January 21, 2002

Photo: Associated Press

Minnie Driver’s Ford Pickup
Don’t be surprised to find Minnie Driver hanging around Harrison Ford at the Golden Globes on Sunday, where he’s set to receive the 2002 Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. We hear that the two have been dating for about a month. Ford, who at 59 is almost twice Driver’s age, has been separated from his wife of eighteen years, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, since October, when he moved out of the Central Park West apartment they shared with their two children. Driver, of course, is no stranger to celebrity romance: The Oscar-nominated actress has dated John Cusack and Matt Damon, and she and actor Josh Brolin split up in October, just six months after announcing they were engaged.

And She Would Look Fab in a Burka
Is Christy Turlington going to Afghanistan? Sources close to the model say she’s told friends and family that she’ll spend a week traveling through the war-torn country beginning January 18 for a Today show project. Turlington’s agent confirmed that there have been talks with producers of the morning show about a trip to the Middle East but insisted nothing has been finalized: “As of right now, I don’t think it will be happening.” Oddly, Today producers beg to differ. A rep for the show insists Turlington will travel to the region to promote a unicef education program for Afghan children. She’ll be followed by a Today camera crew and producer; segments on the trip are slated to run in February.

Manhattan Style Leaves Bad Taste
It appears Joseph DeCristofaro’s Manhattan Style magazine may bite the dust after five issues. Launched in November 2000 and distributed free in restaurants and nightclubs, the glossy bi-monthly was over $200,000 in debt by last June, according to insiders. In the fall, deputy editor Eric Stiffler left the magazine after three paychecks bounced. DeCristofaro left his Hell’s Kitchen office and moved to Greene Street. Since then, several writers and his former landlord have been stiffed, and a printing house is owed $47,000. “He told me he was completely broke when I called for my money,” one miffed writer moaned, “but then the next week I saw him at Lotus picking up the tab for several bottles of Cristal.” For now, DeCristofaro is telling associates that he plans to publish the March issue. He did not return our calls.

Helen Mirren Gets Caught in Drag Net
When Helen Mirren unexpectedly showed up at Chelsea gay bar Barracuda recently with her husband, director Taylor Hackford, she wasn’t planning on becoming part of the Sunday-night show. Arriving in time for a performance by a drag queen named Edie, the actress was quickly coaxed onstage, where she was asked about her embroidered coat. Mirren reluctantly revealed that it was a $15,000 Christian Dior couture number that Hackford had just given her to celebrate her Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Robert Altman’s Gosford Park. The couple stayed till around 3 a.m. So how’d they hear of the place? Mirren explained that her Broadway pals Sir Ian McKellen and Nathan Lane are always raving about it, so she’d decided to come and see what all the fuss was about.

Rachel Hunter’s Miami Rhapsody
Rachel Hunter and Mark McGrath won’t comment on rumors that they’re dating, but Hunter recently trekked to South Beach to spend time with the Sugar Ray front man. Although McGrath, who was there to shoot a Bloomingdale’s fashion catalogue, and the ex-Mrs. Rod Stewart booked separate rooms at Ian Schrager’s Delano Hotel, our source tells us they shared the same room at night. “They made no public appearances together,” our spy says. “They didn’t go out to eat or even sit at the pool together. They were really trying to keep it hush-hush.”

Broadway-Bound: Celebs are taking advantage of the pricey Broadway Inner Circle tickets to see The Producers at $480 a pop. In the past couple of weeks, Diana Ross came to the show with a mysterious dark-haired man. Alanis Morissette also came with a pal. But Ron Howard, director of A Beautiful Mind, was the biggest spender. He shelled out nearly $3,000 for six tickets for friends and family.

With Catherine Townsend and Aric Chen.

January 21, 2002