Jewish World Review June 30, 2004 / 11 Tamuz, 5764
Paul Bremer's rich narrative; lonely rich guy?; Jessica Simpson, patron airhead?; more
NEW YORK This week, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III our man in Baghdad presided over the handover of sovereignty to the latest government in Iraq.
But in coming weeks, this career public servant is looking at a different kind of handover namely, of large amounts of cash into his personal bank account.
The 62-year-old Bremer, who spent most of professional life in the State Department and braved the past year in a well-defended bunker as the U.S. proconsul in Iraq, has enlisted International Creative Management founder Marvin Josephson to sell a book about his experiences.
Bremer is also in the market for a high-powered lecture agent to broker well-paid speaking appearance dates.
But at least one prominent publisher probably won't be in the hunt Public Affairs Books honcho Peter Osnos.
"There's a phenomenon in America where people who have spent a lifetime in public service, and then at the first sign that they can do a book they try to cash in," Osnos told me Tuesday, noting that he has never paid higher than a $75,000 advance.
"The reflex is that a moment of service justifies a big reward. The Clintons are the ne plus ultra of that. After leaving the White House, they've made $30 million that's around $4 million for every year in office, about what the CEO of a Fortune 500 company makes. But what happened to public service for it's own sake? In our system, public service is a privilege."
Bremer's literary agent, Josephson, chuckled at Osnos's observation.
"This is America," Josephson told me Tuesday. "Either you believe in the marketplace or you don't. . . . I don't think Ambassador Bremer will be selling his book for $75,000."
Josephson continued: "I don't want to put any numbers on it, but I am talking to publishers about whether they have an interest in meeting with Ambassador Bremer, and we have gotten a very positive response. He has an extraordinary story to tell."
Josephson added that Bremer can expect to earn lecture fees on the scale of such ICM clients as Henry Kissinger, Tommy Franks and Colin Powell.
"He has not picked anyone to represent him for lectures, but he'll be meeting with a number of top people in that field," Josephson said.
What about a network television contract?
"It's way premature on that," Josephson said. "He's first going to be dealing with getting a book done and making speeches."
LONELY RICH GUY?
Chris Heinz might be one of People magazine's "50 Hottest Bachelors," but apparently he's not getting any action.
Or so the 31-year-old ketchup heir wants the world to believe.
"I think I'm the only person who hasn't hooked up because of the campaign. Because I'm deathly afraid to," Heinz confided to this column at Monday night's posh fundraiser for stepdad John Kerry at furniture mogul Eric Villency's TriBeCa palace.
"Campaigns are very young, but I only meet people for one or two nights at a time, max, unless I'm here in New York or in L.A. That's not a good model for me" presumably he meant "model for living," not supermodel Karolina Kurkova. "I've never been that guy. I wish! Or I used to wish, anyhow. I don't wish now."
Was that a tone of mild self-pity creeping into the handsome, single millionaire's celibacy claim?
What about all those promising reports about a relationship with "Troy" actress Diane Kruger?
"That's a rumor," Heinz lamented. "She's a friend of mine. We all run in the same group here. I do know her, but I'm single. I should be so lucky!"
Can somebody, please, get this guy a date?
HISTORY LESSON: The epic movie "King Arthur" isn't just escapist eye-candy about gallantry and courage in a mythical time gone by. Megaproducer Jerry Bruckheimer told me at Monday night's premiere party that the fact-based screenplay about a brotherhood of knights who bravely stood their ground in Britain while their Roman clients fled from the Saxon hordes "was really about Vietnam when it was first turned in. There have been Special Forces all throughout history." Then came the trouble in Iraq. "History keeps repeating itself."
JESSICA SIMPSON, PATRON AIRHEAD?: The ditzy star of "Newlyweds" has apparently saved an entire Argentine village by constantly wearing various locally made crocheted, hand-dyed knit wraps on her hit MTV show. Us Weekly reports that the humble people of Florencia Varela, a dirt-poor town just outside Buenos Aires, are working overtime to meet popular demand for shopaholic Simpson's signature fashion accessory. "My business has grown like crazy!" says Argentine designer Cecilia De Bucourt, who sells the wraps for $200 apiece. "I can't keep up with demand!" As for her workers, they once had trouble feeding their children. But now "the kids in (De Bucourt's) village can eat, and they can go to schools that they couldn't go to," says Simpson's mom, Tina.
WOMEN AT WORK: Fifty-five of the nation's top CEOs including Oyxgen's Geraldine Laybourne, Court TV's Henry Schleiff and Playboy's Christie Hefner have agreed to grant hour-long audiences to the winners of Women for Hire in the Boardroom, a contest in which more than 2,000 applicants are competing for executive facetime and high-dollar jobs. Interview prospects have till July 16 to make their pitches at www.womenforhire.com, and a panel of judges will choose. Kinda like "The Apprentice," but slower.
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© 2003, Creators Syndicate