Jewish World Review Jan. 21, 2004 / 27 Teves, 5764

Lloyd Grove

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Consumer Reports

Ridiculous lives of the self-important stars; long arm of the law; all's fair in love and literature | PARK CITY, Utah — Thousands of film buffs and hundreds of celebrities — led by That Couple, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, along with the incorrigible Paris Hilton — have descended like ravenous locusts on this fancy little resort.

Plenty of low-budget indie movies are being shown and snapped up by major distributors — because that, ostensibly, is what Robert Redford's 20-year-old Sundance Film Festival is all about. That, and skiing in gorgeous weather on perfect, powdery snow.

But as a veteran Sundance attendee told me Monday: "Forget about the snow. Sundance is all about the free swag!"

Translation: Grabby celebs loading up on luxury freebies from the festival's official and unofficial corporate sponsors — everything from chauffeured Mercedes-Benz G Wagons ("Ooohh, silver! That's my favorite color!" Paris squealed) to high-end electronics at the Motorola boutique to rich body creams at the Kiehl's emporium.

Here is our exclusive report.


Days before Demi and Ashton even hit town for Saturday's premiere of Kutcher's movie "The Butterfly Effect," their detailed "requests" had been transmitted to the corporate hospitality center on Main St., the Village at the Lift.

Before long, I'm told, the frantic Village concierge was rushing around town to outfit the couple in free skis, ski boots, apres-ski boots, goggles, jackets, pants, long underwear and gloves. They were the only celebs who made such challenging requests.

Saturday afternoon, Ashton went snowboarding while Demi got a massage at the Fred Segal Beauty Spa. Next door, the Fred Segal boutique barred all other celebs so that Demi could enjoy splendid isolation as she stocked up on Le Mystere lingerie, including a bra and a thong; Lee jeans; Silhouette sunglasses; and "a whole bunch of cashmere sweaters from Jones NY" for the three daughters she shares with ex-hubby Bruce Willis.

Fans crowded around the boutique clutching cameras and pens and paper waiting for her to emerge. That night at the no-press premiere party, Demi downed can after can of Red Bull.

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On Sunday she strolled to the Motorola Lodge, raking in goodies from the Kiehl's room, even cadging a special bath gel on the display-only table. She received some bronzing at Mystic Tan. She spotted a copy of Star magazine — apparently not her favorite reading matter — and snatched it up (maybe so no one else could read it).

"Who could blame her?" asked her publicist, Stephen Huvane.


This column hears that Paris Hilton had a reunion of sorts Monday night with her video co-star, Rick Solomon.

Spies at the Sundance Film Festival saw Paris's ex-boyfriend in the PlayStation 2 Lodge — a converted sushi restaurant on Main St. — standing near the stage as the irrepressible Paris entertained the celeb-glutted crowd with a karaoke performance.

As she crooned a sultry rendition of "Bette Davis Eyes," many of the eyes in the audience — belonging to the likes of Naomi Watts, Heath Ledger, Laura Dern and Aisha Tyler — swiveled abruptly to Solomon.

When Solomon realized that folks were looking at him instead of the attention-craving Paris — who in their notorious video kept maneuvering him out of camera range — he started chuckling.

Paris, in yet another striking similarity to the video, gave no sign that she even registered his presence.

But current beau Nick Carter, of Backstreet Boys fame, sure seemed to. After Paris finished the Kim Carnes tune, Carter climbed on stage to show off his own singing prowess.

An hour later, Paris sang the Lionel Richie song "Hello" to her partner in crime, Nicole Richie. "This is for my 'Simple Life' b-tch," Paris announced by way of introduction."I love you!"

Afterward, Nicole leapt on stage to give Paris a big smooch.

Audience members claimed that the Hilton girl isn't all that bad. "She has a really good voice," one said.


LONG ARM OF THE LAW: The California prosecutors in the Michael Jackson trial are reaching all the way to New Jersey in their case against the accused child molester. Us Weekly reports that the day before Jackson's Jan. 15 arraignment, an investigator for Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon phoned longtime Jackson pals Vinnie Amen and Frank Tyson. Allegedly, New Jerseyites Amen and Tyson worked under Jackson adviser Marc Schaffel, a former gay-porn producer, to keep the family of the pop star's 14-year-old accuser under wraps and happy. An "insider" tells the magazine: "Frank and Vinnie took them on shopping trips, but it was Schaffel who paid all the money and was in charge."

ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND LITERATURE: Some folks are quibbling with this column's report that New Yorker editor David Remnick suggested to Ron Suskind that fired Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill would be a dandy subject for a New Yorker profile. I'm told that Suskind already had been talking to O'Neill when he first discussed the idea with Remnick. In the end, there was no magazine article — just a best-selling book.

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© 2003, Creators Syndicate