April 15, 2002

Photo: William Vasta/AP

Her Love May Not Cost a Thing, but Her Dressing Room …
Jennifer Lopez’s Easter-weekend performance at Jeffrey Sanker’s thirteenth annual White Party, a gay-circuit bash in Palm Springs, lasted only fifteen minutes, but from the looks of her dressing room, you’d think she’d spent a week in the desert city. According to her rider, Lopez’s room had to be all white and filled with flowers and dozens of $40 fig-scented Diptyque candles. Organizers went all out with white shag carpeting, white floor lamps, yards of white tulle, and more than 1,000 white orchids and lilies. “It looked like a giant wedding dress,” one of our spies reports. However, Lopez’s manager, Benny Medina, downplays the extravagance: “The only flowers there were some sent from Jeffrey Sanker.” J.Lo, who performed for free, specified mangoes, papayas, melons, white grapes, lots of Evian water, Kearns apple juice, Snapple, and coffee – but absolutely no alcohol – for herself, plus cake, brownies, vanilla ice cream, and cookies for her peeps. Again, Medina says these reports of her demands are greatly exaggerated, insisting she was never planning to be around long enough to enjoy such luxuries during the four-song gig: “She greeted some people backstage, signed some autographs, but then jumped back on the bus to go home. She had her entire family in town the next day for Easter dinner.” Sanker says he was more than happy to provide Lopez with anything she wanted: “The biggest surprise for me that night was how nice she was. I’ve worked with a lot smaller people who were a lot worse.”

Men’s Health Exercises Executive Privilege
Is Men’s Health already looking to snag a presidential interview in 2036? In the April issue, Peter Moore and his 11-year-old son, Jake, were featured along with two other father-and-offspring pairs in a contest titled “Whose Kid Will Become President?” The competition judged the relationships based on criteria like “healthy focus on achievement” and “vigorously push child despite his or her protests?” A child psychologist concluded that Jake had the best shot at the White House. Moore “engages Jake more maturely, which will help Jake build important social skills,” he reported. Not mentioned anywhere in the piece is whether Jake’s dad’s job had anything to do with the shrink’s vote of confidence. In the article, Moore is identified merely as a “media executive,” which is apparently another way of saying that he is an executive editor of the magazine. Editor-in-chief David Zinczenko cracked, “Few people know that three members of our staff were actually elected to Congress in the year 2000.”

Indiana Jonicus? Chewbaccus Rex?
Harrison Ford has been faced with a serious case of butterflies recently. But we don’t mean stage fright. Last year, Carter Coleman, founder of the African Rainforest Conservancy, asked the actor to name a rare subspecies of butterfly discovered in Tanzania. “It’s entirely up to him,” Coleman tells us. “He could name it after his dog.” However, Ford’s taking things more seriously than that. He’s made several requests for biological and environmental data from the Nairobi-based scientists who discovered the butterfly. He’ll announce his decision on April 25 at the group’s annual fund-raiser at Jimmy’s Uptown, hosted by Mira Sorvino, James Gandolfini, and Candace Bushnell.

ER Doc Laura Innes Brings Home a Baby
Congrats to ER star Laura Innes. We hear that the actress, who plays the cantankerous Dr. Kerry Weaver on the hit NBC show, will soon join the ranks of adoptive celebrity moms, which include Rosie O’Donnell, Angelina Jolie, and Calista Flockhart. As we went to press, Innes and her actor husband, David Brisbin, were traveling to China to bring home a baby girl. The couple have been waiting eighteen months for the adoption process to be finalized. Innes and Brisbin already have a 12-year-old son, Cal.

It Girl Acts Out
Casey Johnson in a Drew Barrymore movie? The Band-Aid heiress has been taking acting lessons from Barrymore’s mom, Jaid, for the past few months. Joining Johnson at Meet last week for the WE Network’s new documentary, It Girls, the elder Barrymore reported that Casey has potential. “She’s not that great right now,” Barrymore told us. “I mean, it would be insincere for me to say that this 23-year-old who’s just starting out is, like, the greatest thing ever, but she’s been making terrific progress.”

Hilton East: We may have had enough of the Hilton sisters, but the Japanese are just getting started. In Tokyo to promote their new Samantha Thavasa–label handbags, we hear, Nicky and Paris were swarmed by hundreds of hysterical schoolgirls at the airport, and were interviewed for no fewer than 60 magazines, 30 TV shows, and two live newscasts during a four-day visit.

Grape Escape: Mike Bloomberg has spent at least one weekend away from his various estates of late. A tipster reports that the mayor recently took a tour of the Cakebread Cellars winery in Napa Valley, California.

With Catherine Townsend and Aric Chen.

April 15, 2002