Leave Anne Hathaway Alone!The question of the day is this: How could Anne Hathaway have stayed with Italian financier Raffaello Follieri for so long, despite all signs pointing to his being a big fraud? We think the most obvious answer is the correct one.
Anne Hathaway Finally Gets Smart!Reports that Anne Hathaway broke up with boyfriend Raffaello Follieri go undenied by her reps, Ivanka Trump reveals a childhood trauma, André Leon Talley threatens to style again, and other celebrity reports in our daily digest.
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Is Hathaello Over?That’s what a British paper is claiming — that actress Anne Hathaway and her Italian financier boyfriend Raffaello Follieri are finally on the outs.
Cancer Has Not Impaired Patrick Swayze’s JudgementPatrick Swayze passed on playing a gay cheerleading coach in Fired Up for “creative reasons,” not because he’s sick. The script for Saturday’s Inner Circle show at the Hilton had to be overhauled in light of Spitzergate. Tom Brady made a rare post–Super Bowl public appearance with Gisele at the opening of the Zegna store on Fifth Avenue. Anne Hathaway bought five bottles of absinthe and borrowed an absinthe fountain from a restaurant for a party she was hosting with her boyfriend Raffaello Folllieri. ABC may cancel Rachael Ray’s show because of poor ratings. Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie shared an “uncomfortable silence” after being seated six feet apart from one another at a Cinema Society screening.
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Hathaello Goes to the Oscars; Despite Threat of a Lurking BurkleLast night Raffaello Follieri mingled at the Oscars on the arm of his girlfriend, presenter Anne Hathaway. No one knew who he was, not really, but he looked, one news outlet noted, “tall dark and handsome.” Little did they know he could barely afford the tux. Seems just last week, Follieri made an appearance in Delaware Chancery Court, where he explained that he couldn’t pay the $12 million he had agreed to pay Ron Burkle to settle a lawsuit the supermarket magnate filed against him in April. The suit alleged that Follieri had taken $57 million of Burkle’s money, intended to develop church properties, and used it instead to spend it on “a lifestyle that included private jets, a penthouse and trips to Europe with his movie-star girlfriend.” Follieri denied the charges — he would never! — but agreed to settle some months ago. But now, he says, he, um, doesn’t have any money anymore. You see, judge, all those trips to the Waverly Inn kinda add up. “The money is not there,” one of Follieri’s attorneys, Philip Trainer Jr., told the court. Oops?
Yucaipa to be paid in property [Bloomberg]
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Imaginary Eavesdropping on Raffaello Follieri and the Sultan of BruneiThis morning, “Page Six” reported that the Sultan of Brunei and Raffaello Follieri met for lunch at the Dorchester Hotel, in London. Confused as to what the Sultan, who is famously estranged from his rogue brother, Jeffri, was doing with the rogue Italian businessman/Anne Hathaway boyfriend, we attempted to imagine what they might be talking about over tea and scones.
The Sultan of Brunei: Hello, Hathaello.
Raffaello: Hello, your majesty. Er, your Sultan-ity?
The Sultan of Brunei: No need to be so formal! Please, call me Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah. And how are you, today, Hathaello.
Raffaello: Um, I’m fine. And, by the way, it’s not a big deal, but my name is Raffaello. Hathaello is this name that some people gave to me and my girlfriend, together.
The Sultan of Brunei: What? You mean Anne Hathaway isn’t coming to this lunch? I have been watching that scene from Brokeback Mountain when she and Jake are in the backseat of the car, on repeat, all week just to prepare myself.
Raffaello: Oh, wow.
The Sultan of Brunei: I also loved her in The Princess Diaries. Very poised.
Raffaello: Yes, she is.
The Sultan of Brunei: So why did you want to meet me today, over lunch at the Dorchester in London, if not just to dash my dreams of meeting the star of the Devil Wears Prada? And how did you get here so quickly? I just read that you were at the Miss Sixty show. I love the fringed mukluks they’re doing this year.
Raffaello: I took a private jet, which I paid for with my World Missions Visa credit card. One percent of net purchases go to … the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
The Sultan of Brunei: Is that like the Human Fund?
Raffaello: Kinda. Anyway, you see, I’m looking to expand my business, and I need backers. I just ended my financial relationship with Ron Burkle —
The Sultan of Brunei: Oh! I know him! We met through our mutual friend, Blanket. You might know of his dad, Michael Jackson.
Hathaello Checks Out Miss Sixty
•Lela Rose thinks she’s still in the running to design Jenna Bush’s wedding dress, despite a first family visit to Oscar de la Renta last week. [NYDN]
•Anne Hathaway totally lied when she said she wouldn’t be attending any fashion shows this week. She and Raffaello Follieri were at Miss Sixty. [The Cut]
• Sheryl Crow enters the fashion arena, with an affordable denim line by the same people who make Victoria Beckham’s dVb line. [WWD]
The ‘Times’ Touches Upon Checkbook Journalism — With Two Fingers, Of CourseMEDIA
• “OK!, the celebrity magazine, could not possibly have purchased all the attention it enjoyed in late December after it got the scoop that Jamie Lynn Spears, the younger and until then less sensational sister of the troubled pop queen Britney Spears, was three months pregnant. Or could it?” [NYT]
• Josh Stein isn’t actually leaving Gawker; Emily Gould will write for Jezebel; Choire Sicha will continue contributing columns; and recently departed Wonkette editor Ken Layne returned after just a few months off the job. Can anyone escape the tentacles of Nick Denton? [HuffPo]
• The Writers Guild plans to picket Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and Conan O’Brien as the three late-night hosts return to the air. Letterman gets off easy since he struck a deal with the writers and may get a big boost since big stars (like Robin Williams, natch) won’t have to cross the pickets to go on his show. [NYO, NYT]
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Jude Law Brings His Pillbox Hat to Halston RoleIt looks like 2008 is the new 1978. That is, it will be the year of Halston. Not only will the fashion house, purchased last year by Harvey Weinstein with the creative help of Tamara Mellon and Rachel Zoe, show again at New York’s Fashion Week — but it turns out that a Weinstein movie is in the works about the iconic designer’s life. And Jude Law is in talks to play the lead role! Which not only means that we get to see Jude Law play gay again, but also that we’ll get to see a whole bevy of celebrities played by younger stars. We can see it now: Zach Braff as Studio 54 owner Steve Rubell, Anne Hathaway as Bianca Jagger and oh! Oh! Amy Winehouse as Liza Minnelli!!
Jude Law to Play Halston? [Fashionista]
The A to Z of What’s Hot for 2008 [Daily Telegraph]
Earlier: Can Harvey Resurrect Halston?
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Hathaello Will Survive With the Help of Baby JesusLooks like Anne Hathaway’s not getting any Christmas presents this year! The L.A. Times is reporting that her boyfriend, Italian developer Raffaello Follieri, has decided to settle with Ron Burkle, who sued him last April after partnering with him in a real-estate scheme gone awry. The suit alleged that Follieri had misappropriated funds given to him by a sector of Burkle’s Yucaipa Company for the development of Catholic Church property by squandering it on private jets, a $40,000-a-month penthouse, expensive restaurants, and gifts for his movie-star girlfriend. Why did he settle? Was it because he felt he was in danger? We don’t know, nor do we know what the settlement amount was, because the Follieri Group is too busy being possibly nonexistent to answer their phones. However, some time ago the Wall Street Journal suggested that Burkle was looking for at least $1.3 million of his money back, which is kind of a lot for a developer who doesn’t really seem to develop very much. Lucky for Follieri, he can always play the Catholic card and tell Anne that Christmas really isn’t about presents. It’s about thanking Jesus for not putting you in jail.
Yucaipa, Follieri Settle Lawsuit [LAT]
Stephen Schwartz Dishes ‘Cluelessly and Recklessly’ About His Opera ProjectWhat is Stephen Schwartz doing in his downtime with the stagehands on strike? Getting an education. The Broadway composer and lyricist told us he’s still working on an opera (commissioned in 2006) to premiere in Santa Barbara in 2009. “It’s like going back to graduate school a little bit,” Schwartz said at the Enchanted premiere at the Ziegfeld last night. Schwartz revealed to us, for the first time, that the opera is called Cluelessly and Recklessly, and it is a psychological thriller. He said he adapted it from the British film Séance on a Wet Afternoon and is getting used to composing for singers who don’t use microphones — for him, the biggest departure from his Broadway work. “Like in Wicked, you know, the orchestra’s just playing away. Or in Enchanted, the orchestra’s just playing away and you turn the mike up and you hear the singers over the orchestra. In the opera you can’t do that. So you have to make sure there’s space for the singers. So that’s a different way of thinking about writing.” This is Schwartz’s first opera. “That’s why it’s so foolish for me to be doing this!” he said. You call it “foolish”; we call it “the only good theater news we’ve heard since the stagehands’ strike began.” —Amy Odell
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Hathaello Facing Another, More Dangerous Hurdle?Gawker just put up a very upsetting item: Hathaello is in danger! Apparently at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation gala last night there was tight security, but Raffaello Follieri and Anne Hathaway felt the need to have their own burly bodyguard. None of the other (brighter) luminaries had personal protection, not even A-listers like Meryl Streep, Diane Sawyer, Robin Williams, or Barbara Walters. As Gawker points out, Anne Hathaway doesn’t usually travel with a bodyguard (we know, because once we accosted her at a party about her New Jersey Eastern all-state choir days and there was no one there to stop us), so it was probably all for Follieri’s benefit. “The weird thing,” explains their source, “was no one was approaching the guy anyway.” Does this mean that there is a hidden threat to their controversial love? Is one of the men (or churches) that Follieri allegedly ripped off going to come after him? Or, as we secretly suspect, is the young Italian exerting a Scientology-like hold over the lovely Anne, refusing to allow her to read bad press about him? That would explain why he’d hire a bodyguard: to keep prying reporters away. That would also explain something we’ve been wondering about for a long time: why the hell she hasn’t dumped him already.
Marked Man: Who Is Trying To Kill Anne Hathaway’s Hot Crazy Boyfriend? [Gawker]
Padma: When in Doubt, Suck Face With SalmanA prankster made lewd comments to Ann Curry and Matt Lauer during a media conference call between TV writers and the Today anchors. Banker Rafael Follieri, boyfriend of Anne Hathaway, flew commercial from Atlanta to New York despite supposedly owning a private jet. Padma Lakshmi was overheard telling someone she still was “still trying to work the secret to a great relationship out” hours before she made out with Salman Rushdie at Bungalow 8. (Rushdie also almost fell asleep during a play at the Guggenheim on Saturday.) Ivanka Trump couldn’t get into East Village dive Black and White because she didn’t have an I.D. The smoking hot ex–First Lady of France, Cecilia Sarkozy, is coming to visit New York with her kid.
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Anne Hathaway’s Boyfriend Got Served … AgainRemember Raffaello Follieri? He’s the Italian real-estate developer who was sued a while ago by his investor, Ron Burkle, for allegedly misappropriating funds, and more important, he is one half of the power couple Hathaello. (The other half is actress Anne Hathaway.) Follieri is again being sued, this time by D.C.-based PR firm the Carmen Group, which says that he hired them to smooth over the whole Burkle thing but then failed to pay them a portion of their $25,000-a-month fee. Follieri’s rep denied the accusation. However, had he not paid them, we could sort of see why, what with that big honking front-page Wall Street Journal story that made him sound like the shadiest dude in Shadetown. But the real question is this: Have Hathaello broken up? A quick search indicates that they haven’t been photographed together since September 5! Did Anne become the J.Lo to Raffaello’s Puffy? Developing
Ciao, Carmen [Legal Times via NYP]
Earlier: Will Hathaello Last?
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Will Hathaello Last?So it appears that the Clintons have made another unwise real-estate investment, this time with Raffaello Follieri, more commonly known as Anne Hathaway’s boyfriend. According to today’s Journal, after being introduced to Follieri by an aide, the Clintons got buddy Ron Burkle to invest up to $100 million with the young Italian, who said he was planning on buying and developing property for the Roman Catholic Church. Now Burkle is suing Follieri, alleging that he barely bought any churches and instead used everyone’s investment money to fund a “lavish lifestyle.” This all looks not great for the Clintons: What with Whitewater and Norman Hsu and all, they’re starting to look kind of gullible. Maybe they’ll go into time shares next. But enough about them: What does this mean for Anne and Raffaello?
Serena Williams Likes Nadal, Russians Not as MuchOn Friday night, the Garden of Ono was overrun by tennis balls and Heineken kegs to celebrate the U.S. Open kickoff. Like fillies just learning to walk, young lady tennis stars tottered around hesitantly, their knotty calves unaccustomed to stiletto heels. Men sporting blazers and bronzer gleefully spectated. “I really like [Rafael] Nadal,” said Serena Williams, who was avoiding alcohol and snacks for the night. We tried to get her to dish on what happens in the stadium locker room, but she upheld an Open oath of omerta. “What happens there stays there,” she said. “It’s kind of like Vegas.” Her sister Venus, who sneaked in the back, kept incognito under a tennis cap (except to say hi to Kevin Connelly and Andy Roddick). We asked Serena what new girls we should look out for on the court. “You know everyone now is so young and so good,” she said, shrugging. “And so Russian.“—Amy Odell
It’s Not Easy Playing Graydon CarterJeff Bridges has to wear a coiffed wig to play Graydon Carter in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, but he didn’t wear a fat suit. Roger Federer told Anna Wintour that he will be wearing blue and white during the day and black at night for the U.S. Open, and Andy Roddick says that Elton John actually has a good backhand. Vivica Fox was allegedly drinking at their birthday party Tuesday night despite a court mandate forbidding her to on account of her March DUI. “Obama Girl” Amber Lee Ettinger is actually more enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton. Christiane Amanpour and other CNN staffers often saw Ted Turner in a bathrobe when he lived above CNN Center in Atlanta. Elizabeth Taylor will star in a play with James Earl Jones in December to raise $1 million to fight AIDS. Bill Clinton ate at Serendipity. Justin Timberlake’s manager got him a round of golf at Glen Oaks Country Club on Long Island.
The Future of the Species Depends on Paris HiltonParis Hilton has landed a starring role in a movie set in the year 2056, “when a plague nearly destroys the human race and survival is dependent upon being able to finance a pricey organ transplant.” Anne Hathaway got into a fight with her boyfriend (who is being sued by Ron Burkle) during a screening of her movie in East Hampton, but she stayed with him at the after-party until the cops shut it down at 1 a.m. Madonna strolled into the Reebok Sports Club on Columbus Avenue without checking in. Tyra Banks and her family ate at Serendipity 3. The two assistants from Jane who were cast in SoapNet’s Fashionista Diaries have been moved to CosmoGirl. Usher’s pregnant girlfriend, whom he was slated to marry on Saturday until a last-minute cancellation, checked into a hospital for “pregnancy complications,” though it may just be a ploy to get him back. Ivana Trump is set to get married for a third time, to Rossano Rubicondi.
Britney, Not OkayDuring a recent photo shoot for OK!, Britney Spears fondled herself, peed in public, and walked away with $21,267 in clothing. Jay-Z is considering jumping from Island Def Jam to Columbia Records, perhaps because Jermaine Dupri was named president of Island’s urban music division. A lot of coarse language will have to be edited out of the roast of Flavor Flav when it’s aired on Comedy Central. Lauren Bacall can’t find herself a man who isn’t already married. Judi Giuliani hosted a fund-raising cocktail party at the Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park. Tom Brady and Donald Trump played golf at Trump’s club in Westchester. Scary Spice is starting to hint at “troubling aspects” of ex-husband Eddie Murphy’s lifestyle, but she hasn’t specific. An upcoming book on personal hygiene portrays the French as rather smelly.