Tinsley Mortimer Never Misses a Press Line Tinsley Mortimer, hair styled, full face of makeup, popped into a nail salon yesterday afternoon for a new coat of Ballet Slippers. As you can see, the nail salon she chose happens to be Iris Nails on Madison Avenue. Which happens to be next door to the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home. Which happens to have been surrounded by photographers since early yesterday, when Heath Ledger’s body was taken there to await burial. We’re just saying.
Tinsley Mortimer’s Grim Photo-Op [Socialite Life]
The Night We Shared a Moment With ‘The Captain’
We had just arrived at Morandi last night when a pair of older, Sopranos-looking gentlemen sitting at the end of the bar got into a spat with some other patrons and stomped out. “You wanna start something with me?” the one with a pompadour snarled. “C’mon, Paulie, let’s get outta here,” his friend said, and they slammed their glasses down and stomped out. “Weird,” our friend said, as we settled into their seats. “Do you think Keith McNally paid those guys to be here, like Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding?” But we were too distracted to ponder this possibility, because right then, at the other end of the bar, directly in our line of vision, was a face that over the past five months and five days we had come to know, and indeed, to love. “Look,” we whispered to our friend. “It’s The Captain.”
Alan Cumming, ReporterWe know Alan Cumming has had sex with journalists. But would he ever like to try being a journalist, like Naomi Campbell, who recently interviewed Hugo Chavez for British GQ? “I’d love to ask certain questions to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama,” he said at the launch of the Italian Commission’s Made in Italy ad campaign at the Hearst tower. “I’d like to know where they stand on equal rights for gay people. I’d also like to interview George Bush, just to watch him squirm.” (Maybe he could ask him, “You’re into your cock, aren’t you?”) But what about the people who really matter?, we pressed. Which celebrities would he like to interview? “I’d like to find out who all those blonde girls are — there’s a whole lot of them who look the same, the ones from The Hills, and that Hayden, um, Pan-i-tare? She’s everywhere,” he said. “And who’s that one, that Kim Ka-shi-shen?” Kardashian? We said. The one who made a sex tape with Brandy’s brother and now has a TV show? “Yes! My friend told me she’s a skanky whore, and I’m like, ‘Wow, she’s a lot more interesting than I thought she was.’” Like any ambitious reporter, Cumming would like to land the big story. “I’d love to interview Britney,” he said wistfully. Then he changed his mind. “But I’d rather her do it with one of those E! TV people, or Oprah.” That’s it, Alan Cumming will take care of Hillary and Barack. Let the professionals handle Britney. —Amy Preiser
Col Allan Is Not Afraid of Mary-Kate Olsen!Following our post this morning about how the Post’s story on Mary-Kate Olsen being questioned by police turned out to be wrong, we just received this statement from Post editor-in-chief Col Allan, via e-mail:
We confirmed this story last night with an impeccable source inside the NYPD and we stand by our reporting. Almost immediately after the tragic passing of Mr. Ledger, Ms. Olsen’s attorneys began emailing us threatening letters. As has been well reported, there were a number of calls to Ms. Olsen from the masseuse before the NYPD arrived on the scene. We would find it strange if Ms. Olsen were not questioned at all. The New York Post will not be pressured and we find it odd that the chiefs at the NYPD appear to be terrified of 4-foot-11 inch, 90-pound Mary Kate Olsen.
Related: In Ledger Mystery, ‘Post’ Goes After Mary-Kate. Cops, Not as Much
Skeletons Found in Washington Square ParkGreenwich Village: Renovations in Washington Square Park have uncovered human remains, and not for the first time in the park’s history: The site used to be a graveyard for the poor. [Gothamist]
Bedford-Stuyvesant: You all know cool little Brownstone Books in Stuy Heights, right? Well, it’s going to take over the bookstore at BAM, too. Wowza. [Bed-Stuy Blog]
Carroll Gardens: Some streets here will probably be reclassified as “narrow,” rather than “wide,” in order to impose new building-height limitations in these quaint parts. [Gowanus Lounge]
in other news
In Ledger Mystery, ‘Post’ Goes After Mary-Kate. Cops, Not as MuchWe’ll admit it: When we saw the cover of the Post today, we felt a little bad for Mary-Kate Olsen. Sure, it was weird that she didn’t tell her masseuse to call 911 immediately after the employee found Heath Ledger’s dead body, but everything happened quickly, and she did try to help. Why was it suddenly her responsibility to take care of things? She’s only 13 years old for Pete’s sake. The “HEAT IS ON MARY KATE” headline, followed by the “Cops to grill her in death” kicker, seemed a little aggressive. And, we’ve just found out, it’s not even true. Both Us Weekly and TMZ.com are reporting that Mary-Kate will not be questioned. “We have absolutely no interest in talking to Mary-Kate,” a police source explained today. Now, if you look closely at the Post story, buried at the bottom, another cop source said the same thing. “Law enforcement sources last night said they did not think there was anything suspicious about either [the masseuse’s] or Olsen’s conduct,” their story said. So the heat, technically, was not on her at any time. Except, of course, from the Post.
Police Source: Mary-Kate Olsen Will Not Be Grilled Over Heath Ledger Calls [Us Weekly]
Mary-Kate Story Bogus [TMZ.com]
early and often
The Republican Debate Made Mildly Interesting!Last night’s Republican debate at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton was about as feisty as knitting lessons at the community center. It was as if the candidates, who mostly avoided attacks, were tired from the heat. Many observers handed Romney the victory for his smooth answers on the economy; McCain also did well. But Giuliani and Huckabee, while they didn’t do poorly, didn’t do much to break out of their second-tier positions in Florida. For those who missed it, we sifted the platitudes for the stuff that really matters.
Has Al Gore Been Touching Bono in a Bad Way?
Bono says that being with Al Gore is like “being with an Irish priest.” Mel Gibson supposedly distanced himself from Heath Ledger after Ledger chose to play a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain against Gibson’s counsel. Celebs like Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey may like Hugo Chavez because of his drugs.
Margaret Truman Gets $2 Million Per FloorWhen she announced she was putting her Park Avenue apartment on the market last spring, writer and First Daughter Margaret Truman had banked on the triplex maisonette’s “brush with presidential history” helping to sell it, according to the New York Times. Apparently, it worked eventually. Truman, who authored a spate of murder mysteries set in the nation’s capital and was married to late Times editor Clifton Daniel, had offers by the beginning of fall. In October it had gone into contract, a deal that, according to a source, finally closed today. It took some price cuts, though: The triplex maisonette, which has four bedrooms, four baths, and a working fireplace, had an initial asking of $8 million but was slashed six weeks later to $7.5 million. The final price: $6 million. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
Examining Our First Fashion Week Survival KitToday, publicists for Peroni Italian Beer, a sponsor of Fashion Week, sent us a very generous survival kit to help us make it through the coming two weeks. It included a lot of useful things that will keep us feeling healthy enough and looking unhealthy enough to fit right in at the tents at Bryant Park. But some of the objects had us scratching our heads. What on earth, for example, do we need a gift certificate to a spa in Miami for? Below, we’ve divided the contents of the kit into two categories: things that we know the uses for and things that, well, we’re not quite as sure about.
Thanks, guys! This will really help!
1 tube deluxe body crème [For feeling soft while we look sharp.]
1 packet Emergen-C [For energy.]
1 pack Peroni mints [Because try as we might, we always end up having to talk to people.]
2 packets Advil [Since the above effort always gives us a headache.]
1 emery board [To sharpen our talons, of course.]
1 box TipToes [Well, we’re certainly not going to be wearing flats.]
in other news
Fox’s John Gibson Apologizes for Insensitive Remarks About Heath LedgerThe blogosphere has been churning all day over Fox host John Gibson’s comments on his radio show yesterday about the death of Heath Ledger. To recap: Gibson played the “I can’t quit you” clip from Brokeback Mountain; said, “Well, I guess he found a way to quit you,” to much laughter in the studio; then followed up with a barrage of the sort of tasteless banter we have come to expect from these shows. “I don’t know why a 28-year-old guy is thinking about death,” Gibson said disparagingly, referring to a quote from an interview Ledger gave in 2007 in which he said his daughter caused him to “look at death differently.” “Maybe he was a deep thinker,” a female co-host chimed in. “Maybe he was a weirdo,” Gibson said. He laughed, then played another clip from Brokeback, in which Ledger’s character says, “We’re dead,” several times. The clip made its way to Gawker, Newshounds, and other blogs, who dug up clips of Gibson’s remarks about Brokeback Mountain (“I just think most people do not want to go into a darkened room with a tub of popcorn and munch away watching two guys get it on,” among others), and now GLAAD is leading a protest against Gibson and Fox. The Intelligencer hears that Gibson will address his remarks on his television show, The Big Story, at 5 p.m. Watch this space for updates.
UPDATE, 6 p.m.: Indeed, Gibson closed out The Big Story tonight by reading an apology: “I have received many complaints regarding my comments on my radio show about the death of Heath Ledger,” he said. “I’m sorry that some took my comments as anti-gay and insensitive. I am aware that Ledger has a family, and I am sorry if I offended them and those who knew him, but most of all I am sorry for the loss of a young man I understand was a fine actor and human being. Once again, to those offended by my comments, I’m sorry.” Will this be enough to keep the wolves at bay?
early and often
Diva Debaters: Which One Is Bigger?Hey, everybody! There’s an update in New York’s patented 2008 Electopedia. In our exhaustive look at New York’s presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, we’ve already compared the two in categories ranging from “First Love” to “Relationship With Offspring.” Today’s matchup is “Best Debate Smackdown.” Think you know when Giuliani’s elbow (or Hillary’s voice) was at its sharpest? Click through to read all about it.
Best Debate Smackdown [Electopedia]
The 2008 Electopedia [Main Page]
Fern Mallis and Simon Doonan’s Tips on TippingAttention shoppers! It’s that time of year. Yes, the Tipping Time, wherein you must give of your bounty unto all those little people who make your world go round (even if it makes you a little morally queasy). But what to give, and to whom? Well! We ran into Barneys creative director Simon Doonan and Fashion Week overlord Fern Mallis several weeks back at the launch for our New York Look fashion magazine (which, we might add, yet again, is pretty fucking fantastic), and asked them how they treat the help when the holidays come around. What we discovered was a highly detailed system of reward, based on equal parts anger, fear, and compassion, which we’ve made into a handy list, below.
1. If you subscribe to fashion magazines, be generous to your postal carriers.
As every girl or gay knows, September fashion magazines are heavy enough to be used as doorstops or murder weapons. You’ve seen your coffee table buckle under the weight. Now imagine the spinal discs of your poor postal carrier, forced to lug a 5,000-page Vogue to every apartment in your building. And then there’s Bazaar. And W. Oh, God, that W. Feel guilty yet? Doonan does. “Every postal worker who has ever delivered to my building has gone on sick leave with hernia from lifting magazines. It’s a really disastrous situation,” he says. His tipping solution: at least $25. “But I do raises, so [my postal carrier] is making a fortune now.”
Chelsea Clinton Floored at StarbucksYeah, hey, it’s me. I’m at Starbucks. Guess who’s sitting right behind me. [Whispers] Chelsea Clinton. She’s sitting right behind me. I don’t know, she’s typing on her laptop. She’s sitting on the floor. She looks hot these days. Totally hot. I mean, way hotter than when she was like 13. No, I’m at a table. What? You think I should give her my seat or something? No fucking way, dude.
Chelsea Clinton at Starbucks: We Have Soooo Been There [Jezebel]
You Aren’t the Only Person Who Comes Home to Find Random People Smoking in Your StairwellClinton Hill: Beware of undesirables who sneak into your apartment building to smoke butts, do drugs, copulate, urinate, and drink coffee. Because it’s happening. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: The latest bank branch hopes that if it puts up a big photo of the hood in Ye Olden Days, no one will notice that it’s filled mostly with bank branches now. [Vanishing New York]
Flushing: Local Quaker farmers demand freedom of worship! Well, they did in 1657. But the tatty document in which they listed their demands, called “The religious Magna Carta of the New World,” is on display up in here. [NYT]
in other news
Your Council Speaker Is Totally Crushing on Valerie Bertinelli
In 1978, before we knew we really like boys, we had the mad hots for our bubbly 13-year-old babysitter, Lisa, who rocked gym shorts, knee-length Jox socks, and two perfect, feathered brunette wings over her forehead. But why did we really worship her? Because she was a dead ringer for Valerie Bertinelli, that spunky Italian nymphette who, back then, played youngest daughter Barbara on One Day at a Time. (Today, she duels with Kirstie Alley in those Jenny Craig commercials.)
So, in this new NY1 clip, when our (sometimes) bubbly, openly lesbian City Council speaker Christine Quinn said that she likes to chill out by watching Lifetime flicks starring the adult, still-perky Val, we knew just what she was talking about: “Anything with Valerie Bertinelli is usually a good show because there are struggles,” said Quinn, who also did the usual dodge of the usual probe into her mayoral ambitions. “They are strong women, and it usually ends on an up note.”