Jewish World Review Nov. 24, 2003 / 29 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764
Georgette's pilfered baubles; prosecutor of pop?; absent but not missed?; Norman Mailer's prescription for education reform; more
NEW YORK Republican fundraiser and socialite Georgette Mosbacher lost a rumored $500,000 worth of jewelry to a thief at a Paris airport last week.
Mosbacher told me that somebody stole her Louis Vuitton bag containing her laptop, her cell phone, her diamonds and her gold Tuesday morning as she was checking in to the Air France counter at Charles de Gaulle Airport to fly back to New York.
She had been in Paris for a couple of days on business, she said.
As for the half-million figure, "I don't want to put a number on it, but it was substantial," said the ex-wife of former Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher.
"The people at the Air France counter didn't seem too concerned," she added. "One of them told me, 'This kind of thing happens all the time.'"
Air France corporate communications director Jim Faulkner said: "We're very sorry that this happened, and I would encourage her to file a written report with our customer relations office in Fort Lauderdale, and they will look into it and see how they might be able to assist her."
Mosbacher laughed mirthlessly when I passed on Faulkner's suggestion, saying she has hired a private investigator to help the French police.
This is her second jewelry ordeal. In 1990, she was robbed at gunpoint of her wedding band, wristwatch and other baubles worth $30,000 as she stepped off on elevator in New York's Barbizon Hotel.
This time, Mosbacher declined to specify her jewelry losses, saying French authorities advised her that such publicity might hamper the search. She said she has filed an insurance claim, and cancelled her credit cards and cell phone account.
"Losing the cell phone and the laptop, which has all my information on it, is even worse than losing the jewelry," she said. "But really this is very difficult for me to talk about with everything that's going on in the world the bombings in Turkey and the war in Iraq. Really, what happened to me was nothing. Who cares?"
PROSECUTOR OF POP?
We know that Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon isn't a Michael Jackson fan.
But what about New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer?
The night of Jackson's arrest for alleged child molestation, Spitzer and his wife Silda were dancing up a storm at the Fresh Air Fund Fall Benefit at Chelsea Piers where the DJ was spinning "Thriller," "Billie Jean," and other hits from the onetime King of Pop.
"He can't recall the music that was being played, but he thought he was dancing," a Spitzer spokeswoman told me. "His wife might debate that point."
ABSENT BUT NOT MISSED?: The Manhattan Institute's expensively printed program for last Wednesday's Wriston Lecture at the Pierre Hotel promised that "Lord Black, Chairman & CEO, Hollinger International Inc." would be giving the introduction to George Will's talk. But the beleaguered Conrad Black, now under investigation in the United States and Britain for $32.2 million in unauthorized payments to himself and other execs, didn't show up. Why? "We had a private event," Manhattan Institute spokeswoman Lindsay Young said. "It's not really appropriate to comment."
PAY UP OR GET OUT!: My spy in the House gymnasium in Washington tells me that there's an embarrassing letter for nonpayment of dues taped to Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich's locker. "Final Notice," warns the official letter from Kucinich's fellow Ohioan, Republican Rep. Mike Oxley, chairman of the gym committee. Kucinich's press secretary Doug Gordon told me: "Congressman Kucinich didn't know anything about this until we just discussed it. He has used the gym once in the past six years. Instead of running on a treadmill, he is running around the country."
BRIGHT IDEA?: Here's Norman Mailer's prescription for education reform, articulated in the upcoming Playboy: "It would probably do more good if a portion of the proposed funds for public school education could replace fluorescent lighting in just about every classroom with old-fashioned light bulbs. The unadmitted truth is that every human being alive loses personal appeal under the flat illumination of a fluorescent tube. Children can hardly feel as ready to learn when everyone around them, including their teacher, is a hint ghastly in skin tone."
A THOUSAND CURTAIN CALLS LATER: Actress Andrea McCardle, who starred in the original production of "Annie," was at Frank Campbell's Funeral Home Thursday to share warm and fuzzy memories of Dorothy Loudon (who won a 1977 Tony for her performance as the hilariously horrible Miss Hannigan). McCardle told the mourners about "one of the first things Dorothy Loudon ever said to me" when McCardle was a mere slip of a girl in the musical's title role. "She came over and said, 'If you ever move while I'm doing something funny on stage, you will not make it to the curtain call.'" Loudon died of cancer Nov. 15 at age 70.
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© 2003, Creators Syndicate