Your Apartment Hunt: Now With Supermodels!Petra Nemcova is trying her hand at selling real estate, and Howard Stern and Jay-Z split over the Democratic presidential candidates. That and more in our daily gossip roundup.
Jimmy Cayne Gets His Body GuardedWall Street goes back to work, Bob Schieffer postpones retirement, and a cat owner is charged with cruelty in our roundup of finance, media, and law news.
early and often
Barack Obama’s Speech Fails to Unite America … Over His SpeechYesterday we compared Barack Obama’s Philadelphia address on race in America to Mitt Romney’s recent last-ditch speech on faith. But as the New York Times points out, it’s really more like JFK’s 1960 speech on religion. It came at a time when Democrats, and probably even Republicans, were bored with the current political dialogue and thirsting for some honesty and something new to talk about. Indeed, yesterday and last night, hordes of people were writing and discussing. The overarching question: Will it matter? Will it change the course of Obama’s candidacy? Will it change the course of America? A lot of that is up to the press, not the people. But even the editorial boards of The Wall Street Journal, the Times and the New York Post professed not to know what the effects would be.
Giants Player Has ‘Abandonment Issues’New York Giant Osi Umenyiora, who is dating Victoria’s Secret model Selita Ebanks, says he’s a difficult guy to love because he has “abandonment issues.” Andrew Giuliani, son of Rudy, was arrested for doing 39 mph in a 30 mph zone in Florida. An upcoming reality show on the Mojo Channel forces a handful of semi-prominent New Yorkers to survive without their cell phones and computers. Julia Stiles sat down and ordered a bunch of food at Indochine but requested that it all be doggy-bagged so she could take it home. CNN has been getting better daytime ratings than MSNBC over the past two months, though Fox News still does better than both. Georgina Chapman on fashion: “I’m like a magpie. I like anything that sparkles.”
early and often
Everybody Loves a Good Bad DebateIf you decided to watch the Democratic presidential debate last night instead of American Gladiators, you made the right choice. The brutal (and hilarious) squabbling between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was just as entertaining, if not more, as watching an overmuscled guy in spandex use a pillow stick to beat the living hell out of a civilian. “Senator Obama, it’s hard to have a straight-up debate with you because you never take responsibility for any vote,” snapped Hillary at one point, to boos. Obama, referencing the attacks on him by former president Bill Clinton, shot back, “I can’t tell who I’m running against at times!” Snap! But unlike on Gladiators, there was no clear winner in the debates. Below, a roundup of speculation and analysis on who came out on top and who couldn’t get past the “The Eliminator”:
• Everyone lost a little bit by reducing themselves to familylike squabbling. “Any good psychologist would recognize the three classic defense mechanisms on display,” explains Richard Wolffe. “Denial, repression and suppression.” [Newsweek]
Hillary Tries to Have It Both Ways With RupertMEDIA
• Today’s negotiations between the Hollywood writers and producers, who some say have already struck a deal, reportedly will be held in an “undisclosed location.” We always knew Cheney would come to the rescue! [HR]
• German Vanity Fair is being sued for an interview with an infamous neo-Nazi who denied the Holocaust. [Jerusalem Post via HuffPo]
• Rift in the house of Murdoch? Rupe complains that his son James can’t dumb down the news to his father’s tough standards. Meanwhile, a savvy voter in Iowa pressed Clinton on her Murdoch connections, and the senator, no surprise, tried to have it both ways. [FT via Mixed Media/Portfolio, The Caucus/NYT]
Stan O’Neal Disinvited to the Literal and Figurative PartyFINANCE
• Stan O’Neal wasn’t invited to a big Merrill Lynch reunion party thrown by Evelyn Juan, the son of a Merrill founder. Guess Stan will just have to drink himself to sleep in his board-provided office. [DealBreaker]
• Goldman’s unbelievable success is forcing all the other top banks to dig deep into the honey pot and pay out a record-setting $38 billion in bonuses, despite losing $74 billion in market value. Goldman, of course, accounts for almost half of the bonus pool. Let’s just say it’s good to be Goldman. [Deal Journal/WSJ, Bloomberg]
• Steve Schwarzman spared no expense for his son’s wedding and the tab ran to $150,000, including a $20,000 BBQ supper, $7,000 for drinks, and $50,000 to rent an entire hotel and keep the riffraff out. Still pales in comparison to Schwarzman’s $3 million birthday bash. [NYP]
Revealed: Marc Jacobs’s Recipe for Tuna SaladMarc Jacobs’s svelte physique is not the result of his skills in the kitchen. We asked the designer about his cooking repertoire at the Out 100 awards gala on Friday, and it turns out it’s, well, fashionably slim. “Cook?” he asked. “I make tuna salad. It’s not really cooking, but I chop the spring onions and the celery very, very well, and I put it with tuna fish and mayonnaise and pepper. And that I do extremely well. More than that, I can’t do.” Marc attended the party on the arm of his on-again-off-again boyfriend, Jason Preston. We asked what Preston contributes, and the Louis Vuitton creative director just guffawed. “Jason? Do you cook?” he asked, turning to Preston who shook his head. “No, he doesn’t cook,” Jacobs told us, laughing harder. “We eat out a lot, and we have room service a lot.” Oh, silly us. We thought Jason was the room service! —Bennett Marcus
Related: Tan, Trim & Rehabbed Marc Mark II [NYM]
More Party Lines photos and quotes from the Out 100 party: Kelly Rowland digs gay people, and Tori Spelling on being a married gay icon.
in other news
Portman, Stripper Experience Dog DramaIt’s a bad week for dog lovers. First, we learn that Natalie Portman’s beloved mutt, Charlie, has died. In an interview with the Syndey Telegraph, Portman told a reporter that the pooch she once described as “the only man in her life” is now passed away. (This is the adorable one she took on Letterman.) “I love dogs,” she lamented. “They’re better than people.” Man, when you’re right, you’re right. Then, we learn that a thief has stolen the two Malteses of a Scores stripper. “They’re my life. They’re everything to me,” said exotic dancer Daisy Rojas of little Charles and Darwin. “They’re my children.” Quoth the News:
Rojas said the dogs were tied to scaffolding with their matching Louis Vuitton leashes outside the Sofrito restaurant on E.57th St. near First Ave.
Rojas may not have taken her dogs on Letterman, but she takes them very seriously nonetheless. She had a portrait of herself painted with them, got a tattoo of their names in a secret body location (who knew strippers had those?), and she even had them baptized. “We’ll find those dogs,” vowed a police source. “We’re definitely going to take care of it.” Man, if there’s one thing cops will do anything for, it’s, um, dogs.
Poised Portman is Pretty Perfect [Sydney Daily Telegraph]
Scores Stripper’s 2 Pooches Dognapped on Upper East Side [NYDN]
Gorbachev Louis Vuitton Ad Hides Sinister Secret MessagePerhaps you’ve seen a memorable Louis Vuitton ad in the back of New York and other magazines: a pensive Mikhail Gorbachev being driven in a limo past the remains of the Berlin Wall, his only companion a trusty piece of LV luggage with some reading material sticking out. Well, we just now happened to take a closer look at that material, and Ho … lee … crap. It’s a Russian book or magazine, strategically posed so that the title is upside-down but readable: “Litvinenko’s Murder — They Wanted to Give Up a Suspect for $7,000.” Litvinenko, of course, is the Russian ex-spy whose death — by polonium-laced sushi — has been widely attributed to Putin’s goons. We have no idea what the business with the $7,000 is (maybe it’s the price of the bag?), and nor do we want to know! The very fact of Litvinenko’s name in the middle of the meticulously composed Annie Leibovitz shot is enough of a jaw-dropper. Is Gorby sending the world secret messages through luggage ads? —Michael Idov
in other news
Marc Jacobs and Suzy Menkes End Feud by Exchanging Valentines
You know how we were all psyched that Marc Jacobs and Suzy Menkes’s feud was going to become an epic fashion battle to the death? Well, apparently, like all exciting trends, it’s fizzled out as quickly as it flared up. At the Louis Vuitton show in Paris this weekend, Jacobs (who artistically directs the luxury brand’s clothing and accessories) left Menkes a T-shirt on her assigned seat, tied up with a lovely bow, reports Fashion Week Daily. The shirt showed a drawing of Menkes and Jacobs together, and though reporters couldn’t see the writing on it, Jacobs smilingly called it “a love letter.” Menkes, in return, wrote a cautiously warm review of the LV show in her International Herald Tribune column. “The clothes were colorful, if chaotic,” she explains. “[They] took what the music business would describe as ‘samplings’ of existing pieces, putting them randomly together, often to fine effect.” Doesn’t sound too fawning to you? Compared to her coverage of the Marc Jacobs show in New York, which she called “a freak’s costume party,” we’d say this easily qualifies as her version of a love letter.
Chic Report: Suzy and Marc Make Up With a Love Letter! [Fashion Week Daily]
Earlier: Cranky Fashionistas Hungry for Blood
it just happened
Fred Thompson Calls City of New York ‘A Big Bully’
Presidential non-candidate Fred Thompson has finally turned on the city that made him rich and famous. The Law & Order star, who spent years pretending to fight violent crime as district attorney Arthur Branch, lashed out at the Big Apple today in a blog post that decries efforts by Giuliani and Bloomberg to crack down on gun trafficking. He called the moves, wherein the city sought to sue some weapon providers whose wares ended up being used in crimes, an “attack by New York City on the Second Amendment.” “In this case,” he says, “we need Federalism to protect states from a big bully in New York City.” A bully! Well, we never. We don’t know anything about guns, and frankly, we like it that way. But by golly we know a slap in the face when we see one!
I’m in a New York State of Mind [I’mWithFred.com]
Related:: The Actor [NYM]
Still Barkin Up Ron’s TreeEllen Barkin claims that Ron Perelman owes her another $3.4 million because he promised to fund a production company for her and her brother. (She already got $40 million in the divorce.) Lindsay Lohan was dropped as the potential face of Louis Vuitton after stealing a lot of clothing during an Elle photo shoot. Sagg Pond in the Hamptons was jokingly renamed On Goldman Pond after Lloyd Blackfein and other GS employees bought houses on it. Some staffers at the Russian Tea Room claim the restaurant is haunted. Sumner Redstone may sell Paramount to settle family squabbling. Keith Richards did snort his dad’s ashes — just not with cocaine.
Happy Birthday (Again), KanyeKanye West hosted his birthday party at the Louis Vuitton store then got free Vuitton swag. Anne Heche might be back on the ladies. Zach Braff loves New York, he says. The Sopranos cast didn’t know what Sunday night’s finale was going to be, and they went to Miami. Paris Hilton’s father wants to throw her a party in Vegas when she gets out of jail, but several clubs have said no. Owen Wilson left his bike at Scores West. Hugh Hefner wants Daphne Merkin to show his girls a little love. New York socialite Dori Cooperman is at Promises for rehab and trying to cozy up to Lindsay Lohan. At a benefit for the American Institute for Stuttering, Harold Evans wanted to take the Queen Mary for a spin.
Kanye West Celebrates His 30th Among Celebs, Leather Goods
Are there always scantily clad go-go dancers gyrating among the luxury goods at the Louis Vuitton flagship on 57th Street? We’re guessing not — but there were last night for Kanye West’s 30th birthday party. There was also John Legend, who corralled the five levels of exuberant partiers into a happy-birthday sing-a-long for the dapper birthday boy while Diddy, Jay-Z, Pharrel Williams, Jermaine Dupri, and Mariah Carey hung out onstage and off. Fall Out Boy was there but left early (except Pete Wentz, who stayed on with Ashlee); Gabrielle Union and Ashanti came late. On the well-guarded fourth floor, socialites in short shorts were petting Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker’s endless tattoos. He played show-and-tell.
Will Woody Allen Escape the Upper East Side?• amFAR New York gala. Cipriani, 110 E. 42nd St., nr. Vanderbilt Ave., 6:30 p.m. An AIDS charity benefit so gala-riffic that Woody Allen is (scheduled to be) venturing south of 59th Street for something besides a Knicks game. Other expected guests include Beyoncé, Sharon Stone, Liza Minnelli, Michael Eisner, Richard Gere, and Rosie O’Donnell.
• Joey McIntyre performance. Plumm, 26 W. 14th St., nr Fifth Ave., 11:30 p.m. On the guest list: Drew Lachey, Joey Lawrence, and 400 VH1 producers.
How Much Is That Eye in the Window?
This is shaping up as a fairly interesting season in shop windows. We’ve already seen a display of bizarre absinthe dispensers (at Bergdorf Goodman) and a window pretending to be a blog (at Saks). The new Louis Vuitton displays, however, which were unveiled this morning at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street — and will go in all 364 Vuitton stores worldwide — take the cake in one crucial respect: They don’t display any of merchandise on sale in the store. That’s right: There are no monogrammed bags, scarves, or luggage in sight and won’t be till mid-January. Instead, we’re getting enormous muted spotlights resembling purple-irised eyes with an uncomfortable tinge of jaundice, installation works by Danish conceptualist Olafur Eliasson. (His cut is going entirely to his charitable organization, 121Ethiopia.org.)
Could this be the sort of Christmas display Vuitton execs had in mind?