Ron Perelman wasn't the ladies' man he is now when he was in high school. Harold Ford Jr. wants to be governor of Tennessee. Lindsay Lohan turned 21 yesterday, looking healthy and acting rather adultlike. Jackie O. didn't like it when Caroline gained weight. Anna Wintour's stylist is working weekends at a salon in Bridgehampton. Zach Braff and Drew Barrymore made out at Beauty Bar. Mice, dead and alive, are wreaking havoc at the new New York Times building. Padma Lakshmi is finally divorcing Salman Rushdie, and a billionaire or an unidentified chef may be to blame. Europe is the new Hamptons for celebrity Fourth of July celebrations.
After college, Chuck Schumer picked a girl over a scholarship. 50 Cent is really rich. Gay activists don't like John Travolta in the Hairspray movie because he's a Scientologist, not because of his performance. Brian Grazer is getting divorced. Eliot Spitzer banged his head on the trunk of his car. Rufus Wainwright defends Anderson Cooper's lifestyle and choice of gym. Maggie Gyllenhaal might come to Broadway as Nellie in South Pacific. Kevin Spacey partied at Lotus. Lily Allen put on a bad show at the Roseland Ballroom, then she hung out with Josh Hartnett. At Graydon Carter and Anna Wintour's party for Nicholas Coleridge's A Much Married Man, Ron Perelman thought the book was about him.
Designer Vera Wang is suing another Vera Wang for copyright infringement. Bonnie Fuller is looking to branch into TV, and her NYU film-student son may be involved. Silly Billy, the clown from weird documentary Capturing the Friedmans, now goes the name by Dr. Blood. André Balazs and Naomi Campbell might be dating. An upcoming bio of Condi Rice claims she's accrued power personally but not professionally. The broker for Bob Guccione's East Side mansion (current asking price: $50 million) quit. Ellen Barkin reiterates that she regrets marrying Ron Perelman. Gisele will jump ship to H&M when her contract with Victoria's Secret expires. Court TV is going through a rebranding process.
Limos parked outside Graydon Carter's Waverly Inn delayed an ambulance en route to nearby St. Vincent's Hospital. Former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill cut down his use of the company's corporate jets right before 17,000 people were laid off. Michael Chabon is proud to have been branded an anti-Semite by the Post. Ellen Barkin is writing a novel based on her marriage to Ron Perelman. Bonnie Fuller is branching into TV. Barbara and Lauren Bush sang karaoke. The famous hawks living at 927 Fifth Avenue will soon be in a kids' book. Jay Leno confused two Mexican comedians. Joe Francis says his Girls Gone Wild videos don't feature black girls because they ask for money, not because he's racist.
A quiz: Which is worth more, a three-night, all-paid, all-access, five-star trip to this year's Cannes Film Festival, including an all-you-can-party-with-celebs pass on Ronald Perelman's 188-foot yacht, or, a chance to have dinner with Mad Money moneyman Jim Cramer? The answer: Mad Money, baby. A bidding war erupted last night for the Cramer prize — a chance to have dinner with the investment guru (also a New York columnist) and watch a taping of his CNBC show — at the fund-raising gala New York first lady Silda Wall Spitzer threw last night at Christie's for her charity, Children for Children. Howard Milstein — president of Emigrant Savings Bank, managing partner of Milstein Properties, and, last night, the man sitting at Governor Spitzer's left — won the Cramer night with a bid of $20,000. Perelman's Cannes-party donation — donated anonymously — fared far less well, going for only $12,000 to some guy in the back whose identity we couldn't really figure out. Perelman wasn't there, but somewhere, he must have felt slighted. Adding insult to injury: This auction was in the same room where Perelman's ex, Ellen Barkin, last year hawked all the fancy jewelry he gave her. The price for those? $20.3 million. —Geoffrey Gray
V.C. Fred Wilson sold a townhouse on West 10th Street for $33.14 million — a record for private property below 14th Street. Beyoncé and her mother won the $1.5 million lawsuit filed against them regarding their House of Dereon fashion line, but the plaintiff plans to appeal. Robert Rodriguez left his wife of sixteen years for Rose McGowan during the filming of Grindhouse, but the split was amicable. The split between golfing great Greg Norman and his wife, Laura, however, is less so. Millionaire Miami developer Thomas Kramer was arrested during the birthday party of Fairchild Corp. CEO Jeffrey Steiner for allegedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy in the bathroom. Lindsay Lohan and Steve Aoki are hanging out a lot. This here New York Magazine is moving downtown, but no one knows what to do with the signs on top of the current building.
MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry is a wealthy man with even wealthier friends. Not only does he have one of the highest salaries in the museum biz, but, as the Times almost gleefully reports today, some of those rich friends set up something called the New York Fine Arts Support Fund (we'll say!), which showered him with over $5.35 million in gifts from 1995 to 2003. Contributions to the fund came from such massive last names as Rockefeller, Gund, and Lauder, and it was put together with the express purpose of luring Lowry to MoMA. Just how hard were they working to lure him? Check out this one: In 1995, MoMA picked up the down-payment for an apartment Lowry bought; the trust then took care of the mortgage repayments. In 1999, the trust bought that apartment from Lowry, who pocketed $1.3 million on the sale. Did he spend that profit — on an apartment he hadn't paid for in the first place, keep in mind — on a new place to live? Of course not. The museum then gave Lowry another free apartment, this one in Museum Tower. The man has to live somewhere, after all. Now, finally, we understand the $20 ticket prices.
Donors Sweetened Director’s Pay at MoMA [NYT]
Some Republicans think his business and the press will keep Rudy Giuliani from running for president. Robin Williams made friends with a bunch of former enemies in the New York Film Critics Circle. Ron Perelman brought rabbis over to bless a plot of land he purchased on the secluded Harbour Island in the Bahamas; locals, having never seen a rabbi, thought they were terrorists. Dita Von Teese left Marilyn Manson because he was partying too heartily with Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, and Evan Rachel Wood. Word association with Forbes publisher Steve Forbes: Nancy Pelosi: "Trouble." Hillary Clinton: "Future Trouble." Speaking of Pelosi, daughter Alexandra's latest documentary features a telling interview with outed pastor Ted Haggard. Claire Danes' new boyfriend, Hugh Dancy, seems to be more interested in boys than in poor Claire. Simon Cowell prefers Kelly Clarkson to Bob Dylan. Britney Spears went out drinking, shacked up with model Isaac Cohen at the W Hotel on Monday. Bill Nighy prefers his matzo-ball soup without matzo balls. Coke-loving, hooker-loving Pat O'Brien is out at The Insider. Amy Sedaris was listening to "Desperado" when she lost her virginity; an 11-year old Tracy Morgan had "Superfreak." The guy behind the N.J. sale of Whitney Houston memorabilia may not actually own all the stuff he's selling. Paris Hilton pleaded innocent to her DUI charge from September. Katie Couric is having a 50th birthday party at Tiffany this weekend. Cross-town goalie rivals Henrik Lundqvist and Marty Broedeur avoided each other at Tao. PETA claims that the makers of POM pomegranate juice fund experiments in which the arteries of male bunnies are severed so that researchers can study the effect of the juice on male impotence.
Oft-divorced billionaire Ron Perelman had lunch on Tuesday with former Law & Order star Elisabeth Röhm, but he's spending the holidays on a yacht in St. Barts with psychologist Anna Chapman. Mickey Rooney's "manager" son, Chris Aber, is a control freak. The Catholic League is giving the Weinstein brothers flak for releasing a slasher flick on Christmas Day. (In other Catholic League–related news, president William Donohue claims that Pope Benedict is not, in fact, gay.) Some Dems are annoyed that President Bush has turned the board of the supposedly nonpartisan Kennedy Center into a GOP stronghold. (Also, Jessica Simpson does not want her botched singing performance there two weeks ago to air). A lot of media bigwigs and politicos, including Hillary Clinton, Tom Brokaw, and Arianna Huffington, ate at Michael's. Gay activist Allen Roskoff made fun of gay, unsuccessful attorney-general candidate Sean Patrick Maloney in his Christmas-party invitation. Paris Hilton has been attending acting classes to prepare for her next movie. D.J. AM doesn't miss dating Nicole Richie, but his wallet does. Elisha Cuthbert and Jesse Bradford are hosting a New Year's Eve party together. Liz Smith anoints the gift card the hot Christmas present of the year.
Was Heather Mills — Paul McCartney's one-legged ex-wife-to-be — once a high-priced hooker? She says no, an alleged client says yes. Ron Perelman and Tory Burch are dating, but not exclusively. Chris Cornell's stalker may be British, which may be a problem if he goes to London for the new Bond movie premiere. Paris Hilton is also in London but, oddly enough, not staying at the Hilton. Calvin Klein's daughter just sold an apartment for a lot of money; she bought a new one for slightly more. Katie Holmes declines a possible Oscar nod for her role in Thank You for Smoking, presumably because Tom told her to. By the way, they're getting married soon, and not even Liz Smith is invited. Queen Latifah got into a tiff with Law & Order's Billy Burns at an airport, unless she didn't. Jude Law and Sienna Miller split yet again, but this time Jude did the dumping. Peter Cook and Christie Brinkley finally agree on visitation rights for their kids. Eddie Murphy's sweetie, the artist formerly known as Scary Spice, is pregnant, and he's still going out on dates with other women. Naomi Campbell (accidentally) hits someone with her purse. Oprah's non-lesbian lover, Gayle King, told Will Smith she was married to a cheater. Sayeth Lindsay Lohan: "I feel like I've lived five lives and I'm only 20."
Tom 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.
Foodies may not be familiar with Michael's, but for Manhattan media movers, it's the center of the culinary universe from noon to 2 p.m., anyway. (Check out Fishbowl's weekly rundown of boldfaced lunchers.) We asked server Liz Esqueda to take us into the belly of the beast.