Michael Stipe Is Finally Okay With Being GayR.E.M.’s Michael Stipe finally comes clean about being gay in this month’s Spin. Marc Jacobs and boyfriend Jason Preston got into numerous screaming matches while on vacation together in Turks and Caicos and flew back on separate private jets. Danny Masterson had his 32nd-birthday party at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, and it had a mechanical bull. An unnamed socialite dropped from a size 14 to a size 0 by picking up a heroin habit. Eminem, however, has hired a personal trainer to help him lose weight.
Celebs Show Their Faces, But Not Their Paddles, at (Auction)REDLast night’s (Auction)RED at Sotheby’s was a complete success, succeeding in raising more than $42 million to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. It also saw a heavy celebrity turnout: Michael Stipe, Russell Simmons, Christy Turlington, Martha Stewart, Ed Burns, and Dennis Hopper all showed up to support hosts Damien Hirst and Bono. But oddly enough, the money and the star power didn’t seem to be connected. Michael Stipe, for example, told us earlier in the week that he had his eye on an Ed Ruscha. But he told us last night he “didn’t get a paddle.” Even though it was Valentine’s Day and he was there with his boyfriend! “We’re not going to buy each other $5 million paintings, I’ll tell you that!” Stipe said, limping away on his crutch, the result of a go-karting accident. Brian Williams also told us he “can’t afford a single thing they’re auctioning tonight.” But he added, “if there’s a collection bowl, I’m good for probably twenty bucks.” Even Queen Noor of Jordan said she “couldn’t even remotely dream about” buying one of the pricey Hirst pill cabinets on the block. So who’s buying all this expensive art, if even movie stars and royalty can’t afford it? (RED) campaign co-founder Bobby Shriver cleared that up. “Sotheby’s and Gagosian are willing to stage this, with their lists, to their buyers,” he explained. “Here, you have a commercial company promoting to their commercial buyers, which is a tremendous asset of theirs, selling products that they could have sold at their normal markup. That’s a new platform for raising pro-social money.” —Bennett Marcus
See and hear more from Bono, Queen Noor, Christy Turlington and others from last night’s (RED) auction.
Eli Manning’s Little Town Blues Have Melted AwayEli Manning and Yogi Berra sang “New York, New York” together at Rao’s. Male madam David Forest says Marc Jacobs used to employ his services. Mariah Carey shot a video on the rooftop of Lenny Kravitz’s Crosby Street apartment. Mayor Bloomberg celebrated his 65th birthday with Steven Ratner and others at Michael’s. R.E.M. front man Michel Stipe got into a go-cart accident two weeks ago but is fine now. Blackstone Group co-founder Pete Peterson sold his River House digs to financier Jeffrey Leeds for $10 million.
Which Celebrities Will Be Bidding Tonight at the Sotheby’s (Auction)RED?With pieces donated by Banksy, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, and many more art heavyweights, the Sotheby’s (AUCTION)Red at the auction house tonight is gearing up to be a collector’s scrum. Christy Turlington, Dennis Hopper, and Mario Batali are all slated to attend, as is Michael Stipe, who already knows what he wants to buy. “I’ll tell you, the Ed Ruscha is so beautiful” he gushed to New York’s Fiona Byrne at Tuesday’s Edun party at the Desmond Tutu Center in Chelsea “I think it’s a 2007, but it’s brought what he does full circle, which is part of the reason I am drawn to it. I am tempted to bid; I may well.” Elsewhere at the party, Josh Hartnett told us he’s watching the pennies after a recent large purchase. “I have to find out if I have any money left,” he said, not ruling out the prospect of picking something up from the auction, which will go to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. “I just bought a new place and totally redid it and put in new furniture, but I have to get something for the walls!” Last night at a Gagosian Gallery preview, celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi, Anna Wintour, Donna Karan, Tory Burch, Russell Simmons, and Ivanka Trump were more hushed about what they wanted. But we think we can guess which painting caught Rupert Murdoch’s fancy. He spent the entire night standing in front of Damien Hirst’s Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way. It’s expected to fetch between $5 and $7 million tonight. Which, for Rupert, is probably a small price to pay for a piece of contemporary art that embodies your life philosophy.
Patti Smith Rocks Carnegie Hall, Tibet
Death loomed large at the Philip Glass–curated benefit concert for Tibet House U.S. Monday night at Carnegie Hall, when a parade of legendary talents — among them Lou Reed, Patti Smith, and Michael Stipe — performed numbers in honor of deceased friends. And as if that weren’t depressing enough, when the thrilling succession of reimagined hits and covers stopped, we suddenly realized that all our idols onstage talking about death will die, too. Oh, God.
There were chanting monks, a beautiful, minimalist set from Sigur Rós, and Ben Harper. Debbie Harry happily danced to an acoustic version of “Heart of Glass.” And then came Lou Reed, the first to sing about getting old. Ray Davies harkened back to the Kinks’ glory days, getting the crowd to sing along with “Lola,” “Sunday Afternoon,” and “Dedicated Follower of Fashion.” He admitted to being foggy about why, exactly, he was there: “This is a great event. I’m not sure of all the details, but the spirit moved me.” And then he, too, got wistful about age. “Being in a band at this point in my life is a separation anxiety of the worst sort,” he said. “We never know when we’ll meet again.”