party lines

Liz Smith Gets Grabby at ‘Manny’ Celebration

Harvey Weinstein and Holly Peterson

Author Holly Peterson with Harvey Weinstein.Photos: Patrick McMullan

My father suggested we do it here,” explained Holly Peterson, and the Four Seasons Grill Room erupted in every possible variation on the worldly guffaw: Peterson’s knack for self-promotion was apparently a well-established meme here. The party celebrated Peterson’s first foray into literature, The Manny — a book that gently gender-flips the babysitter-diddling scenario (and incidentally makes Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him read like Madame Bovary).

Only New York and “Page Six” could breach the media firewall, which made for a welcoming environment for the star power and churlish air on display. When a photographer erroneously waved us into a two-shot with Holly Peterson, we were yanked out of the picture faster than a presidential assassin. “Get behind me. No. Behind,” commanded the author. Harvey Weinstein, sporting a wispy beard — the only thing wispy about the man — made an immediate beeline for Barbara Walters. We tried to pitch him our marketing strategy for the inevitable Manny movie (the tagline: Au pair … with a pair), but to no avail. Liz Smith, fielding our request to share a juicy hired-help story, said, “That tends to get people into trouble, doesn’t it?” then lightly slapped our behind when we turned away. We’re pretty sure that tends to get people into trouble. The always-affable George Stephanopoulos, when asked if he’d make a good manny, uncorked an accidental double entendre: “I’m good for about two hours. I’m great at bedtime, and I’m great in the morning. I sag a little in the late afternoon.”

An hour or so in, the room was abuzz with the news of the “real Manny“‘s arrival. Trouble was, nobody knew what he looked like. “He’s a young guy,” offered one flack. “He looks kind of like Eminem, with less hair,” suggested another. Finally, the Manny — real name John, looking nothing like Eminem — was located, hovering over one of Peterson’s suit-and-tied children. As we approached, the kid playfully elbowed him in the groin. “So, you know any other mannies?” we asked. The kid elbowed him in the groin again, harder. “Come on, let’s go.” —Michael Idov

Liz Smith Gets Grabby at ‘Manny’ Celebration