July 10, 2000

Hello, Dalai; Good-bye, Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone has joined the Madonna school of parenting: Become a mom, discover Eastern religion. A fashion-world source reports that the actress reconfigured the schedule of last week’s Saks-sponsored benefit for the San Francisco Ballet so she could play the role of auctioneer and still catch a night flight to Los Angeles in order to have her newly adopted child, Roan Joseph Bronstein, blessed by none other than the Dalai Lama. And while the event was rejiggered to allow her to exit early, the source says Stone showed up 45 minutes late, forcing the dance lovers to cool their toe shoes impatiently. Stone wouldn’t comment on her and husband Phil Bronstein’s little boy’s meeting with the exiled guru, though the nickname she reportedly uses for her son suddenly makes a little more sense: She calls him her “precious Buddha.”

Rocky Road Gets a Laugh From De Niro

When Robert De Niro was first asked to portray Fearless Leader in the Rocky and Bullwinkle movie, the tight-lipped tough-guy actor took it in stride. “He totally laughed at me,” Tribeca Productions co-founder Jane Rosenthal told us at the film’s New York premiere party last week at the Galactic Circus video arcade. “I think he’s still laughing. He didn’t grow up watching it. It wasn’t his thing.” The project, however, languished in development for nearly seven years before shooting finally began, so De Niro had plenty of time to get used to the idea. “I was always joking with him about it,” Rosenthal says. “Then I finally said, ‘Okay, you’ve got to get serious: Here is a three-week role. Do you want it or not?’ ” Once the venerable actor came onboard, things ran smoothly, sort of: “Bob’s biggest problem was washing all the gunk out of his hair. We used this stuff that was almost like tar to make it look shiny and I know he wasn’t happy about it.” Yet somehow he survives.

All The Plugs That Fit Times Prints

It’s difficult for sensationalistic TV shows to get an enthusiastic write-up in the pages of the New York Times – unless, it seems, those programs are produced by New York Times Television. Though a June 11 article on reality-based programming by Craig Tomashoff neglected to mention that the Learning Channel’s Paramedics and Trauma: Life in the E.R. are both products of N.Y. Times TV, those shows were given kudos while other series of the same ilk got the backhand treatment. The Discovery Health Channel’s Operation and the Health Network’s O.R.: Behind the Mask were labeled “dry and clinical” and “up-too-close-and-personal.” A Times rep regretted the omission, saying, “It was an oversight. It is our normal policy to disclose such relationships.” We’re sure it won’t happen again.

Dunleavy to Grapple With Pope

The story of the late, legendary National Enquirer publisher Generoso Pope Jr. is fraught with scandal and mayhem. Naturally, veteran intrigue-master Steve Dunleavy is all over it. The New York Post columnist is currently writing an outline for the Pope family’s biography, and by mid-July will submit it to Generoso’s son Paul Pope and his partner, movie producer Gianni Russo, who have said publicly that they’d like to tell the dynasty’s story in both print and film. “Think Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Family Feud, and Dynasty,” Dunleavy says of his treatment. “It’s an incredible story which involves gangsters like Frank Costello, mayors like Jimmy Walker and Bill O’Dwyer, and tells how, with a flick of the finger, a judgeship would be made – what I call the ‘First American Popes.’ ” Dunleavy stressed that he’s still only auditioning to get the job but added, “I hate to lose.”

Sliwa Gets Hitched; Business 2.0 Glitch

ANGEL IN LOVE: Curtis Sliwa is giving marriage another shot. On Saturday, the Guardian Über-Angel and radio personality will walk down the aisle with Guardian Angel executive director Mary Galda at the Central Park boathouse. Sliwa’s sister, emotional healer and minister Aleta St. James, tells us she finds her brother’s choice a harmonious one: “He is an intense guy and really needs an intense woman.”

BUSINESS WEAK: Everything’s going downhill in the Internet world these days – even the spelling. Business 2.0, the San Francisco-based magazine covering the Net, recently received a “Maggie” award for Best Business & Finance Publication. The editors flashed this badge of editorial excellence on the July 11 cover – and misspelled Publication on most of the 350,000-copy print run. (The second i was missing.) “It’s embarrassing,” says editor-in-chief James Daly. “We had it in the office for two days before anyone noticed it. When I saw it, I said, Oh my god, I need a drink.

Additional reporting by David Amsden, Christopher Bonanos, and Brooke Gosin.

July 10, 2000