Paris Hilton’s Breast Friend Appears in Our Pages!As was pointed out by a commenter, we have a bit of a secret celebrity on this week’s “Look Book” page in New York. Not only is “traveler” Eglantina Zingg a former V.J. for MTV Venezuela and a model, but she’s also the lovely lady that made out with a topless Paris Hilton in certain camera-phone pics, circa 2005. Don’t worry that you didn’t recognize her face: You were distracted the first time you saw it.
The Look Book: Eglantina Zingg and Elisa Estrada, Travelers [NYM]
‘Lesbian’ Paris Pic on Web [London Sun]
Nick Lachey and JCPenney Do Not Mix, Even If Paid to Do SoNick Lachey threw a hissy fit at a JCPenney party on Hudson Street, despite the fact that he was being paid to be there. Michael Strahan says he loves girlfriend Nicole Murphy, but isn’t sure about marriage. Execs at Sony are annoyed that Michael Jackson’s Thriller 25 is on the Billboard oldies’ chart instead of the Billboard Top 200 chart, despite the fact that it has six new songs. Nelly picked up the coat-check girl at Plumm. Outkast’s André 3000 is looking for an apartment in the city and just toured a multi-million-dollar penthouse on West 13th Street. Justin Timberlake gave menu recommendations to patrons at his Southern Hospitality.
it happened this week
Alone in the CrowdNew Yorkers watching Will Smith walk through the ruins of an uninhabited Manhattan onscreen in I Am Legend knew just how he felt; it was a week for contemplating loneliness. Rudy Giuliani, indulging in fantasy population control of his own, envisaged a city in which he’d deported 400,000 illegal aliens. (“I would have had fewer problems,” he’s quoted as saying in a new book.)
Viacom Freelancers Continue to Protest Despite Love From AboveExactly seven minutes before their scheduled 3 p.m. protest today, Viacom freelancers received a memo from HR’s JoAnne Griffith saying that the company had decided to let them keep their old health-care plans (although the controversial Aetna plan “has certain advantages that may make it the preferred option for many of our freelance and temporary employees,” the memo said — as if!). When the e-mail arrived, “there was a palpable sense of relief,” said one freelancer, “however, we are still missing several key items that we had before,” including the company’s contributions to their 401(k) and paid holidays. So it was back out to Times Square and chanting, and someone even started a blog for True Life stories of Viacom freelancers, such such as this one, titled “Engaged and Underpaid”:
“My girlfriend and I recently got engaged and set a date for the fall ‘08 for our wedding, but [getting on her health-care plan] will cost us a huge chunk of what we had been saving for our wedding. So much for getting married in ’08. THANKS VIACOM!”
Another protest is planned for tomorrow, where the Viacom freelancers will be joined by members of the Writers Guild East, who are on full-time, as opposed to teatime, strike.
In Major Reversal, Viacom Returns Healthcare to Freelancers [Gawker]
it just happened
Viacom Freelancers Protest in Times Square: ‘I Want Teeth’The section of 42nd Street directly below the glass-walled studio where MTV’s Total Request Live is filmed is usually occupied by screaming fans of pop-music acts and MTV personalities, but at 3 p.m. today it was filled with nearly 300 MTV employees, who gathered outside the Viacom building to protest the drastic cuts the company is making to the benefit plans of its full-time freelancers. “The TRL people were all looking down at us,” said one freelancer. “We booed them.” They may have been angry, but the protesters weren’t uncreative: They held aloft signs bearing twisted Viacom logos — Nickelodeon became “Sickolodeon” and MTV “WTF.” They were even musical, chanting “I want my benefits” to the tune of the Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” and “You’ve Got to Fight for Your Right to Health Care!” to the Beastie Boys’ “You’ve Gotta Fight for Your Right (to Party).” “It was pretty catchy,” said one freelancer, who added that some of the chants were more direct. “There was one where everyone just shouted, ‘I want teeth,’” she said. But the protests weren’t, after all, just for fun. “We deserve to be able to take care of our bodies when we get sick,” said the freelancer about the new health plan, which she called “a piece of shit.” “We’re worth more than that.”
At 3 P.M. Today, What Will Sumner Do?According to a press release sent to us from embittered Viacom freelancers, 3 p.m. is the hour that they will storm out of the offices today to protest large changes in the company’s benefit program. Though Sumner’s army of evil attempted to make some concessions last week, it seems like it’s still on. From the release:
The holiday season has arrived and you work for one of the largest
media corporations in the world. You receive your invitation to the company’s annual
holiday gala event, and along with it, you are given the alarming news that in a few
weeks, large portions of your employee benefits – including health insurance and
retirement benefits – will be slashed or cut.
It sounds like a tale only Scrooge could spin, but this was the case for thousands
who work each day for Viacom but are classified as ‘freelancers’, some of whom
have been working for the company as long as 9 years.
Wow, Scrooge? Someone get these creative people a raise! Any readers planning on walking out, too? Send us what’s going on in the interior; we’re dying to know. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. After the jump, the full press release.
The Plaza Turns 100The Plaza Hotel turns 100 on October 1, and she’s having a birthday party. MTV nixed having the stars of The Hills go to the Gossip Girl premiere party at Tenjune. On NY1’s Wiseguys, Ed Koch and Al D’Amato berated lefty Mark Green over MoveOn.org’s “General Betray Us” ad. Alina Shriver, sister-in-law of Maria and wife of Anthony Kennedy, just debuted a clothing line. A Pontiac had to be removed from the stage of 50 Cent’s concert at Hammerstein Ballroom because it had gas in the tank. Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, and Violet played in Sheep Meadow. Eartha Kitt, better known as Catwoman, says she’s 80 but still “burning.”
Oh, Poor Fashion WeekFewer Hollywood stars than usual are expected at Fashion Week when it starts September 5, because the Emmys and the MTV Video Music Awards are the same week. Dan Rather was confused by the “Thriller” dance stunt performed by Katie Couric’s staff last week, though he thinks her job is safe. Arianna Huffington may be dating Newark mayor Cory Booker. Cuba Gooding Jr., who is married with three kids, recently made out with five girls in one night at Tenjune. Jeremy Piven got into a heated argument with his mother at Nobu Malibu, though it’s unclear about what. Gwyneth Paltrow has been trekking around Spain with Mario Batali for a PBS cooking show (and hubby Chris Martin almost didn’t get into the premiere of her brother’s new movie). Cameron Diaz had a romantic dinner with John Mayer at Mai House in Tribeca. Residents of Martha’s Vineyard are happy that Larry David and Laurie are broken up and that Larry is dating again.
Tinz and Olivia Hate Each Other More Than They Hate GenocideTinsley Mortimer and Olivia Palermo hate each other so much they couldn’t jointly host a benefit for Darfur. John Mayer took Mandy Moore to lunch (at La Esquina) and Cameron Diaz to dinner (at Indochine) on the same day. New School president Bob Kerrey, a former governor and senator from Nebraska, might move back to run Chuck Hagel’s senate seat. Ivanka Trump instituted a “no midriff, no bikini bottom” rule for her October Stuff magazine cover. Former Jets QB Joe Namath is now a grandfather, though his daughter is only 16. Billy Joel thinks his Hamptons benefit concert was overpriced — and not that good. A Mr. Chow is opening in Vegas. Giants safety Will Demps is done with groupies. A Maxim writer thinks Sanjaya and Adrian Grenier are doppelgängers.
‘Jane,’ So OverMEDIA
• Jane mag is dead. [Radar]
• The Dow Jones board will meet with Ron Burkle today, but an alternative deal to Murdoch’s appears unlikely. [NYT]
• MTV Networks negotiated its upfront ad sales partly based on commercial ratings. [WSJ]
Hassling HasselbackRosie O’Donnell’s chief writer at The View was busted for drawing mustaches on pictures of arch-nemesis Elisabeth Hasselback. Accused D.C. Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey wants to publicize more names from her client list, but ABC News says there are no other even remotely noteworthy names on it. David Blaine wants to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. (Please!) Mary-Kate Olsen and Matthew Modine are set to join the cast of Weeds. The maps have been removed from Jodi’s Shortcuts, the semi-famous Hamptons traffic-avoidance routes. Callers trying to reach Sarah Silverman as part of an MTV Movie Awards promo have been accidentally dialing some company in Texas.
Vanity CareLimos parked outside Graydon Carter’s Waverly Inn delayed an ambulance en route to nearby St. Vincent’s Hospital. Former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill cut down his use of the company’s corporate jets right before 17,000 people were laid off. Michael Chabon is proud to have been branded an anti-Semite by the Post. Ellen Barkin is writing a novel based on her marriage to Ron Perelman. Bonnie Fuller is branching into TV. Barbara and Lauren Bush sang karaoke. The famous hawks living at 927 Fifth Avenue will soon be in a kids’ book. Jay Leno confused two Mexican comedians. Joe Francis says his Girls Gone Wild videos don’t feature black girls because they ask for money, not because he’s racist.
Not Super EnoughThe Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation wanted to donate the late Superman’s wheelchair to the Smithsonian, but the museum wanted more stuff. Katie Couric is dating a 33-year-old triathlete named Brooks Perlin. Scorned socialite Olivia Palermo gave an interview to New York about her relationship with Tinsley Mortimer and socialiterank.com without the consent of her publicist. Naomi Campbell was in talks with MTV to film a reality show but suddenly went MIA. CNN is prepared to pay Anderson Cooper $50 million over the next five years. Reports conflict on whether Marc Anthony and J.Lo have split. Stevie Wonder had to buy back a Grammy he won in 1974 because he never reported it stolen in the first place.
Picking On Little ArthurIn his new memoir, former Time Inc. editor-in-chief Norm Pearlstine accuses New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger of being more concerned with publicity than with the law during the Judith Miller saga. (Of course, Pearlstine was concerned with neither, happily capitulating to the prosecutor!) Tom Brady and Gisele went to Easter Mass in Little Italy. Disgraced former Miss USA Tara Conner has left New York for L.A. Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds now seem to be an item. Socialite Dori Cooperman was arrested and charged after she allegedly stole and cashed a $4,300 check. A Gawker editor had a tough time handling Jimmy Kimmel’s questions on Larry King Live. Giada De Laurentiis may be one of Tiki Barber’s co-hosts on the Today show.
Maria Bartiromo Feels Pretty, Oh So PrettyBefore Maria Bartiromo was on MSNBC and flying on private jets, she lived a life out of West Side Story. Speaking of Bartiromo, Citigroup head Charles Prince may have leaked the jet-ride scandal to the media. Former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos uploaded some unintentionally funny government-propaganda films to YouTube. Financier Henry Kravis complained that he wasn’t invited to Stephen Schwarzman’s blowout birthday party. Brad and Angelina needed beads and masks to escape from a New Orleans restaurant.