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Vanity Fair

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Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Are Still Just Friends

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Emphatically hot emphatic non-couple Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump made the second public declaration in a week of their non-relationship at Vanity Fair's annual opening party for the Tribeca Film Festival last night. Milling among actual power couples David Bowie and Iman and Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, J-vanka stood a safe two inches apart from each other at all times, looking as though they were trying very hard to maintain that "just friends" appearance. But, then, the setting — the State Supreme Court building — made PDAs seem inappropriate, anyway. "I had my divorce here," noted former Viacom chief Tom Freston, happily. "So did I," said entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman, Lizzie's dad. They clinked glasses, laughed, and headed inside. —Jada Yuan Earlier: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Are Just Friends. Really.

Big House

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.

‘Vanity Fair’: We Are All Africa, Ad Pages

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Though you might have heard something about maternally inclined stars like Angelina Jolie, Madonna, and Oprah caring for some kids in the name of child welfare on the African continent, no superstar has as yet made a really chic effort to solve the country's problems. Sure, Bill Gates's wife, Melinda, upped the camera quotient on that couple, but they don't carry the same paparazzi punch as a face-painted Gwyneth in an "I Am African" ad. Enter Bono and Vanity Fair, which is letting the U2 front man edit the July issue. "Africa is sexy and people need to know that," Bono said of his editorial agenda. It's not exactly clear yet how the marriage of Graydon Carter, debt relief, "Pride (In the Name of Love)," and AIDS is going to resolve a few hundred years of turmoil, but whatever happens, no way is it going to be frazzled, blonde, and fifteen pounds overweight: "We are trying to deal with the Sally Struthers thing … When you see people humiliated by extreme poverty and wasting away with flies buzzing around their eyes, it is easy not to believe that they are same as us," says Bono. So what to expect? Carter claims that "a co-mingling of brands will help sell a tough subject," so we're seeing sand to the horizon, Jil Sander on the suffering, and some kind of headdress on Dominick Dunne. Citizen Bono Brings African to Idle Rich [NYT]

Also, There Were Parties After the Oscars

Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, and Vince Vaughn cruised the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton's solo. (Everyone who is anyone was there.) Except Brad Pitt, who was a no-show at the Oscars despite having starred in Babel and been a producer on The Departed. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard are leaving the West Village for Brooklyn because of the paparazzi. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams are fighting. Oprah says that Barack Obama didn't start the Clinton-Geffen feud. Zero-star Kobe Club owner Jeffrey Chodorow has banned Frank Bruni from all 29 of his restaurants. At $70,000, a private soccer lesson with David Beckham was the lowest winning bid at Elton John's Oscar-night AIDS benefit. Natalie Portman left an Oscars party with Gael García Bernal.

Barbarians at the Energy Grid

FINANCE • A group led by Kohlberg Kravis is taking energy giant TXU private for $45 billion, besting the Blackstone record by $6 billion. But can Kravis beat Schwarzman's party? [NYT] • Gary Crittenden named Citigroup CFO. Job description: Fix CEO Charles Prince's mistakes. [NYT] • Goldman media banker Sebastian Grigg may defect to Credit Suisse. [DealBook/NYT]

Helpful Harvey

Harvey Weinstein doesn't help his designer girlfriend Georgina Chapman get coverage — well, except for that meeting with Anna Wintour when she was starting out. Fashion Week interlopers were able to buy tickets to Bryant Park shows on Craigslist. Food Network star Paula Dean had a run-in with a naked man in the hallway of the Regency Hotel. Later, skaters: The Roxy closes for good on March 10. Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform tonight at Snitch, accompanied by a dozen strippers. Lindsay Lohan will attend Robert Altman's memorial service in L.A. after skipping the one in New York. Megaproducer Scott Rudin won't return Cindy Adams's calls.

James Wolcott Does Not Have a Small Bladder, He Insists

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Yesterday we learned Times movie critic A.O. Scott doesn't watch the Oscars; in the same long weekend, it turns out, we also learned that Vanity Fair's resident cultural curmudgeon, James Wolcott, can't sit through a two-hour play. From his VF.com blog:
More and more, I see shows described as "intermissionless," and I hear the rattle of leg irons. It isn't that I'm incapable of "holding it in." It isn't that I'm likely to pull a Costanza and trample any senior blocking the aisle to make a beeline to the bathroom while the cast takes its bow. It's that I don't like feeling trapped, stuck for the duration … Moreover, intermissions are so civilized. You retire to the lobby, order an overpriced drink, compare notes and discreetly eavesdrop, step outside to take the air, or, if the first act was dire, flee. ("I count it as one of the great moments of my life when I first realized one could actually walk out of a theatre. I don't mean offensively — but go to the bar at the interval and not come back. I first did it at Oxford: I was watching …")
Oh, sorry. Drifted off there. But don't worry: There's lots more. We can't wait for it. Really. We'll just nip out to the lobby first for a second, and — Exit Ramp Closed [James Wolcott's Blog/VF.com]

Killers Kill, But ‘VF’ Just Hurts

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As if Graydon Carter's inability to sell his latest documentary, Chicago 10 , at Sundance wasn't proof enough that the fabulously coiffed magazine editor should perhaps get out of the movie-production business, we point you to Killers Kill, Dead Men Die, a faux-noir video montage now available on VanityFair.com to promote the magazine's new Hollywood Issue. We have no idea who wrote that drivel, how much they had to pay Ben Shenkman to get him to narrate it, or whether it's intentional or accidental that it seems like Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid–style noir spoof, but, regardless of the answers, this much is clear: It's time you put down the camera, Graydon, and got back to filling people's dinner reservations. Killers Kill, Dead Men Die [VF.com]

Regan by the Numbers: This Time, ‘Vanity Fair’

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Excuse us if our English major past compels us to notice that, in the extensive coverage of the decline and fall of Judith Regan, there are by now certain recurring themes emerging. We're not entirely sure why — either certain Judith peccadilloes make the best copy, or reporters are lazy, or the woman really only does six things — but in the new Vanity Fair, Michael Wolff's latest addition to the genre hews strictly to the storyline. Indeed, there's no need to read the article; we'll tell you the latest updates on the standard plotlines.

O.J. on O.J.: Bad; Wolcott on O.J. on O.J.: Good

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As pleasingly intriguing as it is to realize that a few stray copies of O.J. Simpson's If I Did It are floating around, we're even more pleased that one landed in the capable hands of Vanity Fair columnist James Wolcott. So, James, was the ReganBooks fiasco worth the ensuing scandal? His answer, it seems: Not so much. In a review-cum-condemnation posted to VF.com today, Wolcott is most struck by the banality of the allegedly incendiary material, noting that O.J.'s story is a "suave void" in which the running back turned movie star presents himself as a passive figure in his marriage and the murders, only slightly less inert than ghostwriter Pablo Fenvjes's prose. Don't think that means you shouldn't read the review itself, though. Even if O.J. isn't able to spin more than a yawn-yarn from his story of a wife-beating marriage, double murder, and Trial of the Century, Wolcott's toss-offs, like his gloriously alliterative contortion — "a shameless yet ingeniously opaque cockteaser of a cash-in confessional (who knew a book about a double homicide could be so flipping coy?)" — are the closest this case will ever get to poetic justice. Murder, He Wrote (Sort Of) [VF.com]

The Choir of Children Sing Their Song

Lindsay Lohan has bruised thighs because she's been practicing pole dancing. Peter Cook had his game interrupted by a traffic cop in East Hampton. Hillary Clinton had breakfast with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, while John Edwards and Joe Biden looked on. Speaking of Hillary, Alec Baldwin isn't keen on her or Obama for the 2008 presidential nod. Just so you know. Nicole Kidman's new movie supposedly didn't test well, which is trouble for Warner Bros. Maxim and Vanity Fair have a lot of talent overlap, surprisingly. Matt Damon said the biggest flaw with The Good Shepherd is that his character is married to Angelia Jolie and ignores her. Bridget Moynahan flew to Miami to try to salvage her relationship with Tom Brady, but it was too late. Designer Jean Claude Mastroianni sent an e-mail from the grave. Both Gisele and Kate Moss signed contracts to launch fragrances. David Mamet loves Paul Newman, hates Laurence Olivier. Britney Spears was named the Worst Celebrity Dog Owner of 2006. Someone found Cameron Diaz's cell phone, returned it to her. Joe Eszterhas advises screenwriters to steal memorabilia from movie sets for later resale on eBay. Cindy Adams has no gossip, but she does ramble incoherently about Christmas. People used to hit on Access Hollywood hostess Maria Menounos when she worked at Dunkin' Donuts. A Website named the Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time" the worst Yule song of all time.

The Book Reviewer's Song

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In all the brouhaha over Christopher Hitchens's paean to poop jokes in the new Vanity Fair, you might have missed the Proust Questionnaire with literary warhorse Norman Mailer. The venerable writer-cum-political agitator dishes on his hatred for Reagan, Bush, Hitler, and — oh, yeah — Pulitzer-winning Times book critic Michiko Kakutani:
What is your greatest fear?
That I will never meet Michiko Kakutani and so not be able to tell her what I think of her. She has an unseemly haste to rush into print with the first very bad review of any book I write. She does this ahead of publication. That is a strategy. If the first review of a book is dreadful, an author needs at least three good ones to change that first impression.
Hitler, in comparison, gets off easy. Not that we're surprised: We hear he thought pretty highly of The Naked and the Dead. Proust Questionnaire: Normal Mailer [VF]

Andy Bugs Bill?

Andrew Cuomo appointed a former foe of Bill Clinton's to his transition committee, and "Page Six" insists the Clintons aren't thrilled. Casey Johnson threw a designer a Fashion Week party in exchange for a fur coat, didn't get the fur coat, and then complained about it. Nas cheated on, beat his ex-wife, according to the ex-wife. An unnamed New York Met may have fallen for a blonde stripper. Jessica Simpson lost out on a Vanity Fair cover and a Miu Miu campaign because of her hairdresser. Anderson Cooper went to Brazil, chatted up a good-looking man. Walter Cronkite's summertime chef is trying to write a tell-all book about him. Dan Aykroyd asked Jay McInerney to taste-test a bunch of wines he is producing. L.A. Clipper Elton Brand produced a Werner Herzog film. Liv Tyler likes South Carolina because she can smoke anywhere. Yahoo!'s Terry Semel could battle Jeff Zucker for NBC's top slot, says Cindy Adams. Looking for Christmas gifts for your PETA-member friend? Adopt a chimp! (Related: Boycott Pom brand pomegranate juice.)

Lauren Hutton Teaches Us About Math

At the Saks Fifth Avenue "Want It!" shopping event Wednesday night, we were wandering around, lazily stalking celebs, when a hand grabbed us. "Hi, I'm Lauren." Hi, Lauren Hutton, we said, startled to be bum-rushed by the sixties supermodel. Why are you talking to us? She thought we were from the Times. We corrected her. She insisted we were from the Times. We went with it, and, boy, are we glad we did.