Ashley Alexandra Dupré Continues to Haunt New YorkReal celebrities are riled by sightings of Eliot’s lady friend; Simon Doonan gets his own TV show and pretty people buy expensive homes in our daily roundup of the news from New York’s best gossip columns.
John McCain Brings All the Billionaires to the YardJohn McCain is coming to New York next Tuesday for a giant fund-raiser to power his national campaign, reports Elizabeth Benjamin at the Daily News. It sounds like it’s going to be a doozy — the host committee includes Henry Kissinger, Alfonse D’Amato, Woody Johnson, Georgette Mosbacher, and Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain. Tickets are either $1,000 or $2,300 per person (get it? The most you can donate to one candidate?), and it will take place at the Plaza. So glamorous. But let’s get down to business (literally). How many billionaires will be in attendance? And how many billions do they represent? From Forbes.com’s most recent list, we count five: Henry Kravis (the world’s 178th-richest man, worth $5.5 billion), Ray Dalio (worth $4 billion), Louis Bacon (worth $1.7 billion), Marc Rowan (worth $1.5 billion), and Robert Fisher ($1.4 billion). That’s a total of over $14 billion in the room with the Republican presidential nominee. There are several dozen other multimillionaires on the list, plus Lord knows how many buying tickets — so we’ll conservatively push that number over the $15 billion barrier. At first, we wondered how on earth any of the Democrats could get that much money into one room. And then we remembered that all Hillary needs to do is have Warren Buffet hold another fund-raiser, and she’d be in the company of quadruple that amount. Nobody else would even need to show up.
Catherine Z-J Gets the ‘No Way’ From Rob MarshallCatherine Zeta-Jones won’t star in the movie adaptation of Broadway musical Nine because the director wouldn’t beef up her role. Eight staffers have left CBS’ The Early Show because they can’t stand working with hotheaded senior exec producer Shelley Ross. Paris Hilton thinks the guys in New York are “so much better” than the ones in L.A. Since divorcing his wife, George Soros has been hanging out with young girls in their twenties at his home in Southampton. Sportscaster Ahmad Rashad and ex-socialite (and ex-wife of Jets owner Woody Johnson) Sale Johnson may be getting married today. Anna Wintour controlled the seating arrangements at the $50,000-a-table 7th on Sale event at the Lexington Armory. (Speaking of Anna, Tim Burton says that Johnny Depp based the haircut of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on hers.)
Martha Stewart Is Scared of WestchesterMartha Stewart cancelled a book signing in Westchester because she didn’t want to deal with questions from residents as to why she was trying to trademark the name “Katonah.” Ellen Barkin played coy when asked about whether she slept with George Clooney. Some critics disagree with Out magazine’s decision to put Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster on the cover. The Clintons are going on vacation to the Dominican Republic to hang out with the de la Rentas. Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts are pushing up their nuptials so they can tie the knot before Watts gives birth. An NBC flack snapped back at CBS producer Steve Friedman for his comments about the Today show’s slipping ratings. Woody Johnson is making his 60th birthday party a costume affair so feuding family members Libet and Casey won’t recognize each other.
Paris to Go Directly to Jail?Paris Hilton may go to jail for violating the terms of her probation after September’s drunk-driving arrest. Chris Rock’s marriage may or may not be on shaky ground. Jets owner Woody Johnson can invite his sister or his daughter to his birthday party, but not both. (They hate each other.) Jay-Z and Beyoncé are still together, despite the fact that he didn’t walk the red carpet with her at the Oscars. Meatpacking haunts R&R and Double Seven are being shuttered, but a rustic lounge called Retreat is opening. Justin Timberlake is opening a southern restaurant on the Upper East Side. (You can read more about it at Grub Street.) Fellow pregnant dumpees Bridget Moynahan and Mary Louise Parker had breakfast. Taki Theodoracopulos and Dominick Dunne have both made enemies on the party-writing circuit.