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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Sitrick’

Tim Gunn, Pharrell Williams and a Flock of Fashionistas

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Today’s dreary downpour didn’t keep the faithful away from Michael’s. After missing our usual Wednesday lunch last week (It seems the flu season is starting early this year), we were happy to see that the joint was jam packed with the usual suspects, plenty of fashionistas, and some interesting new folks we hadn’t run into before. (Tim Gunn and Grace Mirabella get my vote as the most interesting set of stylistas we’ve come across in this dining room for quite a while.)

But I knew someone important must be here when I spotted two formidable fellows at the bar. It turns out they were the bodyguards of multi-hyphenate Pharrell Williams who, I must admit, I didn’t immediately recognize because he was somewhat hidden under his red ski cap. The musician-producer-composer and fashion designer (Billionaire Boys Club, Ice Cream Clothing) sure knows who to dress to impress. We were coveting his Chanel sneakers. A man of unique personal style to be sure.

I was joined today by my good friend Dr. Phillip Romero who is keeping pretty busy these days. Phil is in the process of moving into chic new midtown digs where, in addition to seeing patients for his practice as a family therapist, he’ll be launching a new business venture which will include classes and seminars on ”family resilience”  for parents. In his spare time, he’s also getting a lot of interest from several media companies who want to bring his fascinating book, The Art Imperative, to television. I just had to ask Phil what he thought of New York’s cover story about the recession era, post-hope generation who are grappling with the harsh reality of coming of age in this era of uncertainty. One reason these young people are struggling so much, says Phil, is because they were “over parented” and “didn’t learn to take care of themselves.” He says many overprotective parents will inflict the  same fate on their children if they’re not careful. “It’s a cultural problem,” he says. “Parents want to protect their kids from the things they struggled with but, in doing so, focus on their own past instead of being involved in the present and their child’s own needs. They wind up saddling kids with the parents’ problems that have nothing to do with their own life. Kids have to be free to create themselves.”

When it comes to dealing with the ‘new normal’  on a macro level, Phil offers this bit of advice which, to me, sounds like a universal prescription: “The enemy is not the economy, or your spouse, or all the new technology. Today the enemy is chronic relationship stress that tears families apart. When it takes hold, you forget how to love. When we can learn to master this stress and we can change our brain response to the stress triggers in our relationships at home, at work and in the world.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Lynn de Rothschild (Andrew Stein‘s ex, in case you were wondering)

2. Wayne Kabak and UTA’s Simon Trewin

3. Michael Fuchs

4. Jacqui Safra (Jean Doumanian‘s hubby)

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Desiree Rogers, Kathie Lee Gifford & The Millionaire Matchmaker Meltdown

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— DIANE CLEHANE

There were plenty of movers, shakers and deal makers at Michael’s today to keep things interesting, but a little birdie told me the media A-list was also out in force yesterday. So, as a public service to Lunch’s faithful readers, here’s who was there on Tuesday: Matt Lauer with Jack Welch, Page Six’s new editor Emily Smith and publicist Peggy Siegal presiding over one of her legendary lunches with Ed Zwick, Jean Doumanian, Meryl Poster, Jonathan Alter, Jodi Applegate and Lori Singer (Yes, the one from Footloose!).

With that bit of news out of the way, I can tell you that I was intrigued by all the networking I saw today. It was a little more overt than usual — and that’s saying something. However, some folks, like my Greenwich neighbor Kathie Lee Gifford (looking better than ever, by the way), just come to this quiet little spot to relax with friends. I asked Kathie what she thought of co-host Hoda Kotb‘s new book, Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair and Kathie Lee, and she told me, “I’m so happy for her! She has been working so hard. Tonight she finds out if she made it on to the Times‘ best seller list, and these days that takes a lot.” We wouldn’t bet against her.

But not all the action was happening in the dining room. We spotted Patti Stanger of Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker pacing outside of Michael’s front window, screaming into her cellphone, stomping her feet and dropping f-bombs like there was no tomorrow. I have no idea who was on the receiving end of the ear-splitting call, but I can tell you it wasn’t exactly a love connection.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Lord and Lady Rothschild in from across the pond. Tally ho!

2.  Joan Jakobson, Pamela Fiori and Thomas P. Farley, a young curly haired gent we initially didn’t recognize but now know as the host of the web TV show New York Insider. (Nice to meet you, Thomas!)

3. Kathie Lee Gifford, sipping a white wine spritzer with Patricia Kluge and two well-heeled gal pals.

4. Stephen Swid

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How Paris Hilton’s Double Dealing Cost Her

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Variety’s Michael Learmonth delves into the murky underworld of celebrity interviews, specifically Paris Hilton’s unpaid path to Larry King. Looks like mastermind Kathy Hilton, acting on expensive bad advice from Michael Sitrick, sought to start a bidding war between Barbara Walters and anyone, everyone else. Needless to say, the plan backfired.

ABC News wouldn’t have actually paid for the interview, as that would be wrong. Instead, the show “licenses” photos, home videos, and any other junk the celeb has lying around–Steve Irwin’s widow got such a deal.

As former GMA producer Lisa Sharkey (so aptly named for a morning show booker) said about the Hilton deal gone wrong:

It may change the ability of celebrities to profit from their mistakes.

And we wouldn’t want that.

Will Jared Paul Stern’s Lawsuit Against Ron Burkle & Co. Botch Hillary’s Prez Run?

stern_clinton_prez.jpgInteresting question, and one that likely hinges on how much Stern’s conspiracy allegations against Burkle, the former president and current New York senator will involve the latter, particularly if this case ever comes to a jury trial. Specifically, allegations contained on page 14 of the civil complaint filed in New York, which state that Burkle, ex-secret service agent Frank Renzi, PR manager Michael Sitrick and the Clintons “hoped to divert and intimidate journalists who might attempt to report on their illegal activity or publish embarrassing revelations of Burkle and Bill Clinton‘s sexual misconduct, including Clinton’s extramarital affairs facilitated by Burkle, and sexual activity with minors, and even morer importantly dissuade negative coverage of the numerous scandals that have been attributed and which will undoubtedly be uncovered about Hillary Clinton as she runs for the presidency in 2008.”

We suppose it would depend on the likelihood of a trial before the primaries, the extent of the allegedly “numerous” scandals that have yet to uncovered and just how much interest the general public has in another media-based scandal. (Even a settlement, as the Boston Phoenix notes, could be damaging for Hillary if it unearths something truly scandalous in the process.)

Another open question: Will the Stern suit usurp recent, albeit limited, progress made in the Rupert Murdoch-Hillary Clinton-New York Post relationship, one that had been thorny during the Clinton White house (the Post famously referred to Bill Clinton as “horndog-in-chief”)?

EARLIER:

  • Finally: Jared Paul Stern Sues Billionaire Ron Burkle — Bill & Hillary Too