WITH SPENCER MORGAN
February 16, 2004
Party Crasher: Saying No to Joe
Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis recently lurked outside L.A.’s Spider Club and spent an hour, with Brandon (Marvin’s son) Davis, trying to get into a private party at a Hollywood Hills mansion. Francis was heard screaming “People want me at their parties!” But if history is any indication, he’s wrong. Francis, who may be worth upwards of $100 million, is under investigation for taping girls he allegedly knew were underage engaging in lewd acts, but true to form, he hasn’t let that stop him from partying. Large bouncers and a conspicuous lack of invitations, on the other hand, have crimped his style. Francis told friends he had a ticket for the Golden Globes ceremony, but he never showed and wasn’t on any of the studios’ lists. And we hear he was begging (once again) to get into the after-parties. “I said no,” says one event planner. “I don’t even think Playboy would welcome him at their parties.” The planner was right, of course. Displaying a strangely admirable tolerance for rejection, Francis showed up solo to Playboy’s Super Bowl party in Houston. “He was literally begging to get in. I mean, he was explaining how he’s a ‘celebrity’ and he needs to walk on the red carpet and explain what’s going on in his life to the press,” says that party’s gatekeeper. Francis’s worst offense, however, was offering to bring Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell) to get VIP access. “Needless to say, he never got in.” Francis didn’t respond to our e-mail.
Cheap Shots: Prep Cruel
The cheerleading at a January 30 basketball game between Trinity and Dalton—gateways more to M.B.A.’s than to the NBA—left at least one parent crying foul. After hearing what he deemed anti-Semitic slurs, Shelly Palmer, a television producer whose son attends Dalton, fired off a letter to Trinity’s headmaster, Henry C. Moses (and some other parents and school administrators), quoting the anti-Dalton cheers that stunned fans in the bleachers: “Goldberg! Does he have his menorah? Goldberg! They’re not wearing their yarmulkes! … Mazel Tough, Mazel Tough, Mazel Tough! Goldberg! They can’t score, I guess they didn’t eat their latkes tonight! Goldberg! Gefilte fish, gefilte fish! … He fouled him, that’s not kosher! Goldberg! Look he’s on the bench, is he drinking Manischewitz?” Palmer says he’s since received more than 500 e-mails and a phone call from Moses (the headmaster, not the … oh, never mind). “He said he would take it extremely seriously and thanked me for the letter,” says Palmer. “This is horrifying and you wouldn’t expect it. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”
“Should this be the most evil thing your children see, then they’ll be fine.”
—Larry Flynt, on Janet Jackson’s halftime escapade.
Out and About
Elle Décor’s Dining by Design benefit for DIFFA, held last Monday night at the Hammerstein Ballroom, featured dinner tables decorated by designers including David Rockwell, David Easton, and Robert Verdi. As for the guests: “It’s wall-to-wall homos!” joked Barneys creative director Simon Doonan. Thom Filicia, from Queer Eye, said he’s often accosted by people demanding he redecorate their homes. “If someone tried that as a pickup line, I’d be like, ‘Yeah, let’s move the bed without our hands!’ ”
Celebrity Guess: Head Games
The Post-it note is apparently the new Kabbalah bracelet. All the celebrities are wearing them. On their foreheads, no less. Mike Myers and his wife, Robin Ruzan; Elvis Costello and his wife, Diana Krall; and Moby recently dined at Nobu with notes attached to their craniums in the midst of a rousing game of “Guess Which Celebrity Name I’ve Got Stuck to My Head” (technically called “I’m a Blah Blah.”) Moby guessed that he was Tom Cruise by asking, “Am I a super-hunk?” It took a little longer for Myers to ascertain that he was Jay Leno, and Costello was equally stumped that he was Cher. (Had they been wearing their own names, there might have been a collective existentialist meltdown.)
Affairs of the Heart: Bye-Bye, Bijou
We were look-ing for material for our as-yet-unwritten screenplay, Young Celebrity Scions in Love: I Give You My Royalties in Perpetuity, when we heard that Sean Lennon had broken up with his girlfriend of four years, Bijou Phillips, “for good.” Our spy tells us that Phillips had been spending a lot of time with Lennon’s friend Max LeRoy, which prompted Lennon to admit that he’d spent some time with other kids of famous people, too. It seems LeRoy, son of the late restaurateur Warner LeRoy of Tavern on the Green, confessed earlier this month to his longtime pal (he and Lennon grew up across the hall from each other in the legendary Dakota). Lennon then kicked the 23-year-old actress out of the Hollywood Hills home they had been sharing and boxed up her belongings at his West Village brownstone. While she looks for a new home, Phillips has reportedly moved in with her sister Chynna and her husband, William Baldwin, who live in L.A. Our exhaustive efforts to find out more about this sad tale of domestic dis came to this: no comment from Phillips and no return calls from Lennon or LeRoy.
Will He Give It a Face-Lift?
Howard Sobel’s new place is closer to his patients.
Howard Sobel, the celebrity dermatologist–plastic surgeon, recently moved into 1095 Park Avenue, at 89th Street, where he bought a $3.8 million co-op. The eight-room apartment features two bedrooms, two maid’s rooms, a library, and original windows. “I moved closer to my Park Avenue office in case one of my patients needs an emergency Botox treatment,” deadpans Sobel, a bachelor who previously lived in an apartment on 72nd Street. Unfortunately, we hear, his pet wasn’t as lucky with the co-op board and didn’t make the move.