Byline: Aileen Mehle

If they gave a Backstabbers Ball in Movieland, they could fill the Hollywood Bowl. Now it’s James Spader who’s taking the heat. The gossip goes that the huge success of MGM’s new sci-fi epic “Stargate” has gone to its star’s — Spader’s — handsome head to such a degree that he’s turned down a starring role with toothsome Rebecca DeMornay in a new thriller. The reason being he won’t play “second string” to her. A woman is only a woman, but you’ve got to watch out behind you.

If they gave a Backstabbers Ball in Model-land, they could fill Yankee Stadium. The latest lovely to get it between the eyes is Naomi Campbell. The gossip goes that she’d better not give up her day job. Naomi’s much-hyped first novel “Swan” failed to take the literary world by storm, and her hugely publicized debut album “Babywoman” has sold — as of yesterday — just 175 copies. A woman is only a woman, but long legs are here to stay.

Their friends keep saying that for Christmas, Gary Oldman is going to give Isabella Rossellini him, and she’s going to give him her. Which is sort of a cute way of saying they’ll marry then. (Not really cute — just sort of.)

Ellen Barkin, in the process of divorcing Gabriel Byrne, and David Arquette, brother of Rosanna, are said to be a romance. Ellen says they’re just good friends. David has nothing whatsoever to say. Maybe when Rosanna Arquette is described as sister of David, he’ll be a little more talkative. A woman is only a woman, but when she gets top billing, it kind of takes the starch out of a fellow. You know what I mean?

Sylvester Stallone is spending every spare minute with his latest love, the alluring young Austrian-born model Andrea Weiser. They say he wants to bring her back to the U.S. with him when he finishes filming his latest movie. And that he plans to make an honest woman of her via wedding bells. Andrea is 26 years younger than Sly, which can be sort of fun — or sort of silly. Whatever, he probably won’t need to send her to that famous plastic surgeon, who has chopped and channeled wives and lovers before. To the point that when they wear a Wonderbra, there’s no room for anybody else on the bus.

Speaking of that sort of thing, Jessica Lange, co-starring — as if you didn’t know — with Liam Neeson in the kilts-ahoy flick “Rob Roy,” admits her lovely figure is a paean to good genes — but she’s changed her views on plastic surgery. “Five years ago, I would have said no way,” says la Lange. “But as you age, you start thinking — well, there’s always that option.” Keep us posted.
As for Liam, he’ll have another screen legend at his side for his next. Meryl Streep will co-star with him and Edward Furlong in the family drama “Before and After,” based on Rosellen Brown’s novel about a couple in turmoil after their son is arrested on a murder charge. Those halcyon days when movies were about rich people falling in love and having a good time are gone forever. I wish William Goldman would hurry up and write one and make us all happy.

“He’s extremely helpful, he’s extraordinarily perceptive and he loves that work, which is great — and we usually got a couple of good laughs on the set each day, which is all we needed.” Thus spake Sigourney Weaver in high praise of Roman Polanski, who directed her in “Death and the Maiden.” Those who have seen the movie say the great rapport between Roman and Sigourney really shows up there on the big screen. Not too much, we all hope. I mean, they’re both married, and besides, she’s way too tall for him.

People who dabble in London real estate swear the perfect pad for Princess Diana could be right next door to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, No. 12 Eaton Square in Belgravia. It’s a simpleh loveleh flat with six bedrooms, five bathrooms, six reception rooms and three kitchens. There’s even an elevator, and it’s hers — or yours even — for a teeny-tiny 10 mil. Dollars, not pounds, thank heaven.

Prince Edward flies into town tomorrow for a private preview of “Sunset Boulevard” tomorrow night. Charles F. Smithers Jr. of the PaineWebber Smitherses, will host a pre-theater reception in the company’s executive headquarters, where the guest of honor will be Thomas Labrecque, the big man at Chase Manhattan. The whole evening is a benefit — aren’t they all? — for Prince Edward’s interests, for Outward Bound and for the East Side House Settlement, which the Smithers family founded.
Lester Lanin, the British royal family’s favorite music man, will play at the after-theater supper party at the Marriot Marquis as a special favor to Prince Edward, just as he played at Edward’s 21st birthday party in 1985 at Windsor Castle. Dear Lester.

Over the weekend in Washington, all social roads led to Blair House, the beautiful residence that serves as the guest house for very special guests of the President of the United States and the First Lady. There was a huge Sunday lunch in the house and garden for The Friends of Blair House, those wonderful people from all over the country who give money to keep the house restored and running smoothly, and about 250 people milled through the rooms decorated by New York’s very own interior designers, Mario Buatta and Mark Hampton, who were both there. In person. The lunch was hosted by Molly Raiser, the attractive chief of protocol, who made a pretty picture not only at the midday meal, but at dinner that night in the Diplomatic Rooms of the State Department, where Lady Thatcher of the United Kingdom Thatchers and Ambassador Madeleine Albright, our lady at the United Nations, waxed eloquent about Blair House and other matters, more or less holding the crowd in thrall.
The Hon. Selwa Roosevelt, Lucky for short, chief of protocol during part of the Reagan administration, ran the weekend show, presiding as a co-chairman along with Mrs. Robert Charles, Mrs. Jack Massey and Mrs. William Nitze as co-chairs of the luncheon, and popping into a beautiful black velvet Bill Blass, breathtakingly low cut, but filled in a mite with a pearl necklace, to introduce the swells from the podium at the State Department dinner.
Before all this, there was a reception at the White House for the group, and although Bill Clinton was out trying to win votes for the Democrats, Hillary Rodham Clinton graciously received each and every donor filing through a long line, and thanked them in her little speech for supporting Blair House.
At dinner, one of the loveliest women in the room was Donna Kay McLarty of the Arkansas McLartys, chic in black and looking born to the purple. But more of all this on Friday, including what former ambassador Anne Cox Chambers said about the way the Clintons entertain (magnificently) and why wild game pie is not really the ideal entree at a large gathering, no matter what.
Also on Friday, read all about the Save Venice concert and dinner on the St. Regis roof and bits and pieces on the dramatis personae, among them those two beauties Mrs. David (Maria) Murdock, the chair of the evening, and Mrs. Frank (Nancy) Richardson, who was looking rather Alice in Wonderland. With a headband, yet.

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