January 11, 1999

Ed Lover, the popular morning D.J. at Hot 97, could get some laughs by reading his Equal Employment Opportunity Commission file over the air. Maija DiGiorgio, who was hired in August to replace Lisa G and Lover’s longtime partner, Dr. Dre, just had her lawyer, Neal Johnston, file a notice with the EEOC that details a particularly outrageous event last November. “You got Dr. Dre fired,” a heckler at Carolines comedy club shouted at DiGiorgio, who retorted with a standard insult and finished her act. But when Lover took the stage, according to DiGiorgio’s affidavit, he turned to the heckler and said, “The reason why Dr. Dre isn’t here and Maija is, is that she sucks my dick. Dr. Dre wouldn’t suck my dick, but Maija does and she does a good job of it.” After the next morning’s show, Lover and DiGiorgio met with Hot 97’s execs. “I didn’t want to lose my job, so I kept my mouth shut at first,” reports DiGiorgio. “Ed started yelling that I was crazy and he couldn’t work with me.” Once she made it clear that she would not tolerate Lover’s sexual harassment, her affidavit charges, “my employer responded with a retaliatory termination.” But according to Hot 97’s general manager, Judy Ellis, DiGiorgio was never fired. “Maija said one day she didn’t want to do this, period,” insists Ellis, who adds that she’s never heard of the incident at Carolines. DiGiorgio says the station won’t even give her tapes of her shows. Maybe they’re afraid she’ll work them into her new show at Nada 45, Rats!

Mort Zuckerman may have made a triumphant return to the Forbes 400 at the billion-dollar mark, but he’s willing to shed his worldly goods in the name of art – at least onscreen. Heeding the siren call of Hollywood, the dapper media mogul is taking on an unusual cameo spot in MGM’s soon-to-be-released Val Kilmer-Mira Sorvino heart-wrencher At First Sight. “They cast me to type,” jokes Zuckerman. “I play a homeless man.”

Forget about six degrees of separation. It turns out there’s only a single degree separating the nation’s highest-paid female executive, Linda Wachner, from Scott Schneiderman, the failed stockbroker who tried to rob his father and wound up murdering a police officer. More than 25 years ago – before Wachner commandeered Warnaco’s corporate fleet – she sat next to a businessman playing gin rummy on a commercial flight from Florida to New York, and married him. Seymour Applebaum died in 1983, and three years later his widow took over Warnaco and started flying high with the likes of Barbara Walters, the late Pamela Harriman, and former governor Hugh Carey. But during the ten years of her marriage, Wachner knew Applebaum’s daughter – who just happens to be Scott’s mother, Ann Schneiderman. In his criminal trial, Scott testified that he decided to rob his father because he “grew very angry” while helping his mother fill out an application for food stamps. Ann Schneiderman clearly never went to her famous stepmother for help – perhaps because Wachner was divorcing Applebaum when he died. “I haven’t seen Ann in twenty years,” says Wachner. “I’m certainly not in contact with her.”

The owners of Chaos may be planning to sell their club, but they seem determined to squeeze every last penny out of the place while they can. Two recent visitors to the SoHo hot spot stopped by for a drink and ended up with a $450 tab for a bottle of Cristal they claim they were tricked into ordering. Melissa Geiger and her friend Cheri Di Cerbo say they were about to order a couple of cocktails when their server informed them that they were sitting at a reserved table and would have to buy an entire bottle of liquor or champagne – no wine – if they wanted to keep their prized seats. After they specifically requested a bottle of $80-to-$100 champagne, the patrons say, their waitress suggested, “Cristal’s the best,” and uncorked the pricey bubbly before telling them that its cost was more than four times what they’d said they could spend. When the stupefied women then refused the bottle, a manager was called – and his solution was to keep them under bouncer guard while he called the police. The officers told the naïve nightclubbers that they could be arrested for theft of services and spend up to two nights in jail waiting to be processed out. “We were humiliated. I was on the verge of tears,” says Di Cerbo. She and Geiger scraped together a total of $160 but say that the club’s manager refused to let them off for a penny less than $250, which they eventually borrowed from a sympathetic reveler at a neighboring table. A Chaos manager would neither confirm nor deny the story but did want to say that Cristal is only about $400 a bottle at the club, adding, “A lot of these minor players playing pretend for the night are sometimes a bit shocked at the amount of money they’ve committed to spending.”

Additional reporting by Ian Spiegelman and Elana Zeide.

January 11, 1999