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  Gossip with Gregoire!
September 5, 2000

Dear readers, this week's column was supposed to be written by a guest author -- the less famous relative of some obscure celebrity or a "Survivor" castaway, I hadn't decided which -- because this was my week off. You see, every year in order to "detox" from the hectic world of up-to-the-minute superstar intimacies and fast-paced international glamour, I make a sojourn to my former place of exile, the thriving redneck metropolis of Springfield, MO, tucked deeply in the Ozark Mountains.

But I'm afraid that the old saying, "You can lead a horse to gossip, but you can't keep a gossip hoarse" has stung me once again with its damning altruism! Oh, I started this vacation with noble intentions, arriving in town armed with presents (broaches, opera memorabilia, bathbeads, rare Playbills) for the literally hundreds of nieces and nephews spawned by my "Petticoat Junction"-like legion of sisters. Sadly, however, between the time I left New York and my arrival in Springfield, three more children had been born and thus were left giftless, creating a family rift.

Unable to distract myself with these dirty, er, warmhearted people's lives, I began sneaking off by myself and indulging in my addiction -- calling New York and Paris on my cell phone, trolling the college campus for a glimpse of a possible celebrity guest speaker or scholarship donor, and searching (futilely) for a Daily Variety in this godforsaken town. The town's most glamorous former resident, Brad Pitt, frequently drives through to visit his parents and check up on his downtown real estate, so residents are usually full of good stories. Yet all I could come up with this time was a sighting several months ago of ice-skating impresario Rudy Galindo at the local gay bar, in town for an ice capade of some sort!

Feeling like a drunk squeezing one final drop from his bottle of Cisco, I decided to leave this berg early and get back to the Big Apple to scrape together some last-minute dish. I took the redeye and am still stinging from being disowned from my family, so forgive the spelling errors. [As if. -- Ed.]

Sleepless In Los Angeles

Speaking of disrupted family enclaves, the saga of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid only gets more tragic as each dazzling moment passes. After a slight reprieve of reconciliation (when Meg discarded that burly Aussie Russell Crowe after their three-month fling), it appears the couple are making their split official. Meg has now counter-filed for divorce from Denny in a Los Angeles court and the painful legal cleft of their superstar properties -- including custody of their son -- begins. Expect stuff to be moved out quickly as the two presently despise each other, despite a patch-up session earlier this month that saw them making out in a public display of desperation. Don't expect this mess to be wrapped up quickly; I suspect Meg has taken some "Gladiator"-like lessons from Crowe and will attack Denny with swords drawn. (Of course, she was the one cheating, but Meg's just too perky not to come out on top of all of this.)

Model Behavior

Let's check in on some dinosaur supermodels, shall we? Former David Copperfield prop Claudia Schiffer has not only disappeared from the world of modeling, she's literally holed herself up on the island of Majorca, popular getaway for the rich and fabulous. You see, she and her current boytoy Tim Jeffries have a charming villa there where Claude has been spotted sunbathing nude from her "private deck." Well, after seeing one too many of these revealing scenes in the tabloids, Claude received permission from the city to build a high fence around the place, so she can sunbathe topless (among other things) in peace.

Well, apparently she's got her privacy now. But her zeal for proper fencing, however, has scarred the lovely landscape of this island getaway, completely blocking public pathways to some ancient ruins and a picnic area nearby. It's making some non-famous Majorcans rather angry. In fact, there have actually been protesters outside the model's abode, angrily demanding that she rip the walls down to provide access to the ruins and (by extension, natch) allow the world to see her nude-sunbathing unimpeded. So far, she's made no move to tear it down and has, in fact, just made matters worse by avoiding the throng of protesters and joining Tim (and fellow cruisers Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley -- a possible reconciliation) on a yacht circling the blue waters of this lovely, star-studded island.

Meanwhile, Naomi Campbell (whose writing debut, Swan, can be purchased for under a dollar in virtually every flea-market and used book shop here in Springfield) should be appalled at the physical attacks against her. Oh, not her own body, actually, but her wax replica, currently charming the hallways of Madame Tussaud's in London. Apparently, the model's likeness has become so popular that the waxy figure is now exhibited behind ropes due to the over-excitedness of certain museum-goers. The museum reports that viewers have been observed caressing and hugging the fashion goddess, completely ruining her Versace gown and scuffing up the likeness. The wax model is reportedly safe behind velvet lines, but how long will this keep wax-crazed fans away? And when did Naomi become as deified as Princess Diana?

Save the Children!

I wish I could provide you with positive stories on former child stars, but unfortunately, few of these pint-sized stars grow to lead lives worthy of respect and pride. Edward Furlong, that promising young star of "Terminator 2" and "Pecker," has let his fleeting fame go right to that angst-ridden head of his. At a West Hollywood post-opening party for the great new Kirsten Dunst vehicle "Bring It On," Eddie attempted to cut the line with a "Do you know who I am?" thrown at the doorman, who was not amused. Later, while celebs like Vince Vaughn and Andy Dick observed from the sidelines, Ed was cruising the pool at the Hugo Boss party at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas and ended up making out with Paris Hilton, that trashy hotelier's daughter who whipped off her top and streaked through the festivities. Boy, that Eddie can sure pick 'em!

Of course, a few social faux pas are better than grand theft larceny! That's the nefarious charge currently holding "Apt Pupil" hottie Brad Renfro. He and a friend apparently tried unsuccessfully to take a $175,000 yacht from its owner during a recent stay in Fort Lauderdale. And they might have done it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids! (Er, I mean, if the boat hadn't been securely tied to the dock.) Like most boats, it was attached to a dock, so when Brad and his thieving pals attempted to escape, the boat smashed back right back into said dock. Gee, not too bright, are we Bradley?

He posted $10,000 bail the next day so that he could resume filming a movie. Wow, this tastes a lot like a Robert Downey Jr. scenario, doesn't it?

Wedding Jitters

First Madonna and Catherine Zeta-Jones have their babies during the same week. Now, they're both denying reports of upcoming wedding ceremonies!

It was reported by that master-of-fiction the London Sun that Maddie and Guy Ritchie, father of her new infant, Rocco, were set to get hitched by the end of the year. The Post quotes a "close friend of Ritchie," Erin Berg, who reveals that Maddie's troubled pregnancy quickened Guy's decision to form a family with the pop icon. Of course, here's the funny part: spokespeople for Maddie and Guy say that the couple don't even know who this person is! They have not decided to get married and the big fat rock Maddie wears on her finger is merely the icon's idea of a "promise ring."

Now, Cathy and her aged hubby-to-be, Michael Douglas, aren't denying their impending marriage, but they're a little sketchy when it comes to the date. A resort in Santa Barbara, CA claims that the couple is planning on getting married there next month, though that appears to be news to both Cathy and Mike. They still haven't decided on a location or a date, and I hardly doubt they would stoop to the level of Santa Barbara when then could have a Scottish castle or a Majorcan villa or even a crater on the moon, for Chrissake!


When I'm not at the Howard Johnson's cocktail lounge, you can usually find me at Leshko's, the superswank martini lounge in the Lower East Side with a secret entrance and speak-easy like ambiance. Sadly, you can't find any mob bosses or hitmen there, but if you're lucky, you may be able to share a cocktail with an Icelandic pop star or two just like my spy, who reports sidling up to the bar to watch Bjork draining a shaker of cosmopolitans. Careful, Bjork, at your size, one is one too many!

Another fabu John Cusack sighting, and this one without Neve Campbell! It appears that John really is as cool as we expected: after shooting a scene for his latest movie on the Upper East Side, he was persuaded by two fans passing by to join them for dinner at swell little eatery Matthew's. You see, all you have to do is go up to them and ask!

A noticeably drunk Frank Gifford, flanked by his wife Kathie Lee and dual hellions Cody and Cassidy, complained openly about Dennis Miller's performance on "Monday Night Football" on a Carnival cruise (naturally) which left the Upper West Side on a "Cruise To Nowhere." (Gee, sounds like a blast!)

A noticeably UN-drunk Shaquille O'Neal was accidentally served an alcoholic beverage at Jimmy's Bronx Cafe. The notorious teetotaller took one sip and pushed the booze away. I guess I won't be inviting him to my corner booth anytime soon!


"Gregoire, this isn't really a hot tip, but Jerry Seinfeld is all over the freakin' place these days. He's all over the New York circuit (Gotham, Stand-Up New York, Comedy Cellar) robbing emerging comics (like me!) of stage time. He shows up whenever he wants and never, ever acknowledges the comics he's just bumped. I figure we should revolt, or at least steal some of his material, but when am I going to use jokes like, 'The tabloids say I bought my house in the Hamptons for 20 million dollars, but that's ridiculous! It was only, like, ten million. What's the deal with that?!'"-- Amanda

I believe Jerry's suffering from an identity complex. At heart, he will always be a stand-up comic, yet his fortune and high-profile, society-page lifestyle has almost sculpted him as a latter-day JFK Jr. (May I remind everyone that the old Jerry -- the Jerry of "Seinfeld" fame -- would never have lived in the Hamptons. They're just not funny.) As soon as he becomes comfortable with his money, he'll leave your comedy venues alone. Oh, and speaking of robbing emerging stand-up comedians of their stage time, have I mentioned yet that I'll be performing with Breakup Girl Live this Thursday at the Gotham Comedy Club?

"Gregoire, I thought you would find this amusing: I saw an old friend who mentioned his great job on a cruise ship. Who should be one of the stars he met? Charo! Yep, he met her and saw her in her undies. He said that she had a body as hard as rock and was so sweet. Also mentioned that she ate like a bird, but with everything in pairs (two eggs, two pieces of fruit, etc.). Devoted to you and Ted C." -- Jo

Is she on the Noah's Ark diet? I guess obviously it's been working if this ancient cabaret icon still has a rock-hard physique. Has she been on the new "Hollywood Squares" yet, by the way? She was a frequent guest on the original, and it always delighted me to watch her flirt in vain with Paul Lynde as I tried to figure out what she was saying. Ah, classic TV!

"Gregoire, I've never seen Gwynnie or Rupert anywhere near their alleged "West Village" dwellings, but I did bump into Ben Stiller coming out of Daddio on the corner of Bedford and Leroy just last night. He's a small man, but hot hot hot! Now, my roommate and I love Daddio -- we go all the time because it's on our block and we get free drinks, but it's not exactly a celebrity hangout, know what I mean? Maybe he likes the quesadillas as much as I do? In any event, I was glad it was so humid and that I chose to wear my skimpiest tank top. Ben, are you still thinking of me?" -- Annclaire

Being ogled by a celebrity is almost as good as meeting one, isn't it? A designer shirt of mine was recently admired by Ethan Hawke (maybe because it was a clean shirt?), and Breakup Girl will always know that Laurence Fishburne favorably approved of her derriere. Mr. Stiller, as you well know, dear reader, is one of those stars who looks ten times better in person (and he's not exactly shabby on screen, is he?) Sounds like you should go out for quesadillas more often!

And, finally, I end with a poignant observation on the recent plight of Anne Heche from Paul The Intern:

"Anne Heche is in Toronto, working on a new film...and it has been reported that she had sunstroke on that fateful day. I've had sunstroke. I never wandered the streets saying I was God and that the spaceship will carry us away. Maybe I had a different kind. Remember when Martin Lawrence was running down the street screaming brandishing a gun? It was officially declared that he was suffering from 'dehydration.' As my friend Jon Corbett said, 'Yeah...that guy was just thirsty. Give him a glass a water and he would be fine.'"

And on that note, I'm going to stop drinking fluids and spend a few hours in the direct sunlight.

Until Madame Tussaud wises up and includes a wax replica of me,


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