When Assistants Attack: Natavia Lowery After Linda Stein’s personal assistant, Natavia Lowery, confessed to the murder of her boss on Friday, a few new details emerged, among them that Stein had a pot habit to rival Jimmy Cayne’s. According to police, Lowery said it was Stein’s blowing marijuana smoke in her face, berating her for being slow, and making vague racial comments that prompted her to pick up a “yoga stick” and smack her in the head seven times. Stein’s daughter Mandy admitted her mother could be difficult but said that it was less the pot than the medication that caused her mother to behave churlishly. “If Miss Lowery had just walked out of the room and come back in fifteen minutes, my mother would have calmed down,” she said, adding that that’s what all the other help did. Right? This is New York City, don’t people know that abuse is just part of the job? But what caused Natavia Lowery to lose her mind? Is it possible she didn’t? Her father is saying her confession was coerced, and her friends and relatives maintain that despite the confession, she didn’t do it. “She does not have the heart to kill anyone,” Lowery’s high-school sweetheart told the Daily News. “She would not smack a fly on her forehead.” Um. Unfortunate metaphor, that. Lowery’s aunt concurred: “My niece doesn’t fight,” she said. “She is too afraid to break a nail or get a scratch on her face.” But Lowery was, after all, a would-be model, who “dreamed of gracing the covers of magazines,” according to the Daily News. Maybe this was one way to get her wish!
Last Disrespects [NYP]
Aide Confesses She Beat Linda Stein To Death With a Yoga Stick [NYDN]
Earlier:Intel’s Coverage of Linda Stein
in other news
A Model Breaks Nello’s Heart, UmbrellaOh, Nello Balan. It’s almost as if you want to be in “Page Six” once a week. This time, the Upper East Side restaurateur/columnist briber is caught in a dramatic war of words and lawsuits with an unknown model named Le Call over an umbrella. That’s right, an umbrella. Granted, it’s a $1,000 limited-edition Jean Paul Gaultier leather number, but an umbrella nonetheless. “Stop behaving like a boulevardier [street person] and a petite voleuse [petty thief],” Balan (awesomely) told Le Call. “You don’t give me the umbrella, I sue you.” Balan indeed eventually hired a lawyer, at which point Le Call then returned the umbrella in question, but it was BROKEN. All hell then broke loose, “Page Six” was called, and Balan’s lawyer heads to court today to sue for “an act of disinterested malevolence, intentional infliction of mental distress, willful destruction of property, and whatever else [he] can think of.” All of which leads us to the obvious question: a leather umbrella? Really?
MODEL RAINS ON NELLO UMBRELLA [NYP]
Related: Le Call and Ciara Christensen, Models [NYM]
in other news
The Jungle of Magazine SubscriptionsToday’s Times reveals the hellish life of a traveling magazine crews — you know, those kids who go door to door selling subscriptions to Reader’s Digest and Rolling Stone “to earn points for a foreign trip.” The sellers, mostly troubled teens trying to escape gang life, are wheeled from town to town in vans and given less than $10 a day in food allowance, their wages held hostage for later payment that may never come. At the end of a ten- to fourteen-hour shift, they’re dumped in fleabag motels — the day’s lowest seller sleeps on the floor — where they kill time ingesting industrial quantities of crystal meth and rutting like rabbits. If that is sounding in any way appealing, there’s also this: Crew managers also administer savage beatings.
Tom Brady Does Not Love New York, or Bridget MoynahanTom Brady put his New York pad up for sale as soon as he found out ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan was pregnant. Speaking of officially pregnant: Naomi Watts. Speaking of maybe pregnant: Christina Aguilera. Hillary Clinton, or someone from her office, got mad at David Geffen for throwing a party last night for Barack Obama. Former As Four designer Kai Kuhne flipped out after his credit card was denied at Sway. A Chelsea nightclub doesn’t want handicapped customers upstairs.
Food Network Moves Feast for Catherine Zeta-JonesLess than a month before the Food Network Awards Show — when plans have been made, florists scheduled, hotel rooms booked — the Food Network is rescheduling the big event, pushing it up a day. Why? Because Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart have a conflict. Zeta-Jones, who plays a chef in the summer movie No Reservations, and co-star Eckhart were scheduled to be presenters at the show. But then Eckhart got an Independent Spirit Award nomination, and that ceremony is on the same day. And Zeta-Jones declined to do the gig without Eckhart. But the foodies are flexible. “We’d change the world for Catherine Zeta-Jones. She’s a star,” says Lee Brian Schrager, organizer of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, which hosts the awards. Among the big New York names who will have to change their plans: Gotham Bar and Grill’s Alfred Portale, Momofuku’s David Chang, and Aquavit’s Marcus Samuelsson. Even Laurent Tourondel, who was scheduled to cook a Champagne barbecue at the Miami festival that now conflicts with the Food Awards, says he doesn’t mind. But then Zeta-Jones probably needs no reservation at BLT Prime, either. —Alexandra Peers
Feeding Frenzy [NYP]
it happened this week
There’s Nothing to See Here
Monday’s issue of New York was a double issue, meaning no new mag next week — and, therefore, inherently, that nothing happened this week. We’ll see you Monday.