Dueling Divas and Big Breakups
By Michael Musto
Divas came out in full force this month, Lady Gaga leading the parade by recovering from her spell of exhaustion and hitting New York like a glittery tsunami. Gaga played four explosive nights at Radio City Music Hall, where she was so “on” that she even paused halfway through each concert to call a fan chosen at random from the audience to say she’d meet them for drinks after the show! What a giver!
Countess LuAnn de Lesseps from The Real Housewives of New York City also hit the scene— to promote the paperback version of her book, Class With the Countess—and managed to pause for some metaphorical coffee and advicesharing with yours truly. LuAnn urged me to get a massage because you emerge from it with your face glowing, even if it isn’t a facial massage. Her other big tip was that when you break up with someone, you should always take the blame and move on without recriminations. If I’m ever dating anyone, I’ll surely keep that in mind!
Rosie O’Donnell and Kelli Carpenter broke up to big publicity, so it was bittersweet to see them back together at the premiere of the HBO movie A Family Is a Family Is a Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration. And it made sense—as Rosie said on announcing the split, “We will remain a family forever.” She likes that word!
A royal family—the Crown Prince and Princess of Serbia—presided over The Princes Ball at Cipriani, where a mass of masked revelers cheered on a Carnaval band in between toasting each other with frosty drinks and bidding on various glitzy charity items. A similar blend of partying and giving was on the guest list for the Hope, Help & Relief Haiti benefit dinner at the Urban Zen Center, where Wyclef Jean spoke movingly, Mary J. Blige sang loudly and Whoopi Goldberg auctioned off everything from jewelry pieces to vacation packages, begging, “Come on, white people, speak to me!”
But it was back to just partying and promotion at an East Side Social Club luncheon for Patrick McMullan, where another Real Housewife, Kelly Bensimon, basked in the glow of her Playboy shoot that aimed to show that a 42-year-old mother of two can be sexy (not to mention on even better terms with her ex than Rosie is; Bensimon’s former hubby, Gilles, shot the spread). At the same hot spot a few nights earlier, I saw Chelsea Handler, who was in town to shoot a fully clothed layout for Harper’s Bazaar. Handler told me she preferred this restaurant to The Breslin, the Ace Hotel eatery with fashionably gritty food. “I don’t want a shin for dinner!” she said, cringing. A diva? Yeah, but totally right.
photographs by kevin mazur/wireimage.com