Eliot Spitzer Pimps His New Vulture FundOn his 49th birthday, we get reports that Spitzer’s legal future looks grim, but his financial plan is a good one! Oh, yeah, and he doesn’t think the whole hooker thing was that big of a deal.
Bruce Willis Acts Like Liz Smith Was Born YesterdayBruce Willis says he’s dating a model because she’s pretty on the inside. Plus, Kirsten Dunst and Ryan Gosling go on a date, as do Silda and Eliot Spitzer, in our daily roundup of the juiciest bits from New York gossip columns.
Adam Duritz Probably Should Have Married Jennifer Aniston When He Had the ChanceCounting Crows lead singer Adam Durtiz laments the fact that he’s 43, single, and sits home a lot. Alan Greenspan is worried about the economy, but he can’t be that worried: He celebrated his 82nd birthday the other night with a pricey dinner at Le Perigord. Jimmy Kimmel says he bought his ex-wife an engagement ring from Costco. Bill Clinton says his favorite movie of the year was Michael Clayton, but that he hasn’t seen There Will Be Blood. Defense attorney Mickey Sherman says he uses Otter’s “It’s the system’s fault!” speech from Animal House to justify defending shady clients. Tina Fey thinks she’s funnier than Jon Stewart.
in other news
The Spitzer Cycle Continues, With Or Without You Okay, just because you’re not as titillated by Eliot Spitzer’s trampage as you were last week, you still want to know what’s going on, right? Like, where the H is Kristen right now? Is Eliot Spitzer still chasing tail? And what’s going on with Silda? Is she recovering with her mom in a condo in Florida right now with a glass of iced Chardonnay and a Danielle Steele novel? Here’s what you may have missed over the weekend while you were too busy wandering around the East Village with green beads around your neck looking for a bar whose name began with a “Mc.”
• Federal investigators are looking into payment records to a Spitzer consultant named Kristian Stiles, who used to put a lot of travel, lodging, and entertainment expenses for the governor onto her own credit card and ask for reimbursement later. [NYT]
• The Times took this opportunity to chat with three high-end prostitutes about their jobs, and they wrote a story that included this gem: “Undoubtedly, their willingness to speak publicly came with unusually upbeat perspectives on prostitution, which for many women is devastatingly exploitative.” As they say, no one beats a happy hooker. [NYT]
Book Publishers Sadly Agree: Silda Not Likely to Tell AllBook publishers and editors agree that a Silda Spitzer tell-all is unlikely. Rachael Ray’s people disagree with yesterday’s Post item which claimed that Ray’s show may soon be canceled. Broadway vet Phillip Hoffman would like you to know that he is not the same person as actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The Duke of Westminster succeeded in getting British papers to drop rumors that he was Client 6 because libel laws are stricter in England. The owners of Cain, GoldBar, Upstairs, Marquee, and Butter had a poolside nightlife summit down in Cove Atlantis. Of all the times for there not to be a tidal wave.
in other news
EXCLUSIVE! Silda Wall Spitzer and Hillary Clinton’s Phone ConversationExclusively in our imaginations, that is. We’re not sure whether Hillary Clinton, in the past 48 hours, has called Silda Wall Spitzer. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Clinton is close with the Spitzers, and she did call Dina Matos McGreevey after her ordeal with the whole “My husband’s a gay governor” thing to give counsel. So we’re just going to assume that she did for a moment (we’re not sure you’ll ever hear the real story confirmed by her press people anyway — they likely don’t want to remind everyone that Hillary for a long time was best known for standing by a philandering husband). We’ll never know for sure what might have gone on in such a conversation (until, of course, Silda gives up on Eliot and gets her $3 million book deal), but we do have an idea. Thus, we have constructed for your reading pleasure an imaginary phone conversation between Hillary Clinton and Silda Wall Spitzer:
[A phone rings somewhere in the Spitzer apartment on the Upper East Side. Silda is holed up in the bedroom, reading a copy of Honor Thyself, Danielle Steel’s latest best-seller. She does not get up — the thing has been ringing off the hook, and it’s always for him. Usually these insistent calls come late at night, after she’s thankfully taken a Klonopin and drifted off to sleep. On the other side of the apartment, Eliot is surrounded by advisers in the children’s playroom. He is seated precariously on a Playmobil tea table. He picks up the phone.]
Eliot: If this is anyone but the Daily Princetonian, I have no comment, okay?
Hillary: Hello, Eliot.
Eliot: Kristen? Is it you? I’ve been trying—
Hillary: NO, it’s not KRISTEN. God, they always have white-trash names, don’t they?
Predictably, ‘Lipstick Jungle’ Star Used to Lust After Andrew McCarthyLipstick Jungle’s Lindsay Price had a childhood crush on her co-star Andrew McCarthy. Tom Hanks walked past Eliot Spitzer’s apartment building on 79th and Fifth, but no one recognized him. A Madonna look-alike ran across the second-floor balcony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction at the Waldorf-Astoria, providing some levity to an otherwise boring event. Fashion Week will relocate to the Tenth Avenue rail yards after 2010. The Queens livery driver who faked the baby rescue weirdly will appear on an upcoming episode of The Real Housewives of New York City. A documentary about storied Tribeca nightclub the Wetlands opens Friday. Marc Jacobs’s boy toy, Jason Preston, got punched in the face outside Hiro after trying to get a guy who had thrown a drink at a girl to apologize.
Dr. Laura: Basically, It Is Silda’s Fault That Her Husband Cavorted With WhoresThe Today show invited noted moralist Dr. Laura Schlessinger on to promote her book Stop Whining and Start Living and to discuss Eliot Spitzer’s sex scandal this morning. But they seemed surprised when, predictably, she acted Dr. Laura–ish: “When the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally, to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like her hero, he’s very susceptible to the charm of some other woman making him feel what he needs,” Schlessinger said.
Today hostesses Meredith Viera, Ann Curry, and Hoda Kotb stared at her. There was palpable silence. It was awkward, even for us at home.
Finally, Viera managed to speak: “You’re saying the women should feel guilty that they somehow drove the man to cheat?” she asked.
“The cheating was his decision to repair what’s damaged and to feed himself where he’s starving,” Schlessinger explained. “But, yes, I hold women responsible for tossing out perfectly good men by not treating them with the love and kindness and respect and attention they need.”
Right, because Spitzer was clearly a perfectly good man. Jezebel has video if you’d like to give yourself that nice, midday outraged feeling.
Dr. Laura: Women share blame for cheating men [MSNBC]
in other news
Reacting to Eliot’s Mess
Eliot Spitzer is still holed up in his apartment in New York, where he and his wife, Silda, have been conferring with advisers since last night. He’s weighing his options, and deciding whether to resign. Meanwhile, on the outside, the politicians and the media have descended into exactly the kind of feeding frenzy you would expect:
• The Post reports that State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno held back from reveling in his great rival’s fall: “I feel very badly for the governor’s wife, for his children,” he said. “The important thing for the people of New York State is that people in office do the right thing.”
• According to CNN, Republican state senators and assemblymen (and some Democrats) are aggressively calling for his resignation. So is the Republican Governors Association.
• If Spitzer doesn’t resign before a deadline set by state Republicans, they’ve vowed to begin impeachment proceedings, reports WCBS.
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Eliot Spitzer, Silda Wall: The New Billary?As the grim first anniversary of his governorship nears — with Albany as much of a mess as ever — Eliot Spitzer is backing up the steamroller, the Sun reports. According to the paper’s mysteriously high-placed source, the governor is shaking up his staff “at the urging of his wife and one of his closest friends.” The former is, of course, Silda Wall, while the latter is Lloyd Constantine, a mentor figure since Spitzer’s law-school days. Their advice, supposedly: Ditch chief of staff Richard Baum and chief political operative Ryan Toohey, both stained by the Troopergate, as a show of a “clean break” for the voters. Frankly, we had no idea the duo held such sway over Spitzer’s staffing choices; the recent Vanity Fair feature, for example, mentions the governor “turning more to seasoned advisers such as Constantine,” but Silda only rates a cameo as the girl that “made him smile.” If true, this is fairly huge: It means that the governor, like all beleaguered leaders, is getting all Circle of Trust on us — which amounts to a tacit recognition of failure. For his part, Spitzer has “yet to make a move.”
Eliot Spitzer: Still Hot, Still Likes HillaryWhen we saw Eliot Spitzer last night at the Kids in Distressed Situations gala, we were relieved to see that in person, his hotness remains undiminished. We asked him what he thought of being a sex symbol, and (get this) we actually made him blush. Victory! “That’s, uh, wow, maybe you should ask my wife that,” Spitzer smiled. “It’s news to me. But I will take it as a compliment.” Laughing, Mrs. Spitzer grabbed his arm and crowed, “I agree! I agree!” [Ed. Note: Man, what a bitch.] Anyway, we thought we could throw him off with our flattery and blatant flirtation so we might get a real answer to our next question, which was, what does the governor really think of how Hillary handled the questions about her stance on Spitzer’s driver’s-license issue? She did, after all, stick up for him at first and later sort of slink away from her position. “I think she has been exactly right,” he said. “We need a national agenda on immigration that will address these issues.” Damn, a slick non-answer. Kind of like the ones Hillary gave when asked about him. In politics, does that make them best friends? —Shira Levine
Earlier: Eliot Spitzer: Hot or Not?
Cisco Adler Plops Down Near Another Hot BlondeA-Rod and ur-agent Scott Boras dined at Nello’s. Eva Mendes hopped in the wrong limo. New York’s First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer told attendees of a More-magazine convention that the best advice she ever got was “either piss or get off the pot.” Cisco Adler and Lydia Hearst were cozy at Bungalow 8. Jann Wenner was widely mocked at the 30th reunion party of the Rolling Stone staff from 1977 (everyone gave him the finger in the group photo, and no one drank the Champagne he sent). Joaquin Phoenix hung up on a reporter from Time Out after she asked him what he did to prepare for his roles. Single-again Nick Cannon hung out with a bunch of beauty-pageant queens at Tenjune.
the morning line
It’s Not Easy Being a Steamroller
• Eliot Spitzer admits to the Times that his feud with Joe Bruno has become “ugly” and “eclipse[d] all discussion of policy and legislation.” Plus, all the personal attacks are upsetting Mrs. Spitzer, who now regrets her husband didn’t go into real estate. [NYT]
• The city is opening 290 “cooling centers” to help New Yorkers beat the heat; “I don’t care how strong you are, you should take some precautions,” Mayor Bloomberg declared, sounding even more like a testy grandmother than usual. [amNY]
• Now this is getting interesting: The Department of Transportation under Janette Sadik-Khan is trying to hire Danish planner Jan Gehl as a consultant (as Daily Intel reported two weeks ago), and now word is that his proposals include banning cars from Times Square. [NYDN]
• At the Phil Spector trial, the judge has allowed in a piece of blockbuster testimony from the producer’s bodyguard — who says he’s heard Spector say “all women should be shot in the head.” [WNBC]
• And a Manhattan psychologist, William Swan, is accused of groping a prospective assistant during an interview and showing her porn to boost her “assertiveness.” In an apparent triumph, she’s now assertive enough to sue and go to the press. [NYP]
in other news
Spitzer’s Mansion to Go Green
In a one-home version of PlaNYC 2030, the state’s first lady, Silda Wall Spitzer, is turning the governor’s mansion fashionably green. The 39-room Queen Anne was built in 1875, and, as you might imagine, it isn’t a model of energy efficiency. The planned $650,000 renovation — the state will pick up a third of that, just as it would if you were to green up your mansion — actually doesn’t sound all that drastic: a few solar panels, a switch to electric mowers and hybrid vehicles throughout the property (no word on what will power the steamroller), and, um, new lightbulbs. The goals are similarly modest: halving the greenhouse-gas emissions from the mansion and reducing its yearly electric bill, which the AP places at $86,000, to a mere $60,000. (The nation’s most currently notorious utility bill, Al Gore’s, is $30,000.) We like the Spitzers’ realism, but one is left wishing for something a little more inspirational. Shouldn’t a truly green governor, like, grow his own wheat and make electricity? We know, we know: Shelly Silver and Joe Bruno must be tying his hands.
Governor’s Mansion To Become Greenhouse Model [AP via amNY]
Jim Cramer’s Wisdom Is More Valuable Than Ron Perelman’s Boat
A quiz: Which is worth more, a three-night, all-paid, all-access, five-star trip to this year’s Cannes Film Festival, including an all-you-can-party-with-celebs pass on Ronald Perelman’s 188-foot yacht, or, a chance to have dinner with Mad Money moneyman Jim Cramer? The answer: Mad Money, baby. A bidding war erupted last night for the Cramer prize — a chance to have dinner with the investment guru (also a New York columnist) and watch a taping of his CNBC show — at the fund-raising gala New York first lady Silda Wall Spitzer threw last night at Christie’s for her charity, Children for Children. Howard Milstein — president of Emigrant Savings Bank, managing partner of Milstein Properties, and, last night, the man sitting at Governor Spitzer’s left — won the Cramer night with a bid of $20,000. Perelman’s Cannes-party donation — donated anonymously — fared far less well, going for only $12,000 to some guy in the back whose identity we couldn’t really figure out. Perelman wasn’t there, but somewhere, he must have felt slighted. Adding insult to injury: This auction was in the same room where Perelman’s ex, Ellen Barkin, last year hawked all the fancy jewelry he gave her. The price for those? $20.3 million. —Geoffrey Gray