June 18, 2001

How to Make Out With Gwyneth
Some guys really do have all the luck. Take Mel Cannon, for example. While working as a humble technical assistant on Disney’s upcoming film The Royal Tenenbaums, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, the recent Irish émigré found himself on the other side of the cameras – snogging the lead actress. A scene in the movie called for Paltrow to romantically lock lips with a punk in the back of a bus, but Rushmore director Wes Anderson just couldn’t find the right grime-ridden malcontent. “Wes looked at a lot of people for the shot, but none aesthetically fit the bill,” explains a Disney rep. Luckily for him, the crew member’s features were a perfect match, and before Cannon knew it, he was shaved, fake-pierced, and Aquanetted into the role. The lip-smacking techie could not be reached for comment. We’re sure he’s too busy chugging Listerine and praying for retakes.

Clinton: Keepin’ It Realer Than Ever
Bubba will be shedding those extra pounds among the people. The burger-loving former president and sometime jogging enthusiast has joined the Harlem branch of the YMCA, a source tells us. Located a stone’s throw from Bill Clinton’s new office, the Harlem Y on West 135th Street was the facility of choice for such greats as Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson, and Ralph Ellison. Clinton will now be able to break a sweat with fellow members the Reverend Calvin Butts and Assemblyman Keith Wright. Aside from using its steam room, gymnasium, two heated pools, and boxing studio, the ex-prez may avail himself of the Harlem Y’s classes in Congolese African dance as well as a top-notch course in mambo and salsa. Most important, we’re told the Y has a state-of-the-art cardiac-fitness center, perfect for ensuring the health of that great big ol’ heart. So far, Hillary has not signed on.

Eve: A Diva in Training
No one can deny that Ruff Ryders songstress Eve is a rising star in the world of pop, but there are limits to her powers. The comely crooner was dropped from the lineup of last week’s Candie’s Foundation concert when she showed up 45 minutes late. According to a source at the event, Eve kept her limo waiting for three hours outside the Tribeca Grand hotel before finally making her way to the venue around ten. By the time she showed up, Macy Gray was already set to go, to be followed by Destiny’s Child and ’N Sync. Event organizers asked the Sync boys if Eve could pop on before them, but the request was quickly swatted down. A saddened Eve was left to sulk in a trailer while the rest of the kids churned out their bubbly tunes. A rep for Eve says her tardiness was due to her team of stylists being unable to locate the Tribeca Grand and that Eve was “a little upset” that she wasn’t able to show her support for the Candie’s cause, which is to raise awareness about teen pregnancy. Next time, Eve, remember this: A real diva doesn’t bother showing up at all.

An NYPD Invasion Chez Harris
Even though he’s been lying low for a while, Josh Harris is still being hassled by the Man. The pseudo.com founder and professional troublemaker arrived home at his Broadway digs a few weeks ago to learn that a pair of NYPD detectives had been snooping around. Harris tells us that the flatfoots mentioned an item in the Washington Post that referred to the infamous machine-gun exhibition Harris held during the turn of the millennium at which people were invited to fire automatic weapons under the supervision of a firearms specialist. Although Harris says he had all the proper permits for that show, which drew such political bigwigs as Fernando Ferrer, Virginia Fields, Alan Gerson, and Kathryn Freed, the officers still had some questions for him – more than a year after the fact. “They talked to all my neighbors,” Harris says. “Even the French guy next door, who is the worst possible person for them to talk to.” Harris – who once adorned his home with video cameras so that Internet users could watch his every move – thinks he knows darn well who’s behind the investigation. “This comes directly from the mayor,” he opines. “He’s been out to get me for oh-so-many years.” A lieutenant at the First Detective Squad tells us that the visit was purely routine and “we didn’t find anything wrong.” Perhaps they weren’t looking hard enough.

Is Linda Back in Vogue?
Maybe we’re giving ourselves too much credit, but now that it’s been several months since we revealed Linda Evangelista (pictured) was getting perilously close to the plus-size category, we hear the supermodel – who in the early nineties famously bragged that she wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day – has taken our unsolicited advice and whipped herself back into shape. So much so that, from what we understand, even Vogue may be bestowing upon her its most coveted cover. A source tells us the glossy has been in discussions with the 36-year-old mannequin for the prime September slot, though a Condé Nast rep would say only that “the September issue hasn’t been shot yet, and beyond that we have no comment.” However, our spies think Evangelista is good and ready: Not only does she have her man, soccer player Fabien Barthez, back, but she’s starting to resemble her old self. “She looks amazing these days,” says one modeling-world honcho who recently saw Evangelista. “Just like the old Linda. There are so many new girls in the industry, people want to see the familiar faces again.” Brace yourselves.

Finally, Madonna Says No to Nudity
Motherhood, marriage, and a fake English accent can’t make us forget Madonna’s less respectable days. And helping us remember is a European manufacturer that’s shipping 50,000 condoms to the States graced with images from her famous 1979 nude photo sessions. Remember those? In 1985, Playboy scrambled to the presses with shots by photographer Martin Schreiber, who has now licensed his pics – the rights to which Madonna released to him when they were taken – for the condom wrappers. Already available in Japan and Europe, the rubbers are set for Stateside distribution by Condomania.com, which owns the store of the same name in the Village. However, Madonna’s reps are none too happy about it and are threatening to take steps to keep the sex supplies off store shelves. “They’re an unauthorized product, and we’re considering legal action,” announced a rep for the libidinous star’s U.S. licenser. “They’re not official.” So when will the official condoms be coming out?

But Who Will Win for Best Presenter?
Fashionistas big and small will be flocking to Lincoln Center this Thursday for the annual CFDA American Fashion Awards. But we’ve been told event organizers are sitting on pins and needles over whether Lauren Hutton will manage to show up. We hear the sultry actress has agreed to present the all-important accessories-designer award – for which Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and Coach’s Reed Krakoff are nominees – but may not be able to walk to the podium. It seems Hutton is still recovering from an operation during which a steel pin was placed in her leg, the result of a motorcycle accident last fall. “We’re all crossing our fingers that she’ll get better in time,” says a CFDA rep. Other presenters will include emcee Sandra Bernhard – who presided last year as well – Bernhard’s ex Patricia Velasquez, Diana Ross, and Heather Graham.

Taking It Off for a Good Cause
A lucky bike messenger got the view of a lifetime recently when he dropped off a package for celebrity photog Marc Baptiste. Model-of-the-moment Noemi personally answered the door – buck naked. The mannequin was being shot for Baptiste’s upcoming collection of nudes, titled Beautiful, the proceeds of which are going to the Sisters Network, an African-American breast-cancer-survivors organization. Other naked beauties include actress Rosario Dawson, who was shot with her equally baring-all mother. The motherhood theme is revisited with a London singer, who posed while eight months’ pregnant. For more classical eye candy, Baptiste shot Clueless star Stacey Dash, who we’re told had initially refused to disrobe completely but eventually succumbed to Baptiste’s artistic vision. Also on display are Beverly Johnson and singer N’dea Davenport. We’re thinking Robert De Niro has already placed his order.

This Just In: Athletes Do Good
As we’ve maintained all along, only the selflessness of pro athletes can save the world. At the Robin Hood Foundation’s recent fund-raising auction at the Javits Center, two sports stars personally took the stage to help move the evening’s prime item. As the bids slowly climbed for a package that included a trip to Philadelphia for the NBA All-Star weekend, a one-on-one match against Patrick Ewing, and four tickets to both the World Series and the Super Bowl, the Giants’ Tiki Barber(pictured) and KnickMark Jackson suddenly offered themselves up for consumption. WhileJerry Seinfeld and Elle Macpherson looked on, Jackson stood up and announced that he would personally throw in four courtside seats to a Knicks game plus a limo and dinner. Barber then topped his friend, offering dinner with himself to the highest bidder. With that added on, the package – which was expected to fetch $100,000 – went for $300,000. The warm feelings carried through to the end of the night, when the winner of a raffle for a Jaguar gave the ride back so that it, too, could be auctioned. It scored $110,000. In all, the foundation raised about $13.4 million to fight poverty.

Additional reporting by Aric Chen.

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June 18, 2001