August 3, 1998


Former deputy mayor Randy Mastro hasn’t even rejoined the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, but complaints are already filing in. While on vacation, he sent out an e-mail inviting his fellow partners to a cocktail party in his honor at Gracie Mansion on July 24. A week later, a temporary secretary sent out a follow-up e-mail requesting RSVPs, a message that included the original invitation – but she mistakenly routed it to all the firm’s associates as well. Then came an electronic apology, asking the associates to “please dismiss” the previous missive, which “should have been directed to all Partners.” But Mastro’s party is already being talked about among his old political cronies for a different reason: its size. About 350 or so guests are expected to toast Mastro (who’s footing the bill) in a tent on Gracie Mansion’s yard; former deputy mayor Peter Powers had only 70 for a dinner inside the mansion when he left. Mastro “wanted to outsize Peter Powers,” claims one political insider. Mastro replies that he wanted a party “where more people could be included.”


THE KATO INSTITUTE: Evidently out to train the next generation of Dream Team lawyers, Kato Kaelin is planning to take a lecture he calls “The Sixteenth Minute” on the college circuit this October, having already practiced his material at Loyola law school this spring. The 90-minute spiel runs through his experiences as a high-profile witness and media target.”I get into the world of suing and being sued,” adds Kaelin, who’s been fighting a battery of civil actions since O.J.’s trial. “I won’t tell you about the lawsuits, because I may get sued again,” he says.

KEY TO THE FEE: Chalk up one for the clients. Barry Slotnick, the $600-an-hour litigator who handled Anthony Quinn’s divorce and Fred Tepperman’s fight for severance against Ron Perelman, just lost his fee in a divorce case because the contract wasn’t signed on the dotted line. The judge ordered Slotnick to return $32,570 of his $35,000 fee because the client had never signed and returned the retainer agreement that Slotnick sent him. (The lawyer gets to keep $2,430 for work on a landlord-tenant matter that doesn’t require a contract in New York State.) Slotnick says he was so “devoted” to his client’s legal interests that he “overlooked” the missing contract. He vows to appeal.

MODEL HOME: Naomi Campbell is no longer a downtown girl. The former SoHo resident has done what so many people do when they make megabucks – she’s moved to the Upper East Side. The apartment had a familiar feel to the Über-mannequin as soon as she saw it, and no wonder – it was once inhabited by model Kara Meyers, and then by Elle MacPherson.


Sean “Puffy” Combs is still so haunted by the memory of his longtime friend and partner the Notorious B.I.G., who was gunned down in L.A., that he wants to buy the magazine bearing his name. The East Coast’s reigning rap mogul, who recorded the song “I’ll Be Missing You” in his friend’s honor, is negotiating to buy into Notorious, and according to insiders at the upscale glossy, he hopes to turn it into a hip-hop ‘zine. “The name is very close to his heart,” said a representative of the nine-month-old lifestyle magazine, which featured Combs on the April-May cover with his pregnant then-girlfriend Kim Porter. A spokesman at Bad Boy confirms that Combs has been meeting with executives at the publication. When asked whether the music mogul would be overhauling the magazine, which currently focuses on sex and romance for women and men, a Notorious magazine executive said, “We are trying to transform the magazine into a younger, more edgy Vanity Fair.” Combs did not return calls.


Beverage billionaire and city slicker Edgar Bronfman Sr. is apparently ready to try his hand at more earthy pursuits. Bronfman joins fellow media mogul Ted Turner in what could be the latest trend among the richer-than-rich: buffalo farming. The New York resident purchased the Buffalo Hill farm in Madison County, Virginia, for $800,000 two years ago, and now the facility is up and running. The 150-acre farm is projected to slaughter more than 3,000 beasts this year. Having played Old MacDonald at his nearby cattle farm for the past ten years, Bronfman now hopes that the new Buffalo Hill operation will start contributing to his $3 billion fortune, confirms a lawyer for the executive. Not only will the meat be sold for its high protein content, but the hides will go to make warm winter coats; and in the tradition of not wasting a single part of the precious animal, the bisons’ penises will be used to manufacture canes.

Additional reporting by India Landrigan.

August 3, 1998