Naked Pictures of Gisele and Carla Bruni Sell for Big BucksWhich one of these models is worth nearly $100,000 more than the other naked? What recently divorced Romeo is already trying to get his new lady knocked up? And did the tabloids miss out of Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s wedding because they couldn’t get pictures? Or are they racist? All this and more in our daily gossip roundup.
early and often
Barack Obama Runs But Can’t Hide From Reverend Wright
The good news for Barack Obama: The latest Democratic race-based scandal comes during a five-week lull between primaries, so it may not actually result in any tangible loss until the April 22 Pennsylvania contest. The bad news: It might be something people still remember on April 22. Obama is feeling the heat right now for several particularly inflammatory statements made by his former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, which have recently received renewed scrutiny in the media. Obama has come out against Wright’s remarks and dropped him from the campaign, but questions surrounding the closeness of their relationship and Obama’s knowledge of Wright’s more provocative statements continue unabated. How damaging to Obama will this controversy become? And are we committing guilt by association, or guilt by … guilt?
Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon Set a Bad ExampleJake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon texted on their BlackBerrys during the matinee show of August: Osage County before sneaking out at intermission. Criminal! Judith Regan is now suing the lawyers who are suing her for alleged unpaid fees. Anna Wintour sat courtside at the Knicks-Cavs game last night courtesy of LeBron James (she’s putting him on the cover of Vogue’s shape issue with Gisele in April). Jeremy Piven texted two separate models he met in New York to come meet him at the Mercer Hotel, though he didn’t know at the time that they knew each other. The Champagne Marilyn Monroe drank during her famous 1962 shoot was spiked with either drugs or vodka.
new york fugging city
The Fug Girls: But Who Do You Take Home to Mama AFTER the Super Bowl?With Super Bowl Sunday looming, football pundits worldwide are typing their fingers to the bone predicting who will step up, who will choke, and which commercials will be the most buzz-worthy. Sure, football is a group sport and there’s no “I” — or “Eli” — in “team,” but we can’t help boiling down the big game to its most fascinating matchup: the budding legend versus the legacy kid. How do Tom Brady and Eli Manning stack up, and more important, which one looks better in spandex? Let us be your guides.
TABLOID APPEAL: Tom Brady has been all over the rags this year, thanks to his baby-mama drama with Bridget Moynahan and his ensuing photo-friendly relationship with Gisele. Whereas we only know from Wikipedia that Eli Manning is engaged; “Giants QB Really Digs College Sweetheart” probably won’t move any magazines unless he knocks her up with some baby joy. At Tom Brady’s house.
Advantage: Tom. Unless you prefer keeping your private life private, but where’s the fun there?
Zang Toi Incorrectly Assumes That Sharon Stone Wants to Meet More Gay DudesSomeone hacked into designer Zang
Toi’s computer and sent out an invitation to clients like Sharon Stone and Ivana Trump asking them to join Gayguyschat.com. Julian Schhabel wore pajamas under his jacket to the Critics Choice Awards. Duh. West Village neighbors of Tom Brady and Gisele are not happy that paparazzi now roam the blocks. Joey Buttafuoco is annoyed that a “friend” of his secretly filmed him having
sex with his second wife and is now selling the footage. Lizzie Grubman is unable to lend support to any of the candidates because she is a convicted felon and thus can’t vote. Barbara Corcoran is now nicknamed “The Usher of the Flusher” after appearing on a Today show segment on luxurious bathrooms.
Let the Bear Blame Game BeginFINANCE
• Bear Stearns followed up yesterday’s Morgan Stanley announcement with its own $850 million loss, again the first quarterly deficit in the bank’s history. [DealBook/NYT]
• Is former Bear Stearns exec Ralph Cioffi, the guy behind the two Bear funds that imploded this summer, the main culprit in the subprime crisis? New reporting suggests his team set off the plague of dirty debt that cost Citi and other top banks billions. Oh, and Cioffi’s under investigation for pulling out a couple mil before anyone else got the chance. [Business Week]
• What a mensch: David Rubenstein, the former lawyer turned Citadel private-equity master, decided to keep his new copy of the Magna Carta on display at the National Archives. Rubenstein paid $21.3 million — chump change for a guy worth around $2.5 billion. [Law Blog/WSJ]
Wall Street’s Golden Idols All Have Feet of ClayFINANCE
• The struggle to find a successor at Merrill and Citi demonstrates another big flaw in the current culture of Wall Street: Do-or-die standards, and growing demands on public executives, have left firms with no succession plan and few capable of stepping in to take over. Both firms have been forced to turn outside for help: Laurence Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, has been approached about O’Neal’s old job, while Robert Willumstad and John Thain are in the lead to take Prince’s place. [WSJ]
• Why did Chuck Prince and Stan O’Neal fail? They took Gordon Gecko’s favorite maxim—”I create nothing, I own”—a little too seriously, and forgot the other part of banking is to sell, sell, sell. [NYT]
• Andrew Ross Sorkin dons his Miss Manners cap to explain the rules of corporate courting—and why Stan O’Neal’s worrywart parents, the Merrill Lynch board, were only looking for an excuse when they grounded him for asking Wachovia to “merge.” [NYT]
‘Journal’ Takes Beef with Mariane Pearl PublicMariane Pearl, the widow of murdered Wall Street Journal writer Daniel Pearl, and the Journal are no longer on friendly terms. Naomi Campbell told a crowd at a dinner for the Black Action Retail Group that she was done with throwing cellphones. (Her visit to Hugo Chavez also garnered praise from terrorist groups.) Former Giant Tiki Barber will attend the book party of NFL Network host Rich Eisen tonight at the Time Warner Center. Tyra Banks made out with a “gorgeous model type” at Thor in Hotel Rivington. Hilary Duff gave lap dances to a Joel Madden look-alike at Tenjune. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg ran into her aunt Lee Radziwill at City Center.
Kelly Klein Finally Nabs That BabyGisele Bündchen showed up at the haunted house on Suffolk Street sans costume and cut the line. Hunter S. Thompson’s widow is pissed at Jann Wenner because he portrayed Hunter in his book as an “awful beast of a man” after he left Rolling Stone . Calvin Klein’s ex, Kelly, finally has a daughter, via surrogate mother. David Brooks, a.k.a. the guy who was recently busted for using company cash to fund his daughter’s $10 million bat mitzvah, also used his employees’ pension funds to pay for his son’s bar mitzvah. Hillary Clinton backed out of a Vogue photo shoot being shot by Annie Leibovitz because she felt it would be “too glamorous.” Sting and some buddies went to Scores. Bono and Damien Hirst dined at Lever House. Law & Order’s Richard Belzer had to get his driver to walk his poodle during a screening at Core Club because he wasn’t allowed to bring it in.
Tony Blair Sells Out Rupert MurdochMEDIA
• Tony Blair sold his memoir for $9 million to Knopf, something of a surprise since Blair has long been tight with Murdoch, known for offering advances so big they resemble campaign donations through HarperCollins. [Media Mob/NYO]
• A democratic member of the FCC requested an investigation of Murdoch’s Dow Jones deal, arguing the merger consolidates too many powerful outlets in one less than trustworthy hand. [B&C]
• Bloggingheads, everyone’s favorite lo-fi insider-y political fight club, reached a content-sharing agreement with the Times. [HuffPo]
Halle Is Berry SorryHalle Berry apologized for making an anti-Semitic joke as a guest on the Leno show. (NBC deleted it from the telecast.) Governor Spitzer hung out with his Horace Mann classmates at his 30th reunion. Renée Zellweger chooses to live in New York and Connecticut instead of L.A. because she hates the paparazzi out there. (She and George Clooney also send each other six-page politically charged e-mails.) Jennifer Lopez is refusing to pay a New York limo company $16,000 in fees she owes. The Devil Wears Prada producer Wendy Finerman bought a twelve-room duplex on 84th Street with her banker husband. Jay-Z says he’s not so good at retiring and blames the media for the breakup of most celebrity couples. Meryl Streep walked her puppy on the West Side Highway in sweats and a hat. Soap star Nathaniel Marston of One Life to Live was arrested for assaulting three people on Tenth Avenue in what was evidently a drug-fueled rage.
in other news
Gisele Bundchen Likes to Sit in the ShowerCorcoran.com has pictures of Gisele Bundchen’s West 11th Street townhouse, which is for sale for $10.9 million. There’s not much of the inside of the house (though, with 1,750 square feet of interior space and 2,500 feet of terrace, maybe she spends most of her time outside anyway). Things that are exciting about the photos include: a big hot tub on the roof deck, amazing views, and the fact that for some reason she has a chair in her shower. We can only imagine the delights that little thing has witnessed! You’ll see from the views that the apartment is right near the river. Gisele herself once told us at a party that she liked the location because she and then-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio liked to bike along the paths on the Hudson. It was good that the apartment only a short distance away, because, she added, “I’m not really supposed to exercise.” God bless the West Village.
West Village Listing [Corcoran]
Giselle Selling [NYP]
Allah’s Love We DeliverSome Palestinians claim that Yasser Arafat died of AIDS. Justin Timberlake had Lance Bass and his boyfriend run interference at the opening of his Southern Hospitality so that he could sneak out without running into Jessica Biel. Donald Trump and other captains of industry are fighting to keep the heliport in Hudson River Park open. Firefighters invited to the screening of Adam Sandler’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry took issue with Sandler’s financial support of Rudy Giuliani. Jonathan Ames is set to box with another writer. Moby got a surprisingly funny letter from Karl Rove. A.M. Homes is developing a show about the Hamptons for HBO.
A Royal PainPrince’s highly publicized performance at the Ross School in East Hampton didn’t exactly get the crowd going. And he wouldn’t attend the after-party until everyone else left. Padma Lakshmi has been spending a lot of time with billionaire Teddy Fortsmann. Hillary Clinton has a subscription to the Post but not the Daily News. Jon Lovitz put a beating on Andy Dick at an L.A. comedy club during an argument over murdered SNL star Phil Hartman. Paris Hilton drugged her newest boyfriend with pills. Naomi Campbell gets to throw a temper tantrum in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial directed by Zach Braff. Some staffers don’t like the cubicles and the food-paying system in the new New York Times building.
This Movie Is Innnsaaane!Danny DeVito is trying to make a movie about Crazy Eddie. One of Lindsay Lohan’s MySpace friends sold online correspondence between Lohan and Samantha Ronson to Star magazine. Philip Roth complained about showing up in “Page Six.” Jane staffers stole a lot of stuff from the fashion closet after learning the mag was folding. Former Jets QB Boomer Esiason may replace Don Imus as WFAN’s early-morning D.J. Gore Vidal is annoyed that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power tore out his solar-power system. Congressman Charlie Rangel is offering $1,000 to anyone who can prove he went on a “date.” Today show contributor Amy Jacobson was fired from her Chicago post after being caught on tape in a bikini at the house of a woman whose disappearance she was covering. Gisele and Tom Brady PDA’d at Palma on Cornelia Street. 50 Cent canoodled with Ciara.
RIP, IsabellaThe death of Isabella Blow by either cancer or suicide dominated conversation at the Costume Institute Gala last night. (We’ve got a Costume Institute slideshow and a tribute to Blow by Harriet Mays Powell and Amy Larocca.) Tom Brokaw won’t return to the anchor’s seat at NBC News despite the network’s slip in the ratings. While out shopping, Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson had difficulty getting into Tom Ford’s new store. The widow of Dr. Robert Atkins is embroiled in a legal battle for her late husband’s $100 million trust. Rosie O’Donnell is angling for the host slot on The Price Is Right. Amy Poehler and Will Arnett upgraded their West Village digs. Dan Abrams broke some cuff links, so he had to use dental floss to fasten plastic clips on his shirt. Like every other actor in New York, Cynthia Nixon will appear on an episode of Law & Order.
Wang vs. WangDesigner Vera Wang is suing another Vera Wang for copyright infringement. Bonnie Fuller is looking to branch into TV, and her NYU film-student son may be involved. Silly Billy, the clown from weird documentary Capturing the Friedmans, now goes the name by Dr. Blood. André Balazs and Naomi Campbell might be dating. An upcoming bio of Condi Rice claims she’s accrued power personally but not professionally. The broker for Bob Guccione’s East Side mansion (current asking price: $50 million) quit. Ellen Barkin reiterates that she regrets marrying Ron Perelman. Gisele will jump ship to H&M when her contract with Victoria’s Secret expires. Court TV is going through a rebranding process.
Back and to the LeftA new book by Salon.com founder David Talbot claims that the JFK assassination was the joint work of the CIA and the Mafia. Philadelphia TV reporter Alycia Lane mistakenly sent risqué e-mails intended for NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen to his wife. Pete Wentz wants his new East Village bar, Angels and Kings, to be a place where people can have sex in the bathroom. A lot of bankers can no longer expense meals at Hawaiian Tropic Zone. Alec Baldwin skipped the premiere of his new movie to go to Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. Good move: The screening — of a movie in which he plays an estranged father after a messy divorce — would have been awkward. Penélope Cruz bought the wait staff at the Waverly Inn a round of shots. Rosie O’Donnell dropped a subtle hint that she may be headed to CBS. Boy George was arrested in London for keeping some guy chained to his wall. Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields gambled together in Vegas.