Suze Orman Paid $3.6 Million for “Motel 6” in The Plaza
The WSJ Mansion section (12/12) is full of juicy news, mostly about lesbians:
(1) TV finance adviser Suze Orman and her wife/manager Kathy Travis bought a one-bedroom in The Plaza in 2007 for $3.6 million, facing a courtyard. “The same apartment on the other side with park views was 3 million more,” says Orman. But there were “cheap aluminum fixtures and finishes—like a Motel 6”, so she renovated it. The living room has a Murphy bed. Their main residence is a condo in Hillsboro Beach, Fla. Suze is selling a Johannesburg condo, a San Francisco house, and a small yacht to pay $ 2.5 million for beach acreage in The Bahamas, where they will build. Avers Ms. Orman: “I could care less if I lived in a tent somewhere.”
(2) Crime novelist Patricia Cornwell “finds peace” with her wife Staci Gruber in a 5,000 s.f. duplex overlooking Boston Harbor. It has a gym, recording studio (Staci is a singer/songwriter), and “multiple workspaces for me”. (She’s written 32 books). Down the hall, she bought a 3-room unit for her “crime library”, which houses her antique handcuffs and knives. “I try not to write in there. The karma is too dark”.
(3) An “international renter”–the broker won’t say who–is paying $500,000 a month for the 39th floor of The Pierre. It has six bedrooms. Amenities include “a language-specific butler and a chauffeur-driven Jaguar.”
(4) Prices for high-end (over $12 million) real estate in Paris are down 7.5 % because the Hollande socialist government is scaring away buyers with high taxes. One mansion near the Luxembourg Gardens, listed for $48 million last January, just lowered the ask to 30. The broker said, “The French are running away from France to places like Belgium and Switzerland, where taxes on the wealthy are less severe.”
(5) Ekaterina Rybolovleva, 25-year-old daughter of the “fertilizer king”, has paid $158 million to Athina Onassis for the Greek island of Skorpios. Her new neighbor is the former emir of Qatar. Many islands are up for sale because Greece just introduced a permanent real estate tax. But “the red tape is fearsome” and all beaches are public, so “anyone can show up, uninvited, for a swim”.
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Bizarre AIDS Dinner Has Kramer Ranting,
“One of the more surreal scenes on the philanthropic circuit took place” at the AIDS Acria fundraiser on Wednesday, writes Marshall Heyman in the WSJ (12/12). [He oughta know, the society columnist is out every night.]
The event honored Bruce Weber, “known for his black-and-white photos of men in various states of undress cavorting with dogs”, and Larry Kramer, the playwright known for his hissy fits against anyone who didn’t stand up against the AIDS epidemic when it was devastating New York City.
Heyman says Kramer “lambasted the media, politicians, the National Institutes of Health, and, in particular, the drug companies, for the fact that after 23 years [really 32], there is still no cure or vaccine for AIDS.”
Then came the “surreal” part. Weber had asked Kim Kardashian to present him with his honor, which “meant that a harangue by Mr. Kramer was followed by a squeaky speech by a reality-television star”. She described Weber as a “compassionate person, barring the fact that in a photo shoot last year, he made her pose with dogs–‘and I’m so afraid of dogs’.”
“Scratching their heads” in the Skylight Modern were Isabella Rossellini, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Renee Fleming and Alessandra Ambrosio.
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Ayn Rand’s Lover and #1 Acolyte Dies in L.A.
Nathaniel Branden (born Nathan Blumenthal), the “most ardent disciple” of novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand, died in L.A. at 84 (Times, 12/12). In 1958, he started the Nathaniel Branden Institute, which repackaged her ideas, called Objectivism, into lectures, recordings, books and articles. Rand’s blockbuster novels “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” had raged against “the world’s inclination toward collectivism and mediocrity” and espoused “rational selfishness” and unlimited capitalism. Rand and Branden were extramarital lovers from 1954-1968, with the consent of their spouses. He was 25 years younger than Rand. The Times obit recalls that a Branden Institute speaker, and Rand proselytizer, was Alan Greenspan, later chairman of the Fed. [As you know, Greenspan is now 88 and married to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.]
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Tony Danza Woos Tourists to Save His “Honeymoon”
Tony Danza, a real trooper, is hustling tourists at the Times Square TKTS booth to promote his Broadway musical “Honeymoon in Vegas”, set to open Jan. 15. Since previews began Nov. 18, the show is “hemorrhaging money”, writes columnist Michael Riedel in The Post (12/12). “Danza poses for pictures, he talks about the show–he even escorts people who buy tickets to the theater”, a source told Riedel. “The crowd loves it, but it’s an act of desperation”.
A friend says, “The show means everything to Tony. He’s a song-and-dance man at heart and ‘Honeymoon’ could be the start of a whole new career.” The show also stars Rob McClure, whom ORB liked a few seasons back as “Chaplin”.
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Mr. Sharpton Goes to Washington, but not to Pay Taxes
Chris Wallace came on “Good Day New York” this morning (12/12) to plug his Sunday chat show on FNC. He noted that Al Sharpton will lead another march in Washington on Saturday and wondered whether the high-living provocateur will find time to stop by the IRS to pay down any of the $4.8 million he owes in back taxes. “Maybe the IRS could serve him with a subpoena while he’s here,” snickered the caustic commentator, who is the son of deceased caustic commentator Mike Wallace. Co-anchor Greg Kelly laughed, then backed off, saying, “Sharpton is a survivor, he’s not going anywhere.” Rosanna Scotto, whom ORB loves, kept quiet. She has to deal with Sharpton on a regular basis. He who pokes a snake gets bit.