Salman Rushdie Spotted With Girlie Drink!Cindy Adams, columnist for the masculine organ known as the New York Post, apparently looked at Salman Rushdie askance when she saw the author and bon vivant “chugging a pink drink” at a party the other night, even though the party was, in her own words, “serving pre-prepared Cosmopolitans.” What’s next?, we imagine Cindy squawking to Salman. Hanging out with Elton John? “Look, it’s what they’ve got,” Salman said. “I’m easy.” Let’s hope not too easy, Salman. Cindy wouldn’t want to have to write about you waking up in the back of Lance Bass’s space shuttle some day.
Not Running Back, Tiki Offers Advice [NYP]
Cancer Has Not Impaired Patrick Swayze’s JudgementPatrick Swayze passed on playing a gay cheerleading coach in Fired Up for “creative reasons,” not because he’s sick. The script for Saturday’s Inner Circle show at the Hilton had to be overhauled in light of Spitzergate. Tom Brady made a rare post–Super Bowl public appearance with Gisele at the opening of the Zegna store on Fifth Avenue. Anne Hathaway bought five bottles of absinthe and borrowed an absinthe fountain from a restaurant for a party she was hosting with her boyfriend Raffaello Folllieri. ABC may cancel Rachael Ray’s show because of poor ratings. Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie shared an “uncomfortable silence” after being seated six feet apart from one another at a Cinema Society screening.
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Salman Rushdie ‘Horrified’ by PhiladelphiaWidener University, just outside Philadelphia, really rolled out the welcome wagon for guest speaker Salman Rushdie yesterday. Of course, said wagon was full of police carrying assault rifles, SWAT-team members, and drug-sniffing canines, because apparently someone was unaware that the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini on Rushdie was lifted, like, ten years ago. Upon his arrival at the train station, Rushdie was, obviously, terrified — “It’s insane!” he said told the Inquirer after his lecture. “I was absolutely horrified. Assault rifles, tracker dogs — they scare me!” He was not to mention probably secondhand embarrassed for his hosts, like, Um, you guys know that I travel freely about Manhattan going to parties like a regular Fabian Basabe these days, right? Didn’t anyone see me in Bridget Jones? Oddly, the school said that they “knew from the beginning” that Rushdie didn’t want security, but it was provided anyway, ostensibly because, goshdarnit, no Muslim terrorists were going to do anyone any harm on their watch.
Salman Rushdie ‘horrified’ by security for Widener U. visit [Philly.com]
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SPLIT!!!!! Ann Coulter and Andrew SteinWhenever a longtime celebrity couple breaks up, it causes us to call into question everything we believe about relationships. When Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie broke up, we felt hurt, and confused. It was the same with Sean and Robin Wright Penn. And then today, we read that Norah Jones and her longtime boyfriend and collaborator, Lee Alexander, split up. If they can’t work it out, we said to ourselves, then what hope is there for the rest of us? In this sort of climate, we wondered what celebrity couple would be next. Please God, we thought, please don’t take Jon Bon Jovi and his high-school sweetheart, Dorothea. But it was even worse. Today, “Page Six” reported the demise of the couple of the century, Ann Coulter and Andrew Stein.
‘Schneighbors’ No More?Friends, we have sad news. Last night at the GQ Man of the Year awards in Los Angeles, a member of Intel’s West Coast bureau — okay, fine, kidding, we don’t have a West Coast bureau; it was a USC journalism student named David Davin — intercepted auteur and art legend Julian Schnabel and asked him, quakingly, about his West Village development, Palazzo Chupi. Occupied by Schnabel, Richard Gere, and Credit Suisse cheese William J.B. Brady, the ginormous pink building is not only a monument to midlife crisis, it’s the set of Intel’s favorite (pretend) reality show, Schneighbors, which is why we were so excited when we heard that Bono had bought one of the two remaining condos. But we couldn’t find any records of the sale, so did he? “No, Bono is not going to be there,” Schnabel said. He was wearing green sneakers, a bathrobe, and yellow-tinted glasses, and as he shuffled away he seemed oblivious to the fact that, 3,000 miles away, our hearts were shattering into a million pieces. But then we looked on the bright side: Could not Bono’s loss be Salman Rushdie’s gain?
Related: Look Who’s Schneighbors!
Neal Boulton Wants, Doesn’t Want AttentionFormer Men’s Fitness editor and Jann Wenner paramour Neal Boulton calls up “Page Six” to tell them that he is getting harassed for being “too straight.” Harvey Weinstein said he uses Vogue and Anna Wintour to help style his films. The Box is about to implement a security system designed by Safir Rosetti, which is run by former police commissioner Howard Safir. 50 Cent may perform at Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Salman Rushdie dressed up as Darth Vader on Halloween and had to fend off chicks with his light saber. Fox News correspondent Chris Wallace complained that only 39 American soldiers died in Iraq in October 2007, the fewest deaths in a month since 2004.
Padma: When in Doubt, Suck Face With SalmanA prankster made lewd comments to Ann Curry and Matt Lauer during a media conference call between TV writers and the Today anchors. Banker Rafael Follieri, boyfriend of Anne Hathaway, flew commercial from Atlanta to New York despite supposedly owning a private jet. Padma Lakshmi was overheard telling someone she still was “still trying to work the secret to a great relationship out” hours before she made out with Salman Rushdie at Bungalow 8. (Rushdie also almost fell asleep during a play at the Guggenheim on Saturday.) Ivanka Trump couldn’t get into East Village dive Black and White because she didn’t have an I.D. The smoking hot ex–First Lady of France, Cecilia Sarkozy, is coming to visit New York with her kid.
Padma Will Have the SalmanLike our cohorts at WWD, we spent much of the night at the after-party for the Keep a Child Alive benefit transfixed by the drama of the Salman Rushdie–Padma Lakshmi reunion. Lakshmi’s presence at the event had been a given; she’s a KAC “global ambassador,” and she’d designed the gala’s dinner menu. And it seemed pretty clear from repeated comments referring to her “ex-husband” earlier in the night that she hadn’t been expecting Rushdie to show. But Rushdie is the one who introduced her to the night’s honoree, Bono — they’d flown to a concert together once, Lakshmi said — and apparently the sneaky devil got an invite through other means and decided to come. God, we had an ex who used to do that all the time, just like show up places he knew we’d be. Padma! Fancy meeting you here! Actually, come to think of it, we’ve done that to exes ourselves. We’re a little bit of a stalker like that. Salman! He’s just like us! Anyway. To be honest, we were kind of shocked by the hot and heavy make-out sesh that ensued.
J.Lo’s Pregnancy SpoilerJennifer Lopez will supposedly announce that she’s pregnant during her show at MSG on Saturday night. Jessica Simpson’s people say she didn’t drink and dash at the Box — her friend just accidentally took the receipt slip with him. Rosie O’Donnell did an impromptu ten-minute stand-up set during a show by Roseanne Barr at Comix. (Rita Crosby was there, despite having been served a subpoena earlier in the day.) Mariah Carey doesn’t know how many bathrooms are in her Tribeca penthouse. Howard Stein, the nightlife honcho behind eighties hangouts Xenon and Rock Lounge, died at 62. The Port Authority says the quality of its toilet paper is much improved, contrary to what Larry David said on last week’s episode of Curb. GLAAD forced “Page Six” to apologize for calling the pre-op transsexual who has a reality show on Fox a “she-male.”
Last night Salman Rushdie showed up at the Cinema Society screening of Elizabeth: The Golden Years to very publicly not watch the season finale of Top Chef, hosted by his former-model (and dubious-culinary-expert) ex-wife, Padma Lakshmi. Instead, he spent much of the after-party on the roof of the Soho Grand getting his flirt on with a bevy of tall model-esque beauties, one of whom looked like Padma 2.0. If we’d once been amazed at Rushdie’s ability to rein in a hottie like Lakshmi, we were more than impressed with his ability to keep three ladies entertained at once, using some strange mating dance involving jumping, hand gestures, back touching, and, at times, French. Earlier in the evening we’d gotten a taste of his conversational skills ourselves. Was he witty? Charming? Sexy? Well…
Ron Perelman Is Making Up for Lost TimeRon Perelman wasn’t the ladies’ man he is now when he was in high school. Harold Ford Jr. wants to be governor of Tennessee. Lindsay Lohan turned 21 yesterday, looking healthy and acting rather adultlike. Jackie O. didn’t like it when Caroline gained weight. Anna Wintour’s stylist is working weekends at a salon in Bridgehampton. Zach Braff and Drew Barrymore made out at Beauty Bar. Mice, dead and alive, are wreaking havoc at the new New York Times building. Padma Lakshmi is finally divorcing Salman Rushdie, and a billionaire or an unidentified chef may be to blame. Europe is the new Hamptons for celebrity Fourth of July celebrations.
At PEN Gala, Rushdie (With Lakshmi!) and Shteyngart Bemoan Demise of Book ReviewsThe T. Rex cantilevered over the famous writerly heads at the PEN gala last week at the Museum of Natural History supplied a metaphor too crushingly obvious for any of the assembled literary luminaries to use. Which didn’t make it any less valid: With one daily newspaper after another dropping book coverage, the world of letters hasn’t felt this vulnerable since the first TVs flickered on. “Literature is going the way of this dinosaur!” proclaimed a very trim Gary Shteyngart. “Wait, Salman Rushdie has already said something like that, ” he continued. “Let’s elaborate. Hang on. If the literature is the dinosaur, then the creeping national illiteracy is the meteoric event that Okay, this is not working. I can’t be pithy with my clothes on.” Within minutes, Rushdie himself arrived, accompanied by supposedly estranged wife Padma Lakshmi. His take on the book-critic shortage: “When I was starting out, any novelist’s debut, no matter how small, would get reviewed across the country. I would hate to be a young writer right now.” Letting Lakshmi get momentarily lost in the crowd while he finished his point, Rushdie added, “But let me tell you, it’s a dangerous game. The newspapers that are cutting people’s attention to reading may be cutting their own throats.” —Michael Idov
The Donald Picks a New FightDonald Trump claims that Golf Digest didn’t include his West Palm Beach course on their “Greatest Courses” list because he refused to advertise in the magazine. Jennifer Lopez arrived three hours late to her album-release party. Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie may be breaking up. James Gandolfini picked up a girl Tony Soprano–style. And Christopher is apparently the odds-on favorite to get whacked in the final season. Julianna Marguiles bought condoms with some guy at Duane Reade. Lindsay Lohan was allowed to use an apartment in the Atelier on West 45th Street because developers wanted to give the building some star power.
‘Radar’ CallingA Radar editor left a cell phone on — as in, making a call to someone’s voice mail — during a meeting, and the recording showed that staff meetings are disorganized. Donald Trump is planning to build a $125 million house in Palm Beach, and the locals aren’t happy about it. Damaging tape of Britney Spears “partying” with two dancers at a club may soon surface. A play about Spalding Gray shows he wasn’t a very attentive father. Brandon Davis tells his parents he’s an art dealer; he may actually be a different type of dealer. A married TV anchorwoman is about to get dumped for having an affair.
Thrice-Married Giuliani Is McInerney’s Love ExpertAt Jay McInerney’s wedding to Anne Hearst, Rudy Giuliani spoke about love and Dan Aykroyd got the crowd dancing. Salman Rushdie is impressed with his son’s game, and vice versa. Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun is in the hospital and not doing well. Kurt Cobain wanted to divorce Courtney Love, a new book claims. Lauren Davis “totally disregarded her responsibilities” as junior chair of the Winter Wonderland Ball Friday night to go party at Bungalow 8 and the Gramercy Park Hotel instead. Britney Spears has a new music-producer boyfriend, and he looks just like K-Fed. Beyoncé Knowles calls her onstage persona “Sasha,” admits to not liking her. Penélope Cruz dropped off Orlando Bloom before heading to the TomKat post-honeymoon party. People ate and bid on a lot of truffles at the Four Seasons Saturday. Andrew Sarris was in the restroom during the vote for Best Animated Feature at the New York Film Critics Circle’s awards, and his choice (A Scanner Darkly) ended up losing to Happy Feet by one vote. Someone claims that Ed Burns’s band is better than the Rolling Stones. A former reporter is suing NY1 for fostering a sexually hostile workplace, but execs of the cable channel deny the charges. Keanu Reeves chatted up a cheesy blonde. Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl spent $6,920 shopping on Saturday afternoon. Columnist Mark Steyn compares the group who drafted the 9/11 Commission Report to the group who attended Liza Minnelli’s wedding. George Clooney once got his mother a table saw for Christmas.