Norah Jones: Behind the Music

With Deborah Schoeneman

Photo: AP/Wide World

Norah Jones is reportedly unhappy with a CD being released next month featuring songs she recorded before she hit it big—but her collaborator on the work tells us that the diva’s dismay is news to him. Blues musician Peter Malick says he and Jones decided to make the CD about three years ago, when Jones was an unknown-and-struggling 21-year-old singer. They recorded six songs and even played some gigs together in New England. But then Jones became a star, and about a year ago, Malick received a letter from Jones’s lawyer threatening legal action if he released the work. “I was shocked,” Malick told us last week. “I had spoken to Norah quite a few times, and she was completely supportive. The problem is that businesspeople seem to get in the way.” Despite the legal threats, the Malick-Jones CD will be released on July 8 by Koch Entertainment.

Puffy Runs Off With the Bling-Bling
It appears Sean “P. Diddy” Combs got so caught up in having a good time at the CFDA Awards that he forgot to return the millions of dollars’ worth of jewels he and his girlfriend, Kim Porter, borrowed for the night—leaving some Fifth Avenue jewelers nervously wondering what had happened to their rocks. We’re told Combs promised to return $1.6 million in jewels to Harry Winston on his way home from the gala (there’s an around-the-clock guard at the boutique to handle drop-offs in the wee hours), but he decided to go to bed instead—and didn’t deliver the goods until late the next afternoon. Combs also took his sweet time with the $1.4 million in baubles he borrowed from Vivid. But a Vivid rep says she believes Combs’s excuse: that Porter just didn’t have the heart to part with a $250,000 ring she wore to the awards. As if P. Diddy couldn’t just buy it for her.

McEvoy Sells Her House Beautiful
Marian McEvoy, the former editor of Elle Décor and House Beautiful, is on the move again: She recently sold her much-photographed apartment on East 60th Street. The editrix was asking $995,000 for the one-bedroom co-op—which features an enormous entertaining area with a fireplace decorated with seashells, a McEvoy signature—and a contract was signed a few weeks ago. (She wouldn’t comment on the final price.) “I’m looking for a new place,” she says, in part because she’d lived in the apartment for eight years: “It was time for a new project.” While she’s hunting for a new home, she’ll focus on her design for the dining room of the eBay decorators show house, opening June 16 at 25 Beekman Place.

The Skinny on Lara Flynn Boyle’s Writing Career
Melissa de la Cruz and Karen Robinovitz decided to exact a little blind-item revenge against Lara Flynn Boyle after the skinny starlet reneged on a promise to write for their new book, How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less. In their soon-to-be-published tome, Cruz and Robinovitz write that a certain unnamed celebrity—“who had appeared in numerous big-budget movies and played a very familiar TV character for years”—at first agreed to pen the introduction, then admitted “she hated to write” and consented to be interviewed instead. But then, they say, a mutual friend called to tell them that the actress wanted out entirely, since “her high-powered, much older Hollywood boyfriend told her it wasn’t a good idea.” (Smart thinking, Jack!) To return the favor, Cruz and Robinovitz wrote the unflattering report of the incident. Among the other tidbits: The celeb compared fame to “Christmas on acid” and at one point was “rambling semi-coherently about fame, fortune, and how she designed her own dresses for awards ceremonies.” Though the authors are now being coy as to the identity of the misbehaving star—“I cannot confirm that it’s Boyle” is Robinovitz’s official line—they had told us months ago that Boyle would author the foreword.

Tyson Bites: Boxer Mike Tyson was recently snarling that he wished he had raped the woman who put him in jail for three years—and her mother—but he still wonders why women are afraid of him. Just last week, he tried to pick up a 22-year-old brunette in front of the Plaza Hotel with the line “Don’t be scared.” She wouldn’t give him her number or take the ride to Brooklyn he offered, but she did accept an autograph.

Capitale Gains: Looks like Capitale—the cavernous event space in a former bank on the Bowery—has made its two co-owners flush with cash. David Marvesi and Seth Greenberg both recently purchased Southampton homes for more than $1 million apiece. “I was like, ‘I’m going to buy one,’ ” reports Greenberg, “and David was like, ‘If you’re getting one, I’m going to get one.’ ”

What: Surf’s Up, the summer’s annual Hamptons must-go-to bash, benefitingLove Heals: The Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Eduction. Malibu Beach Bashis the theme with music by DJ Samantha Ronson.Who: Expect to see designers Kimora Lee Simmons, Liz Lange and Jill Stuart,candy queen Dylan Lauren, actress Rashida Jones, and slew of other EastEnders.When and Where: Saturday, June 21, 7:30-11pm; Luna Farm (276 Parsonage Lane,Sagaponack)Tix: Call (917) 351-8680.

Norah Jones: Behind the Music