ME JANE, YOU TED: Talk about food for thought.
A dinner held Thursday night at New York’s Museum of Natural History in honor of The Soros Foundation’s Ellen Chesler turned into quite an event after speaker Jane Fonda managed to rib both Peter Jennings and her ex-husband, Ted Turner, in the same speech.
This story first appeared in the January 21, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to three sources who were there, Jennings, a longtime friend of Chesler’s, took to the podium, where he compared Chesler to his ex-wife, Kati Marton, who is about to take a high level job at the International Women’s Health Coalition. Like Chesler, he said in a slight poke at his ex-wife and the evening’s honoree, “Kati is always sooo certain about everything.”
Fonda followed him to the podium and responded: “What would you prefer, that we should all be wishy washy? I think I’m going to ask Kati to join a club called ‘Learning to Love Your Ex-husband.’” She then added, according to sources, “My favorite ex-husband is Ted Turner, who gives a great deal of money away to charity although he’s broke and has had to shut down his foundation. But he still has his U.N. foundation and gives money away to health organizations in countries where genital mutilation is still practiced. Which is a case,” she is reported to have said in an apparent double entendre, “of putting your money where your mouth is.”
There was a collective gasp from guests in the rotunda, as several dinosaurs looked on.
Fonda then returned to the topic at hand, talking about Chesler’s work. But when she was done, she made a fitting gesture to Jennings. As she stepped down from the podium, she looked over at him and — drumroll, please — stuck out her tongue.
A Fonda representative was traveling Friday and could not be reached for comment.
— Jacob Bernstein
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