Let's just say it. Hollywood publicists and particularly PMK-HBH publicists are notorious for being difficult. But today, Nicole Kidman's flack, Catherine Olim, crossed a line! Yesterday, Cindy Adams reported in her column that pregnant Nicole Kidman enjoyed a nice glass of white wine backstage at the Oscars the other night. Nothing wrong with that, we said to ourselves when we read it. Nicole's just being European, and anyway our mom drank 40s of malt liquor all through her pregnancy and look how great we turned out. But Ms. Olim, it turned out, was not about to let this slide. "I try to ignore your column, unlike most of the rest of the world, because it is so nasty," she wrote in a charming e-mail to Perez Hilton, who had picked up the item from Adams. "But I have to tell you that Nicole Kidman most certainly did NOT drink white wine or any other alcoholic beverage backstage. She had water and lemon zinger tea. That’s it. I know, I was there with her." Then she said the unforgivable. "I cannot remember that last time that Cindy Adams got anything right. She’s an idiot, and you can quote me."
Publicist Peggy Siegal was on Barbara Walter's Sirius Radio show today — we know, right? Everyone has one of those things now — talking about how the best thing she ever did for her first client, Liza Minnelli, was, er introduce her to controlled substances.
I walk my way up and I get to the rope [saying] “Liza’s in the car, Liza’s in the car” and there was Steve Rubell who owned it who I went to Syracuse with he said go get her I take her to the velvet rope — opens up — he grabs her, he kisses her, he gives her God knows what in her pocket, they go off into the sunset and they forget to open the rope for me and that’s how Liza met Steve Rubell, that’s how all that trouble began with Studio 54 and that was probably the only good thing I did for her.
But one imagines that night at Studio 54 wasn't just a turning point for Liza, but for Peggy Siegal. Picture her there, standing in front of the closed velvet rope, abandoned by her famous friends, left literally and metaphorically out in the cold as the beautiful people float by her. What was young Peggy saying to herself, do you think? That moment, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of moment that makes a publicist.