America’s Real-Estate Conflicts, As Enacted by the Hearst GalsVeronica Hearst is using her Fifth Avenue apartment and a property in upstate New York as collateral in case the auction for her 52-room mansion in Palm Beach doesn’t hit $40 million. Meanwhile, her step-granddaughter Lydia Hearst just bought a $1.49 million apartment in the Sheffield 57 on West 57th. Damon Dash got freaked out by the lunar eclipse. CNBC’s Money Honey, Maria Bartiromo, has joined the board at her alma mater, NYU. Cindy Adams thinks Ellen Page is, uh, “a young, white, female Obama.”
white men with money
Todd Thomson Attempts to Vanquish an Already-Vanquished Chuck PrinceNow that Chuck Prince is out at Citigroup, everyone can say what they really thought of him. Todd Thomson, the former head of Citi’s wealth-management department, who was fired in January after a delicious spate of reports questioning his spending (his extravagant office was commonly referred to as the “Todd Mahal”) and his relationship with CNBC’s Money Honey Maria Bartiromo, jumps in first. Thomson told Reuters today that he suspected Prince himself orchestrated the “smear campaign” against him, because he was trying to divert attention from the issues at Citibank and also, perhaps, because he considered Thomson a rival. “There was a very significant rift between me and the now ex-CEO,” he told Reuters (click the picture to watch the video). “I’ve never been accused of having anything other than an appropriate relationship with Maria Bartiromo. And I do have an appropriate relationship with Maria Bartiromo.” Bartiromo concurs: “Something happened between Todd Thomson and Chuck Prince, and somehow I got wrapped up in it,” she told the Times the other day. “Clearly, there was another agenda going on.” An agenda! A rift! A triangle! It’s all so Shakespearean! These people have been wronged!
Fox Business Network: It’s Gold!No, literally — it’s all about gold. Rupert Murdoch’s new cable channel ran multiple segments on gold in its first week, which we thought was a little weird. But after we watched the hundredth paid advertisement for gold (damn watching TV in real time!), we thought, maybe it makes sense. If your sponsors are talking about it, why shouldn’t you? Anyway, you may be wondering how on earth we happened to notice something like that. It’s because we have been watching FBN every day, ALL WEEK. Yes! We love Alexis Glick, Neil Cavuto, and their motley crew of optimism pirates. They’re irresistible (especially young NYSE floor reporter Nicole Petallides, who makes rival Maria Bartiromo look like the Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy) and their financial joy is maddeningly, confusingly infectious. After the jump, our other favorite FBN moments from a week of watching.
Clinton’s Party Guru Also Likes LadiesBill Clinton buddy Amed Kahn threw a party at Tenjune for Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s son that consisted of 30 models and five guys. Greenhouse, New York’s first-ever “green” nightclub, gets an eco-preview tonight in Paris. Tory Burch and Lance Armstrong amicably broke up because they lived too far apart from one another. Sean Penn, John McEnroe, and Lance Armstrong hung out at the Soho House bar. Artist Geoffrey Raymond’s latest Wall Street–inspired work depicts Maria Bartiromo as the Virgin Mary. The New York City Partnership power breakfast caused so much commotion outside the American Express headquarters that many CEOs had to walk a few blocks just to get in. Alex Rodriguez and his wife are expecting another kid.
Oracle of Omaha Screws With Everyone’s HeadFINANCE
• Buffett to the rescue: The Oracle of Omaha may take a 20 percent stake in crisis-ridden Bear Stearns. If the deal goes through, Bear CEO Jim Cayne will have another new bridge partner to brag about. [NYT]
• Goldman Sachs named Edward Forst as co-head of investment management, a troubled group with a mere $796 billion in assets. Forst takes the place of Eric Schwartz, who’s retiring after 23 years with the bank. [NYP]
• “The tears of Chuck Norris would supply enough liquidity to solve the credit crisis. Too bad he never cries.” [Bloomberg]
‘Journal’ Union Unhappy With Contract?MEDIA
• Dow Jones may not be any good at negotiating with Murdoch, but they just pulled a coup with their union. Jim Browning, a Journal reporter and union representative, sent off a bulk e-mail: “This is not the best contract that we could have gotten.” [Media Mob/NYO]
• Jill Ishkanian, the former West Coast bureau chief for US Weekly, filed a $55 million lawsuit against the mag, and the details, including an attempt to seduce a nanny, are beyond juicy. [NYP]
• Did Erin Burnett’s agent start the “feud” with Maria Bartiromo just to raise her profile? Or did Bartiromo’s agent plant this claim to get back at Burnett? [NYDN]
The Lohans: Reunited and It Feels So SoberDemi Moore freaked out at the Miss Sixty fashion show when she found out her driver couldn’t bring her car around. Kathleen Wiley thinks the Clintons stole a manuscript of her new book, which she says contains information that could damage Hillary’s presidential bid. A photo of jet-riding “Money Honey” Maria Bartiromo and husband Jonathan Steinberg in Hamptons magazine happens to be opposite an ad titled, “Planning on Having an Affair?” Liza Minelli will sing the national anthem before the U.S. Open men’s final because everyone else will be at the VMAs. Vanessa Hudgins’ rep confirmed that the nude photo of her that’s making the rounds is authentic. Kim Porter may still love Diddy, exhibited by the fact that she gazed into his eyes at Tenjune.
Girl Trouble at CNBCA number of female anchors at CNBC are annoyed at the preferential treatment given to Money Honeys Maria Bartiromo and Erin Burnett. Kate Moss and Pete Doherty may be back together. Anna Wintour canoodled with Shelby Bryan at day one of the U.S. Open. Bill and Hillary Clinton may be buying property on Martha’s Vineyard next to Ted Danson. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes partied with girls at a club in Bridgeview. George Lopez’s bodyguard assaulted a Post reporter at a showing of Superbad. (Related: George Lopez has a bodyguard?) Several New York nightclub owners decided to party this summer in Europe and South America. Amy Winehouse’s father-in-law is urging her fans not to buy her albums until she cleans up her act in rehab. The Lohans are finally allowing estranged father Michael to visit Lindsay in rehab.
Breaking: Lohans Not Best ParentsLindsay Lohan’s bodyguard claims Dina and Michael weren’t the best parents. Maria Bartiromo pissed off PETA by posing in a Michael Kors coat with fox-fur cuffs. The Box smelled like burnt hair for two hours after a patron’s hair caught on fire. Jay McCarroll’s friend says he has an Upper West Side apartment, contrary to what the designer told New York. Katie Couric belted out “Sweet Caroline” at a piano bar in Nantucket. Harvey Weinstein picked Clint Eastwood to compose the score for John Cusack’s new movie. City comptroller Bill Thompson says he was able to buy an apartment in Brooklyn shortly after graduating college in 1974, but his daughter couldn’t even afford to rent one. Chris Noth will be in the Sex and the City movie.
A Money-er Honey?CNBC “Money Honey” Maria Bartiromo is jealous of co-worker Erin Burnett because Burnett is becoming more popular than she is. An upcoming book about Katie Couric claims she planned to leave NBC a year before she actually did and that the staff of 60 Minutes thinks she’s a “lightweight.” State Senator Carl Kruger is not a fan of fellow Democrat Eliot Spitzer. Jeremy Shockey took a bunch of Giants teammates to Scores. The woman who blogged about Keith Olbermann’s bedside manners is no longer maintaining her blog. Naomi Watts finally gave birth. Nora Ephron has spent a lot of time giving her breasts a workout. Christie Brinkley is spending $10.9 million to buy the house in North Haven next door to the one where Peter Cook had an affair.
Enquiring Minds Want CashThe wife and son of deceased National Enquirer founder Generoso Pope Jr. are suing each other for the remainder of his $418 million fortune. Barbaro was the focus groups’ choice for August’s Vanity Fair cover, but Graydon Carter nixed him for Shia LaBeouf. CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo will soon have her own show titled Money Honey. The Giulianis like golf, bargains, The Tudors. Chris Noth tried to poach talent for his club from Hawaiian Tropic Zone but failed. Tinsley Mortimer and Lydia Hearst are attending a dinner thrown by Pete Wentz in the Hamptons. Jon Anderson of Yes canceled a benefit show for a bunch of kids because his spiritual adviser told him to.
Capitalists Against Michael MooreFINANCE
• Maria Bartiromo tried to interview Michael Moore on the floor of the NYSE, but the exchange barred the director from entering. [NYDN]
• A scathing farewell e-mail from a young JP Morgan banker is probably a hoax. The supposed author says he didn’t write it and still has his job. [DealBreaker]
• Bear Stearns’ CEO James Cayne is suffering from poor self-esteem following the near collapse of two hedge funds. [NYT]
Mama Don’t PreachMadonna won’t let her daughter dress like, well, Madonna. The U.N. campus has a pretty serious rodent-and-eel problem. Rockefeller Center and Chrysler Building owner Jerry Speyer is proficient with a yo-yo. Oscar presenter Jerry Seinfeld has been asked to host the Oscars next year but can’t because of a movie obligation. “The Secret” is Hollywood’s new Scientology/Kabbalah. Martha Stewart just bought an unfinished apartment in the West Village for $16 million. Someone stole one of Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel dresses and sent it to Courtney Love to wear. Kathie Lee Gifford has as soft spot for Britney Spears, though her son fancies Paris. Mark Ruffalo is far nicer to the press than he needs to be.
Maria Bartiromo Feels Pretty, Oh So PrettyBefore Maria Bartiromo was on MSNBC and flying on private jets, she lived a life out of West Side Story. Speaking of Bartiromo, Citigroup head Charles Prince may have leaked the jet-ride scandal to the media. Former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos uploaded some unintentionally funny government-propaganda films to YouTube. Financier Henry Kravis complained that he wasn’t invited to Stephen Schwarzman’s blowout birthday party. Brad and Angelina needed beads and masks to escape from a New Orleans restaurant.
One of These Days, Sandra Day, Pow, Right in the KisserMembers of the ten-person Iraq Study Group, which included Sandra Day O’Connor and Vernon Jordan, almost came to blows over a disagreement. Both Paris Hilton and Britney Spears were no-shows at the Heatherette show. Sienna Miller’s secret to having a nice rump in Factory Girl? Spray-on makeup. Park Chinois, the haute Chinese restaurant that was to open in the Gramercy Park Hotel, is no more. Owen Wilson ate with the boldfaced names but hung out with the nobodies at the Waverly Inn. After getting dumped by boyfriend Isaac Cohen via phone, Britney Spears went out “partying like a college girl looking to get laid.” (And how, we must ask, is that different from all other nights?)
Judi Nathan Must Be ThrilledFormer Giuliani spokeswoman Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas is back at his side for his presidential run. Unable to pick just one, Barbra Streisand donated money to Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. David Letterman asked Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump to appear in a Super Bowl spot with him, but they declined. Scarlett Johansson hooked up with Justin Timberlake — and won a $50k condo lease — while in Miami for the game. And also during the big game, Bud Light may have “borrowed” inspiration from a sketch-comedy troupe and Sierra Mist for two of its commercials. Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld bought a $21 million fixer-upper on Park Avenue, which only requires $10 million more to fix it up.
Rudy No Longer Thanking God George Bush Is Our President?A high-level Republican official says that Rudy Giuliani, should he decide to run, won’t have the blessing of Bush or Rove. Recently fired Citigroup exec Todd Thomson, who got himself in trouble for flying Maria Bartiromo around, has flown his wife to Montana, on vacation. Diddy has been partying a lot with “friend” Sienna Miller while his wife Kim Porter stays home with the twins. Martha Stewart is a Hillary supporter, and the launch of high-profile Condé Nast business mag Portfolio may not be going as smoothly as planned.