Katie Lee Lists; Ackman and Whoopi Sell

cityfile · 01/28/10 09:27AM

• Katie Lee, the cookbook author and ex-wife of Billy Joel, is reportedly putting the 4,000-square-foot townhouse at 23 Perry Street that she and Joel once shared—and which she bought from Joel for $3 million after their split last year—on the market. The four-bedroom manse is set to be listed with Dolly Lenz for $12.9 million. [NYP, photos]
• Hedge fund mogul Bill Ackman has closed on the sale of his three-bedroom co-op at the Majestic on Central Park West. The 3,000-square-foot apartment, which Ackman first listed for $10 million last April and which went into contract in November, sold for $7.1 million to Douglas Libby and Marianne Johnson. [Cityfile]
• Seven months after she put her loft at 101 Wooster Street on the market for $3.99 million, Whoopi Goldberg has closed on the sale of the two-bedroom pad. The 3,600-square-foot apartment, which went into contract in October, sold for $2.985 million to Ben Lerer and his wife Emily. Lerer is the founder of Thrillist.com and the son of Ken Lerer, the new media investor and co-founder and chairman of the Huffington Post. [NYO]

Jann Wenner Buys in Montauk; Whitney Lists in Jersey

cityfile · 10/22/09 07:56AM

Jann Wenner and his partner, Matt Nye, will soon be moving into new digs in Montauk. The founder of Rolling Stone and publisher of Us Weekly and Men's Journal is paying $11.9 million for a 6,300-square-foot home on Old Montauk Highway. The waterfront property had been been originally listed for $14.9 million. [NYP, Corcoran]
• Whitney Houston has put her New Jersey home on the market. The 12,561-square-foot manse in Mendham Township is listed for $2.5 million; her guest cottage next door is no longer available, however. [Real Estalker, CB]
• Real estate developer Ara Hovnanian may have found a buyer for his fourth-floor apartment at 820 Fifth Avenue. Five months after the co-op's board rejected Jeff Blau's $31 million offer, the board has reportedly given the go-ahead to Ken Griffin, the CEO of Chicago-based Citadel Investment Group. The hedge fund billionaire is expected to pay "just under" $35 million. [NYP]
• It looks like Katie Lee is getting the West Village townhouse as part of her split from Billy Joel. The cookbook author is paying Joel $3 million for his share of the the Perry Street home, which the couple purchased in 2005 for $5.9 million. [NYO]

Eating & Drinking: Friday Edition

cityfile · 10/09/09 03:57PM

• The New York City Wine & Food Festival is underway, although if you haven't secured tickets by now, you can forget about attending any of the events. [GS]
• What should Andre Balazs call the Standard's Boom Boom Room now that legal issues have forced a name change? "Mile High Club" gets one vote. [NYT]
• Buddha Bar has been sued over 400K in unpaid legal bills. [Eater]
• There's a pasta renaissance taking place in the city, apparently. [NYP]
• A Q&A with Katie Lee Joel, who has a new cookbook (and who says she'd be just as well known today even if she'd never married Billy Joel). [TONY]
• The Times Magazine's "food issue" is now online. [NYT]

The Daily News Will Not Be Left Behind

cityfile · 09/04/09 10:32AM

The New York Post has had a field day this week with the (quite possibly false) rumor that Eliot Spitzer is supposedly thinking about jumping back into politics. That Tuesday cover story led to a Wednesday cover featuring a response from Ashley Dupre's mom; then, yesterday, Ashley herself responded to the Spitzer story before going on to suggest that she really isn't all that different than many women in Manhattan, and that the line between a prostitute and an ordinary gold-digger is a thin one. Dupre's remarks generated a third Post cover yesterday, and although a response to Dupre's comments from a handful of random women today didn't justify the cover of the paper today (despite the fact the Post it's now describing it as a "citywide catfight), it did give the paper an excuse to post one more photo gallery of Dupre in a skimpy bikini. Think the Daily News is feeling a little left out? You bet it is!

Ted Kennedy Dies and the Airheads Mourn

cityfile · 08/26/09 07:57AM

If you're looking for a thoughtful, nuanced take on the life and legacy of Ted Kennedy, the 7-page obit on the New York Times website should provide you with all the background you need on a man born into one of America's most notable families who went on to become one of the country's most important political figures. If you want inane responses to his passing from a smattering of reality TV stars and stylists, head to Twitter!

Billy Joel Lists in Sagaponack

cityfile · 08/18/09 08:01AM

Billy Joel is looking for a buyer in Sagaponack. Now that he and wife Katie Lee Joel are splitting up, the singer is planning to sell the two oceanfront properties he bought for her in 2007. The four-bedroom mansion (No. 1) and smaller beach bungalow (No. 2) will be listed with Corcoran's Biana Stepanian for a combined $35 million. [NYP]
• Richard Bressler, the former CFO of Viacom and now a managing director at the private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, went into contract to sell his duplex at 850 Park last month. Now he's picked up a new place. Bressler paid $7.15 million for a four-bedroom condo at 170 East End Avenue. [Cityfile]
• Mariann Florio, the widow of former Condé Nast CEO Steve Florio, has paid $1.65 million for a three-bedroom apartment at 235 East 73rd Street owned by former Bear Stearns exec Leo Tilman. She's still trying to sell her vacation home in Key Largo, Florida, which has been on the market for $8.9 million since last October. [Cityfile]

Naomi Strikes Out (Again), Mischa Bounces Back

cityfile · 08/03/09 06:06AM

• An Italian photographer is accusing Naomi Campbell of sending him to the hospital after she allegedly clobbered him with her handbag and scratched his eye with her nails. Naturally, this sort of behavior is totally unlike Campbell and couldn't possibly be true. [Daily Mail]
Billy Joel is supposedly "completely distraught" over his breakup with Katie Lee Joel and is now trying to "rekindle the relationship." [P6]
• It looks like Mischa Barton is recovering nicely. She's "smiling again," according to the Sun. And Vanity Fair reports she made her "first appearance on the city’s social circuit" last night. [Sun, VF]

Britney Spears: Almost a Jew

The Cajun Boy · 07/10/09 07:07AM

Britney is converting to Judaism, Gwyneth is brainwashing her GOOP death cult into thinking that a cleansed colon is the way to God, Jeremy Piven preaches the horrors of fish and Katy Perry frolics in a bikini in Turkey.

Britney's Conversion, LiLo's New Career, Jerry's Pitch

cityfile · 07/10/09 06:05AM

• In news that will delight Jews the world over, it seems Britney Spears is thinking about converting to Judaism. She's been seen wearing a Star of David necklace and has found a rabbi to, like, teach her about stuff, so she's well on her way, clearly. [Sun]
• Lindsay Lohan hasn't been getting too many acting roles what with all her personal problems as of late. But she may have found a way around that: She's starting her own film/TV production company. [THR]
Jerry Seinfeld's rep says he not facing money troubles. But he is doing commercials for "a bank in the boonies of Australia," which can't be a good sign. [P6]
Mariska Hargitay is back on the set of Law & Order: SVU after a mishap earlier this week sent her to the hospital for 13 stitches. [NYDN]
• Publicist Ali Wise was arrested earlier this week for hacking into Nina Freudenberger's voicemail. But she may not be the only victim out there. [P6]

Life as a Trophy Wife

cityfile · 06/24/09 09:29AM

In the wake of Billy Joel and Katie Lee Joel's big breakup last week, Jo Piazza takes a look at the trophy wife phenomenon for The Daily Beast today. And you know what? It turns out it's a pretty good gig. A "transitory stepping stone into a better life," the job doesn't necessarily have to last all that long; a trophy wife may only be forced to sleep with the creepy old man she's vowed to remain with for the rest of her life for a matter of months, in fact. "The shelf life for the typical trophy wife—the time it takes her to increase her monetary and social standing for the rest of her days—is typically two or three years," which, as Piazza points out, is less time than the time it takes to attend medical school. (And Lord knows training to become a doctor doesn't come with boozy afternoons at charity golf tournaments or trips to the Côte d'Azur.)

Rihanna Gets Ready to Take the Stand

cityfile · 06/22/09 05:45AM

• Rihanna is expected to speak about her alleged beating by Chris Brown for the first time this afternoon when she takes the witness stand at a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles. [NYDN, NYP]
• Both Katie Lee Joel and her rumored paramour, designer Yigal Azrouel, continue to deny reports that an affair ended Lee's marriage to Billy Joel. But Azrouel seems to have a rep for being something of a ladies man: He's "been known to sleep with fashion editors who can help his career." [P6]
Sarah Jessica Parker was pulled over in the Hamptons. The trooper told her that her lights were off; she turned them on; and all ended well. Yay. [P6]

Crazy Caper in Ohio; Madonna Gets Ready For Mercy

cityfile · 06/18/09 06:10AM

• This is a bizarre one: Two police chiefs in Ohio are now under investigation for allegedly breaking into the home of the surrogate mom hired by Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in an effort to dig up dirt on the woman, which they then planned to sell to the tabloids or use to blackmail the couple. [Us, E!, NYDN]
• Madonna is gearing up for the arrival of baby Mercy. Gwynnie is helping to decorate and Mercy's room will supposedly feature "porcelain dolls, antique teddy bears, a library of leather-bound children's books and ancient maps of Africa to adorn the walls." [Sun]
• It looks like Lindsay Lohan is off the hook for that $400,000 jewel heist the other day. So at least there's one thing looking up for her. [NYDN]

Poor Timing at TMZ

cityfile · 06/17/09 10:00PM

Yet one more reason to be a tad suspicious of anything you come across on TMZ: Just 24 hours before Billy Joel and Katie Lee announced that they were separating, TMZ reported that they'd heard from a "source" that the Piano Man was looking to buy his wife a restaurant in the Hamptons, and was currently "eying a spot in Sag Harbour [sic]." Guess not! The site's very juicy exclusive is below.