What do Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Ja Rule, and Plaxico Burress all have in common? All three made appearances at the courthouse at 100 Centre Street this morning, which would have been a very convenient coincidence for waiting news photographers if they managed to catch them all. A "caramel-skinned" Kelly turned up with lawyer Ed Hayes to face charges she assaulted her boyfriend. (Her case was adjourned to June 8.)
• Did Kelly Killoren Bensimon ask her boyfriend to lie about getting beat up so she could use it as a PR ploy to "better her chances of being asked back" on Real Housewives next season? That's what her bitchy co-stars are saying as part of a PR ploy to get the attention turned back on themselves. [NYDN]
• Estée Lauder CEO William Lauder is being sued by Taylor Stein, who gave birth to his baby in 2007, for stopping child support payments. [P6]
• In an interview with Matt Lauer, Michael Phelps says he made a "bad mistake" in South Carolina, although he's still not saying what this mistake was. [People]
• Lindsay Lohan has settled the lawsuit filed by a woman whose $11,000 coat LiLo took from 1OAK last year. Also: She left her poor bodyguard stranded in Las Vegas earlier this week. [P6, P6]
She may be nearly six feet tall and have a very square, masculine jaw, but we're pretty sure that Kelly Killoren Bensimon is a woman. But that's not what cops at the Fifth Precinct marked down when the "Real Housewife" turned herself in after allegedly pummeling her 30-year-old boyfriend, Nick Stefanov. She was listed as a male. (She's also 145 pounds, apparently.) While you wait for Bensimon's lawyer to jump all over this case of shoddy police work and have the charges against her dismissed on a technicality, you can review the complete criminal docket for yourself after the jump.
• If you're out shopping and you find yourself facing off against Kelly Killoren Bensimon for the last dress in your size, let her have it: The former model and Real Housewives star was arrested and charged with third-degree assault last week after punching her 30-year-old boyfriend in the face, leaving him with a "black eye and opening a blood-gushing gash on his left cheek." [NYP, NYDN]
• Poor Olivia Palermo says she's been misrepresented by MTV producers, since she's actually "a much nicer person in real life." Also? She's currently "vacationing in London with her model boyfriend," if you're interested. [People]
• How's this for a comeback: Rihanna and Chris Brown have reportedly been holed up in a studio working on a new track together for the past few days. [E!]
Aren't you in for a treat! This Saturday, all sorts of wondrous items will be auctioned off at the Tribeca Spring Preview Housing Works sale, and almost all of the ladies of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York are participating. Alex McCord has donated a "bolero jacket with beads all over it," which she tells the Observer she bought at an estate sale a decade ago but has only worn once. LuAnn de Lesseps chipped in a Furla handbag, and Ramona Singer donated one by Christian Dior. And while Kelly Killoren Bensimon is participating as well—she's donating a dress and this pair of John Varvatos Converse sneakers—she'd also like to point out that, unlike her low-class castmates, her pieces have never touched human skin:
So much for the Real Housewives of New York City. The show hasn't debuted yet—it starts tonight on Bravo—but it's already been ravaged by critics, even ones who willingly admit to being fans of the 17 other iterations of the show. (After all, it's not too often that a critic tells the entire cast of a reality show to "drop dead.") The main beef? Not that the show focuses on horrible women who happily spend a weekend afternoon "gearing up for an event for a magazine called Social Life." That's nothing new, of course. It's that the show is hopelessly out of touch with the current economic climate. It was all well and good for Simon Van Kempen to pretend he had a dollar to his name when the economy was cruising along. Now that the world is falling apart and Simon is still "spending" $8,000 on resort-wear? "The whole enterprise, like so much else on Bravo, the 'affluencer' network, feels like a moldy leftover from the pre-Obama age," writes Ginia Bellafante in the Times.
• There were bound to be a few dramatic moments at the inaugural parties last night: Sheryl Crow had an awkward run in with her ex, Kid Rock, in the lobby of Donovan House. John Legend was forced to make a last-minute stop at Bloomingdale's because his girlfriend didn't have a gown. Susan Sarandon got a reporter kicked out an event for daring to ask a question. And Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony showed up so late to the Neighborhood Ball, they almost didn't get in. [P6, WP, Politico]
• One possible explanation for Lopez's late arrival: She was spotted at the Scientology Center in LA yesterday morning, trying to sneak out of the building without being noticed. [NYDN]
• Another headache for John Travolta and Kelly Preston: A politician in the Bahamas may have been part of a plot to extort money from the couple following the death of Jett Travolta. [OK!]
Is Kelly Killoren Bensimon already having second thoughts about her decision to join the cast of Real Housewives of New York City? "The promos for the reality show's second season—which focus largely on me, the newest addition—just started airing on Bravo. I am petrified. We have no control over the episodes because the show has already been edited," Bensimon writes in her "Socializer" column in Page Six magazine. "It's quite daunting to know that I've opened myself up to judgment. But I can't turn back now... I'm just along for the ride—bumpy or not." Good approach! Now make sure you have plenty of dramamine in your medicine cabinet. [Page Six Mag]
The New York iteration of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame celebrated its opening last night with a party in the new SoHo space. Attendees like Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and Theodora Richards (left) mingled with Taylor Momsen, Molly Sims, Matthew Modine, Ciara, David Foote, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Liz Lange, and Ryan Locke, listened to performances by Debbie Harry and Dave Mason, and inked their names on a plywood wall. [Paper, Wireimage, PMc, GoaG]
♦ Alexander Wang was the big winner at Monday night's fifth-annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards at Skylight Studios. Wang and fellow nominees like Richard Chai, Jason Wu, Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai, Irene Neuwirth, Alejandro Ingelmo, Juan Carlos Obando, Albertus Swanepoel, Swaim and Christina Hutson, and John Patrick were feted by John Galliano (left, with Charlize Theron), Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Sally Singer, Andrew Rosen, Reed Krakoff, Jeffrey Kalinsky, Julie Gilhart, Julie Macklowe, Daphne Guinness, Sasha Heinz, Tory Burch and Lyor Cohen, Andre Leon Talley, Narciso Rodriguez, Maria Sharapova, Penn Badgley, Zac Posen, Vera Wang, Chanel Iman, Juliette Lewis, Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman, Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo, Lauren Santo Domingo, Peter Som, Piper Perabo, Phillip Lim, Lazaro Hernandez, Maggie Betts, Calvin Klein, Damon Dash and Rachel Roy, and James Franco. [PMc, NYO, Style.com, The Daily]
♦ Present at Bette Midler's Hulaween benefit gala for the New York Restoration project: Suze Orman (dressed as big pile of money, left), André Leon Talley, Gloria Estefan, Gloria Gaynor, Donna Karan, Kathy Griffin, Michael Kors, Pink, Jimmy Buffett, John McEnroe and Patty Smyth, Ray Kelly, and Cindy Adams. [PMc, Wireimage, NYO]
After inexplicably deciding that the attention she'll get from becoming a castmember of the Real Housewives of New York is worth it, Kelly Killoren Bensimon—ex-wife of ancient photog Gilles Bensimon, former Elle staffer and current Page Six Magazine columnist—is now going to milk it while doing her best to convey that she's infinitely superior to her castmates, who don't even get invited to Fashion Week, by the way. At a party for her new jewelry line, Kelly shared her opinion of LuAnn, Jill and the rest of the gang with the Observer, and let's just say that if she's as good at designing jewelry as she is at damning with passive aggressive faint praise, she won't need to appear on crappy reality TV for more than one season!
♦ Soon-to-be-single Madonna premiered her directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, at the Sunshine Theater on Monday night. On the red carpet and/or the after-party at the Thompson LES: Lindsay Lohan (left), Jerry Seinfeld, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, Ann Dexter-Jones, David Blaine, Alan Cumming, America Ferrera, Brooke Shields, Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone, Glenda Bailey, Jessica Alba and Cash Warren, Juliette Lewis, Jason Biggs, Jeremy Piven, Vanessa Williams, Becki Newton, Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Max Minghella, Padma Lakshmi, Terry Richardson, Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson, Joe Zee, Byrdie Bell, Fabiola Beracasa, Ferebee Bishop Taube, Zani Gugelmann, Katie Lee Joel, Beth Ostrosky, Eleanor Ylvisaker, Kelly Klein, Minnie Mortimer, Maggie Rizer, Chace Crawford, Amanda Cutter Brooks, Ingrid Sischy, Ross Bleckner, Nancy Jarecki, Derek Blasberg, Ed Westwick, Rose Byrne, Taylor Momsen, Debbie Bancroft, Terry Richardson, Bruce Weber, Guy Oseary, and Ali Wise and Jason Pomeranc. [The Daily, PMc, Wireimage, Style.com]
♦ Yesterday evening the New York Women's Foundation Fall Gala took place at Gotham Hall: Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor, Iman, Joel Klein and Nicole Seligman, Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower, Felicia Taylor, Jamie Niven, Herbert Wachtell, and Jonathan Farkas ate, drank, and watched a performance from the American Ballroom Theater Youth Dance Company. [Wireimage, PMc]
♦ As we've heard, the financial crisis isn't stopping the benefit crowd from turning out, and Tuesday night's New Yorkers for Children Annual Fall Gala managed to rake in $1.85 million with the help of Mariska Hargitay, Julianne Moore, Juliana Margulies, Christine and Steve Schwarzman, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Campion Platt, Lauren Remington Platt, Annelise Peterson, Adam Lippes, Patti LaBelle, Annie Churchill, Oscar de la Renta, Moises de la Renta, Julie Macklowe, Nancy Jarecki, Hope Atherton, Olivia Palermo, Holly Dunlap, Denise Wohl, Frederic Fekkai, John Demsey, Jeff Zucker, Gillian Hearst Simonds, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Zac Posen, Lola Schnabel, Tory Burch and Lyor Cohen, Robert and Nanette Lepore, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Olivia Chantecaille, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, Julia Restoin Roitfeld (pictured), Zani Gugelmann, Peter Davis, Lydia Fenet, Bettina Zilkha, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Meredith Melling Burke, Muffie Potter Aston, Jamee Gregory, Heather Mnuchin, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Jamie Tisch, Amanda Cutter Brooks, Marjorie Gubelmann, Poppy de Villeneuve, Jennifer Creel, Marina Rust Connor, Sylvana Soto-Ward, Jessica Joffe, Taylor Momsen, Blake Lively, Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Liles, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Gayle King, Gilles Mendel, Maggie Betts, Topper and Tinsley Mortimer, Monet Mazur and Alex de Rakoff, Joy Bryant, Kelly Klein, Sylvana Soto-Ward, Horacio Silva, Patrick McMullan, Fabiola Beracasa, and Angel Sanchez. [The Daily, Park Ave Peerage, PMc]
Kelly Killoren Bensimon is a busy woman what with her new TV show (Real Housewives of New York City), columns in Page Six and Gotham magazines, her busy social calendar, and the two kids she has with her ex-husband, famed photog Gilles Bensimon. But she makes time for Facebook, too! Just a few of her 484 online pals whose names you might be familiar with: Susanne Bartsch, Mark Birnbaum, David Blaine, Dennis Basso, Serena Altschul, Mark Baker, Bryan Bantry, Fabian Basabe, Georgina Chapman, Jamison Ernest, Cristina Greeven Cuomo, Donny Deutsch, Rocco DiSpirito Lauren Santo Domingo, Lisa Gastineau, Patrick McMullan, Minnie Mortimer, John Bartlett, Hud Morgan, Olivia Palermo, Alex Von Furstenberg, Anne Slowey, Russell Simmons, Linda Wells, Rob Wiesenthal, Bronson Van Wyck, Lara Shriftman, and, of course, Andy Cohen, the Bravo exec who was responsible for casting her in Real Housewives. [Kelly Killoren Bensimon]