Kate Spade turns 47 today. Hedge fund manager Jim Chanos is turning 52. Former Observer owner Arthur Carter is 78. Jonathan Benno, Per Se's outgoing chef who will soon be opening a restaurant of his own, is 40. Annette de la Renta, the wife of Oscar de la Renta and a charity gala fixture, is turning 70. Ryan Seacrest turns 35. Ricky Martin is celebrating his 38th. Author Mary Higgins Clark is turning 82. Heiress Marylou Whitney is 84. And actor Mekhi Phifer is 35. A few people with Christmas birthdays are listed below.
• David Letterman's ratings have gone up thanks to his very public spat with Sarah Palin. So don't be the least bit surprised if it continues. [NYT]
• Ann Moore signed a new contract with Time Inc. that will keep her around through 2012; John Squires, meanwhile, has a new gig at the company. [NYP]
• Newsweek is cutting out an issue this summer. You can guess why. [WSJ]
• Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's latest project? That would be something called "Martha University," which sounds horrifying, frankly. [PC]
• Michael Gross's new book isn't available at the New York Public Library and chances are Annette de la Renta had something to do with it. [NYO]
• Negotiations continue between the Boston Globe and union reps. "People briefed on the talks say a deal is close." Don't hold your breath. [NYT]
It's really a shame there haven't been cameras at the trial of Anthony Marshall, the son of Brooke Astor who now stands accused on plundering his mother's fortune. Hundred (thousands?) of Upper East Siders would have been glued to their TV sets the past few weeks. Sketch artist Jane Rosenberg has been in attendance the past few weeks to document the goings-on with paper and colored pencils. Can you identify the notable people above who've appeared on the witness stand? As always, answers below.
We knew Michael Gross's exposé of the Metropolitan Museum of Art would ruffle feathers. It's juicy stuff, clearly. But we didn't expect it would be banned. But that's what seems to be happening. The Independent reports that Amazon's British arm has stopped selling Gross's Rogues' Gallery "for fear of action from a libel tourist," namely Annette de la Renta, the museum vice chair and wife of designer Oscar de la Renta, who has threatened Gross with a libel suit. The ban isn't limited to foreign retail outlets, however.
Michael Gross' hotly anticipated tome about the Metropolitan Museum, Rogues' Gallery, arrived in bookstores last week. An account of the museum's "history of curatorial excellence, social climbing, and skullduggery," the book is full of salacious detail about some of the most prominent members of the New York society. But you won't hear much about the book's juiciest bits in the mainstream media coverage. Could it have something to do with the fact that Gross delves into the murky past of Oscar and Annette de la Renta, a couple at the very top of the social pyramid?
• Madonna fell off a horse while riding at photographer Steven Klein's house in Bridgehampton on Saturday. She wasn't seriously injured, but don't think for a minute she's taking any blame for the spill. Her flack blamed the accident on a rogue paparazzo who jumped out of the bushes and startled the horse, although both the photographer in question and the police don't share that account. [NYDN, NYP, E!]
• Uma Thurman and Arpad Busson were rumored to be getting hitched in the Bahamas on Saturday, although there's still no word on whether any ceremony actually took place. [People, UPI]
• Has Lindsay Lohan gone straight? She was spotted "flirting relentlessly" with a group of guys including Leonardo DiCaprio at a club last week. [Sun]
• Rumor has it Naomi Campbell is thinking of moving to Moscow so she can be closer to boyfriend Vladislav Doronin. Say it isn't so! [DS]
Annette de la Renta, the gala staple and wife of Oscar de la Renta, turns 69 today. Designer Kate Spade is 46. Hedge funder Jim Chanos is turning 51. Former banker and Observer owner Arthur Carter is 77. Per Se's Jonathan Benno is turning 39. Heiress Marylou Whitney is turning 83. Ryan Seacrest is 34. Author Mary Higgins Clark is turning 81. Actor Mekhi Phifer is 34. And singer (and new dad) Ricky Martin is celebrating his 37th birthday today.