Today's "Gatecrasher" column in the Daily News includes a truly excellent story that also appears in the Village Voice. Turns out News gossip Ben Widdicombe and Voice scribe Michael Musto were sharing a table at Bowery Bar last Tuesday during the weekly gay party, Beige. With them was former Village People cowboy Randy Jones, who had a delightful tale to tell. From "Gatecrasher":
In 1977, [Jones] found himself sharing a table at Studio 54 with two people he recalls as being Paris' parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton. "There was one rock of cocaine left, and it rolled off the table," he said. "They just didn't even bother bringing it back up to a hard surface — they just crushed it into the carpet and snorted it off that."
Jones explained, "Whatever Paris Hilton is, she came by it honestly!" (Not the adverb we would necessarily use.) Now Rick Hilton denies this story ever happened, and it may be too good to be true. But it is a lovely little example of the gay media mafia at work. Widdicombe needs to fill a column every day, but he nonetheless waited an entire week to run this item so that he and Musto could run it at the same time. Thus, nobody was unduly scooped. See? Gay gossip columns will help you out! Unlike straight gossip columns, which threaten to rape you.
Violence is Golden [VV]
Hilton Story Doesn't Seem to Check Out [NYDN]
The ladies of the Hilton family are continuing their full-force assault on culture. WWD reports that Kathy Hilton, spawner of Paris and Nicky, may end up being a partial owner of the French brand Charles Jourdan. An investment group that includes Hilton and her husband, Rick, is mulling a purchase of the bankrupt design house. If it happens, the president of Charles Jourdan hopes to release a shoe line designed by the Hilton matriarch. But WWD warns this isn't Kathy's only foray into your personal space: "In addition to fashion, Kathy Hilton is checking into the beauty world," reports the trade paper. "Hilton will appear today on HSN at 6 a.m., 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to tease her upcoming PureBotanical skin care line and her My Secret fragrance." Good gracious! She's everywhere. What is her secret, do you think? Is it that her sister was the little girl in Escape to Witch Mountain? Or is it just that she's tired of being the brains behind this whole Hilton juggernaut and wants her own moment in the sun?
Hiltons Eyeing Jourdan [WWD]
To mark the passing of Leona Helmsley, New York's "Queen of Mean," society photographer Patrick McMullan rounded up some of his favorite pictures from her life. We couldn't help but stop at this one, which shows Helmsley posing with Imelda "Steel Butterfly" Marcos, the wife of former Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Also pictured is Rick "Loins of Doom" Hilton, father of Paris. To have three people who have unleashed such hardship on the world gathered in one photograph is a rare sight indeed.
LEONA HELMSLEY 1920–2007, In Memoriam [Patrick McMullan]