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Portfolio may be struggling to keep current during these dark economic times, but editor Joanne Lipman pulled a clever maneuver when she dispatched a cute, young reporter to meet up with Salman Rushdie at the luxe resort in Mexico. The famed author took the trip to Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico to promote his new book, The Enchantress of Florence, and was given free plane tickets and accommodations in exchange for showing up at two dinners and a cocktail reception. It doesn't seem like the deal was much of a success for the hotel company: A total of eight paying guests turned up for the two dinners. But that gave Rushdie plenty of time to open up about really important stuff, like Dancing with the Stars, Kim Kardashian, and his busy social life.

When the reporter, Sophia Banay, asked the author if there were any public appearances he'd turned down, Rushdie mentioned he'd been invited to appear on Dancing with the Stars, but had ultimately decided against it: "Me and has-been pop stars and Kim Kardashian? No, thank you." (We're as shocked as you are that he passed on a chance to press up against Kardashian). Of course, it's hard to see how he'd have any time for a weekly TV show anyway, considering that since his split with ex-wife Padma Lakshmi, he's dated model Aimee Millins and House actress Olivia Wilde, enjoys a "regular game of ping-pong" at painter Francesco Clemente's house, and is now a regular at pal Andrew Saffir's Cinema Society screenings.

The saddest footnote to the story? To drum up attendees, the hotel slipped letters under the doors of guest rooms. Apparently, that didn't sway any vacationers. "We have zero interest in attending," one hotel guest tells Banay. "We're just here to chill."

Portfolio [article not online]