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.
in other news
More Gruesome Details From the Trump SohoA little bit more news has come out today about yesterday’s collapse at the Trump Soho. Apparently it was not a bucket swinging into the scaffolding, as we and others reported yesterday, that caused the accident. Rather, a wooden mold in which a worker was tamping down concrete collapsed, and the wet concrete caused the worker to fall 42 stories to his death. Though the name of the worker, who was decapitated, according to the Times, has not been officially released, the Post is still flagrantly identifying him as Yuri. The Daily News points out that the company in charge of the site, Bovis Lend Lease, was also the company whose violations at the Deutsche Bank building led to a fire that killed two firefighters last year, and notes that their projects have “a history of worker injuries and deaths and objects hitting passersby.” Meanwhile, the Times digs up the fact that Joseph Fama, one of the owners of the DiFama Concrete Company of Brooklyn, the subcontractor hired by Bovis, who employed the deceased and the other workers, has been in jail since 2004 for racketeering and extortion, and according to federal authorities is an associate of the Lucchese crime family. And still, no one has heard from the Family Trump.
Construction Worker Dies in 42 Story Fall in SoHo [NYT]
Worker plunges to death at Trump site [NYDN]
Trump Horror [NYP]
Diane Sawyer Forgets to Ask Katie Holmes About the HubbaspermDiane Sawyer interviewed Katie Holmes on Good Morning America yet neglected to ask her about the rumor that she was impregnated with L. Ron Hubbard’s sperm. New York Giants Plaxico Burress, Antonio Pierce, and Ruben Droughns went to Home nightclub in Manhattan after flying back from Dallas and ordered $1,000 of Bacardi, vodka, and Champagne, but forgot to tip their waitress. Waiters at Brasserie 44 in the Royalton Hotel thought they discovered Frank Bruni’s notebook, but it turned out to belong to someone else (and they slipped in some Bruni ass-kissing to boot!). Jil Scott picked up a male model at an Allure fashion shoot and took him to Nobu. Keith Olbermann’s quote to Playboy that “Fox News is worse than Al-Qaeda” did not go over well with many of the magazine’s readers.
early and often
Reading Rudy’s Future: It’s a Dry HeatNow that yesterday’s poll numbers on Giuliani in Florida have sunk in, campaign staffers and political analysts (those that can stand to take a break from dissecting Hillary and Obama’s race kerfuffle) are trying to figure out whether this means the end for the former New York mayor. Yesterday, the Times reported that one of their polls showed McCain edging ahead of Giuliani by a small amount in the southern swing state, where Giuliani has been concentrating all of his campaign efforts. Huckabee and Romney were a mere percentage point behind, putting all four within the same margin of error for the poll. Now, with the arrival of the Michigan primary (Giuliani’s first real chance at a strong finish, some are taking a hard look at his future prospects:
• Today Giuliani’s chief strategist Brent Seaborn saw a bright side in not being part of the brutal Huckabee-Romney-McCain battle in early primary states: “I think we’ve been in the fortunate position that a lot of attacks haven’t been directed our way.” Giuliani may remain remarkably unscathed late into the race, which will be a surprise boon for a candidate with many potential negatives.
• But Matthew Continetti in the Weekly Standard points out that Hillary’s recent stumbles against Barack Obama may have taken the wind out of Giuliani’s campaign, which early on was partially based on his unique ability to take down the Clinton machine in a general election.
• And Joel Achenbach adds that when Super Tuesday comes around, previous voting numbers are going to become irrelevant in the face of delegate accumulation. Giuliani has always been aiming for delegates, not total state wins, and this strategy may serve him well on February 5.
• Finally, Talking Points Memo reads the Romney-McCain-Giuliani tea leaves and declares that the question isn’t whether it’s judgment day for Giuliani, but whether it’s high noon for Mitt.
white men with money
Vikram Pandit Gets a Write-down, Foreign Capital for His BirthdayYesterday was new Citigroup honcho Vikram Pandit’s 51st birthday, and pretty much everyone forgot, since this morning he had to announce the largest quarterly loss in his bank’s history. To be sure, the $18.1 billion subprime-mortgage-related write-down is not as much as the $24 billion that was predicted over the weekend, but it was enough that it led to a fourth-quarter loss of $9.83 billion. But there was a silver lining: The bank says it has plans to raise upwards of $12.5 billion through a private securities sale, which includes $6.88 billion from Singapore. They also expect the Kuwait Investment Authority, Alwaleed bin Talal, and even former Citigroup CEO Sanford “Sandy” Weill to kick in with investments. That’s “a huge vote of confidence on [Weill’s] part,” one analyst told Reuters. “I’m surprised to see his name there.” We wonder if Pandit is surprised. Maybe today after work, he’ll go outside and Weill will be waiting for him in his red convertible. “Me?” Pandit will say. “Yeah, you,” Weill will say, and later that night they’ll share kisses over birthday cake while the Thompson Twins’ “If You Were Here” plays softly in the background.
Citigroup raising $14.5 billion [Reuters]