Lance Armstrong Backpedals Over All Our FunIn today’s “Page Six,” Lance Armstrong breaks his silence over his alleged Ashley Olsen romance, and tells the tabloid that “Ashley Olsen and I are strictly friends. We have hung out amongst other friends, and she strikes me as a nice, smart lady.” [Ed. note: Wait, Lance uses the word “amongst”?] The column also says that Lance’s ex, Sheryl Crow, is “hitting back at a Life & Style report about her supposedly being upset over Armstrong’s relationship with Olsen.” So she wasn’t at all hitting back at “Page Six,” who reprinted the Life & Style item yesterday with the headline “JUSTTOOYOUNG”? It should be noted that she’s probably also hitting back at Daily Intel, because we linked to the “Page Six” story, too. But that’s because we are completely obsessed with the idea of Lance and Ashley together, and its awkward, lovely, skinny spectacle will still burn in our hearts. At least, until Mary-Kate starts dating Barry Bonds. Which we expect any minute now.
Lance Responds [NYP]
Earlier: Daily Intel’s brief, beautiful coverage of Asstrong
A Model Breaks Nello’s Heart, UmbrellaOh, Nello Balan. It’s almost as if you want to be in “Page Six” once a week. This time, the Upper East Side restaurateur/columnist briber is caught in a dramatic war of words and lawsuits with an unknown model named Le Call over an umbrella. That’s right, an umbrella. Granted, it’s a $1,000 limited-edition Jean Paul Gaultier leather number, but an umbrella nonetheless. “Stop behaving like a boulevardier [street person] and a petite voleuse [petty thief],” Balan (awesomely) told Le Call. “You don’t give me the umbrella, I sue you.” Balan indeed eventually hired a lawyer, at which point Le Call then returned the umbrella in question, but it was BROKEN. All hell then broke loose, “Page Six” was called, and Balan’s lawyer heads to court today to sue for “an act of disinterested malevolence, intentional infliction of mental distress, willful destruction of property, and whatever else [he] can think of.” All of which leads us to the obvious question: a leather umbrella? Really?
Related: Le Call and Ciara Christensen, Models [NYM]
Meet Your ‘Six in the City’ Columnist, Faran KrentcilWe’ve been following the action behind the search for a writer of Page Six the Magazine’s “Six in the City” column for a couple of months, and were interested to see their final choice of scribe was Faran Krentcil, writer of the Fashionista.com blog. Faran has been running around fashion parties for years now, ever since she started working at Fashion Week Daily, and we’ve always suspected she had a little something of a Carrie Bradshaw complex. And lo and behold, witness her introductory column:
The problem with clichés is they’re usually true. Case in point: Me, the blonde, curly-haired girl writing tales of my “fabulous” life. You know what to expect – I breakfast at Tiffany’s sans carbs, I meet devils in Prada, and then I report back to you. Except, of course, it’s not that easy. Celebrities aren’t just like us. And socialites are sometimes just girls who get high in high heels. But there’s some gorgeousness, too, the kind that makes you live in NYC in the first place. It’s my job to find it and serve it up to you.
Oh dear. You can just hear Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice slowly reading that out loud, straining to make it sound wise, or at least world-weary. (Disclosure, Krentcil has contributed to nymag.com’s Best Bets feature.) Since the column isn’t available online, we’ve reproduced the rest of it for you after the jump. It only gets punnier.
Neal Boulton Wants, Doesn’t Want AttentionFormer Men’s Fitness editor and Jann Wenner paramour Neal Boulton calls up “Page Six” to tell them that he is getting harassed for being “too straight.” Harvey Weinstein said he uses Vogue and Anna Wintour to help style his films. The Box is about to implement a security system designed by Safir Rosetti, which is run by former police commissioner Howard Safir. 50 Cent may perform at Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Salman Rushdie dressed up as Darth Vader on Halloween and had to fend off chicks with his light saber. Fox News correspondent Chris Wallace complained that only 39 American soldiers died in Iraq in October 2007, the fewest deaths in a month since 2004.
J.Lo’s Pregnancy SpoilerJennifer Lopez will supposedly announce that she’s pregnant during her show at MSG on Saturday night. Jessica Simpson’s people say she didn’t drink and dash at the Box — her friend just accidentally took the receipt slip with him. Rosie O’Donnell did an impromptu ten-minute stand-up set during a show by Roseanne Barr at Comix. (Rita Crosby was there, despite having been served a subpoena earlier in the day.) Mariah Carey doesn’t know how many bathrooms are in her Tribeca penthouse. Howard Stein, the nightlife honcho behind eighties hangouts Xenon and Rock Lounge, died at 62. The Port Authority says the quality of its toilet paper is much improved, contrary to what Larry David said on last week’s episode of Curb. GLAAD forced “Page Six” to apologize for calling the pre-op transsexual who has a reality show on Fox a “she-male.”
No Celebrities Were Harmed in Weekend Closing of the Box
When we last heard about the Box, owner Simon Hammerstein was telling a whistle-blowing auditioner that his patrons are “narcissistic and highly intoxicated. They don’t listen to words.” We can only assume, then, that the cops used sign language when they raided the place on Sunday morning and shut it down after searching random narcissists for drugs (Jay-Z and Cameron Diaz got away safe, perhaps by using the controversial Freeman Alley exit). What kind of substances would be consumed at a place that Hammerstein has insisted is not a nightclub? (A Box rep told “Page Six” the raid was due to a clerical error.) Well, the last time we were there, MC Raven O was doing a rendition of “Cocaine” and dumping white powder all over everyone. So, yeah, there’s that.
Cops Raid Downtown Hot Spot [NYP]
Related: Narcissistic and Highly Intoxicated Box Patrons Want Totally Gross Anthems, Says Owner
Where to Dine Alone; Julia Child’s Ghost Still Loves ButterIn a list of the world’s best restaurants to dine alone, the Modern Bar Room is right up there with London restaurant Itsu, where the former Russian spy is thought to have been poisoned with radium. [Forbes]
Related: No, Just Me [NYM]
“Page Six” figures out almost a year after the Times that Alain Ducasse is opening a space in the St. Regis Hotel. Ah, August. [NYP]
Two researchers spent a year compiling a book of New York gourmet shops; two favorites were Yonah Schimmel and Christopher Norman Chocolates. [NYDN]
‘Page Six’ Starts World-Domination Quest With a Scribe and a Song?Looking through “Page Six” this morning, we were a little jarred by this sighting: “MAXIM Deputy Editor Chris Wilson howling out a Monkees song with N.Y. Observer writer George Gurley, followed by fellow Observer scribe Spencer Morgan and his girlfriend, Vanity Fair fashion editrix Alexis Stewart, belting out Heart’s ‘Magic Man’ at Sing Sing.” Hm, we thought – this must be the first time they’ve done an item about a former “Page Six”–er and his writer friends singing karaoke. We would chalk it up to August gossip fatigue, if we didn’t remember this item, from June 10: ” MAXIM deputy editor Chris Wilson and New York Observer scribe Spencer Morgan belting out Kenny Rogers’ and Dolly Parton’s infamous duet ‘Islands in the Stream’ at the karaoke joint Sing Sing. Morgan was the Dolly to Wilson’s Kenny.” Wow – two items about Wilson and Morgan at Sing Sing? We hope somebody’s getting some free tunes out of this, because otherwise, “Page Six“‘s quest to be the new TMZ.com is off to a rocky, rocky start.
Earlier: Page Six to Try to Take Over World, Make it Canoodley
‘Page Six’ Gone WildDon’t quite see why Joe Francis being angry at Hugh Hefner is somehow the lead item in “Page Six” today? Don’t understand what the news is, with Francis having been in jail since April on these charges of taping underage girls for a Girls Gone Wild video? Perhaps you’ve forgotten this, then: That $50,000 Mexican bachelor party for “Page Six” editor Richard Johnson? Joe Francis threw it.
Jailed Joe Not Wild Over Hef [NYP]
Hillary Buys ‘Post’ Endorsement — for a QuarterOnce upon a time, there was little doubt as to the Post’s opinion of Hillary Clinton. But questions arose when the Clintons reached their détente with Rupert Murdoch last year, and now, well, things are clear. This morning, the tabloid learned that Mrs. Clinton is a reader — and, better yet, a nonreader of the Daily News. “Like hundreds of thousands of other discerning New Yorkers,” gushed “Page Six” in reporting the news, “White House front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton buys The Post.” It’s not just the gleeful promotion of Hillary to the front-runner status that made us smile. And it’s not just the item’s headline (“The Right Choice,” which, placed over a decent photo, pretty much makes a free campaign poster). It’s mostly this: Can you believe they’re finally calling her a New Yorker?
The Right Choice [NYP]
‘Top Chef’ Heartthrob to Cook on the Bowery?
On the agenda for tonight’s Community Board 2 meeting is a liquor-license application that a one “Sam Talbot or Corp. to be formed” has filed for 312–314 Bowery, a recently renovated mixed-use building between Houston and Bleecker Streets, walking distance from the restaurant Daniel Boulud hopes to open at Avalon Chrystie Place II. It seems, in other words, that Top Chef also-ran Talbot has found a new project after moving on from Spitzer’s, his ill-fated partnership with Fat Baby owner Rob Shamlian (you’ll recall “Page Six” rumors that big-name restaurateurs lured him into a mystery project). Trouble is, a Bravo publicist tells us Talbot doesn’t know anything about the Bowery application, and the other Sam Talbot, the beloved pushcart vendor, says he doesn’t know anything about it either. Will the real Sam Talbot stand up at tonight’s meeting?
Related: CB2 July agenda
GE Wants In on the Dow Jones ActionMEDIA
• GE and Pearson, the parents of NBC and the Financial Times, are considering a rival bid for Dow Jones. [NYT]
• Quadrangle Group bought Dennis Publishing for $240 million and is courting editorial talent. [WWD]
• Demand for ad space pushes Page Six up to three pages. [NYT]
Happy Eccentric Executive Day!FINANCE
• Steve Schwarzman’s chef spends $3,000 each weekend on food; Schwarzman makes his employees wear non-squeaky shoes, and at five-foot-six, he attributes his success to “little man” complex. [WSJ]
• “Page Six” is on the trail of an investment banker who wears kimonos and eyeliner. [NYP]
• If you’re a CEO, you may well be a lousy father. [Fortune via CNNMoney]
Sharon Stone, Fake Candidate“Page Six” reported this morning that Sharon Stone and Bernard-Henri Lévy star in a set of mock political ads that will debut next week at the Venice Biennale. The two “appear separately in 60-second spots as ‘Patricia Hill and Patrick Hill,’ each seeking the White House,” the “Six”-ers reported. Indeed. We’ve got stills from the spots, and Monday the magazine will feature an interview with Levy, the rakish French philosopher. Enjoy the pics — there are more after the jump — but sorry, guys, Stone’s all buttoned up.
Nello Buys ‘Page Six’ on the Cheap; Jody Williams Trying Not toNello’s Nello Ballan gives Richard Johnson a $1,000 gift, and fifteen “Page Six” mentions of Ballan’s restaurant later, the embattled gossip column has the devil to pay. [NYT]
Jody Williams claims not to have read Frank Bruni’s review of Morandi, though she knows that people are laying odds on the date of her departure. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Related: Not So Bene [NYM]
Restaurant-industry lobbyists express a not-unexpected disappointment with the federal minimum-wage increase passed by Congress, finding it “entirely out of place” in a war-spending bill. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
Special NeedsParis Hilton will spend her 23 days in jail in a “special needs housing unit.” Steve Martin is not pleased at being portrayed as a killer in the satire Who’s Killing the Great Writers of America. Ian Spiegelman says the Post’s Richard Johnson accepted cash from a frequent “Page Six” subject. Filmmaker Michael Moore anonymously paid a critic’s medical bills.
Whose Interviews These AreThe New Yorker confuses Robert Frost and David Frost (whoops!), much to the amusement of both “Page Six” and the Gatecrasher. Porn star Jenna Jameson has lost a lot of weight and has started acting unprofessionally since her divorce. Real-estate developer Harry Macklowe gets preferential treatment at all Icon parking garages in Manhattan. Ben Widdicombe got an earful from Pauly Shore. The Russian Tea Room uses out-of-context quotes to give the impression that it has been well reviewed. Tom Wolfe will give a speech in Miami about art and architecture. A number of J.P. Morgan bankers are expected to attend Dana Vachon’s book party tomorrow night, despite the treatment the firm (or, rather, the fictitious firm based on Morgan) gets in the book.
Fighting ‘Times’A fight in the New York Times Style department between fashion editor Anita LeClerc and deputy editor Mary Ann Giordano got physical when LeClerc actually shoved Giordano. Lindsay Lohan still doesn’t get along with her (recently released from prison) father. Elton John capped his 60th-birthday weekend in New York by spending time at Roseland with a leather-clad, muscular African-American man. “Page Six” resurrects its vendetta against Keith Olbermann, this time claiming he once asked out a porn star and was rejected. Inventive Spanish chef Dr. Miguel Sanchez Romera is looking for a Village townhouse in which to open up a Manhattan branch of his Barcelona eatery, L’Esguard. Anna Nicole Smith wanted to play Marilyn Monroe in a Joe DiMaggio biopic but was turned down for the role.
Jared Paul Stern’s Lawyer Loves Suing the Clintons For conservative legal gadfly Larry Klayman, suing Bill and Hillary Clinton has been almost a life’s work some would say a consuming passion. So it’s no surprise that Klayman is doing it again, this time on behalf of Jared Paul Stern, the fired New York Post freelancer at the center of last year’s “Page Six” scandal. The former president and the current presidential candidate, along with their playboy-billionaire pal, Ron Burkle, the New York Daily News, and Daily News reporter William Sherman are defendants in Stern’s just-filed lawsuit. He alleges that they conspired to slander him, deprive him of a job, and inflict emotional distress by accusing Stern of trying to extort money from Burkle in return for more respectful coverage in the Post’s “Page Six” column. The suit claims that Stern remains unemployed and suffers from depression, back pains, dizziness, hypertension, and other maladies months after a federal investigation of him fizzled. “Jared contacted me a couple of months ago and asked that I represent him,” Klayman said after the suit was filed Thursday in New York Supreme Court. “I took the case because I sympathized with Jared’s situation. I’ve always been for the underdog.”
Tom Brady Does Not Love New York, or Bridget MoynahanTom Brady put his New York pad up for sale as soon as he found out ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan was pregnant. Speaking of officially pregnant: Naomi Watts. Speaking of maybe pregnant: Christina Aguilera. Hillary Clinton, or someone from her office, got mad at David Geffen for throwing a party last night for Barack Obama. Former As Four designer Kai Kuhne flipped out after his credit card was denied at Sway. A Chelsea nightclub doesn’t want handicapped customers upstairs.
‘NYO’: Jared Paul Stern Is Still Not Being Charged
A teaser yesterday afternoon on the Observer’s Daily Transom blog about its feature today on heretofore disgraced former “Page Six”-er Jared Paul Stern delivered the newsbreak that the U.S. Attorney’s Office had announced Stern would not be charged in the long-lingering Ron Burkle alleged-extortion case. More details were promised in today’s paper. So now we’ve read today’s paper; what more did we learn? Very little. Stern continues to have been informed that he won’t be charged. Burkle’s spokesman issued an inconsequential statement. The U.S. Attorney’s Office wouldn’t comment. Stern continues, as he has for months, to protest his innocence and speak darkly of lawsuits. There is, however, one upside to this glaring lack of anything new: We were at least spared the Ray Donovan quote.
Ex-Post Keyholer Cleared on Extortion Rap [NYO]
Earlier: Jared Paul Stern Now Officially Less Scummy Than We Thought
Madonna Does Not Live Up to Angelina’s StandardsAngelina Jolie questions Madonna’s adoption practices, when hers seem to be just as suspect. The publisher of Tom DeLay’s book isn’t exactly sure how to market it. Bridie Clark’s debut novel, Because She Can, is, like, about Judith Regan. Geraldo Rivera dared Keith Olbermann to fight him, and Olbermann accepted the challenge. (No word yet on when they’ll rumble.) Spielberg and Scorsese and Cruz and Eastwood all attended the National Board of Review event at Cipriani. Parker Posey admits she doesn’t take the National Board of Review Awards seriously, says “I’m rambling.” Paris Hilton accomplice Kim Kardashian may have a sex tape, and, if so, is likely involved in its distribution. Mandy Moore and DJAM: “It’s pretty new, but they look cute.” Richard Gere rallied sex workers at an AIDS awareness event in Mumbai. “Page Six” calls Leigh Haber, an editor at Rodale, the next Judith Regan. Ivana made a particularly insensitive comment about war-torn Lebanon, even for a Trump. Remember when “Page Six” called Bono a drunk yesterday? Yeah, they were wrong.
It’s Enough to Drive You Crazy If You Let ItJessica Simpson botched a Dolly Parton cover in front of her idol at the Kennedy Center, fled the stage in tears. Beyoncé is throwing Jay-Z a four-day birthday party next weekend in St. Barts, and it may also double as a wedding. Gayle King sometimes uses the n-word with her close friends, but not around Oprah. And, we presume, never at the Laugh Factory. Eddie Murphy’s Spice Girl ex is pregnant, but Murphy isn’t sure he’s the father. Peter Cook said he’s having a “tough” time dealing with his impending divorce from Christie Brinkley — his first public comments since the split. A young staffer at Allure got fired for selling beauty products from the office on eBay. Jennifer Lopez admitted to not spending much time thinking about the younger generation of Hollywood stars. The horror! Larry King’s current wife claims yesterday’s “Page Six” item about her husband owing money in Miami is “invented,” says Larry has cleaned up his act and donates lots to charity. Lance Bass and Reichen Lehmkuhl are through, though Bass may already have another boy toy. Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor practice their stroke at the Midtown Tennis Club. Sienna Miller is not respectful of airport rules and regulations. Today’s “Page Six” has three blind items, two of which may or may not be about Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Brad Grey, Tom Freston, and Jim Wiatt ate lunch together. Kate Winslet was instrumental in her husband Sam Mendes’s, uh, “nailing” Julianne Moore. Leonardo DiCaprio was nice to a fan. A bit of sad news: George Clooney’s 300-pound potbellied pig, Max, passed away.
Canoodling Cuomo?And speaking of somewhat unexpected goings-on at last night’s boldfaced parties, it’s worth noting that the UNICEF Snowflake Ball, hosted by Bryant Gumbel and filled with movers and shakers, marked the first time AG-elect Andrew Cuomo was seen in public with Sandra Lee since reports surfaced that the two have become a serious couple. Notice how they’re not actually touching each other? That’s ‘cause they spent the night explaining to people, as they’d explained to “Page Six” last week, that they’re just good friends.
Serious ‘Buds’ [NYP]
Virgin Versus VirginThis morning’s “Page Six” referred to just-turned-30 Sarah DiMuro — the woman Jane magazine tried and failed to get laid, who’s now offering Britney Spears relationship advice — as “the world’s most famous virgin.” Huh. The most famous virgin? Really?
Well, maybe not. “The New York Post probably didn’t search too far,” said Catholic League president Bill Donohue, laughing, when we called for his thoughts. “I think there’s someone we could find for you here at the Catholic League.” Ah, right. That’s it: The Virgin Mary. Yeah, we’re going with her as the world’s most famous virgin. Sorry, Sarah.
— Lori Fradkin
Virgin’s Sex Tips for Britney [NYP]
Tom Ford, CommandoTom Ford doesn’t wear underwear. Foxy Brown may get dropped from Def Jam, though this would come as news to her. Former flames Derek Jeter and Mariah Carey are set to meet this Friday, and it could be awkward. Chelsea Clinton recently got a job at a hedge fund, and her boyfriend may be her stockbroker. Is the Times playing favorites with suspended reporter Lola Ogunnaike and op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd? “Page Six”, ironically, lectures a company about freebies. (Also, it turns out Harvey Weinstein didn’t actually “swig” champagne on Halloween, as the “Six”ers reported. And that the “stripper” he was chatting up was actually Margherita Missoni. Whoops.) Ron Perelman is now dating designer Tory Burch, though she’s yet to finalize her divorce. Former Martha Stewart broker Peter Bacanovic tried to avoid getting his picture taken, failed. Lauren Bacall was denied backstage entry at the Metropolitan Opera. Guitarist Al Di Meola is a bad father. Tara Reid was drunk, again. A politician cheated on his wife in Albany, a married director got another woman pregnant, and the daughter of a retired news anchor got busy with a female fashion designer in a car, though names aren’t named. Joshua Jackson defended Lindsay Lohan. And her dad, who has thus far been unable to help himself, wants to write a self-help book.
The New York Diet
‘Page Six’ Editor Richard Johnson Eats on His Feet, Showers After
As the editor of “Page Six,” Richard Johnson knows that shock lurks everywhere, even in hors d’oeuvre: “Some of them are designed as if they’re booby-trapped to explode.” Suspecting that the city’s most popular gossip columnist can’t survive on raw-bar caviar alone, we asked him what else he wrestled into his mouth between Saturday, October 7, and Thursday, October 12.