Crikey! Are We Getting Madonna Back?
Madonna and Guy Richie may or may not be breaking up because Madonna “lost respect” for Richie when she found out he embellished his working-class roots. The upside: She may be moving to NYC! Matt Lauer has foolishly agreed to be roasted by the Friar’s Club. Donatella Versace is appearing at Barneys today to tout her menswear line. Foxy Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and Representative Anthony Weiner totally acted like a couple during David Paterson’s swearing-in ceremony in Albany yesterday. Mary-Louise Parker is bad at giving directions to people in the West Village, even though she lives there. Cindy Adams thinks both Andrew Cuomo and Michael Bloomberg will make runs for governor.
Enough With the Effing Osmonds!A brief rant: All morning today Good Morning America has been shrieking about how all the original members of the Von Trapp Osmond Family Singers are all performing together for the first time since Iwo Jima or something. Does anybody care? Is there any one person in this country who wakes up in the morning and thinks, Maybe today is the day the Osmonds will reunite? We didn’t understand all the hullabaloo when Oprah had all 2,500 of them onstage in November, and we still don’t understand it now. If they had all the Jacksons onstage together, that would be one thing. But the Osmonds? There isn’t even one named Jermajesty! And why are they always smiling? They’re Mormons, not Scientologists. It’s just creepy.
Atoosa to Spawn!Rush Limbaugh is catching flak for using the phrase “anal poisoning” in conjunction with John McCain and his potential running mate, Senator Lindsey Graham. Heather Mills will represent herself in divorce court next week. Nicky Hilton couldn’t get into a Fashion Week party at the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar, perhaps because owner Ian Schrager doesn’t like her or her sister. Woody Allen wants Scarlett Johansson to be like Meryl Streep and not go the “‘Page Six’–party route.” Also, he calls her “sexy,” which is gross. Former Seventeen editor Atoosa Rubenstein is expecting a baby in July.
Bloomie and McCain: A Ticket Made in Independent Heaven?John McCain may or may not ask Mike Bloomberg to be his running mate. Harvey Weinstein belted out “New York, New York” at his daughter’s 10th-birthday party at Spotlight Live. Recently married Vogue editor and socialite Lauren Davis wants to find a “gestational carrier” for her baby. First daughter Barbara Bush watched the Giants win at the Village Pourhouse with 40 friends. Josh Hartnett went to Freemans and the Beatrice Inn on Thursday, while Helena Christensen just went to Freemans. Andy Samberg went to BAM to watch harpist girlfriend Joanna Newsome perform.
Being Filthy Rich Means Never Having to Say You’re SorryFINANCE
• Fortune searches Davos for financiers to express contrition over the current credit crisis but comes up empty. The closest anyone has come, the magazine notes, is the chairman and chief executive of Moody’s Corp, who said, “We and others have to retool our processes In hindsight, it’s clear to us that there were fundamental failures in key assumptions supporting our analytical models.” Quoth Fortune: “That’s probably a little too mealy-mouthed and much too late to console people who bought the mortgage-backed commercial paper to which Moody’s and its rival Standard & Poor’s gave a top-notch AAA rating — only to discover it was actually junk.” Snap! [Fortune]
• Just how big a fraud did Jérôme Kerviel, the rogue French trader, pull off? Before the bank caught him, he had taken out positions worth 50 billion euros. But some argue that he was responsible for only 1.5 billion euros in losses, and the bank’s board lost the other 3.4 billion euros unwinding his positions way too fast. Meanwhile, top executive Jean-Pierre Mustier told the Times: “I was speaking to a competitor, this competitor called me and said, ‘You are living what is a banker’s worst nightmare.’” Imagine how dramatic that must have sounded in French. [FT, NYT]
• Bonuses now in the bank, Goldman rewarded bankers for a record-setting year with a special surprise: layoffs! [Deal Journal/WSJ]
Philippe Starck Pans the New Royalton LobbyPhilippe Starck doesn’t like the $17.5 million redesign to the Royalton Hotel, which he once designed. Heatherette isn’t having a show this Fashion Week, and Richie Rich may be out for good! Russian model Natalia Vodianova had what may be her last catwalk during the final Valentino show in Paris and plans to take the designer to Moscow for a week and then to Brazil for Carnivale. Contrary to rumors, Puff “Diddy” Daddy says he is not considering changing his name back to Sean Combs. Paris Hilton and Stavros Niarchos hung out at the Beatrice Inn. Michael Richards and a blonde girl ate at a vegan restaurant at Columbus Circle. Cindy Adams claims that the writers’ strike will be over in two weeks and that Mayor Bloomberg is 50-50 about whether to run for president. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and boyfriend Matt Nye just had twins via surrogate parent. New York Times writer Alex Kuczynski will have a baby via surrogate mother in April.
new york fugging city
Tom Cruise: Crazy Like a Fugging Fox?This week a new Tom Cruise video hit the Web, believed to be an internal Scientology indoctrination reel (which we can’t confirm; although Tom’s words are definitely English, they make no sense in the unique order he’s chosen). Cruise stars as himself, a fervent believer who practically vibrates with devotion and punctuates his preaching with disturbingly enthusiastic cackles. It’s so weird that you can’t look away, and the timing couldn’t be better: Ol’ Couchjumper’s recent canon of cracky behavior has inspired such massive piles of intrigue and gossip that he’s become the subject of a book by professional-unauthorized-biographer Andrew Morton. The book attempts to unveil all the dark secrets of Cruise’s mysterious private life, including his not-so-casual involvement with Scientology — and now that this creepy video has hit the Web, Morton’s no doubt thanking the gods for their impeccable timing. But Morton’s reported inability to penetrate Cruise’s closed ranks has turned a hotly anticipated tell-all into a loosely sourced kitchen sink of a book that may, amazingly, do the Cruise camp more good than harm.
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.
Tom Cruise Nearly Wins Us Back at Museum of the Moving Image TributeFor the past couple of years, Tom Cruise has been cultivating a scary, Scientology-spewing, Matt Lauer–fighting, possibly baby-faking persona. But as we worked the red carpet at last night’s tribute to the actor by the Museum of the Moving Image, we found ourselves quickly experiencing backlash to the backlash. He really is, as they say, a megawatt star. He can still spin liquor bottles like in Cocktail, he told us, laughing heartily to signal how clever he thought we were for asking. “I [recently] went to Croatia or somewhere and a guy asked me to get behind the bar and I was spinning with him,” he said. “I broke a bottle or two. I tried!” With the fans, he’s a tireless hand shaker and picture taker. “I just think it’s manners,” he told us, after being taken away to pose with small children for the fifth time in our conversation. We’ll admit it. He had us at “hello” (well, in his case, “HELLO!”).
Si to Shutter ‘Teen Vogue’?Teen Vogue may be the next Condé Nast magazine to fold. Some 370 girls auditioned to be Rockettes recently; two were hired. Reggie Jackson took issue with the scene in The Bronx Is Burning in which he loses his temper. Usher and Tameka Foster may be married in the Hamptons this week. Kelly Clarkson apologized to Clive Davis after realizing that her album was as bad as he claimed it was. Diddy wrote a song and shot a video about ex-girlfriend Kim Porter. A 9-year-old girl cried after being rebuffed for an autograph by Hilary Duff. Flava Flav got the celebrity-roast treatment. Elle is throwing a party for August cover girl Sarah Jessica Parker in the Hamptons. John Legend shopped for BBQ fixings at the Houston Street Whole Foods.
Anonygossip Terrifies Hamptons!The society column in The Southampton Press is now anonymously written, and some East Enders are worried. Danielle Steel plans to write a novel based on her ex-husband’s boating incident in France, which left a French doctor dead. Sharon Stone is scheduled to emcee an AIDS benefit at the Dubai International Film Festival, despite the fact that the city has a bad track record on dealing with homosexuals and AIDS victims. Vanessa Minnillo may star in a reality show, though the Lohan knife pictures may be an issue. Peter Beard likes to take Polaroids of topless models. The Olsen twins sold pictures from their 21st-birthday party for $300,000. Paul McCartney performed a surprise show at the HighLine Ballroom with his “almost boy band.” Eli Manning dumped beer on teammate Shaun O’Hara at his 30th-birthday party.
Chuck Schumer, Lady’s ManAfter college, Chuck Schumer picked a girl over a scholarship. 50 Cent is really rich. Gay activists don’t like John Travolta in the Hairspray movie because he’s a Scientologist, not because of his performance. Brian Grazer is getting divorced. Eliot Spitzer banged his head on the trunk of his car. Rufus Wainwright defends Anderson Cooper’s lifestyle and choice of gym. Maggie Gyllenhaal might come to Broadway as Nellie in South Pacific. Kevin Spacey partied at Lotus. Lily Allen put on a bad show at the Roseland Ballroom, then she hung out with Josh Hartnett. At Graydon Carter and Anna Wintour’s party for Nicholas Coleridge’s A Much Married Man, Ron Perelman thought the book was about him.
Nobody Knows in America, Puerto Rico’s in AmericaJohn McCain has RSVP’d for the Puerto Rican Day Parade, but Rudy Giuliani has not. Lorraine Bracco will be a onetime co-host of The View. Baird Jones will celebrate Dr. Kevorkian’s release from prison tonight by exhibiting his paintings at Webster Hall. Kevin Costner ate at Michael’s. John Travolta may be in denial about his son’s autism because of Scientology. Paris Hilton plans to keep a diary when she’s in prison, which she can later sell. Sharon Stone is set to star in mock political ads to be unveiled at the upcoming Venice Biennale. Charlie Palmer’s Kitchen 22, on West 22nd Street, closed.
the morning line
Congestion Pricing, Coming Soon to a Midtown Near You!
• The mayor will use Earth Day to unveil a barrage of housing, transit, and environmental proposals. In the spotlight today: a charge for drivers to enter midtown, a cabbies’ dream and car commuters’ nightmare. [NYT]
• Governor Spitzer is requesting FEMA aid, including disaster unemployment relief, for twelve counties hit hard by the weekend’s nor’easter. New York City is in line for some federal funds as well. [WSTM]
• Albany, meantime, is proposing the so-called Paw and Claw Tax (on pet food, natch), with the money going toward shelters. The tax would apply to “dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits and birds.” Your ferret is now a bargain. [NYS]
• Tom Cruise, whom the Post now dubs “the diminutive Scientologist,” hit Chelsea (an easy joke there) to raise funds for his questionable sauna-and-vitamins program for 9/11 emergency workers. Reporters were banned. [NYP]
• And it took two fumbling attempts for the NYPD scuba team to tow the departed Sludgie the Whale from Gowanus to his final resting place in Jersey City. Deadpanned one detective by way of equivocation, “This was my first whale.” [WNBC]
in other news
Tom Cruise Dissed by Bloomberg, ValloneYou may have heard that Tom Cruise was sponsoring a Scientology-flavored detox program for 9/11 first responders (the fund-raiser is tonight, in fact), and that the City Council was about to honor him for it. Yesterday, reports the Post, Mayor Bloomberg finally decided this wasn’t such a great idea. The initiative to give Cruise official kudos belongs to Councilman Hiram Monserrate, who claims that the program was secular in itself and the religion of its underwriter was thus irrelevant. Yet even the most casual fans of Xenu & Co. could spot that some features of the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project — specifically the sweat-and-vitamins regimen — were indistinguishable from the intro stage of Scientological indoctrination. Not to mention some of the families’ claims that the patients are being told to stop taking anti-depressants. Bloomberg didn’t provide any pithy sound bites on the matter, but he’d be hard-pressed to beat a remark by Councilman Peter Vallone; commending Cruise, Valone said, would cross the line between “cult and state.”
Mike Thumps Tom [NYP]
Ann Bass Was RobbedSocialite Ann Bass, ex-wife of billionaire investor Sid Bass, and artist boyfriend Julian Lethbridge were robbed at their tony Connecticut estate. Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia couldn’t bring herself to attend Frost/Nixon. Rutgers women’s basketball coach Vivian Stringer signed a lucrative deal to write an autobiography. Alec and Stephen Baldwin split some macaroni and cheese while bowling. Madonna ex Carlos Leon hooked up with model Kat Forseca at the Bowery Hotel. Josh Lucas hooked up with a writer from Harper’s Bazaar at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Christine Ebersole once bribed a cop with $100. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony plan to file libel suits against the National Enquirer in Europe, where their odds of victory are higher. Chloë Sevigny writes about her wild youth in the introduction to a friend’s memoir.