Byline: Aileen Mehle
Nancy Reagan arrives in New York on Tuesday, Oct. 25, to star in a First Lady Q&A session at the 92nd Street Y next Thursday. Members of the sold-out audience will be able to ask questions, and Charlie Rose, the moderator, is not expected to interrupt anyone. Especially not Nancy, who really does like to finish a sentence. Nancy will lunch with Brooke Astor at Mortimer’s on Wednesday and have dinner that night with Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber at his rented apartment at Trump Tower. It will be a teeny-tiny hot meal for maybe 10 guests, among them Marvin Hamlisch, because nobody doesn’t like Marvin Hamlisch. Certainly in that group.
Hope springs eternal. Paul Hallingby of the Wall Street Hallingbys and Jo Davis, his lawyer lady friend, are sending out invitations to a celebratory thé dansant at the River Club on Nov. 17. But the big news is that Paul and Jo will marry in a private ceremony shortly before the party. Paul is very happy about all this, despite the fact that he has tried the marriage track numerous times before — but who’s counting? Not I.
On the other side of the coin, the three-year marriage of Barbara de Portago Tapert and William Tapert is over and out, out, out. They are in the process of a legal separation with a divorce in the offing. It was Barbara’s idea, and she thinks it’s a very good one.
Along those lines, Tony Curtis and his latest wife of the last two years, Lisa Deutch, are about to dissolve. (She’s either Tony’s fourth or fifth; one loses count.) Curtis has already reportedly hippety-hopped to his newest crush, a Playboy bunny.
Also, Diana Strawbridge Norris, the Philadelphia and Palm Beach-based Campbell Soup heiress, a partner in a billion-dollar estate with her brother George Strawbridge, finally unshackled herself from her Philadelphia lawyer husband, Charles Norris. It took seven long years to jettison Norris, plus a few million. But, Diana’s friends say, not nearly as many as he wanted.
Not one to drag her feet, Diana, 10 days ago at her Northeast Harbor, Maine, estate, married fellow Philadelphian William Wister Jr., whom she has known for much of her life. The ceremony took place on a point that juts into the ocean on Diana’s property. It’s the only way, really.
The newlyweds will divide their time among Diana’s Palm Beach residence; her horse farm, Runnymede, in the Pennsylvania hunt country, and, of course, Maine.
The ups and downs of Diana’s divorce settlement with Norris have practically made divorce history. Diana wanted the case in the Palm Beach courts; Norris insisted upon Philadelphia. First he wanted $50 million; she offered $10 million. He refused. She upped it to $20 million. He still refused. In the ensuing years it dropped back to the original offer, and that is what they finally settled for — $10 million plus some odds and ends. There’s a moral here somewhere. You figure it out. Mr. Norris probably has. He was once in the CIA. On second thought…
Jane March, the young beauty of “The Lover” and “Color of Night,” and her film producer husband, Carmine Zozzora, are expecting their first child, and, boy or girl, may it look like Jane.
Quentin Tarantino, who directed the sensational “Pulp Fiction,” is offering a major star role in his next, “Four Rooms,” to — oh, well — Madonna. “This is not a roomer,” wrote someone who’s close to the action. I forgive you.
The catty pack in Paris, sick and tired — and also jealous — of seeing supermagician David Copperfield at every lighted candle in the city — parties, fashion extravaganzas, dog and pony shows (just kidding), you name it — wish he’d do a presto-changeo and make himself disappear. Pas du tout. Not while the mad horde of photographers is around to catch his every move, thereby guaranteeing him his lifeblood, publicity. And certainly not while his sexy fiancée, Claudia Schiffer, lips pouting and breasts jutting, heats up the runways (while he watches) all day and celebrates with him all night. The dynamic duo were at the Céline fashion show at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées along with Evelyn Bouix, once married to Claude Lelouch; Natalie Baye; Marthe Keller and Roman Polanski with his wife, the seductive Emmanuelle Seignier, all primped and preened. The topic of conversation was the news that Maruschka Detmers, the Dutch beauty who took off all her clothes and did the wild thing totally naked in Goddard’s flick, “First Name Carmen,” has just been set to play opposite Dolph Lundgren in “The Shooter,” which will be filmed in Prague. Several people yawned. It gets harder and harder to make Paris sizzle.
A new model hitting the catwalks calls herself Jacinta Vales Campbell, and some think she looks a lot like Naomi Campbell although they are not related. Jacinta dreamed the name up herself because of the likeness. Naomi, they say, seems more flattered than bothered by the imitation. Maybe because Jacinta’s praise includes such darling remarks as, “Naomi is extraordinary, and I hope to become just like her — nothing like that Barbie doll Claudia Schiffer.” Jacinta, ducks, you should live so long.
Real Estate Notes From All Over: Supposedly, Michael Jackson and the little woman — you know who I mean — is keen to snap up Leona and Harry Helmsley’s 28-room Connecticut estate, Dunellen Hall, theirs (or yours) for a nice, round figure, $7.5 million. The neo-Gothic palazzo has hardly had a happy history. Former owner, the steel baron Loring Washington, had to sell when he went broke; another businessman owner killed himself and a third owner declared bankruptcy. And then there’s Leona.
That maverick of master tailors, Edward Sexton, has new digs in London; he’s now in Knightsbridge, right next door to San Lorenzo, Princess Diana’s favorite restaurant (or trysting place?) and nose-to-nose with Bruce Oldfield, the top London designer. Bruce and Edward chatter away across adjoining terraces after a hard day’s work fitting all those picky-picky lords and ladies.
Edward Sexton may have moved, but he hasn’t left his old pals behind. Linda McCartney was in to be outfitted for her American tour and Flavio Briatore, the leader of Benetton’s Formula One racing team, let his engines cool long enough to pick up a few suits, the latest in off-track gear. Here in New York, Bill Blass and Kenny Lane are big Sexton fans, and Glenn Bernbaum of the Mortimer’s Bernbaums has either 20 or 30 Sexton suits. La!
(On Friday, this column will try to catch up with the parties, including the one given by Nin Ryan at home to celebrate John Russell, the art historian and critic, whose beautiful new book, “London,” defines superlative.)