Jewish World Review Dec. 4, 2003 / 9 Kislev, 5764
The war of the gest-minnellis; something borrowed, something cashmere; fashion trendsetter, nailed!
NEW YORK Liza Minnelli's estranged and, let's be honest, strange husband David Gest is planning to take his complaints to network television.
I'm told he's been talking to producers at "Dateline NBC" about various possibilities, ranging from a sit-down interview to an entire hour at the end of the year.
A "Dateline" spokeswoman stopped just short of confirming the Gest appearance. "While we are very interested in his story, nothing has been scheduled yet."
The 50-year-old Gest is suing the 57-year-old Minnelli for $10 million, claiming she subjected him to drunken, physically violent rages that caused neurological damage and persistent headaches.
Minnelli is countersuing Gest for at least $2 million, claiming that he stole from her.
Gest's divorce lawyer, Raoul Felder, confirmed Wednesday that he has agreed to go on camera.
Will the interview cover his allegations against Minnelli?
"I don't even want to get into that," Felder answered. "He doesn't talk about her directly. He tries not to talk about her directly."
Gest's Los Angeles publicist, a well-known and venerable Hollywood player who asked that his name not be used, at first suggested that the warring parties are bound by an agreement not to discuss each other.
But in a later interview this man said: "From what I've learned, there is no agreement. David says that he chooses not to discuss his marriage . . . 'Dateline' might give David an entire hour, mainly about the medical treatment that he's gone through for the last seven months."
PR maven Liz Rosenberg, speaking as "a friend of Liza's," told me that Minnelli also has been approached by "Dateline," but "she's not going to be making any public statements about the end of her marriage."
Rosenberg added, "I don't think she'll be watching" the "Dateline" episode, "and it's highly doubtful that she is going to respond in kind if there are accusations or whatever the program is going to be."
Will Rosenberg be watching?
"I could say that I'd rather eat s - out of a garbage pail, but I'm not gonna go there," she responded with a laugh.
FASHION TRENDSETTER, NAILED!: As editor in chief of Allure, the nation's biggest beauty magazine, Linda Wells is paid to keep up appearances. So what was she doing Tuesday night in proletarian Bloomie Nails, a run-of-the-mill nail salon on West 23rd St.? This column was there around 9 p.m. when a man looking very much like Wells' chauffeur rushed in asking if anyone had seen his employer's cell phone and pocket-sized computer which she absent-mindedly left behind at a drying station. When all the manicurists shook their heads, the man announced, "I'll get her!" and ran outside.
Before long, Wells herself came in from the cold, her nose bright red, her face without makeup. Warming herself in a fancy black fur jacket, she located her possessions and disappeared into the night. Moral of the story: Sometimes even a high-priestess of beauty needs a quickie $10 manicure. Reached late Wednesday, Wells told me breathlessly: "Right now I'm on my way to Best Buy to get a $29 DVD player. I just hope I don't get trampled."
SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING CASHMERE: I hear that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., spent nearly an hour posing in a black Calvin Klein cashmere sweater and velvet jacket for singer-photographer Bryan Adams at Chelsea Piers Tuesday afternoon. The resulting portrait will be featured alongside those of Sarah Jessica Parker, Nan Kempner and other women in Adams' book to be published next spring to raise money for breast cancer research.
At one point during the shoot, the possible future presidential candidate noticed that Adams was looking good himself. "Bryan, hand me the camera so I can take your picture," she joked. By the way, Senate rules forbid her accepting expensive gifts, so she left the duds behind.
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© 2003, Creators Syndicate