Bruce Willis says he's dating a model because she's pretty on the inside. Plus, Kirsten Dunst and Ryan Gosling go on a date, as do Silda and Eliot Spitzer, in our daily roundup of the juiciest bits from New York gossip columns.
At last night's opening of Julian Schnabel's show at the Sperone Westwater Gallery, we ran into Alexandra Kerry (daughter of former presidential candidate John). She was there with BlackBook founder Evan Schindler, who is now running Tar Art Media, a socially conscious arts-media collective. Kerry is working with Schindler on some projects, including a narrative film of Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead, screenwritten by the author's son ("We're doing a reading of it, actually, in February, with Alec Baldwin and Harvey Keitel and Josh Lucas!"). Since Kerry is a woman and political by heritage, we asked her, naturally, about Hillary's tears. "There has never been a politician who hasn't stood onstage and been moved at one time or another and affected by something emotionally," she told us. "I think it is very human and very normal." How reasonable! But surely it was all a ruse to trick us into voting for her? "The kind of pressure that each candidate is under is not something that I think the average person can understand, so I give her the liberty and the freedom to have her moment," Kerry said. "And I don't think that's something someone would act. I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who is standing up there and running, particularly in the Democratic party. So I honestly have to say that I don't think it's my place to judge what her motivations are. I mean, it may be completely honest." A-ha! It "may be completely honest." Girl, you've got a future in politics. —Andrew Goldstein
Mary Jo Buttafuoco, who is working a memoir about being shot by Amy Fisher, thinks the Long Island Lolita is trashy for cashing in on the fame she got from almost killing her. Patricia Clarkson and Gone Baby Gone actress Amy Ryan have seen each other "butt-ass naked." Larry Birkhead's former attorney claims that he still owes her over $1 million in legal fees. Candace Bushnell's former manager's Sex and the City tell-all includes the news that Darren Star passed on casting Ashton Kutcher because, he said, "I don't see this kid going anywhere."
Newly divorced billionaire and New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch might be dating women on both coasts. Martha Stewart created a special Christmas tree for Sirius Radio's office, complete with Howard Stern cookie ornaments. Former NYSE head Dick Grasso left CNBC's Charles Gasparino a creepy "merry Christmas" message on his answering machine, despite the fact that Gasparino's new book takes Grasso to task for the $190 million kiss-off he took after leaving the Exchange. John Mayer has had a crush on Ricki Lake for two years (Ed. note: WTF?!), and actually got her digits at the wonderfully successful Sunshine Sachs Christmas party. Lance Armstrong picked up the tab for dinner with former flame Sheryl Crow. Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera hung out together at the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year party. Andy Samberg, Amy Poehler, and Seth Meyers had lunch together.
Back in 1979, at the height of his curly-haired glory, Norman Mailer composed a witty and sharp obituary for himself for Boston magazine, which has reprinted it on their Website on the occasion of his death this past weekend. "Norman Mailer passed away yesterday after celebrating his fifteenth divorce and sixteenth wedding," it begins:
He was renowned in publishing circles for his blend of fictional journalism and factual fiction, termed by literary critic William Buckley: Contemporaneous Ratiocinative Aesthetical Prolegomena. Buckley was consequentially sued by Mailer for malicious construction of invidious acronyms. “Norman does take himself seriously,” was Mr. Buckley’s reply. “Of course he is the last of those who do.”
As friends and family paid respects to Norman Mailer at his wake in Provincetown, Massachusetts, yesterday, we decided to dig up our part of one of Mailer's most colorful personal stories: when he ran for mayor in 1969. "I am paying my debt to society," he told Time that summer. "That is why I am running." He ran alongside newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin, who ran for City Council president. They began their campaign at the urging of friends like Gloria Steinem and Jack Newfield, at a time when they saw the city as a wounded place in need of healing. Breslin recounted his experience of running, and how Mailer convinced him to do it, in a May 1969 New York cover story. Click below to read.
MAILER-BRESLIN: Seriously? [NYM, pdf]
It's safe to say, now, that Norman Mailer did not become the heavyweight champion of fiction — safe to say because he's no longer around to take a swing at you with his cane. Even in his last year, Mailer would vigorously defend his reputation if he heard something he didn't like. After this magazine recently published an innocuous chart chronicling his many highly entertaining feuds, he called to deliver a loud, hearing-challenged verbal pummeling. But, though he doubtless wouldn't fully concede the point, even he must have realized that his greatest work was not fiction.