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  Gossip with Gregoire!

Tuesday, May 25, 1999

Live from the Bahamas!

I wish I could say I'm delivering this week's column from a laptop on the golden beaches of Paradise Island in the sunny Bahamas, but alas, I'm in my cozy hotel room, surrounded by the contents of my minibar as I watch various heterosexual families of international origin mill about outside.

Yes, I'm broadcasting from the confines of Atlantis, the maxi-resort that comprises the bulk of activity here at Paradise Island. If you've ever wanted to live in Disney World, if only it were more expensive, then come to the islands, come to Atlantis! Why, a cup of coffee here costs $3! I'll be paying for my minibar devastation well into the new millennium! However, I do get the opportunity to walk through the ancient, newly refurbished ruins of this sunken city, equipped with acres of aquariums and casinos. Within five minutes, you can commune with manta rays and man-eating hammerhead sharks, then lose hundreds of dollars at the crap tables.

Now why, you ask, am I, the succubus of sarcasm, vacationing in the most unironic of places, bathing in the sun's rays when I'm more accustomed to the corners of dark, smoky bars? Well, I simply had to see for myself the ultimate celebrity vacation spot. The policy at Atlantis, it seems, is to pepper its tourist-heavy demesne with the occasional star to give it some legitimacy. Yes, I meandered down the very beaches where Jennifer Lopez and Puff Daddy supposedly gallivanted together! Yes, I danced in the "nightclub" where Tori Spelling and Jean-Claude Van Damme reportedly linked up! (I use the phrase "nightclub" loosely, as the most popular song played was the "Macarena," and everybody there actually knew all the steps and danced right along, completely sans irony). I sashayed along the miles of slot machines and roulette tables where the world's richest and most famous have lost thousands of dollars! At a certain point, I served as the glam-bling charm of two slinky women in hot evening gowns, holding their hands and offering words of encouragement at the craps table, all the while slurping up the free booze and pocketing a few chips of my own as thanks for my "lucky glow." (Thank you Clinique!)

Casino Royale-ity

As fate would have it, MTV had followed me down to Paradise Island. As they were filming some of their beach-heavy programming, I was accosted at several points by camera crews and veejays. (Really. I wasn't even trying to find them. Honest). I even attempted to gain entry to their outdoor rock concert, but I apparently didn't meet their 18-25 year old age limit. (I can't believe they thought I was 16!) Perhaps the velvet evening jacket also confused them.

Anyhoo, some of the performers stayed at my hotel, and during one fortunate run through the casino, I spotted Jordan Knight (from New Kids On The Block), along with assorted members of Smash Mouth, enjoying themselves with native babes. The next night, I caught a group called Limp Bizkit having a hunched booze conference in a bar nearby the casino. (Apparently, they're a new rock group; personally, I don't follow musicians named for poorly prepared breakfast foods.) Also, a source reported that sports star and commercial schlep Deion Sanders was also here vacationing with his family and was seen swimming with the dolphins, along with the lawyer for R&B star and Notorious B.I.G.'s widow Faith Evans. I wonder if Sanders was the guest staying in the $2,000-a-night suite, which features its own crew of employees and a private swimming pool?

Martin Mulled

Of course, my stopover on the way down was in Miami, and who should be there at the very same time but Time Magazine coverboy Ricky Martin, that butt-swirling superstar in town to sign autographs. The throngs of gals who greeted him here made the New York variety seem downright sullen. As you know from last week, readers, this Ricky fellow was following me all over town. Ricky, if you're reading, may I remind you of the warning issued you by my dream team? Remember, I've got a superhero on my side, her former allegiance to Menudo notwithstanding! And may I remind my readers of certain blind item in last week's New York Post, involving a certain pop star recently the focus of a cover story of a major magazine, partying lustfully with a bunch of buff boys on sands of South Beach? I'm just saying ...

Force Fed

Though I'm not sure why, a companion of mine went to see "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" while here in the Bahamas. Obviously, the theater was practically empty, and my source got the view the movie in peace in a small, thatched-roof movie theater with poor sound quality. Is George Lucas, a stickler for sound quality at all his films, aware of this inferior presentation? Or is he is lovestruck by the ravishing Catherine Zeta-Jones? A rumor has it that Mr. Lucas was seen with the lovely British actress at a dinner, and they were holding hands the entire time. As this gossip began in The Star --a dubious source at best, but I'm trapped down here without my more reliable rumormongers -- I find this rather suspect but intriguing nonetheless. Lucas is a billionaire, and Zeta-Jones does have odd tastes in men (see her past beaux Michel Douglas and Mick Hucknell), so the attraction seems probable. [BTW, one of Zeta-Jones' earliest roles was on an episode of Lucas' Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (never broadcast in the US), they were probably just catching up. ;-) -- Chris]

Well, loves, I've got a date with a porpoise, but I'll see you back at the HoJo next week, with the latest scoop and a few seashells for Breakup Girl (if she holds them to her ear, she can hear the New Kids singing ...) --

Until my pasty white flesh actually tans,

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