Rudy Daughter Caroline Drops the ‘Giuliani’Plus, Joan Rivers and Barbara Corcoran bite at each other, Pat O’Brien only has one more chance at ‘The Insider,’ and Blake Lively is surprisingly normal — in our daily gossip roundup.
Catherine Z-J Gets the ‘No Way’ From Rob MarshallCatherine Zeta-Jones won’t star in the movie adaptation of Broadway musical Nine because the director wouldn’t beef up her role. Eight staffers have left CBS’ The Early Show because they can’t stand working with hotheaded senior exec producer Shelley Ross. Paris Hilton thinks the guys in New York are “so much better” than the ones in L.A. Since divorcing his wife, George Soros has been hanging out with young girls in their twenties at his home in Southampton. Sportscaster Ahmad Rashad and ex-socialite (and ex-wife of Jets owner Woody Johnson) Sale Johnson may be getting married today. Anna Wintour controlled the seating arrangements at the $50,000-a-table 7th on Sale event at the Lexington Armory. (Speaking of Anna, Tim Burton says that Johnny Depp based the haircut of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on hers.)
Catherina Zeta-Jones Can Cook, Aaron Eckhart Can’tCatherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart trained at Fiamma to play New York City chefs in their new romantic comedy No Reservations, as the two have been bragging to the press. But Martha Stewart, who co-hosted a luncheon for the stars at Le Cirque yesterday, isn’t impressed. She’d met the two stars during a segment for the Today show, and she quickly surmised that these were “two people with seemingly no interest in cooking,” she said at the lunch. They were to make a lattice pie crust for the show, but Stewart said she quickly gave up and told Eckhart that he could cheat. (“There’s a lot of bad stuff going on in my kitchen in terms of storage,” Eckhart admitted. “If you don’t want to throw something away and you don’t want to wash it, you just put it in the refrigerator.”) Zeta-Jones, on the other hand, was determined to give her pie a go, and she carefully laid each strip of dough on the fruit. She was so proud, said Stewart, that she took the raw pie home to bake for her parents. “And it was delicious,” Zeta-Jones said. —Jada Yuan
A Money-er Honey?CNBC “Money Honey” Maria Bartiromo is jealous of co-worker Erin Burnett because Burnett is becoming more popular than she is. An upcoming book about Katie Couric claims she planned to leave NBC a year before she actually did and that the staff of 60 Minutes thinks she’s a “lightweight.” State Senator Carl Kruger is not a fan of fellow Democrat Eliot Spitzer. Jeremy Shockey took a bunch of Giants teammates to Scores. The woman who blogged about Keith Olbermann’s bedside manners is no longer maintaining her blog. Naomi Watts finally gave birth. Nora Ephron has spent a lot of time giving her breasts a workout. Christie Brinkley is spending $10.9 million to buy the house in North Haven next door to the one where Peter Cook had an affair.
Isn’t It Rich?A new book alleges that Bill Clinton had an affair with socialite Denise Rich and that Nancy Pelosi knew about it. Barack Obama asked for Beyoncé’s autograph at a fund-raiser at L.A. Reid’s house on the Upper East Side. Star Jones signed a deal to host a show on Court TV. Katie Homes may have chosen her new upcoming movie, a girl-buddy flick, because it had no sex scenes that might make hubby Tom Cruise jealous. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas dined next to Barack Obama at the Waverly Inn. Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal may be hooking up. An intern claims Lizzie Grubman owes her more than $6,000 in back wages. Stewardess diddler Ralph Fiennes frolicked naked in a pool with four women at a hotel in Belgium.
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]