December 13, 1999


Actor Ron Silver can certainly charm the pants off the ladies. At a recent party for the opening of Céline’s new boutique in Bal Harbour, store reps repeatedly tried to get Daisy Fuentes, the shapely former host of MTV’s House of Style, to model some new outfits by house designer Michael Kors. But Fuentes clearly didn’t feel like playing dress-up that evening. Casually sporting a less-than-stylish T-shirt-and-sarong ensemble, the ex-V.J. resisted the staff’s requests. Silver, overhearing the exchange, jumped in and, after some initial spurning from Fuentes, managed to convince her to change into a striking coral skirt and bejeweled black top by claiming he was thinking of buying it for his girlfriend. Daisy filled out the outfit so well that when she was spotted by Kors, he gave her the $5,000 threads, which she proudly wore to the after-party at the new Beach House Bal Harbour hotel. Apparently Silver was just acting interested – he left Céline without the pricey wear.


Life has been pretty good for club master Jeffrey Jah (pictured) lately – except, that is, when it comes to Life. The downtown doyen, who was the club’s chief promoter, says he plans on suing the owner, Roy Stillman, claiming that Stillman reneged on an agreement to pay him $30,000 in severance when their business contracts were dissolved in August. Jah opines that Stillman balked on the payments because he “blames me for the New York Post story ‘Life Sucks’ and everything else wrong with the club.” Not surprisingly, Stillman tells a different story. He says a “gentleman’s agreement” was made to pay Jah about $6,500 – but only after Jah threatened to “spread scandalous rumors about Life.” The payments stopped at $3,900, Stillman says, because he heard that Jah had lashed out against Life to one of the club’s talent coordinators. “If this case really comes out,” snipes Stillman, Jah “will be immediately sued by me.” Stillman claims that Jah’s “ego is just destroyed since leaving my business,” and with no written contract, Jah “has no chance of winning in court.” Jah’s reply? “I told him I’m suing, and that’s what I’m doing.”


Kate Bohner’s turn as a consultant for Foster Brothers Coffee has left everyone involved with a bitter aftertaste. Famous as Donald Trump’s co-author on the best-selling Art of the Comeback – and reportedly the model for Samantha in Sex and the City – Bohner met Kent Foster over the summer. He offered her $10,000 a month to analyze how to develop his coffee-shop chain in Chicago and Washington, D.C., which he’d bought three and a half years before. But their relationship quickly soured. “We felt she didn’t spend a lot of time evaluating our company, and what she told us we already knew,” reports one of Foster’s lieutenants, who says they were expecting weekly reports over two months but only got three. “The fourth one never came,” says the lieutenant, adding, “We never got our cell phone back either.” Bohner insists she did send the fourth report, and her assistant claims she mailed the phone back herself. “We never received it,” insists Foster, “and we finally had to cut it off with AT&T.” Bohner’s friends make her Foster connection sound like a Sex and the City episode. “Kent had a crush on Kate,” reports a Bohner buddy, “and he got pouty when things didn’t go as he hoped.” Foster says he’s never had a crush on the leggy writer, even though they’re both single. Bohner, who says, “I worked my butt off,” calls the situation “unbelievably awkward” and “very unpalatable.” Foster says he’s “thinking about” a lawsuit. Can’t they both just wake up and smell the coffee?


Wannabe rock star Roger Clinton most often plays the role of First Brother for laughs. But he found himself starring in a farce earlier this year, when he was at a Hollywood dinner with director Peter Antonijevic while his half-brother Bill was spearheading nato’s bombing of Yugoslavia. The younger Clinton asked the Serbian director for an acting job. Antonijevic, who directed Dennis Quaid in the well-received Savior and is now remaking The Night of the Iguana, had been imprisoned during the early days of Slobodan Milosevic’s reign. “He doesn’t like Milosevic,” reports a source, “but he didn’t like the Americans’ bombing his mother and sister, either.” Today, the director laughs about his dinner with Roger, whom he calls “not an unpleasant guy. He’s sweet, but I was laughing, because he was the only person in America who really couldn’t ask” for a role. Antonijevic still questions U.S. policy in his homeland – his mother often suffers without electricity or heat, whereas “Milosevic is well fed and drinks scotch,” the director grouses. Roger Clinton could not be reached for comment: He’s on tour in North Korea till December 10, proving once again that he didn’t inherit his Big Brother’s political acumen.


Even when Peter Vallone is celebrating his birthday, politics is foremost on his mind. When the City Council Speaker approached council members to invite them to his 65th-birthday party, featuring a performance by longtime pal Tony Bennett, and asked if he could list their names on his invitation, many were delighted. But when the invitation was placed in City Hall mailboxes last week, some of the politicos were surprised to discover that Vallone was using the event to raise money for his 2001 mayoral race. “We felt snookered,” says a staff member for one of the invitees. When Councilman Kenneth Fisher – who is also running for mayor – was personally handed a reply card from the Speaker, he politely accepted, even though the vallone 2001 logo hinted that it was more than just a birthday party. The next day, he called Vallone’s staff to decline and asked that he not be listed as an “honorary host” on the formal invitation. Yet Vallone’s people listed him anyway. “My name on there is a mistake. I went to Vallone’s staff asking to be taken off the list because I didn’t think it would be in my interest politically,” says Fisher. Adam Macy, spokesperson for Vallone 2001, angrily disputes the alleged sucker punch: “It has long been known that this event would be a fund-raiser as well as a celebration of the speaker’s 65th birthday. For anyone to believe otherwise is absurd.”


It pays to be with Woody Harrelson when you’re fit to be tied. The actor was recently spotted on a subway train chatting with his bubbly Irish assistant, Sonia Farrell, who had her arms full of papers and packages. The Rainmaker star, wearing a backpack and a little wool hat, noticed that one of Farrell’s shoes was untied and promptly assisted his assistant by bending down and tying the lace. “I’m sure she was carrying his organic food, so he went down and did the deed so she wouldn’t drop his soy,” quips Harrelson rep Simon Halls of the health-conscious actor. Wonder what he does for his cook.


Lincoln Center’s proposed face-lift is being handled with the secrecy usually accorded to Hollywood actresses in for a quick nip and tuck. The report on the aging arts center, prepared by Roy Furman’s Committee for the 21st Century, is being presented to the full board of Lincoln Center at its meeting this Monday. Before then, even board members of such concerned parties as the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Ballet were not given the final report. But the word is that the cost of the proposed renovations is up to a whopping $1.5 billion. The Metropolitan Opera is eager to take over at least 25 feet of the central plaza in order to expand its lobby. And there has been talk of expanding the New York State Theatre back toward 62nd Street, perhaps taking over some of the wide sidewalk or building a bridge like the one that currently exists over 66th Street. Lincoln Center’s spokeswoman, Janice Price, refuses to confirm any of the speculation about what’s in the report. “We can’t comment publicly before our own board has even seen it,” she says. She sounds ready to handle Sophia Loren next.


PERFECT SIGHT LINES: Looks like Bernie Williams has taken a gamble – one that may pay off big-time. The Yankees star got laser eye surgery on November 26. His doctor, Ken Moadel, explains that the ace outfielder and .342 hitter was nearsighted and had an astigmatism; the contact lenses he wore while playing were uncomfortable and made him blink. That’s why he switched to glasses when he left the ballpark. Moadel points out that the legendary Ted Williams had 20/10 vision. “Sure enough,” reports Moadel, “the day after the surgery, Bernie’s vision was better than 20/20 in each eye without glasses on. Now he’ll be able to see the rotation of the ball earlier, and hopefully add more than a few points to his batting average.” Not bad for a ten-minute operation that’s still considered controversial by many. Maybe it’s time for Barbra Streisand to reconsider that nose job.

COURTING BIG BUCKS: What happens when a writer gets the travel bug? If you’re Coerte Felske, you give your novel the flavor of Brazil and start angling for an advance that’s generous enough to get you there. The Millennium Girl scribe is currently writing novel No. 4, which he’s calling Bossa Nova Diaries. The word in publishing circles is that Felske’s agent, William Morris’s Owen Laster, is looking for a big advance to finance some South American research – even if it means jumping ship from Felske’s regular publisher, St. Martin’s. But Laster insists that he hasn’t yet shopped the proposal around. “Right now, I’m only talking to his publisher,” says the agent. “I can’t say whether we’re going to make a deal.”

Additional reporting by David Amsden and Suny Sehgal.

December 13, 1999