Intelligencer: April 11–18

It Happens This Week
• Taxes are due.
• Mayoral candidates Ferrer, Weiner, and Fields clash at a Wagner College forum.
• For better or for worse, release of the latest Mariah Carey album (The Emancipation of Mimi) will probably draw more attention.
• And Sir Elton John and John Waters host a New Museum gala in honor of Cindy Sherman.

Photo: John Barrett/Globe Photos

Deal-a-Meal The Weinstein Way
Cipriani and Harvey team up for mogul diet book.
Next up for Disney divorcé Harvey Weinstein: a diet book? Last November, Weinstein announced that under the supervision of restaurateur Giuseppe Cipriani, he’d lost 80 pounds. “Another 20,” said Cipriani at the time, “We’ll do a book: the Cipriani Diet.” It’s unclear if he made it to 100, but Weinstein’s been busy talking to publishers (not including Miramax Books) and working up a proposal, while Cipriani submits some “low-carb, high-pleasure” recipes (like modified eggplant parm) to nutritionists for approval. And what separates it from low-carb competitors? “A lot of the other books’ recipes don’t actually taste that good,” Cipriani says. Collaborator Weinstein will taste everything. Then there’s the exercise component. “Cardio,” Cipriani trills, rolling the “r.” “It’s not easy with Harvey, but we do our best.” A Miramax spokesman wouldn’t say how much his boss had lost (but says he’s “looking good”). Cipriani says: “He has a longer way to go. After he’s done with all these new deals, he can concentrate on losing more weight.”
—Boris Kachka

John Edwards Speaks Up
Don’t crown Hillary yet!
Hillary Clinton may be all but declared the 2008 nominee here in New York, but don’t tell John Edwards that. “I think talking about a front-runner four years before an election is ridiculous,” he tells us. Edwards is coming to town this week to give a speech at the New School assailing Bush tax policies, and to visit his daughter, who works at Vanity Fair. Now at the University of North Carolina, his voting finger is clearly itchy. We ran through some talking points. The circus of legislative outrage surrounding Terri Schiavo? “We saw the memo that went out to Republican leaders about how they could take political advantage of Terri Schiavo. That’s disgusting. They will pay a price for this in the 2006 and 2008 elections.” The Democratic acquiescence to the appointments of Condoleezza Rice and Alberto Gonzales? “I would have voted against them.” Would you oppose John Bolton as U.N. ambassador? “I would.” The easy passage of tort reform? “People have attacked my [trial lawyer] career ever since I’ve been involved in politics. But the attacks never stick. I think people fundamentally believe that those who have been wronged by powerful interests should be able to hold them accountable.” The reports that you told John Kerry you wouldn’t run against him? “The conversations that John Kerry and I have had are personal and private.”
—Greg Sargent

Hit the Showers!
Sports bar for actual pro athletes.
At Tiki Barber’s surprise 30th birthday party last Thursday at Level V, “Tikitinis” were served, guests included fellow Giants Eli Manning and Jeremy Shockey, and nobody present seemed to know that this red-lit, cavelike space used to be home to the gay-sex club the Manhole. Which probably attracted on average far fewer pro athletes. “We have a strict door policy,” explains V’s Eugene Remm (it’s a different one than Manhole’s used to be). “Pro athletes aren’t going to get frat kids gawking at them, trying to discuss how their swing needs to be adjusted.” So Scottie Pippen’s been in, dancing banquette-top, and Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, and Drew Henson have partied there too. Still, “We’re not going to have any Red Sox players here when we’ve got a Yankee. That’d be like playing Ja Rule’s music while 50 Cent was hanging out,” says Remm.
——Amy Zalneraitis

Wall StreetSlap Fest!
London vs. New York.
Daniel Loeb, who runs the hedge fund Third Point, cemented his obnoxious reputation when he circulated an exchange he’d had with U.K.-based hedge-fund vet Alan Lewis. Lewis says it all started when Loeb called him, “unsolicited,” about possibly opening a London office. Lewis quickly e-mailed off his CV. To which Loeb fired back: “[W]hat are your 3 best current european ideas?” Then things rapidly deteriorated:

Lewis: “Daniel, I am sorry but it does not interest me to move forward in this way. If you wish to have a proper discussion about what you are looking to accomplish in Europe, and see how I might fit in, fine. Lesson one of dealing in Europe, business is not conducted in the same informal manner as in the U.S.”

Loeb: “One idea would suffice … We are looking for bloodthirsty competitive individuals who show initiative … We find most brits are a bit set in their ways and prefer to knock back a pint at the pub and go shooting on weekend rather than work hard.”

Lewis:“I did not achieve the success I have by knocking back a pint, as you say … I am Half American and half French … Things are done differently here, yes place in society still matters, where one went to school etc. It will take tact and patience (traits you obviously do not have) to succeed in this arena.”

Loeb: “Well, you will have plenty of time to discuss your ‘place in society’ with the other fellows at the club. I love the idea of a French/English unemployed guy whose fund just blew up telling me that I am going to fail. At Third Point, like the financial markets in general, ‘one’s place in society’ does not matter at all. We are a bunch of scrappy guys from diverse backgrounds (Jewish Muslim, Hindu etc) who enjoy outwitting pompous asses like yourself … Your ‘inexplicable insouciance’ and disrespect is fascinating; it must be a French/English aristocratic thing. I will be following your ‘career’ with great interest … [T]here must be an insurance company or mutual fund out there for you.”

Lewis: “Hubris.”

Loeb: “Laziness.”

Lewis says, “I continue to, uh, receive correspondence from Mr. Loeb, to which I’m obviously not responding.” What’s he writing? “I’d rather not say. It was a private conversation that should not have gone into public domain. I can say that I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people who know him. And, well, Mr. Loeb’s not apologizing.” Loeb didn’t return calls.
—Jada Yuan


Intelligencer: April 11–18