We'd be remiss if we let the day go by without noting this: Harper's editor Lewis Lapham testified in fugitive director Roman Polanski's London libel trial against Vanity Fair yesterday, recounting under oath the anecdote at the center of the suit. The article in question was about Elaine's restaurant, on the Upper East Side, and it repeated Lapham's account of an August 1969 evening there that involved himself, Polanski, and a Scandinavian model Beatte Telle.
"He began to praise her beauty and speak to her, romance her," Mr. Lapham recounted, speaking of Mr. Polanski and Ms. Telle, strangers until that moment. "At one point he had his hand on her leg and he said to her: 'I can put you in the movies. I can make you the next Sharon Tate.'"
Testifying in a libel case setting Mr. Polanski, 71, against Vanity Fair magazine, which reported the anecdote in an article in July 2002, Mr. Lapham said that the incident was embedded in his memory. "I was impressed by the remark, not only because it was tasteless and vulgar, but because it was a clich ," he said.
Whereas Lapham sharing cocktails at Elaine's with a movie director and a model, hey, that's fresh and original.