WITH SPENCER MORGAN
If getting into Harvard is hard, getting into the Harvard Club is now a little easier. Last year, the club quietly began admitting graduates of continuing-education programs like the Radcliffe publishing course, some of which last only eight weeks. Some long-standing members of the club are none too pleased about it. “They want to get money from anywhere they can. What else could possibly be the reason for this?” griped a member who declined to give his name, citing club bylaws that prohibit talking to the press. The club recently completed a $30 million expansion—which, say some members, may explain why it’s looking for extra income. But the expansion has also made room for new members. A spokesman says such grads were admitted in the past but that the club changed its policy in 1984 because of overcrowding. Annual fees for New York City residents range from $240 to $1,200, depending on how long an alum has been out of school. “It’s a great deal,” said a recently admitted member who had attended a continuing-ed course. “Though some older members seemed perplexed that I got in without a Harvard degree.”
Daughters Kozlowski: Courtside View
There are a number of things that make white-collar criminal trials so much fun. The esoteric tax codes, for example. The painstaking dissection of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, acrimonious jury deadlock, and screaming matches. But reporters covering the six-month-long Tyco trial for Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz (who allegedly defrauded investors of $600 million) have been jolted out of their boredom-induced comas by more titillating subjects. Namely, Kozlowski’s daughters, Cheryl and Sandra, lithe, raven-haired beauties who graduated from Middlebury in 1996 and 1999, respectively, and are spending the entire trial BlackBerrying. “We started calling them the Hilton Sisters,” says one entranced courtroom source. “They were the most exciting thing!”
Battle Of The Boswells: Stewart Standoff
The otherwise tranquil village of Stony Brook, Connecticut, is now home to two Martha Stewart biographers, with wildly opposing views on the domestic diva. “Everyone’s atwitter about the dueling biographies,” says local resident Fayette Hickox. Stony Brook resident Christopher Byron portrayed Stewart as a sort of pie-bearing, wreath-making Sybil (half savvy businesswoman, half inveterate liar) in Martha Inc.: The Incredible Story of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Lloyd Allen, whose house abuts Byron’s, is writing what he calls “the good witch” bio, a look at Martha that contradicts Byron’s portrayal, which Allen says was one-sided and unfair. Allen, formerly Stewart’s next-door neighbor in Westport, has secured Stewart’s cooperation for Understanding Martha. Some Stony Brook neighbors may fear a confrontation, but Byron insists, “I’m glad [Allen’s] writing a book. That’s good for him.”
Network New: Plum Deal
Exposing innocent cable viewers to television coverage of the Hamptons 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, may sound like legally sanctioned torture to some, but Tom Scott is convinced that it’s a good idea. Scott, who co-founded Nantucket Nectars and then sold his stake to Ocean Spray for $70 million, is creating a Hamptons television station, Hamptons Plum, that he hopes will launch in time for Memorial Day. Viewers may hope to see Alec Baldwin browsing for antiques or the Spielbergs dining at Nick & Toni’s, but Scott says his station will not focus on celebrities and will only cover them as they relate to the larger community. “I call it the community stage,” says Scott, who says the station will broadcast local news and Hamptons-related programming. (Scott also co-owns a similar channel in Nantucket that launched in 1997 and is “still going strong.” “This is the place where the town crier can make his announcements, but it’s also a place for people to perform in an intimate setting.”
“The positive is there are no more pesky ashtrays on the tables, so now you can toss your butts wherever you want.”
—Denis Leary, on the anniversary of Bloomberg’s smoking ban.
This Space For Rent: Denise Richer?
Songwriter and leopard-print enthusiast Denise Rich is renting out her Southampton estate for the first time. East End brokers estimate the summer rental costs at least $530,000, though another source says the price is much higher. The 5.8-acre property features a seven-bedroom main house, a four-bedroom guest house, indoor and outdoor pools, a tennis court, and a yew maze set in the English style. (It’s been on the market since last fall for $23 million.) Rich’s broker, Barbara Gray of Sotheby’s, declined to comment.
Party Conference: Safe Retreat
News corp. (owner of the New York Post, the London Times, etc.) was supposed to have had its March 20–21 retreat for newspaper executives in buttoned-down Singapore—until the company, spooked by terrorism, changed locale to the rather more informal Cancún. “There were security issues,” says a source. Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch presided over the event, with lectures by special guests Jack Welch, Tommy Franks, and Condoleezza Rice (who was videoconferenced in). But such tempting proximity to tequila made it hard for some attendees (the British journalists, for example) to concentrate. The dress code at the Ritz-Carlton conference also confused matters. “There were all these different specifications like ‘business casual’ and ‘relaxed casual’ and ‘resort casual,’ ” says an employee. Nobody, she added, knew what to wear when.
Reality Bites: Kennedy Compound
Rory Kennedy sets up house in Park Slope
Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, the youngest daughter of Robert Kennedy, recently closed on a $1.5 million townhouse in Park Slope. The 20-foot-wide, 3,000-square-foot townhouse on Montgomery Place features 14-foot-high parlor ceilings, a finished basement, and a grand open staircase. The building is zoned for two residents, but we hear Kennedy is taking the whole place. Broker minette stokes of the Corcoran Group and Kennedy declined to comment.