Remember when Caroline Kennedy convinced media executives to bury the History Channel's The Kennedys mini-series? We may now know what her bargaining chip was: ABC News (which has corporate ties to the History Channel) is preparing to air a series of never-before-heard audio tapes of Jackie Onassis, possibly conversing with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. The tapes are either the juiciest Kennedy dirt imaginable or totally banal, depending who you ask.
The Kennedy clan reclaimed its place as the nation's premier royal family this week, thanks to Ted Kennedy's death and grand style funeral. But, like all royal crews, there's a rebel lurking within the massive family.
New York's epic article about Annie Leibovitz in this week's issue is well worth a read, particularly since it sheds a little light on how it is one of the world's highest-paid photographers now finds herself on the brink of financial ruin. (If the only person you'll allow to repair your air-conditioner has to travel to NYC from Vermont to do the work, that's probably not a good sign.) Leibovitz's financial fate will likely be sealed in September when the $24 million loan she secured from Art Capital Group last year is due. Interestingly, though, Leibovitz appears to be hinting that the terms of the loan— which required her to put up the rights to her photos and real estate holdings as collateral—only became apparent to her after the Times reported on Art Capital Group back in February. Friends of the photographer suggest that Leibovitz had no idea she was giving up so much when she took out the loan; they also seem to be shifting some of the blame to Ken Starr, the financial adviser who took the photographer on as a client in 2007 and who was also responsible for introducing Leibovitz to Art Capital Group. Pinning the blame on Starr, who boasts an insanely long list of celebrity clients, may be a hard argument to make.
• Despite what you may have read in the tabloids the past few weeks, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are not splitting up and remain truly, deeply, madly in love. So if you've spent sleepless nights worrying about that, hopefully Jolie's publicist's soothing words will finally put your mind at ease. [Us]
• Speaking of Angie, Forbes has named her the most powerful celebrity on the planet, so she's got that going for her, which is nice. [Forbes]
• And speaking of Brad, you may be interested to know what his "secret" is to avoiding odors when he's on the set of a movie and doesn't have time to shower: baby wipes, apparently. It's also a slow news day, apparently. [NYDN]
• Christina Ricci and Owen Benjamin have called off their engagement. [Us]
The downtown Armory played host to the 37th annual Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards last night. A big bunch of celebs and designerswere on hand as Marc Jacobs was inducted into the foundation's Hall of Fame, including fellow award winners like Diddy and Paris, as well as Queen Latifah, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Dustin Hoffman and Lisa Gottsegen, Hilary Rhoda, Kendu Isaacs and Mary J. Blige, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler, Harry and Laura Slatkin, John Demsey, Linda Wells, Doug Reinhardt, Tracy Reece, Nacho and Delfina Figueras, Kate Walsh, Samantha Harris, Tova and Ernest Borgnine, and Jacobs's fiancé, Lorenzo Martone. [PMc, WWD, Vogue UK, VF, NYO, Wireimage]
An army of A-listers showed to last night's 69th annual American Ballet Theatre spring gala (and, if they were lucky, got a glimpse of Michelle Obama dressed in a black Alaia dress and Thakoon jacket). Among those in attendance: Anna Wintour, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, Chuck Schumer, Christine and Steve Schwarzman, David and Julia Koch, Caroline Kennedy and Ed Schlossberg, Calvin Klein, Francisco Costa, Ivanka Trump, Caryn and Jeff Zucker, Annette and Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Deborah Roberts, Lorne Michaels, Desiree Rogers, Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy, Renee Zellweger, Sigourney Weaver, Tory Burch, Iman, Grace Hightower, Rachel Roy, Robbie Myers, Hamish Bowles, Renee Fleming, Lisa Perry, Muffie Potter Aston, Amanda Brooks, Peter and Jamee Gregory, Yvonne Force Villareal, Marina Rust Connor, Marjorie Gubelmann, Nina Griscom and Leonel Piraino, Karen and Richard LeFrak, Blaine Trump, Harry Evans, Hilary Rhoda, Coco Rocha, Mariska Hargitay, Lindsay Price, Kim Raver, Ruben Toledo and Isabel Toledo, Dree Hemingway, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, and Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos (left), a former dancer himself. [PMc, Wireimage, Style.com]
Caroline Kennedy is denying the suggestion that she abandoned her bid to take over Hillary Clinton's vacant Senate seat because her children encouraged her to drop out. On the Today show this morning, Kennedy told Matt Lauer that her kids had nothing to do with it. "Anybody who knows my children and knows me knows that that is absolute nonsense," she said. You may want to take that denial with a grain of salt, though, especially given how Kennedy went on to sum up what will go down as one of the most mismanaged campaigns in state history: "All in all, it was a great experience for me." [NYT]
Why did Caroline Kennedy "abandon" her bid take over Hillary Clinton's vacant Senate seat? It had nothing to do with rumored tax troubles, her uncle's medical troubles, her plunging poll numbers, or the fact she torpedoed her own chances with a series of disastrous performances on the campaign trail. It was because she didn't want to expose her poor kids to the rough and tumble of the political process, naturally. At least that's the spin contained in Edward Klein's new book, Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died. Not that we'd expect this revelation to have an impact on Cindy Adams's assertion that Kennedy will be elected president in 2016. After all, Adams stuck to her claim McCain would win the 2008 election until the beginning of the November! [Vanity Fair]
Caroline Kennedy has a reason to smile today. A new poll shows that David Paterson's job approval ratings have fallen to an all-time low since he took office last year. The governor is viewed favorably by just 40 percent of voters—down from 64 percent in November—and it also gives Andrew Cuomo a commanding lead in a possible primary contest. [NYP]
Giorgio Armani celebrated the opening of his new Fifth Avenue flagship last night with a party at the store. The designer was accompanied by his niece Roberta Armani; guests on hand included Leonardo DiCaprio (left), Carine Roitfeld, Victoria Beckham, Martin Scorsese, Michael Bloomberg, Caroline Kennedy, Joel Klein, Cindi Leive, Fern Mallis, Andre Leon Talley, Ricky Martin, Rachel Zoe, Nina Garcia, John Mayer, Mario Testino, Josh Hartnett, Liam Neeson, Richard Meier, Alicia Keys, Chace Crawford, Milla Jovovich, Thom Browne, Kevin Liles, Molly Sims, Mira Sorvino and Christopher Backus, Sally Singer, David Hershkovits, Jim Moore, Hal Rubenstein, Patrick McCarthy, Emile Hirsch, Natalia Vodianova, Zani Gugelmann, Kate Lanphear, Horacio Silva, January Jones, Elsa Pataky, Zoe Saldana, Solange Knowles, Marcus Schenkenberg, and Olivia Palermo. [PMc, Wireimage, Vogue UK, FWD, NYM]
Our favorite new blogger, Giorgio Armani, reports that he traveled all the way up to 166th Street—the Bronx!—today. Okay, so it was to meet Caroline Kennedy because he gave a miniscule piece of his $5 billion fortune to the Fund for Public Schools. But still! And it gets better! After the event was over, he says he decided to ditch his hopeless chauffeur and took the subway home with Kennedy instead: "Caroline and I decided to hop on the subway on our way back down to the city center, which turned out to be a much faster way of getting back. It was really crowded when we got on at 161st Street, but later I sat down next to a nice lady in a North Face puffer jacket and ski hat. She told me she assisted elderly people, and I asked to see her card. I told her, 'Who knows when I might need your help?; Just kidding, of course. When I got up, I left her my own scarf as a parting gift." We can't imagine what he's planning to do tomorrow, although we're pretty sure that if he stops off for a bite at Gray's Papaya, our head is going to explode. [NYT]