There is a rumor going around that Bill Clinton totes kissed Gina Gershon. Perhaps you first heard of this rumor here? 30,000 of you might have. This rumor got reported as one of the many things unnamed Clinton "advisors" were worried about in the recent Vanity Fair piece about Bill Clinton's messy business dealings and possibly scandalous personal life. Which led to Bill calling the piece's reporter a "scumbag" and now, because of the heat and probably because of Britney Spears' tears-of-a-clown-car, popular actress Gina Gershon denied sexing the former president on Regis and Kelly this morning. This is, of course, Ron Burkle's fault.

The supermarket magnate introduced Gershon and Clinton at some dinner party. Poor Burkle. Now he'll never get that open invitation to the corridors of power!

Burkle sat down with L.A. Weekly for a lengthy and revealing interview just before the VF story went up, and for a guy who has billions of dollar and fucks whomever he likes on his private jet, he's a defensive sad-sack and depressingly un-self-reflective.

The billionaire seemed sincere in his fondness for Clinton, and although he didn’t say it outright, Burkle seemed offended by the idea that he used Clinton simply to make more billions. Burkle, though, apparently forgot statements he made to Forbes. In a December 11, 2006, piece titled “The Rise of Ron Burkle,” the billionaire described Clinton’s post-presidency work for Yucaipa as “invaluable,” noting, “My best call in corporate America isn’t one-hundredth of what President Clinton is just picking up the phone and saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got this idea, want to come talk about it?’”

Burkle also reveals more about the odd Page Six extortion scandal that made him a Gawker Celebrity. The basic story: Page Six realized that Bill's association with a swingin' billionaire conincided nicely with the Post's unspoken political aims, and they began insinuating many things about Ron and Bill. Then, either Burkle met with Page Six writer Jared Paul Stern to arrange a truce and was then extorted, or he lured Stern to a meeting by offering to fund his clothing company. Then he accused Stern of extortion and got him fired. No charges were ever filed.

It was all part of Burkle's attempt to get to Rupert Murdoch, a billionaire with the kind of power and political acumen Burkle wishes he had. Amusingly, Burkle's attempt to get the Post to be nice to him and Bill probably had the opposite effect. While Hillary made successful inroads toward courting Rupert during her Senate run, the Post (and Rupert) quickly returned to Clinton-bashing form as she began to lose to upstart Barack Obama. Of course, according to Ron, if he really cared about that sort of thing he'd just call his good buddy Rupe up on their Red Billionaire Phones:

Burkle openly admits he’s hardly above trying to manipulate the media. He says Stern is wrong about the details of their dustup, and that if he really wanted to get to Murdoch, he would merely have called him up — billionaire to billionaire — and “cut a deal.” In fact, Burkle says, “Murdoch wishes he made a deal.”

And then him and Richard Branson and Warren Buffet would go out for ice cream.

Now Burkle would like to be a go-between for Hillary and Obama but neither Hillary nor Obama actually like him, so whatever. He still has lots of money, though, and the general election is young!