former governor and senator from Nebraska, might move back to run Chuck Hagel’s senate seat. Ivanka Trump instituted a “no midriff, no bikini bottom” rule for her October Stuff magazine cover. Former Jets QB Joe Namath is now a grandfather, though his daughter is only 16. Billy Joel thinks his Hamptons benefit concert was overpriced — and not that good. A Mr. Chow is opening in Vegas. Giants safety Will Demps is done with groupies. A Maxim writer thinks Sanjaya and Adrian Grenier are doppelgängers.
Next Year in ‘Playboy’!Some female Israeli government officials are not happy that the consulate sanctioned Maxim’s “Women of the Israeli Defense Forces.” Bloomberg staffers overbooked a dinner at the home of L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and had to uninvite people. Harvey Weinstein is going after people who illegally downloaded Sicko, which he produced. Megan Ruddy may be the scribe behind the Southampton Press gossip column. A movement is afoot to get Isaiah Washington back on Grey’s Anatomy — and it’s being spearheaded by a gay activist. Paris Hilton’s neighbors aren’t pleased that her release from jail will cause a media frenzy at her house. A lot of famous people showed up at the funeral of former gossip reporter Claudia Cohen.
If You’ve Been Injured by a Man With Tuberculosis …LAW
• So the guy with the dangerous strain of tuberculosis (now quarantined in Colorado) is, naturally, a personal-injury lawyer. [Law Blog/WSJ]
• An in-house lawyer at G.E. sued the company for gender discrimination but worries she won’t find many plaintiffs to join her in a class action. [NYT]
• Though William Lerach was never indicted as part of the Millberg Weiss kickback case, he is considering leaving his own securities firm. [NYT]
Hotness Hard to Find at the ‘Maxim’ Hot 100 PartyWhere was the hotness at Maxim’s Hot 100 celebration at the Hotel Gansevoort last night? Maybe we were just frazzled after jumping a barrier and a velvet rope to get into the party — a Maxim party! — but once inside all we saw were fake breasts and former America’s Next Top Model contestants. A few famous people showed, if barely: As we dodged nipples of steel, we saw Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn walk the red carpet and then walk straight back to their car.
The Choir of Children Sing Their SongLindsay Lohan has bruised thighs because she’s been practicing pole dancing. Peter Cook had his game interrupted by a traffic cop in East Hampton. Hillary Clinton had breakfast with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, while John Edwards and Joe Biden looked on. Speaking of Hillary, Alec Baldwin isn’t keen on her or Obama for the 2008 presidential nod. Just so you know. Nicole Kidman’s new movie supposedly didn’t test well, which is trouble for Warner Bros. Maxim and Vanity Fair have a lot of talent overlap, surprisingly. Matt Damon said the biggest flaw with The Good Shepherd is that his character is married to Angelia Jolie and ignores her. Bridget Moynahan flew to Miami to try to salvage her relationship with Tom Brady, but it was too late. Designer Jean Claude Mastroianni sent an e-mail from the grave. Both Gisele and Kate Moss signed contracts to launch fragrances. David Mamet loves Paul Newman, hates Laurence Olivier. Britney Spears was named the Worst Celebrity Dog Owner of 2006. Someone found Cameron Diaz’s cell phone, returned it to her. Joe Eszterhas advises screenwriters to steal memorabilia from movie sets for later resale on eBay. Cindy Adams has no gossip, but she does ramble incoherently about Christmas. People used to hit on Access Hollywood hostess Maria Menounos when she worked at Dunkin’ Donuts. A Website named the Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time” the worst Yule song of all time.