October 5, 1998


Wily agent Andrew Wylie may be known as the Jackal, but one of his former assistants is trying to outfox the master. A disgruntled ex-employee of the Wylie Agency filed a complaint with the state’s Labor Department, which is now looking into the matter. A representative of New York’s Division of Labor Standards – they enforce the state’s wage-and-hours laws regarding, for example, who’s entitled to overtime pay – visited Wylie’s West 57th Street offices earlier this year. “There is an open investigation at this time,” confirms a department spokesman who refuses to answer any other questions specific to Wylie’s case. “We investigate every complaint,” the spokesman continues, adding that an agent will typically examine time sheets and pay records at the business. Wylie, who represents such authors as Martin Amis, Paul Theroux, Philip Roth, and Salman Rushdie, is a notoriously demanding boss who requires long hours of his staff. Through his attorney, Wylie declined to comment.


Juliet Hartford seems to have inherited some of the eccentricities of her father, Huntington. The stately socialite attended America Online’s launch party for its 4.0 software at the Mercer Kitchen last week, and while guests, including Bob Pittman, Chris Cuomo, and Stephen Dorff, munched on such delectables as lobster, couscous, and baby-beet salad with goat cheese, the 30-year-old blue blood sat down at a table and pulled out a brown paper bag. Whereupon she unwrapped a bologna-and-cheese sandwich and proceeded to devour it nonchalantly as other guests stared in disbelief. Why the brown-bag dinner in lieu of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s exquisite creations? “This is the hottest new restaurant,” she allowed. “But I never eat the food at parties. You don’t know who could cough on it or handle it as it goes by.” So the bologna-and-cheese was from her own kitchen at home? “From a deli,” Hartford replied.

NEUMAN’S OWN: Chad’s World, the much-gossiped-about gay drama series that was supposed to debut on the Internet this fall, has been delayed tillnext year. But Digital Entertainment Network is still planning to put original programs on theWeb this November, among them The Chang Gang (a sort of Asian Hardy Boys) and East Side High (about L.A.’s Hispanic subculture). A spokeswoman for DEN president David Neuman explains that Chad’s World just wasn’t ready in time.


The only thing more bizarre than Andy Kaufman himself may turn out to be Jim Carrey’s method of portraying him. Last week’s almost-too-perfect re-creation of Kaufman’s 1982 battle with behemoth wrestler Jerry Lawler – which put Carrey in a neck brace – isn’t the half of it, according to sources on set at Man on the Moon. Throughout the shooting of the Milos Forman biopic, Carrey has refused to step out of character, reportedly delving so deeply into the role of the late comic/inter-gender world wrestling champion that he insisted on being called “Andy” at all times, and even sported the late comedian’s underwear. Can that be healthy?


Maybe David Ross should have stayed in New York, where he was safe. Not long after he left the Whitney to take over the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the museum director discovered just how wild the West can be. Ross awoke at three one morning to find a naked stranger standing at the foot of his bed – a homeless man, dripping wet. Evidently the intruder had just taken a bath and was, sensibly enough, looking for a towel. While Ross guarded the uninvited guest, his wife, Marilyn, called the police and gave the intruder a pair of David’s shoes to put on. Then she discovered that her bathtub was full of dirty water, which, according to the police report, “she proceeded to empty” – but, it continues harrowingly, “dirt remained on the bottom and sides.” The visitor explained to police that he was from outer space, but he nevertheless faces two misdemeanor charges in San Francisco and has a court date of October 5. Ross didn’t return calls but told the San Francisco Chronicle that he has a new alarm system.

Additional reporting by Ian Spiegelman and Elana Zeide.

October 5, 1998