Tony Bennett Marries Down … in AgeRenée Zellweger bought an employee at Saks Fifth Avenue in Southampton a pair of Manolos the two had been eyeing together. Top Chef gay-bashing victim Josie Smith-Malave spoke at a fund-raiser for potential mayoral candidate and current city comptroller William Thompson. Kaz Bayati, the owner of Persian eatery Persepolis, claims his quote in support of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in AM New York was taken out of context. Anna Anisimova finds it strange that people care how much money she spends on Hamptons rentals. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has scheduled a meeting with Angelia Jolie to discuss “global diplomacy,” and he’ll write about it on his blog. Tony Bennett officially ended his marriage to Sandra Grant Bennett and married the younger Susan Crow, though Grant is still bitter she didn’t marry Joe DiMaggio instead.
Clinton Still Loves Tony Bennett, Even As Time Goes ByTony Bennett’s pop-culture relevance may have quietly passed away long ago (his tour this year is sponsored by the AARP), but to a certain subset of the population, the octogenarian’s still a heartthrob. At last night’s sold-out “The Best Is Yet to Come” concert at Radio City Music Hall, the crowd was still screaming, “I love you, Tony!” Just like the fifties! A benefit for the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts that Bennett founded, the show featured collaborators from his last year’s Duets album: a shaky James Taylor, a preternaturally dapper John Legend, and k.d. lang, who even got an (admittedly squandered) onstage kiss from the silver stud. After the concert, the crowd moved across the street to the Rockefeller Center Summer Garden. Bill Clinton arrived late because he was stopped at the Cucina & Co. market down the hall. “He’s getting food? That could take a while!” cracked Regis, stalling during introductions. Oh, Regis! When he finally arrived, the former Pres and Reeg traded tales of Bennett’s painting acumen. During one interview, the leathery Live host said Tony actually took out the brushes. “And I still have that portrait today!” Later, packages, like original Annie Leibovitz prints and private tennis lessons with Andre Agassi, were auctioned off for the charity. The night’s biggest seller? A watercolor, by Mr. Tony Bennett. —Amos Barshad
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.
Kevin Spacey Comes to Queens, Fails to Impress H.S. Kids
When we graduated from high school, our commencement speaker was the valedictorian, a science geek bound for Georgetown who quoted Hamlet’s “to thine own self be true.” At the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria yesterday, departing seniors heard from Kevin Spacey — and got a visit from Tony Bennett, the native Astorian who co-founded the school through his nonprofit Exploring the Arts. (Clearly, the Sinatra students trump us, if simply on name-drop points alone.) So what did Spacey have to say? There were a few moments of what appeared to be true earnestness in his sonorously delivered speech; he told the kids to “take care of each other” and “recognize that none of us [attain success] alone.” But his shit-eating irony seemed to be intact. “I’m honored to be looking out at all of you fresh-faced graduates,” he intoned at one point. “You should all feel proud and elated, even if you squeaked by like me.” His tone wasn’t lost on the savvy grads. No sooner had Spacey said, “I want to focus today … on friends,” virtually the entire Frank Sinatra Class of 2007 chorused a big, sappy, sarcastic “Awwwwww!” Spacey was no doubt proud. —Tim Murphy
Billie Jean Is Not My Talk-Show HostBillie Jean King says she wouldn’t mind taking fellow lesbian Rosie O’Donnell’s spot on The View. Socialiterank.com will post no more, but its (still anonymous) founders do have a book deal. Arthur Sulzberger Jr. was marginally insensitive toward deaf people at the New York Times Co. annual meeting. American Idol contestants put on a private performance at Rupert Murdoch’s house. Christie’s exec John Hays made a quip about Katie Couric at the Children for Children benefit. Cameron Diaz went shopping in Soho, then freaked out when the paparazzi showed up. Kate Winslet likes New York’s paparazzi more than London’s. A woman obsessed with Sandra Bullock tried to run over Bullock’s husband with a car. Hugh Grant was arrested on an assault charge after throwing baked beans at a paparazzo.
Time Warner’s Future Is Now
Time Warner has shown us the future — and it is remarkably like the present, but with retro interior design. We arrived at the Time Warner Center last night for the opening of the media company’s “Home to the Future” exhibit expecting robot caterers, smell-o-vision televisions, and Dick Parsons’s clone. Instead we got demonstrations of Time Warner’s revolutionary new concepts, DVR and VOD, and news that apparently Samsung has figured out a way to make a television screen flat. Also, it seems there’s something called the Internet, which allows you, as a sign explained, to get all the music you want, just at the touch of a button. All this breathtaking new technology was set in an exhibit designed by Edwin Schlossberg, best known as Mr. Caroline Kennedy, who used lots of orange-on-orange and blue-on-blue hexagons, plus furniture made out of puffy white-leather circles. It was Camelot! The demi-celebs in the room were as confused as we were. “Whatever this is, I’m underwhelmed,” said man-about-town Boykin Curry. “I thought maybe the food was the vision of the future, that Time Warner was going to start home delivery of tiny pieces of steak through your television.” At around 8:30, guests began filing upstairs for a concert by Tony Bennett. (Again: The future will be like Camelot!) We left for a much more interesting use of flat-screen televisions, Robert Wilson’s video portraits at the Phillips de Pury gallery downtown. They were awesome. —Jada Yuan