Alex P. Keaton May Have Made a Sex TapeWeird wiretapper Anthony Pellicano says he knows what Michael J. Fox did back in 1990. Plus, Ashlee Simpson pregnancy rumors persist, Adrian Grenier gets a girlfriend, and more in our daily squeeze of the juice from New York gossip columns.
Bill Clinton and Ron Burkle Have Irreconcilable DifferencesBill Clinton will get $20 million when he divorces Los Angeles supermarket magnate and (alleged) Radar owner Ron Burkle, his business partner of six years, The Wall Street Journal told us this morning. The reason for the split, it seems, is that Burkle’s Yupaica company, for which Clinton was an adviser, can’t seem to stay away from people who could harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. For example? Italian developer Raffaello Follieri and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and one of the owners behind Xinhua Finance Media Ltd., a Beijing–based news company with close ties to the Communist government of China, which just gave Yucaipa a little cash infusion. Basically, Burkle loves sketchy investments like Eric Benet loved sex with groupies, and at this point in the election and his life, Clinton can’t take the drama. “I love you, but I need to take care of myself,” we imagine him saying to Burkle. “No more drama in my life.” Despite Burkle’s transgressions, the breakup appears to be amicable: A Clinton spokesperson speaks to the Journal not of a SPLIT!!! but “an appropriate transition” out of their business relationship, and Burkle remains a finance chair on Hillary’s campaign. Clinton, after all, understands promiscuity.
Bill Clinton May Get Payout of $20 Million [WSJ]
Related: Clinton To Burkle: It’s Not You, It’s Me
Jared Paul Stern Still ExistsEvery once in a while, when we see someone wearing clothes that have a skull-and-crossbones symbol on them (okay, so every day), we wonder whatever happened to Jared Paul Stern. He was the “Page Six” reporter who allegedly tried to extort Ron Burkle, and then got busted when Burkle turned tapes of their meetings over to authorities. JPS, who created the clothing line Skull and Bones (only to be outdone by everyone from Mark Ecko to Ralph Lauren), was fired from “Page Six,” and then wrote a book about the experience. Sadly, the book was never picked up, and we haven’t heard from him since. But today, WWD lets us know what he’s been up to. Since November, he’s been blogging for Kempt, a men’s fashion Website. He covers liquor, luxury, and famous dudes. Kind of like what he did at “Page Six,” except with even more freedom to glorify men and objectify women. Stern says that the lawsuit he filed against Burkle, which also included the Daily News and Bill and Hillary Clinton, is still pending. “It’s on autopilot,” he told WWD. “These things take a while to go through the courts system.” We can only assume the suit is hopelessly outdated. Silly Jared, don’t you know Burkle and the Clintons broke up?
Stern Surfaces [WWD]
Related: Jared Paul Stern’s Lawyer Loves Suing the Clintons
Clinton to Burkle: It’s Not You, It’s Me
Hathaello Will Survive With the Help of Baby JesusLooks like Anne Hathaway’s not getting any Christmas presents this year! The L.A.Times is reporting that her boyfriend, Italian developer Raffaello Follieri, has decided to settle with Ron Burkle, who sued him last April after partnering with him in a real-estate scheme gone awry. The suit alleged that Follieri had misappropriated funds given to him by a sector of Burkle’s Yucaipa Company for the development of Catholic Church property by squandering it on private jets, a $40,000-a-month penthouse, expensive restaurants, and gifts for his movie-star girlfriend. Why did he settle? Was it because he felt he was in danger? We don’t know, nor do we know what the settlement amount was, because the Follieri Group is too busy being possibly nonexistent to answer their phones. However, some time ago the Wall Street Journal suggested that Burkle was looking for at least $1.3 million of his money back, which is kind of a lot for a developer who doesn’t really seem to develop very much. Lucky for Follieri, he can always play the Catholic card and tell Anne that Christmas really isn’t about presents. It’s about thanking Jesus for not putting you in jail.
Yucaipa, Follieri Settle Lawsuit [LAT]
Kanye West and His ‘Bazaar’ Angel MuralMEDIA
• Kanye West says Harper’s Bazaar “pissed me off” when they reported the rap star’s L.A. home features a giant mural of himself with angels. “That made me so mad. Because who would want to hang out with a guy with an 8-foot picture of an angel of himself?” Too bad Harper’s got almost every detail right, and Kanye is indeed featured in the painting. [WWD]
• CBS News writers voted to authorize their own strike. Watch out, Katie Couric! [NYT]
• Did Star really pull on an online poll because Ron Burkle, the billionaire investor the mag flattered with a recent photo spread, wasn’t doing well enough? Star claims they’re just planning to publish the results in the next issue — plenty of time to stuff the ballot box. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
Robert De Niro Pulls Out the Big Guns Against Art GalleryRobert De Niro sued an Upper East Side art gallery that gave twelve of his father’s paintings to a gallery in Rome as part of a debt-payment arrangement. Jason Binn had another kid. NBA commish David Stern, Derek Jeter, and Donald Trump showed up at the wedding of Ahmad Rashad and Sale Johnson, but estranged daughter Casey Johnson did not. Chris Noth and Steve Walter are thinking of moving their jazz club Cutting Room to Hell’s Kitchen. Ashlee Simpson begged photographers not to take her picture when she was smoking outside Angels and Kings. Theodore Sorensen, the lawyer who wrote JFK’s famous “Ask Not…” inaugural address, just bought at $10.75 million condo at 15 Central Park West.
Bloomberg’s Baby Problems: They Just Keep Popping OutFINANCE
• Another woman joined the federal discrimination lawsuit against Bloomberg LP. After her first child in 2005, her pay fell and her colleagues turned into sharks. One supervisor even asked, “What is this, your third baby?” [NYT]
• More of the same on the Street: Bank of America wrote down $3 billion, Bear Stearns $1.2 billion, and British bank HSBC took the cake with $3.4 billion, largely due to U.S. mortgage weaknesses. Meanwhile, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein laughed in everyone’s face, predicting no more write-downs (not that they lost much in the first place) at the Teflon bank. [NYP, NYT, NYT, DealBreaker]
• Is the credit crunch just like Enron all over again? So says Bethany McLean, the reporter who first broke Ken Lay’s fraud wide open. [Fortune]
Separated at Firth?
We were perusing a Journal story this morning, about Ron Burkle’s Yupaica company buying the company that makes Twinkies, when something about the headshot of Burkle that accompanied it struck us as oddly familiar. Our stomachs turned as we realized: Ron Burkle is just like an older, heavier, less doable version of Colin Firth. In a good way we mean! With a nip here, a tuck there, and a little (okay a lot) of liposuction, the presumed owner of Radar could actually become Firth-level hot. We’re not sure what this means for Colin Firth; maybe he better lay off the Twinkies, or Crunchie bars, or whatever, but Ron, honey? Hello? What are you waiting for? Get thee to a plastic surgeon! Reach out and grab what is rightfully yours!
Halle Is Berry SorryHalle Berry apologized for making an anti-Semitic joke as a guest on the Leno show. (NBC deleted it from the telecast.) Governor Spitzer hung out with his Horace Mann classmates at his 30th reunion. Renée Zellweger chooses to live in New York and Connecticut instead of L.A. because she hates the paparazzi out there. (She and George Clooney also send each other six-page politically charged e-mails.) Jennifer Lopez is refusing to pay a New York limo company $16,000 in fees she owes. The Devil Wears Prada producer Wendy Finerman bought a twelve-room duplex on 84th Street with her banker husband. Jay-Z says he’s not so good at retiring and blames the media for the breakup of most celebrity couples. Meryl Streep walked her puppy on the West Side Highway in sweats and a hat. Soap star Nathaniel Marston of One Life to Live was arrested for assaulting three people on Tenth Avenue in what was evidently a drug-fueled rage.
Anne Hathaway’s Boyfriend Got Served … AgainRemember Raffaello Follieri? He’s the Italian real-estate developer who was sued a while ago by his investor, Ron Burkle, for allegedly misappropriating funds, and more important, he is one half of the power couple Hathaello. (The other half is actress Anne Hathaway.) Follieri is again being sued, this time by D.C.-based PR firm the Carmen Group, which says that he hired them to smooth over the whole Burkle thing but then failed to pay them a portion of their $25,000-a-month fee. Follieri’s rep denied the accusation. However, had he not paid them, we could sort of see why, what with that big honking front-page Wall Street Journal story that made him sound like the shadiest dude in Shadetown. But the real question is this: Have Hathaello broken up? A quick search indicates that they haven’t been photographed together since September 5! Did Anne become the J.Lo to Raffaello’s Puffy? Developing
Ciao, Carmen [Legal Times via NYP]
Earlier: Will Hathaello Last?
Joe Bruno Thinks Albany Stalemate Is FunnyJoe Bruno thinks the stalemates in Albany, partially caused by his own grandstanding, are funny. TV and radio reporter Penny Crone is turning in the mike for a broker’s license. Jessica Seinfeld may have plagiarized some of her recipes. Ron Burkle, like all rich people, still gets a mortgage when he buys a house. Steve Stoute is about to make a whole lot of money on the sale of his company. The Clintons are about to ruin somebody’s wedding.
Kate Hudson Is Friends With Ron Burkle?Polish Commish Ray Kelly may be angling to become Mayor, or, if Hillary Clinton becomes President, her Homeland Security chief. A math teacher in Brooklyn got Mickey Rooney and Celeste Holm to star in his $50,000 indie romance flick. Ron Burkle hung out at Rose Bar in the Gramercy Park Hotel with Kate Hudson and two other blondes. Giselle is selling her West Village two-bedroom (replete with hot tub and grilling deck) for $10.9 million. Page Six contends that Vanity Fair is not killing a piece on Bill Clinton buddy Jeffrey Epstein and that Vogue’s Meredith Melling Burke did not go around Nantucket trying to pick up townies, contrary to what Gawker says. Diddy reportedly called a door girl at Gold Bar a “fucking bitch” when she asked him how many people were in his party.
Will Hathaello Last?So it appears that the Clintons have made another unwise real-estate investment, this time with Raffaello Follieri, more commonly known as Anne Hathaway’s boyfriend. According to today’s Journal, after being introduced to Follieri by an aide, the Clintons got buddy Ron Burkle to invest up to $100 million with the young Italian, who said he was planning on buying and developing property for the Roman Catholic Church. Now Burkle is suing Follieri, alleging that he barely bought any churches and instead used everyone’s investment money to fund a “lavish lifestyle.” This all looks not great for the Clintons: What with Whitewater and Norman Hsu and all, they’re starting to look kind of gullible. Maybe they’ll go into time shares next. But enough about them: What does this mean for Anne and Raffaello?
Ron Burkle’s Village Woes Just BeginningBillionaire Ron Burkle’s gotta be regretting buying Sky Studios, the spectacular Village penthouse that was formerly a glamorous event space. A judge just ruled that brides-to-be who had previously reserved it for weddings can still use the multi-tiered apartment (which has a rooftop pool) for their nuptials — even though Burkle now owns the space and is presumably itching to move in (or make it nice and sell it). The Post reported that he plans to make it a residential palace. But we’re thinking that Burkle will have other reasons to regret the purchase. Last time Daily Intel was there, managers told us that the reason it was turned into an event space instead of a private home was that leakage, heating, and structural problems (not to mention unfabulous service-elevator access) made it virtually unlivable. Though, frankly, for our own rooftop pool in the summer, we’d live in a yurt for the rest of the year.
Wedded Diss to Bliss [NYP]
The Future of the Species Depends on Paris HiltonParis Hilton has landed a starring role in a movie set in the year 2056, “when a plague nearly destroys the human race and survival is dependent upon being able to finance a pricey organ transplant.” Anne Hathaway got into a fight with her boyfriend (who is being sued by Ron Burkle) during a screening of her movie in East Hampton, but she stayed with him at the after-party until the cops shut it down at 1 a.m. Madonna strolled into the Reebok Sports Club on Columbus Avenue without checking in. Tyra Banks and her family ate at Serendipity 3. The two assistants from Jane who were cast in SoapNet’s Fashionista Diaries have been moved to CosmoGirl. Usher’s pregnant girlfriend, whom he was slated to marry on Saturday until a last-minute cancellation, checked into a hospital for “pregnancy complications,” though it may just be a ploy to get him back. Ivana Trump is set to get married for a third time, to Rossano Rubicondi.
Judi Giuliani, Puppy Killer?Vanity Fair’s forthcoming takedown of Judi Giuliani paints her as “opportunistic, puppy-killing homewrecker.” ABC News employees were reminded not to surf for porn on company time after it was discovered that an intern had nude photos online. Married cosmetics heir William Lauder may be the illegitimate father of a child with nightlife honcho Howard Stein’s daughter. Mets pitchers John Maine and Aaron Heilman partied at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone. New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane might not technically be married to the mother of his two children, journalist Allison Pearson. Penélope Cruz and Bono were spotted holding hands in St. Tropez. Star Jones claims women on TV get a raw financial deal. Rachael Ray and Ron Jeremy were in Saratoga for the opening of the racetrack.
Just Say No
• Hidden among other traffic-reducing measures in New York’s application for federal congestion-pricing funds is a doozy: Just Stay Home. One of the proposed changes is “telecommuting as a travel demand management strategy.” [Metro NY]
• The Post, firmly on Joe’s side in the Bruno-Spitzer battle, reports that Spitzer’s aides pretty much begged anyone with a badge to investigate the state senator (including, unsuccessfully, “at least one New York City D.A.” — how many of those do we have?). [NYP]
• Despite “experts” insisting that the Bancroft-Murdoch deal is done, the Dow Jones board will be meeting with Ron Burkle today. In the meantime, Journal defections start: A top editor is moving to Business Week. [NYT]
• The first week the new noise regulations were in effect prove one thing: We’re a city of nasty little tattletales. The top complaint to 311 — almost half of the calls — concerned not construction clatter or Mister Softee but noisy neighbors. [NYDN]
• And here’s a free mobile service that puts Google Maps to shame. Should you ever find yourself lost in the Manhattan grid with nowhere to relieve yourself, mizpee.com will send you the address of the “closest, cleanest” restroom. You know, in case you lose the ability to walk into a hotel lobby on your own. [NYDN]
• People are receiving anonymous, computerized telephone polls asking if they’d support a Bloomberg run for the presidency if he spent $1 billion of his own money on it. When asked if the poll was conducted by Bloomberg, aides in his office refused to confirm or deny it. How very diabolical! [NYDN]
Will Imus Return?MEDIA
• Is Imus’s planned $200 million lawsuit a ploy to get back on the air? [NYP]
• The final bids for Dennis Publishing are due next week, and it’s shaping up as a showdown between Kent Brownridge and Ron Burkle. [AdAge]
• Jeff Bridges will play Graydon Carter in the film version of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. [WWD]
Anyone Else Want to Acquire a Media Property?MEDIA
• Thomson agreed to buy Reuters for $17 billion, creating the largest financial-news service and the first major rival to Bloomberg LP. [Reuters via CNNMoney]
• Murdoch offered the Bancrofts a seat on the News Corp. board and asked to meet with the family personally. After an internal conference call, the Bancrofts seem unmoved. [NYT]
• Ron Burkle bought the Primedia Enthusiast unit for $1.2 billion and now owns 70 titles like Dressage Today and Popular Hot Rodding. [NYP]
A Last-Minute Bid for TribuneMEDIA
• L.A. Billionaires Ron Burkle and Eli Broad jumped back into the Tribune contest, offering $1 per share more than Sam Zell. [NYT]
• After Joy Press left for Salon, new Voice editor Tony Ortega rehired former editor Brian Parks to edit the arts and culture section. [Eat the Press/HP]
• Former Times public editor Dan Okrent appears in the upcoming film The Hoax, playing a publishing exec engaged in fraud. [WWD]
So There Was Some Awards Thing Last Night?Forest Whitaker and other Oscar revelers celebrated at parties. In New York, celebrity viewers were either at Elaine’s, with EW, or the Spotted Pig, with New York. Brandon Davis ruined Paris Hilton’s birthday party by harassing Paula Abdul and Courtney Love. Ron Burkle had George Clooney, Beyoncé, Clint Eastwood, and a bevy of other celebs over his house for a private Giorgio Armani runway show. Harvey Weinstein used direct-marketing techniques to get Rosario Dawson and Lindsay Lohan to come to a party. To which Cameron Diaz showed up with Tyrese. Courteney Cox spent at least $750,000 on a Damien Hirst. Josh Hartnett brought Helena Christensen back to his room at the Chateau Marmont. VanityFair.com’s Jessica Coen left the Miramax Oscar party because it smelled too good, missed Ben Affleck and Helen Mirren.
Rupert Knows Whether Judith Regan’s Kids Are Actually Honor StudentsLawyers for HarperCollins are in possession of Judith Regan’s financial statements, will, divorce papers, photographs of her children, unopened Christmas gifts, and a 20-by-30-foot painting of her, among other things. Because she left them all at that office. Ralph Ellison didn’t like Norman Mailer and his beat pals because they reduced the world to sex. As Harvey Weinstein was buying the rights to her movie, Mandy Moore was making out with D.J. AM. Hugo Chavez tried to meet Gisele when they were both in Rio, but she shot him down. Owen Wilson hung out with Kate Hudson in Australia.
‘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