Clay Aiken vs. ‘Newsweek’ Reporter: A Catfight?Every journalist who has to talk to celebrities at some point has to deal with attacks. A star will tire of the reporter’s probing questions and will suddenly lash out. There are a few traditional means of doing this. First, and most common, is the “Why did you decide to do this for your job? There are hundreds of people dying in Iraq and you are asking me about my sex tape?” approach. Then, sometimes, there’s the “I’m calling my publicist and none of her other clients will work with you if this is how you operate,” tactic (otherwise known as “I’M TELLING MOM!”). And finally, there’s the “I thought you were better than this!” routine, which celebrities always think will work, but never does, because, hello, we’re reporters and you can’t appeal to our sense of shame because we don’t have one. This last mode was the one taken by Clay Aiken when Newsweek sent cute boy reporter Ramin Setoodeh to interview him about debuting in Spamalot this week, and to ask him about the whole incident with Kelly Ripa last year. (You remember, when she snapped at Aiken for putting his hand over her mouth, by saying, “I don’t know where that hand has been,” and then Rosie went bananas about it on The View and called Ripa a homophobe?) The minute Setoodeh brought it up, things went very downhill very fast:
What about the Kelly Ripa thing?
I’m not going to discuss it.
Did you think it was homophobic?
I’m not going to discuss it.
What do you want to talk about?
I think we’re done.
Paris Likes ChineseParis Hilton’s first meal out of the clink was takeout from Mr. Chow. Former gossip columnist Charlotte Hays has written a book about attractive women and the rich men they marry. Rudy Giuliani wasn’t a fan of France until Nicolas Sarkoz — the “French Rudy” — was elected president. Brooke Astor may have cancer. Bill Clinton won’t be attending his personal trainer’s Chappaqua book signing. Laura Albert, better known as JT LeRoy, wants to pose for Playboy, though the magazine hasn’t made her an offer. Ashton, Demi, and their daughter went to the “Bodies” exhibit at South Street Seaport. A bunch of waiters are suing Sparks Steak House for allegedly using tip money to pay bartenders and others not entitled to it. Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman is throwing a party for Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy.
Oh, John-JohnJFK Jr. had sex with escorts and men, but never with Madonna, according to a new book. Another new book reveals that people throw up a lot at Per Se and that the name on Frank Bruni’s credit card is Dirk McKenzie. Al Pacino spits a lot when he acts. A new novel by Megan McCafferty unflatteringly depicts Park Slope moms as, well, Park Slope moms. Cynthia Nixon was concerned that the Tonys were up against not just The Sopranos but also the Puerto Rican Day parade. House-shopping Conan O’Brien was kicked out of a prospective home.
Breakups and the CityFormer Sex and the City partners Candace Bushnell and Darren Star are no longer speaking after Star sold a show similar to the one Bushnell was working on to a different network. Matt Lauer once had an awkward bathroom experience with Tom Brokaw. Kate Moss will launch her clothing line at Barneys on May 8. Alt Coffee on Avenue A is being turned into a stroller shop. Britney Spears may give Allure a tell-all regarding her family infighting. Lesley Stahl denies being the source of anti-Katie Couric rumors. On her way back to New York City, real-estate queen Barbara Corcoran boarded the wrong flight and ended up in Syracuse. Tyra Banks ate with Clay Aiken at Jean Georges. Andy Dick accosted two employees at a Chelsea club.