EYE SCOOP

Watch out, London! Bill Gates is back in town and he’s in a buying mood. The richest man in America is part of a consortium that bought London’s luxurious Hotel Cliveden for $71 million on Thursday. Gates, who late last year bought a house in West London for $13.8 million, may have been attracted to the 17th-century house by its colorful history — the former home of the Astor family was the scene of the Profumo scandal in the Sixties, when John Profumo, then secretary of defense, swam naked with call girl Christine Keeler. The scandal led to the downfall of the government of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. The house became a hotel in 1986 and is part of a hotel group that includes The Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath and the Cliveden Town House in London.

Thierry Mugler is getting ready to show some skin. The latest word in Paris is that the designer is scheduled to be a guest photographer for the December issue of “Playboy.”

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