February 18, 2002

Photo: AP Photo

Rosie O’Donnell Plans an Outing
Rosie O’Donnell may be coming out in her new memoir, Find Me, but a well-placed source tells us that she’ll acknowledge that she’s gay in Rosie before the book hits stores on April 23. Our source says that O’Donnell has told friends that she’s going to mention her sexuality in a letter from the editor in which she describes how positively her fans have reacted to Jon and Michael Galluccio, a gay couple from New Jersey who have been on her show to talk about their adopted children. “She doesn’t want to go into great detail,” our source reports. “She’s just going to say something like ‘I’m gay like them, too.’ ” The letter from the editor will most likely appear in the May issue, which will also include an excerpt from the memoir. O’Donnell’s rep said she didn’t know what she would be writing about, but did tell us that her recent gig playing the lesbian mom of Jack’s son on Will & Grace was such a hit that she’s in talks to appear on another six episodes.

Daryl Hannah: The Bare Facts
Daryl Hannah gave the scantily clad showgirls of Las Vegas a run for their money recently when she arrived at the opening of the Las Vegas outpost of Light. The actress, who hates to fly, asked that a limo be hired to drive her from Los Angeles to Vegas. When the white stretch pulled up to the Bellagio, out popped Hannah along with five strippers. “There were all different kinds,” a fellow partygoer reports. “One was older and sexy but kind of weathered-looking; another was a young buxom girl with a bellybutton ring.” The six spent the weekend at the hotel, declining separate rooms so they could stay together in the same suite. Hannah’s rep tells us the actress befriended the gals while filming her starring role in the 2001 flop Dancing at the Blue Iguana and directing a documentary called Strip Notes, about her experience making Dancing. In other Light news concerning the scantily clad, we hear that Paris Hilton’s upcoming 21st-birthday party at the club on February 16 won’t be the only bash she’ll have. A few days before, friends tell us, her parents will host a dinner at Studio 54, where mom Kathy celebrated her own 21st birthday decades ago. After Vegas, Hilton will return to Los Angeles – where she lives with her boyfriend, model Jason Shaw – for yet another soirée. Hilton’s sister, Nicky, has already been barred from the Light party because she’s underage.

Anna Nicole Smith: Hungry for Attention
Anna Nicole Smith never lets us down. Last week, the former Guess model was in town to appear in Lane Bryant’s spring 2002 runway show at Roseland. We hear that when the fleshy fashionista arrived in her room at the Essex House – where she was booked under her real name, Vickie Marshall – she immediately called the concierge desk demanding to know why there weren’t flowers and chocolates waiting for her. She was also craving pickles. So she dispatched one of her handlers to visit several delis in midtown and buy different varieties of pickles because she couldn’t remember the name of the place that had her favorite kind. Then, after the Lane Bryant event – which also featured Mia Tyler, Chyna, and a performance by Kiss – Smith started sobbing in her dressing room. “She said she was upset because she was upstaged by Kiss,” an onlooker tells us. “She thought the event was going to be just about her.” Smith’s publicist at first declined to comment but called later to say that if she appeared upset, it definitely had nothing to do with her feeling upstaged: “As for the pickles, so what?” Shortly thereafter, Smith’s attorney also called. He confirmed Smith’s missing flowers and chocolates and her pickle desires and explained that the backstage crying spell was “a happy cry,” and that she was overcome with emotion because she was returning to the catwalk after a yearlong hiatus.

L.I. Confidential
The recession doesn’t seem to have put a crimp in the Hamptons real-estate market. George Stephanopoulos will soon be joining fellow ABC newsman Peter Jennings on the East End. He and his wife of two months, Alexandra Wentworth, have bought a house on a half-acre lot in East Hampton for $1.1 million. And sources tell us that Paul Morrissey has rented the former Warhol estate on Cliff Drive in Montauk to photographer Bruce Weber (at right), who will spend most of this summer there for $200,000. (Morrissey insists he’s been talking to Weber about renting the place for just a few weeks, while a rep for Weber says he’s still undecided about what he’ll be doing this summer.) For the past few summers, the mansion rented to Interview publisher Peter Brant and his supermodel wife, Stephanie Seymour. They recently purchased a $6.5 million Sagaponack spread. Meanwhile, we hear that Douglas Elliman ceo Alan Rogers is on the verge of selling his own Southampton house for $5 million. Although Rogers denied that any deal has been sealed, he confirmed that serious talks with a buyer are under way.

Greta Van Susteren: An Eye for an Eye
Unlike Matthew Broderick, the execs at Fox News find nothing funny about Greta Van Susteren’s much-talked-about eye-lift. Broderick and his Producers co-star, Nathan Lane, were co-hosting last week’s Seasons of Hope gala for the American Foundation for AIDS Research at Cipriani 42nd Street when Broderick marveled at the 80-year-old architectural gem that once housed the Bowery Savings Bank, saying: “It’s a structural wonder that’s rivaled only by Greta Van Susteren’s eye job.” With the crowd laughing, Broderick quickly added, “I didn’t write that.” When told of this, a Fox News spokesperson shot back at both Broderick and his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker: “Maybe he needs some surgery to repair his marriage.”

Reichl’s Revenge; Beutel Will Tell
Ruth Reichl, the editor-in-chief of Gourmet, is ready to tell all about her six years as the restaurant critic for the New York Times. She says we’ll finally get to hear what really happened when she busted Le Cirque from four stars to three shortly after joining the Times. At the time, Reichl wrote that staff members were rude during her first, anonymous trips to the restaurant but treated her like royalty on a subsequent visit after owner Sirio Maccioni recognized her. As for dishing about the Times, Reichl paused and then laughed: “No comment.” … In other book news, we hear that legendary ABC newsman Bill Beutel is shopping a memoir about his 50-plus years in the business, including the embarrassing tale of how he lost out on having the first on-the-scene report from Lockerbie, Scotland, after the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 in 1988. Beutel shot at the crash site – only to learn in the editing room that his cameraman had forgotten to put a tape in the camera.

Lotus Owner Has His Own Agenda
It’s safe to assume that Lotus co-owner Mark Baker won’t be opening a branch in Indonesia anytime soon. Baker had his New Agey 2002 Agenda and Planetary Guide printed in Indonesia to keep costs down, but he ran into trouble at the border when airport officials opened a box containing photos of Sports Illustrated cover girl Ingrid Seynhaeve in a skimpy string bikini. One of the officials started yelling “Too much flesh!” and confiscated the sexy shots. They were never returned, and Baker never asked for them back. (“We didn’t want to push the issue,” he tells us.) But he had already promised his pal Seynhaeve that her picture would be included along with provocative shots of Carmen Kass, Elle Macpherson, and Maria Louisa, so he ordered 1,500 full-color stickers of her. “Everyone was happy in the end,” says Baker. “Except the Lotus employees who have to paste 1,500 stickers in by hand.”

Matthew Modine Steals the Show
Don’t look for Matthew Modine and Winona Ryder to be working together. While chatting with students at the Creative Coalition’s Stand Up for Class program at the reopening of the High School of Leadership and Public Service last week – Billy Baldwin and Saturday Night Live player Tracy Morgan were also there – Modine took a shot at the actress’s alleged shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. “I’ve been so depressed,” Modine said with a smile. “I’ll probably pull a Winona Ryder and steal a ham-and-cheese sandwich or something.” After getting a laugh from the students, Modine added with a wink, “Seriously, though, she’s innocent until proven guilty – those video cameras don’t mean a thing.”

Heeere’s Tina!
When Tina Brown returns from a weeklong trip of rest and relaxation at the Golden Door Spa in San Marcos, California, don’t be surprised to find her talking to producers about developing a TV show. Sources tell us that Brown received several calls from interested execs after they watched her chat about the demise of Talk on the Today show, The Charlie Rosie Show, and Moneyline With Lou Dobbs. Despite Brown’s insistence that she’s sticking with Talk Miramax Books and not looking for a job on the small screen, a well-placed source tells us, “We have definitely discussed her doing TV.”

This Artist Is Ready For Liftoff
After taking time out to decorate the Bryant Park tents for Fashion Week, graffiti artist Stephen Sprouse will go back to working on several large-scale silk screens of the International Space Station for nasa. “They commission artists to do work for them,” the designer tells us, “and nobody knows about it.” nasa’s collection – which is exhibited at its facilities and lent out around the country – already includes a dress emblazoned with an image of the Mars Pathfinder that Sprouse designed in 1999 along with works by Andy Warhol, Nam June Paik, Robert Rauschenberg, William Wegman, and Annie Leibovitz. A NASA rep assures us that tax dollars aren’t being wasted; artists get just $2,500 for their work. “Stephen isn’t doing it for the money,” the rep says. “He likes space.”

With Catherine Townsend and Aric Chen.

February 18, 2002