Nathan Lane turns 54 today. Novelist Paul Auster is turning 63. Public relations heavyweight Howard Rubenstein is 78. Actress Isla Fisher is turning 34. Actress (and Gwyneth mom) Blythe Danner is turning 67. Actress Maura Tierney is 45. Director Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer) turns 43. Real estate heiress Denise LeFrak is 68. Morgan Fairchild is turning 60. And Tallulah Belle Willis, the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, celebrates her 16th birthday today.
This week's issue of New York has come up with a list of the 12 most powerful people in town. (Well, the 11 most powerful behind Michael Bloomberg, that is.) They are (in no particular order): Al Sharpton, Howard Rubenstein, Sheldon Silver, Stephen Ross, Jamie Dimon, Herb Pardes, Anna Wintour, Andrew Cuomo, Mike Fishman, Chuck Schumer, and Rupert Murdoch. [NYM]
Graydon Carter, Robert De Niro, and Ron Perelman hosted a Vanity Fair-sponsored dinner at the State Supreme Court House last night to celebrate the opening of the Tribeca Film Festival. They were joined by Carter and De Niro's wives (Anna Scott Carter and Grace Hightower) and Tribeca Film Fest co-founders Craig Hatkoff and Jane Rosenthal, as well as a long list of guests, including Bono and Ali Hewson, Kanye West, Diane von Furstenberg, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Tory Burch and Lyor Cohen, André Leon Talley, Fran Lebowitz, Spike Lee ... (continued)
Nathan Lane turns 53 today. Public relations maestro Howard Rubenstein is 77. Blythe Danner is turning 66. Author Paul Auster is turning 62. Real estate heiress Denise LeFrak Calicchio is 67. Actress (and Sacha Baron Cohen fiancée) Isla Fisher is 33. Morgan Fairchild is celebrating her 59th. Actress Maura Tierney is celebrating her 44th. Daddy Yankee is turning 32. And Tallulah Belle Willis, the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, turns 15 today.
Well, I've read Phil Weiss's New York mag story on sex-perv maybe-millionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein twice now, but I just keep coming back to this early paragraph, from when Phil's sitting in publicist Howard Rubenstein's office with Epstein: "When I said we were interested in the agony of his ordeal, Rubenstein wrote out the word agony in capital letters on his pad. But agony seemed the last thing on Epstein's soul. 'It's the Icarus story, someone who flies too close to the sun,' I said. 'Did Icarus like massages?' Epstein asked." Which says, it seems, that Epstein's life is a disaster because he's tone-deaf and without a clue. And something about Howard, too. [NY]
Last week, we met young Maximilia "Ava" Cordero, who says she was degraded by maybe-millionaire money manager and sex disaster Jeffrey Epstein; her 57-year-old lover filed suit on her behalf against Epstein. Today, the NY Post has significantly advanced the storyline, claiming that Ms. Cordero is a man; she "was born Maximillian Cordero in 1983, records show." So that's why we couldn't find out anything about her—but the Post and their publicist who is also Jeffrey Epstein's publicist Howard Rubenstein sure could! "It wouldn't surprise me if the next claim was from the Loch Ness monster," says Epstein's lawyer. Really? Do you think that if you compare a transsexual to an immense and mysterious sea creature that we're still not going to believe he had sex with her? Or some actual sea critters, for that matter?
Probable non-billionaire money manager and massage enthusiast Jeffrey Epstein "has agreed to plead guilty to soliciting underage prostitutes at his Florida mansion in a deal that will send him to prison for about 18 months," says the New York Post. He'll also get some quiet house arrest time. The Post claims that the feds will drop their own investigation for his pleading guilty to the Florida state charges. Could be true! Since the feds don't ever talk, and Epstein's main lawyer didn't talk, we assume this was all put out by PR man Howard Rubenstein, in an effort to get it out early and make it blow over. This still is shocking—is Jeffrey Epstein really gonna go to jail, with Clinton-hating Ken Starr and his entourage of lawyers working on his behalf? Travesty! This is not supposed to happen to the rich!
At the highest echelons of New York's public relations world, a war over clients and status and staff is being waged. And then there's this war too: a dust-up between 5W president Ronn Torossian and the black sheep of the Rubenstein PR dynasty, Richard Rubenstein. Things we can learn from the following email exchange between the two: Richard Rubenstein has been trying to poach from Ronn. Richard's dad, New York's PR kingpin Howard Rubenstein, apparently once sued Ronn. (We can't find a record of that in a quick search, but would love to see it, if it's true.) Finally, after he destroys them all, Ronn is willing to give Richard and Steven Rubenstein jobs at his company. Aww, isn't that sweet! Also: Very unlikely! Enjoy the saber-rattling!
Those who caught the early edition of David Carr's Times column today probably noticed a new bit of reporting on the Page Six incident. Page Six had said that Ian Spiegelman's allegation that Page Six editor Richard Johnson had accepted $3,000 in bribes from restaurateur Nello Balan was incorrect, because Johnson had actually only accepted $1,000. In the article that ran in today's paper, Carr had originally reported that the other $2,000—intended for Page Six staffers Jeane Macintosh and Sean Gannon (now the Business editor)—had gone to pay for staff drinks. But that allegation was missing in the late editions of the paper, and is no longer online. So what's the deal?
Page Six's public denunciation of former employees Jared Paul Stern and Ian Spiegelman today seemed like an interesting public relations strategy. Why give Spiegelman's accusations of Page Six misconduct an airing right in the paper? So we called up the paper's PR daddy, Howard Rubenstein, to ask him about the thinking behind the item. "They said what they wanted to say publicly—and it's said by the editor—that the allegations are a disgrace, and we have nothing more to say," Rubenstein said. "And they wanted to present it all to the public." Well. Mission accomplished!
Well, we all got a good cringe out of the Times's front page story that poked a gaping hole in the Daily News's coverage of 9/11 hero Cesar Borja. (He died of a lung ailment on the day that his son was Hillary Clinton's plus-one at the State of the Union address. ) Unfortunately for the News, it didn't take the Times much research to reveal that Borja hadn't actually been "on the pile" until the Christmas Eve after 9/11. Today, the Post does their predictable fun gloaty thing. Now, to be sure, the News did a MAJOR face-plant. But it's not like the Post covered itself in glory either. And then we got this totally impartial [and anonymous] email.
Unless you subscribe, you'll have to visit your local newsstand to read this week's New Yorker profile of P.R. megastar Howard Rubenstein. Is it worth going out into this arctic wonderland and dropping $4.50, or is the piece, as Nikki Finke puts it, just "the usual CEO porn that [Ken] Auletta spins out on a semi-regular basis"? We donned our overcoats and headed into the freezing tundra of SoHo to find out. Here's what we learned when we thawed:
Worried that you haven't seen former Seventeen editor Atoosa Rubenstein's name in the news in about five days or so? Fear not! The 'Toos has hired acclaimed PR firm Rubenstein Public Relations. WWD, which reports the story, snidely suggests that the 'Toos is in good company (the firm is "known for its crisis management expertise (as in the current Michael Richards brouhaha)"), but we're going to be a bit more charitable: the 'Toos has "lots going on" what with her early exit at Hearst. And who better to help her out than the other Rubenstein, described by one wag as