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Rod Stewart turned down a $40 million offer from one of the cable channels to star in his own reality show with his girlfriend, Penny Lancaster, and his five children: Kimberly, Sean, Ruby, Renee and Liam. The producers also hoped he’d convince such ex-wives and lovers as Alana Hamilton, Kelly Emberg and Rachel Hunter to drop by and make cameo appearances. Rod, speaking as a chap who already has a sizable fortune, a Victorian castle in England and a Beverly Hills mansion that is gracing the cover of the current Architectural Digest, claims he just doesn’t want his personal life invaded, although he does find the idea interesting. Still, if you don’t mind, he’d like to keep his private life private. He says every time he looks at his lovely California house, even though there are hundreds of hairs on everything (all his kids have chihuahuas) he just wants to keep it for their eyes only. Do I hear $50 million?


All is not heated and hostile politics in our lovely capital of Washington, D.C. Believe it or not, culture and the arts are alive and kicking, as witnessed last week by the artistic events in the wake of the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, know as FAPE, whose purpose is just what the name heralds, keeping our embassies all over the world beautiful with the help of famous Americans, who donate their works to the project.

The evening began with a reception given at the residence of the German Ambassador and Mrs. Jutta Falke-Ischinger, followed by a dinner that evening at the State Department hosted by Secretary of State and Mrs. Colin Powell where all hands dined deliciously on ceviche, rack of lamb and a dessert called Jamaican Snowball. (Don’t ask).

The evening ended with a perfectly lovely serenade played by all 20 members of the U.S. Air Force Strolling Strings. But not before Jo Carole Lauder, the guiding spirit of FAPE, unveiled Alex Katz’s “Marigold,” a screen print of yellow blossoms on a deep green background donated by the late Lee Kimchee McGrath from her collection of original prints. FAPE also commissioned two major wall sculptures from Ellsworth Kelly for the new U.S. Embassy to be built in Beijing plus two sculptures by Louise Bourgeois for the same embassy.

This story first appeared in the October 6, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

FAPE was established in 1986 by Lenore Annenberg, Wendy Lures and Carol Price, all wives of former U.S. ambassadors. Jo Carole Lauder is the wife of Ronald Lauder and she is the brilliant chairman of this organization along with Ann Gund, the foundation’s president.

Among the guests attending the festivities were Lenore Annenberg; Wendy Lures and her husband, the Hon. William Lures; Vera Blinken and her husband, the Hon. Donald Blinken; Carol Price; board member Buffy Cafritz and her husband, William Cafritz; Alma Gildenhorn and her husband, the Hon. Joseph Gildenhorn; Harriette Levine and her husband, Noel Levine; the Hon. and Mrs. Kenneth Duberstein; artists Beverly Pepper and Elyn Zimmerman; Alyne Massey; Jill Sackler; former ambassador Lucky Roosevelt, and foreign ambassadors from all over the globe.


Orlando Bloom, whom you will soon see in his knickers as part of the new Calvin Klein underwear advertising campaign, has just proposed to his girlfriend of two years, actress Kate Bosworth. Orlando is the one who says he got into acting “for the women,” thinking a movie career would help him get the woman of his dreams.

Kate happily accepted his hand and what was in it, a $300,000 diamond engagement ring set in platinum with a diamond band. She says it’s the most beautiful thing she’s ever seen. “All you see is diamonds,” she said of her blinding bauble.

They are already planning two ceremonies: one in Los Angeles, Kate’s hometown, and one at a country estate outside of London, which all of Bloom’s family and friends will attend. The first of these is expected to take place in June. Kate has said in the past that Orlando was the best ever boyfriend you could want. How much was that ring again?


Her Royal Highness the Infanta Doña Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, are the guests of honor at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute’s Gold Medal Gala at the Plaza on Nov. 10. The fiesta will honor Santiago Calatrava and Richard Meier. The chairmen of the evening are Pepe and Emilia Fanjul, Annette and Oscar de la Renta, Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Leopoldo Rodes and Jean Herrick Van Waveren. All the directors of the Spanish Institute will be there plus such fans as Alejandro and Andres Santo Domingo; maybe the Henry Kissingers; Dr. and Mrs. Valentin Fuster; Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, and Princess Firyal of Jordan with Lionel Pincus.


Kim Basinger wants to spend as much time as she can with her daughter, Ireland, whose daddy is Kim’s ex-husband, Alec Baldwin. So while filming her latest movie, “Cellular,” where she spends most of her time talking on the phone, Kim had the studio hire a $100,000 stunt double to take her place when her face was not shown, or in other words, all the rear views.