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  Gossip with Gregoire!

Tuesday, December 14, 1999

With the holidays upon us and the smell of new wrapping paper and pine-needle air fresheners still wafting through the air, I've switched from martinis to hot toddies and gotten into the holiday spirit with a couple Christmas spectacles. That butch lesbian bundle of holiday joy (and former BG guest!) Lea DeLaria put an exquisitely jazzy spin on some familiar carols in her new holiday show "Who Are You Callin' Ho Ho Ho?" At first as jaded as a homeless Salvation Army Santa, Lea soon warmed to the glow of the season and even donned a coconut bra and grass skirt for a Hawaiian Yuletide number. (I still can't sleep from seeing that image!) Her show featured her "On The Town" costar, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (over whom Gregoire is positively insane), dressed as a no-nonsense Christmas tree and a displeased elf from Santa's workshop.

My other treat isn't holiday themed, but it does feature an icon who's been more lit up than a Christmas tree. "Minnelli On Minnelli" is the return of Liza to the Broadway stage, and while she wasn't high or drunk, I still found her immeasurably entertaining. Dressed in some scary Bob Mackie outfits -- two words: sequined fringe -- Liza ripped out some fine melodies from her father Vincent Minnelli's many films, all accompanied by five chorus boys who made the Keebler Elves look like truck drivers. I hope for her sake that she'll keep off the sauce and stay on the stage where she belongs. Leave the drinking to your fans, o most holy legend!

Oprah's Diamond Club

Another legend, Oprah Winfrey, has a penchant for shiny, expensive baubles, even if they happen to be sacred. Seems the annual New York Antique Show, this city's yard sale for the rich and famous, snagged some rather hot pieces of costume jewelry, namely the Swan Lake Suite earrings and necklace formerly owned by Princess Diana. These beautiful pieces have obviously been getting the most press at the show, and Oprah herself could not fail to be swayed by their beauty (well, actually, they're not really beautiful, just opulent). So much so that she was allowed to put them on and, for a few moments, imagine what it would be like to be a princess AND a media queen. The rocks go on sale on Thursday, and I'll let you know if Oprah picks them for some at-home fantasizing.

Christmas Carded

Speaking of princesses, Natalie Portman acts like one on or off the screen, but with that glowing, freshly scrubbed face of hers, who's gonna stop her? She and ten of her closest companions (disciples?) rushed the doorman at the Roxy last week, demanding entrance. When the 18-year-old starlet was carded, she produced on obviously faked identification which was readily called into suspicion. Clenching her delicate fists, her supple, rosy cheeks turning red, the Lilliputian diva demanded to be let in because she was a friend of the deejay that night.

And, it seems she was right. The deejay was none other than bald techno-smurf (and FOBG) Moby, who raced to her rescue and announced that he would not perform unless the "Phantom Menace" cutie be allowed in, her legion of friends in tow. Of course, club owners did keep a sharp watch on her to ensure she didn't imbibe that evening. That's all any New York club needs these days: a high-profile reason to have Mayor Giuliani shut them down! Nat's fake ID was not taken away, either, which means she's free to use it anywhere that stars get their asses kissed.

Courtney Love: Who Cares Anymore, Really?

In elementary school, wasn't the class clown the most popular kid in class until the end of the year, when everybody got really sick of him? If fame is an elementary school, then Courtney's about to be sent to the principal's office! This past week, she has engaged in a variety of freaky behaviors, most notably her bare-all video performance during the filming of her latest video, a song from the Oliver Stone film "Any Given Sunday." According to what she said during her almost unintelligible appearance on Howard Stern last week, she came upon the "revolutionary" idea of performing nude on a football field because she wanted to exhibit how the male sports community subjugates women. Forget the fact that the director of the video is now stuck with miles of unusable footage!

Other recent Love bites include an extreme lack of undergarments at the "Man On The Moon" premiere (at Michael Stipe's birthday party last week in Soho, Ms. Love claimed she was in fact wearing them, but where?), her "payola" accusation at a Seattle radio station which chose not to play Hole's new single (they claim they just didn't like it, no crime in that), and her tiring maintenance of both her clean glamour-girl image and her grungy rock-and-roll persona.

This woman -- who used to be one of this decade's most interesting and exciting celebrities -- has become a nuisance and should be shuffled off into a lower-right corner of Hollywood Square where we'll never hear from her again.

Silly (Christmas) Goose!

Last week, we observed Sting and Trudie Styler take the kids to the Natural History Museum with their pal Madonna. Well, another mega-star decided to chip in more recently as Styler spread her generosity further, with a truly traditional Christmas feast for her family and guests as a celebration of her chef Joseph Sponzo's new cookbook. Like any gracious mom, Tru offered up a sumptuous feast, including organic wines and mince pies. And how did they all get into the holiday spirit? Meryl Streep popped over to read "T'was The Night Before Christmas"! For Trudie and Sting, fame is nothing more than a big suburban neighborhood, isn't it?

Gift Exchange

It's hard enough buying Christmas presents for poor, unpopular relatives. Can you imagine if your mom was Barbra Streisand or your sister Meg Ryan? Would you even dare buying Nicholas Cage a three-pak of white tube socks? Can you imagine the stress of being Jodie Foster's parents for the holidays? "I'm sorry you don't think my fruit cake has an Oscar-winning taste. Eat it anyway!"

But there's one seasonal stress more unbearable: what do the famous buy the famous? If you're self-involved enough to have reached international popularity, how do you step from your pedestal to shop for another star? Online shopping is hot this year with famous folk, since schlepping to FAO Schwartz with an entourage and a legion of paparazzi tailing you tends to negate the warm, holiday glow! Trust me, it's not easy scooping up gift votives and stocking stuffers while fielding questions about your love life. This is not what Christ had in mind when He was born, did He?

While purely speculative, of course, here are my predictions as to what the stars are getting each other for the season:

To: Melanie Griffith From: Antonio Banderas

A new facelift -- "I want you looking 32 ... forever!"

To: Antonio Banderas From: Melanie Griffith

"Advanced Studies In English Speaking" listening tapes and course guide -- "Because the language of love has such a small vocabulary."

To: Matt Damon From: Ben Affleck

A locket with a picture of Ben and the inscription, "To my talented Mr. Damon, Love, 'Bunny'"

To: Ben Affleck From: Matt Damon

A locket with a picture of Matt and the inscription, "To my force of nature, Love, 'Cupcake'"

To: Matt Damon From: Winona Ryder

A copy of the book, "Girl, Interrupted," with the "soon-to-be-a-feature-film" Winona close-up cover

To: Winona Ryder From: Matt Damon

A locket with a picture of Matt and the inscription, "To my force of nature, Love, 'Cupcake'" (Scene: Winnie's place, Christmas Eve, over nouveaux French Christmas feast, gift exchange. Winona: "Matt, what does this mean?" Matt: "D'oh!")

To: Leonardo DiCaprio From: David Blaine

Mysterio's Trav'lin' Magic Kit, featuring over 250 "totally astounding" card tricks -- "The ladies love a good card trick!"

To: David Blaine From: Leonardo DiCaprio

A restraining order

To: Ewan McGregor From: Natalie Portman

A Harry & David apples-and-walnuts gift basket, with jelly samplers and a traditional wooden-soldier nutcracker -- "Because you're so fruity ... and a big nut! XOXO, Nat"

To: Natalie Portman From: Ewan McGregor

Five grainy black-and-white photographs of Ewan's naked body

To: Reese Witherspoon From: Ryan Phillippe

A convertible BMW filled with ten dozen roses, a new puppy, and a case of expensive champagne

To: Ryan Phillippe From: Reese Witherspoon

Chest wax

To: Gwyneth Paltrow From: Stephen Hawking (bet you didn't know they were friends, eh?)

Rutherford Aris' "Vectors, Tensors, and the Basic Equations of Fluid Mechanics" with a note, "Now you can stop borrowing my copy!"

To: Stephen Hawking From: Gwyneth Paltrow

Badminton set with a note, "Now you can play just like Mumsie and me!"

To: Lourdes Ciccone From: Madonna

"Curious George Reads The Kabbalah" ("The man in the yellow hat attuned himself for enlightenment and found George within the universal unconscious ... eating a banana!")

To: Madonna From: Lourdes Ciccone

An Olympus C-2000 Zoom Filmless Digital Camera and an oak-colored pashmina shawl. ("You shouldn't have, Lourdes!" "Burp!")


A couple of HOT (as in 7.9 on the Richter scale) Manhattan star sightings and a correction, egads!

"Gregoire, I saw Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell at the movies on the Upper West Side, and Kurt disappeared and Goldie Hawn got in line to buy tickets. Is it possible that superstars of Goldie's caliber actually have to buy their own tickets to movies? I was appalled. What's the use in superstardom if you have to live like a mortal?"

Not only do stars go to the movies, but sometimes they're more obnoxious than your typical big-budget action film! I saw "Mars Attacks" a couple years ago, and had the "privilege" of sitting right behind the entire roster of Sonic Youth. I don't know what was more obnoxious, Tim Burton's acerbic script or the loud cutting-up of Kim Gordon and company! But, back to Goldie, I think its swell that she and Kurt see movies together in public. How else are they ever going to see good movies? They certainly don't star in them!

"Gregoire, darling: I know we'd all like to hope that Rita Wilson was in the good Nora Ephron movie, but unfortunately, you meant to say [in last week's column] that she was in 'Sleepless in Seattle'. When in doubt, most of Rita's movies feature hubby Tom in some way or other."

Thank you for the catch! Am I the only person in the world that mixes these two movies up? Those Nora Ephron movies are practically interchangeable to me.

"Gregoire, We saw Rue McClanahan in Bed Bath & Beyond here in New York looking at bathroom trash cans. She was looking very frumpy and not so golden!"

Well, I suppose we all can't be blessed with the svelte physique of Bea Arthur! I find this a very interesting sighting indeed. Obviously, every celebrity must have a bathroom trash can; it's just weird to think that they actually shop for them, like you or me.

Breakup Girl also notes that she danced with N'Dea Davenport and Joan Osborne at the after-party for a Prince homage concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The dance floor was apparently Erotic City for Joan and her "adorably geeky, total non-arm candy, really normal" boyfriend. My goodness! What if Joan were one of us?

Celebrity Of The Year

Next week is my big, swinging Best Of The Year column, and I need your help! In addition to the usual roundup of gossip and scandal, I will be announcing three prestigious titles: "Superstar Of The Year" will be bestowed upon the celebrity who has enriched us all the most with his/her social escapades, public denials, fashion fetes and faux pas and general gossip buzz. The "Celebrity Couple Of The Year" will reward the same criteria, only as applied to a couple either married, dating, broken up, or just scandalously in the limelight together. Finally, "Celebrity Freak Of The Year" (or the Anna Nicole Smith Award For Excellence In The Field Of Shamelessness) will go to the celebrity (or even semi-celebrity) who has been so embarrassing and ghastly in publicity-seeking behavior that he or she reaches new heights of absurdity.

To whom do you think these awards should go? Just send me your suggestions by e-mailing me below. I'll compile the votes and use them to make my final choices. What stars do you want to bestow with these coveted honors?

Until Moby comes to my rescue,

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