Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Paul Bettany relinquishes his Prince of Sex velvet cape and parking pass, Sean Penn's sporadic anger management therapy is going well, and Katy Perry's father has stern words for "the jew."
Hotelier and serial famous lady dater Andres Balazs apparently "lost out on his bid to turn the historic downtown landmark Temple Court into a 200-room hotel," which looked like a done deal last month One source suggests to Page Six that last year Balazs "put down a sizable deposit of his own money, said to be as much as $5 million, [but] struggled to get financing for the renovation and the deal collapsed, losing his deposit." Another source says, somewhat more mysteriously, that Balazs "pulled out of the deal before Christmas for reasons nothing to do with financing." Page Six is hearing that GFI Capital Resources,
which owns the Ace Hotel chain, is interested in acquiring the property, though their reps didn't respond to phone calls. Amended: A spokesman for Ace Hotels informs us that GFI doesn't actually own the hotel chain, but does have an ownership interest in some of their properties, and helped oversee construction of their New York and Palm Springs locations. [Page Six]
It was only a matter of time before Katy Perry's fundamentalist father preacher Keith Hudson made an elaborate and confusing string of anti-Semitic remarks involving unidentified Jews in Los Angeles, the city where his daughter's getting divorced from Russell Brand. Said Brand in his address: "You know how to make the Jew jealous? Have some money, honey. Walk down a part of L.A. where we live and it is so rich it smells. You ever smell rich? They are all Jews, hallelujah! Amen." We're still unclear if those remarks were aimed at Brand, who is not Jewish, or the culture of Hollywood that turned his daughter into a big star and enabled her to express herself creatively. In the meantime, the anti-Defamation league has gone ahead and deemed Hudson's comments "anti-semitic," which feels reasonable. [New York Daily News]
Sean Penn had a progress hearing yesterday in Los Angles to see if the two-time Academy Award winner has learned to be sociable and knocked off the casual paparazzi kicking that got him sentenced to 300 hours community service and 36 hours in anger management class back in 2010. Penn didn't attend the hearing, but his lawyer and guidance counselor did, and they both agree the actor is making strides when it comes to keeping his self-righteous, physically abusive side in check. Good for Sean Penn, but the good feelings are overshadowed slightly by the councelor's acknowledgement that so far, Penn has attended just one of his three required anger management classes. Here's the video of the pointing, flailing, and restrained kicking that got Penn in all this trouble. [TMZ]
Armond White, the fussily contrarian film critic and City Arts editor, was apparently not on his best behavior Monday night at the at the 77th annual New York Film Critics Circle Awards. White hosted the event last year but was just a guy named Armond during Monday's proceedings, which didn't stop him from registering "his opinions and non sequiturs from the crowd nevertheless, yelling The Good Shepherd! while Robert De Niro was speaking and shouting the name of the second black actress to be nominated for an Oscar — 'Ethel Waters!' — twice while Viola Davis was on the stage." That type of behavior seems to skirt the line between the odd and the unwell, but at least one Atlantic Wire hand -- who somewhat crazily considers The Good Shepherd to be the best film of the past 25 years and the equal of the first two Godfather pictures -- was pleased and surprised to discover that White hailed the film as a masterpiece in his original review. Which still doesn't explain why he twice felt the need to yell something about The Good Shepherd at Robert De Niro in a public forum, but we all have our reasons. [Vulture]
Patti Davis is playing a concert Thursday night at the old Chelsea Hotel. The property is now owned by Joseph Chetrit, the developer who is trying to get the Supreme Court to evict the 70 or so layabouts who are refusing to leave the iconic downtown lodging, It sounds harmless, but two nameless New Yorkers tell Gothamist: "We really hope we can get the word out and get Patti to cancel." It seems they're very concerned that Davis might not know that "the person sponsoring her upcoming event, Joseph Chetrit, is the same developer who took Stanley Bard’s beloved hotel away from him and his family. And surely she is unaware that this is the same Joseph Chetrit whose demolition crews recently gutted over a hundred historic Chelsea Hotel rooms." As of this afternoon, the private concert still appears to be on, Joseph Chetrit be damned. [Gothamist]
What is it that Steven Spielberg actually contributes to the countless TV shows where he's credited as an executive producer? That questioned was posed to Zack Eskrin, one of the four executive producers (counting Spielberg) on ABC's spooky-looking midseason fill-in The River, was predictably complimentary when asked about Spielberg's contributions at a Television Critics of America session yesterday, praising the director's influence with stories, his influence when he watches the cuts is amazing." But when the panel was over, fellow River executive producer Michael Green appeared to downplay the amount of input his staff is taking from one of the greatest living directors. "Mostly, what we hear from Steven filters through his executives,” Green says. “He’ll weigh in with key points while we’re in development of the series and in the seasonal arc, where he weighed in quite a bit in our case. Once we’re in production, his executives will forward us his emails.” According to Green, those emails "typically highlight adjustments Spielberg would like to see made to make certain moments fly higher." Green concedes, they're not all home runs. “Sometimes it’s a wonderful idea,” the producer said, “and sometimes it’s not exactly what we want to do but it’s always cool to hear it. (His ideas) are never not worth our time.” Because he's the boss. And also Steven Spielberg. So in addition to knowing how to make Jaws, he also knows how not to make 1941. That information is hard to price on. [Deadline]
Universal has agreed to extend the production deal of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment through 2016, though the terms of the new pact seem to allow the occupational version of taking separate vacations. According to Mike Fleming, the new arrangement means "Howard will be able to direct more films elsewhere, and Grazer can produce at other studios." He adds that with the extension, "the Imagine deal has shifted from an exclusive to a first-look deal." The last deal Imagine had with Universal is up at the end of 2013, and the two sides have been squabbling over production costs of late, most notably on Imagine's plan to make three pricey features and a TV spin-off program from Stephen King's Dark Tower novels. Universal pulled the plug on that project, prompting Grazer to search all over town for someone else to back it, and returning with vague proclamations about Netflix possibly being interested. [Deadline]
Singer k.d. Lang is apparently splitting from girlfriend Jamie Price after eight years of dating. Though they met back in 2003, Lang's legal team is playing hardball, claiming the couple "registered for a domestic partnership in 2009 -- and separated 1 year and 9 months later ... in August 2011." Lang's reportedly already begun work to have their domestic partnership dissolved. No reason yet on the cause of the split. [Us Weekly, TMZ]
Beyonce wasn't the only person to give birth this fortnight: Fox News Channel correspondent Molly Henneberg and her husband Chris Nagel welcomed Jacquelyn Amanda Henneberg Nagel at 5:55 a.m. on December 29. We admit, that's slightly stale (but still miraculous!) birth news, but we feel it's important to make sure famous people babies not named Blue Ivy know we're watching out for them too. Mother and daughter both appear healthy, while Jacklyn weighed in at 7 pounds 12 ounces, for those who like to keep track of the birth weights on D.C. media types. [TV Newswer]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.