Harrison Ford has been thrilling audiences in his underwear—and he may not even know it. At least one couple who live in a building across the street from Ford’s Chelsea penthouse can see right into the actor’s apartment, and they’ve been inviting grateful friends over for impromptu Ford-watching parties. “We collectively run there, especially when he’s in his boxers,” one male guest tells us. “We just sit in the dark and ogle.” Naturally, there have been plenty of sightings of Ford with his girlfriend of one year, Calista Flockhart. But no, the peeping Toms haven’t seen any hanky-panky. “His bedroom is tucked in the back,” our tipster reports. “We can see the kitchen and most of the living room.” As for talk that the 60-year-old actor has passed his prime and no longer has the action-star chops for the upcoming fourth installment of the Indiana Jones movie franchise, our source disagrees. “He’s in really good shape,” he said. “He’s got my vote.”
Move over, Celine Dion—Madonna may be coming to Las Vegas. Buzz has it that Madonna is in talks to create and produce an act in Sin City based on her infamous 1993 world tour, “The Girlie Show.” An insider tells us that she was inspired not only by the $100 million deal Dion scooped up for a three-year concert gig at Caesar’s Palace but also by the success of the Los Angeles Pussycat Dolls, a burlesquelike revue that has included guest performers Gwen Stefani, Christina Applegate, and Carmen Electra. But unlike Dion, we hear, Madonna has no plans to actually be in the show—instead, she’ll work closely behind the scenes. “I’m flattered because it’s Madonna,” said Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin when we broke the news to her. “But I also don’t want anyone copying me. I would love to get Madonna in my show. In fact, I hope my show gets to Vegas before hers does.” The Pussycats (featuring Electra) will make their New York debut on January 22 at Irving Plaza during a launch party for Adidas’s new Adrenaline men’s fragrance. Madonna’s rep insists talks about a Vegas show have been going on for years.
Anyone picking up interior decorator Vicente Wolf’s recent book will be treated to an inside look into the world of ImClone’s embattled former CEO Sam Waksal, of Martha Stewart and insider-trading fame. We’re told that the photo on the cover—which shows a room with a wall of plaster casts that Wolf describes as “a piecemeal architectural frieze that functions as a work of art”—comes from Waksal’s Wainscott home, which has reportedly been on the market since October for $4.9 million (he sold his Sagaponack home last year for $3.125 million)… . Meanwhile, in other home news of the well-to-do, we hear that the Miami Beach apartment included in the November issue of Condé Nast’s House & Garden is actually that of Patrick McCarthy, chairman and editorial director of Fairchild, which shares Condé Nast’s parent company, Advance Publications. McCarthy is described as “a New York editorial potentate” who “finds refuge from the runway in a sleek Miami apartment.” Designer Thom Filicia told writer Mayer Rus that his client “was very clear about what he wanted: a simple white box floating above the beach.” McCarthy’s three-bedroom waterfront pad features everything from Mapplethorpe photos and Warhol prints to a book of vintage Man Ray photos shot for rival Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar.
If you’re going to sneak your own liquor into a nightclub, at least make sure the place stocks what you’re carrying. That’s the lesson comic actor David Alan Grier learned when he opened a bottle of Ketel One vodka on a recent Saturday night at Centro-Fly. When security saw the bottle, they told Grier he had to leave. A few people tried to tell security who Grier was, but they apparently didn’t recognize him—or care about his celebrity status. However, the night’s promoter, Noel Ashman, caught wind of the situation and was able to fend them off. Despite Grier’s gaffe, Ashman gave him a complimentary bottle of Skyy, one of the select few top-shelf vodkas that Centro-Fly offers.
It’s official: Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl has signed a deal to spill the beans about the six years she spent as the restaurant critic for the New York Times. Reichl tells us she’s staying put at Random House with Ann Godoff, editor of her last memoir, Comfort Me With Apples, and is due to hand in the first draft of her new work in about a year, with a release scheduled for spring 2005. While Reichl says that most of the book will be about the now-infamous disguises she wore to eateries, there’ll be some dirt about the Old Gray Lady. “Of course there were fights with editors,” she tells us. When asked to give at least one example, she was tight-lipped: “I’m saving it forthe book.”
The people have spoken. And they want Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez to stay together—at least onscreen. Insiders tell us that the recent shooting of new scenes for their upcoming movie, Gigli, in Los Angeles was called for because test audiences didn’t like the original cut, in which Affleck’s character is killed off. “The studio was more than willing to rub out Ben,” a source tells us. But apparently, screenings of the movie left audience members disappointed that the real-life couple didn’t have a happy ending on the silver screen. It was during the original shooting of Gigli that Affleck and Lopez fell in love. “They have this great repartee,” said the source. “He is smitten with her, and she rebuffs him in many clever, sexy ways, and it’s just no fun if, in the end, he doesn’t get her.”
While Sarah Ferguson was in New York last week promoting her new book, What I Know Now: Simple Lessons Learned the Hard Way, her 12-year-old daughter, Princess Eugenie, did what most young girls like to do. Mom was busy on The View, so the young royal went shopping. She showed up with an entourage at Serendipity 3. As one bodyguard waited outside and another stood at the door, the princess, her governess, three pals, and a third bodyguard treated themselves to burgers, chicken nachos, and frozen hot chocolate. After lunch, Eugenie browsed Serendipity’s boutique, where she bought a box of a body detergent called Super Mom with an “Eau de Diaper” fragrance for her mother, and, for big sis Beatrice, one called Princess, which contains “Fairy Godmother Activator” that “Eliminates Dragons, Sorcerers and Wicked Stepmoms.”
Christian Curry says he doesn’t pay attention to the bad press he gets in the New York Post, but he’d love to get to know “Page Six” reporter Paula Froelich better. Curry has been a “Page Six” regular ever since he supposedly became a multimillionaire three years ago when he settled a discrimination suit against Morgan Stanley after he claimed they canned him for posing nude and aroused in a gay-porn magazine. Richard Johnson & Co. have detailed many of Curry’s exploits, from reports of his investments in Southampton’s Conscience Point nightclub to the most recent item, reporting his eviction from his apartment. Even so, Froelich recently received an e-mail from Curry addressing her as “Cutiepie.” “I was flying back from Italy the other night (coach of course, since I am so broke), and was trying to figure out the identity of this adorable little girl being interviewed on Entertainment Tonight,” Curry wrote, “until I read the caption and it was you. I didn’t know you were so cute, little Paula! Why don’t you let me take you out to dinner this week for the date of your life?” Froelich isn’t impressed, because the last time they spoke, he threatened her with legal action and even called Johnson to complain about her. Froelich tells us, “I said something along the lines of, ‘Listen, I am doing this story—now leave me alone!’ ” Curry doesn’t care: “I’ve been trashed from New York to New Zealand. She’s the best-looking reporter who has trashed me. I’ll take her to Le Cirque anytime she wants.”
When we first reported that the president of Guatemala, Alfonso Portillo Cabrera, had been wait-listed for a $30,000 Vacheron Constantin watch he had already paid for because Interscope Records thought it would make a good Christmas present for Enrique Iglesias, we figured Portillo was only a bit player in the story. But Portillo is now being blasted in the Guatemalan press for spending so lavishly at a time when unemployment is rampant and so many of his countrymen are mired in poverty. One paper, Prensa Libre, pointed out that it would take the average Guatemalan citizen about eighteen years to save enough money to buy such a timepiece. With elections taking place next month, the story has made the front page of three Guatemalan dailies, and Portillo held an impromptu press conference to respond to the furor. Now, “Intelligencer” has been caught in the fray. One Central American reporter asked if we were part of an “evil scheme” bent on destroying Portillo. Another told us that when we didn’t get back to him right away, he assumed we had been “silenced by the long arm of the Guatemalan government.” For his part, Portillo, who is under fire from the White House and the European Union for allegations of corruption and human-rights violations, insists he never bought the watch, and claims that our story was part of an organized plot to unseat him.
Additional reporting by Aric Chen.