December 1, 2003
WITH BENJAMIN NUGENT
Were it not for the exploits of literary agent to the tabloid stars David Vigliano, we’d have no publishing gossip at all. Before Neverland ranch was invaded by California law enforcement, Michael Jackson was preparing to take time off from baby-dangling and extreme-sport plastic surgery to pen his memoirs. We hear our good friend Mr. Vigliano, who also reps Jessica Simpson and the Pope, flew to the ranch to meet with Jackson about a book. (We were going to crack that we hoped it wasn’t a children’s book, but that would be in horrifically bad taste, and we’re above that.) The book would be sold as an autographed limited edition, with a mass-market version to follow. Given that Jackson may soon find himself with plenty of time to write, we’re optimistic the book will happen.
Thurman Family Values
The auction for the tibet House at Christie’s last Wednesday was one big Thurman-family special. “It’s saving Tibetan art for a time when the Tibetans have some place to put it, like a country,” said Uma solemnly, after her brother Ganden (as opposed to Mipam, who said he wanted to kill Ethan Hawke) persuaded his parents, Bob and Nena, to let us speak to her. The family’s feeling “protective” these days, he explained. Uma then rushed to make an unscheduled appearance behind the podium to introduce her father, the House’s co-founder and noted Buddhism expert, as “the most wonderful guy I know.” Even Eminem, he of the racist lyrics (at least according to The Source), felt compassion for all beings—he donated a signed baseball cap.
“There’s no reason there can’t be marriagebetween two men or two women.”
—Eliot Spitzer, New York State attorney general, on the Massachusetts court ruling.
At a recent fashionista fiesta, a shameless suck-up was complimenting Anna Wintour on her “new haircut.” It didn’t look that new to us, but one Wintour watcher insists the back part was shaved on the underside, to allow the top to fall even closer to her head. Though we promptly imagined Wintour’s boyfriend, Shelby Bryan, nuzzling the delicate stubble, Wintour’s longtime hairdresser, Susan Campbell, says she only gave her a slightly new do: “It’s Louise Brooks with less bangs now.” If anyone at Condé Nast wishes to inspect, we welcome updates.
Very Modern Maturity: Bikini Reunion
The 40th-anniversary Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, out in February, is apparently being marketed to Generation Viagra—it features what one source delicately refers to as “old-timers”: Cheryl Tiegs, the 1970 cover girl, Christie Brinkley (1979), and some comparatively spry veterans of the spandex age: Paulina Porizkova (1984), Elle MacPherson (1986), Vendela (1993), Rachel Hunter (1994), and nineties staple Stacey Williams. But don’t worry about age discrimination—Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum are representing, too. “I’m in better shape than I was in 1970,” says Tiegs, although we’re not sure that’s physically possible.
U2 Can Own A Restaurant: Bono’s Zoo-Ropa
U2’s Bono, following in the tradition of legendary Manhattan restaurateur Britney Spears, has decided to parlay his career as a rock star into a career as a restaurant owner. (It worked so well for Britney.) We hear Bono recently bought Le Zoo in the West Village and plans to reopen it early next year with chef April Bloomfield, formerly of London’s River Cafe, a posh Italian restaurant. Last weekend, Bono was set to co-host a benefit there for Peace Games (which claims to “build the capacity for young people to make peace”), with Q-Tip deejaying and Mario Batali auctioning wine. (We think it would have been more fun for Batali to deejay and Q-Tip to auction wine, but no one asked us.)
Trumps Dump Trump: Blaine And Robert Move Out On Brother Donald
It’s a sad day forshort-fingered vulgarians when even Trumps are moving out of Trump buildings. Perhaps Blaine and Robert “brother of Donald” Trump are tired of having their last name stamped on their residence in big, blinding (bling-bling) letters. Probably not, but they’re vacating Trump Plaza for a $5.9 million, eleven-room duplex co-op at 131 East 66th Street, where well-heeled residents include Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman. Blaine Trump and her broker, Kirk Henckels of Stribling Private Brokerage, had no comment.