The Godfather and the Joker: Housemates?
Call them Oscar and Felix, but Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando, the oddest couple ever, are living together. If this story is true — and we believe it is — it’s as good as it gets.
Sources tell me that the two Oscar-winning actors, who are two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, recently began cohabiting together in the hilltop Mulholland Drive, Beverly Hills compound where each of them has an estate.
Indeed, there are three houses in the compound and I am told, curiously, that Nicholson owns all three, so his move from one house to the other did not need Brando’s express approval.
How did this weird situation start? Apparently, Nicholson is under siege from the mother of his young children, Rebecca Broussard, as his relationship with Lara Flynn Boyle continues to boil over in public. You might say that Lara is a 'Boyle' whom Broussard would like to lance.
"There’s a lot of weird stuff between Rebecca and Lara," a source who is close to the couple told me yesterday. Sounds like an understatement, doesn’t it? None of the tabloids that cover the Nicholson/Boyle romance ever mention that he’s been living with his two small kids. Imagine Lara as a stepmom!
The New York Daily News’s Mitchell Fink also reports that Broussard may be consulting a lawyer to see what her patrimonial rights are if Nicholson decides to terminate their current arrangements. And that’s what’s at the core of the Brando move, according to a close Nicholson buddy.
Broussard and her two kids with Jack — Lorraine, 10, and Ray, 9 — have been living in the Mulholland Drive house with Nicholson for a couple of years. Before that they lived in a Laurel Canyon home, but Nicholson sold it in 1998 for around $2.5 million.
It’s possible that Nicholson’s continued presence in the Mulholland Drive home was having an effect on their previous legal agreements, which would explain his hasty exit. One family friend said to me, however: "Rebecca is fixed for life. I don’t know what else she could get more from him."
So what does Jack say? When I caught up with him and Boyle at the American Film Institute tribute to Barbra Streisand on Thursday night in Los Angeles, Nicholson looked kind of shocked that I knew where he was living. He said, "Isn’t it interesting this is the price you pay for a public life?"
Even more curious in a way is the question of whether Nicholson owns Brando’s house, the same house where Brando’s son, Christian, killed his daughter Cheyenne’s boyfriend, Dag Drollet. A friend of the Nicholsons swears that "Jack owns all the houses in the compound."
Has Brando — who hasn’t earned any real money from movies since perhaps Superman or The Freshman and had to pay a fortune in legal fees for Christian — been renting from Nicholson all along? If so, has he seen The Shining?
Of course, Brando spends much of his time in the South Pacific. So it could be he’s not around that much after all. He owns the island of Tetiaroa, the only atoll of the Windward Islands, near Tahiti.
Nicholson is peculiar about his real estate anyway. A couple of years ago, he very publicly kicked actress Susan Anspach, one of his former lovers, out of one of his houses along with her son. The son is Nicholson’s, but Jack refused to acknowledge him until recently.
Broussard, now 37, was a waitress and a friend of Nicholson’s eldest child Jennifer when she took up with him around 1990. At the time, Nicholson was at the end of a rocky 17 year relationship with Oscar-winning actress and director Anjelica Huston. Even though he’s never married Broussard, they’ve lived together off and on. At different points there have been rumors they would marry. But Nicholson has had a notorious reputation as a womanizer.
His background could provide a hefty income for a trained Freudian psychiatrist too. Nicholson was raised in a house full of women. And in a storyline that echoed his hit movie Chinatown, he didn’t find out until well into his adult years that the woman who claimed to be his mother was his grandmother, and that his purported sister was in fact his biological mother.
All the talk at the Streisand dinner was not about Nicholson’s living arrangement with Brando. I mentioned The Pledge to Nicholson and wondered why it hadn’t been released in time for Oscar consideration. He said only, "Well, there are plenty of good people up for the award this year." When I said it might be remembered next year, he replied, "Well, you keep plugging it and see what happens."
One of the stories out of the Grammy Awards will come as a surprise to quite a few people in the record industry. Peter Asher is coming back.
Asher, according to my sources, is about to open a management office with clients Donald Fagen, of Steely Dan, and Beck, as his first clients. There is also a rumor — unconfirmed — that Sting is thinking of joining up as well. The latter would be earth-shattering, since Sting has been in business with Miles Copeland for almost 25 years. But last month Sting severed ties with Copeland very quietly — where there should have been a bang there was a whimper. Very interesting.
The elegant British manager has been a senior executive with Sony Music for the last few years. But Asher is very famous for launching and sustaining the careers of James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, and Bonnie Raitt. He’s the brother of Jane Asher, Paul McCartney’s girlfriend during the days of Beatlemania. He once recorded hit records like "A World Without Love" — a McCartney authored song — with Gordon Waller under the name Peter and Gordon in the mid 60s.
(Jane Asher, if anyone’s interested, sells her own line of cakes at www.jane-asher.co.uk.)
According to my sources, Peter has already negotiated an "out" with Sony and will enter into a "non-exclusive arrangement" with them as soon as possible.
In addition to Fagen, Asher is said to be hoping to have Walter Becker, and thus Steely Dan, under his umbrella as well. This would certainly be bad news for industry veteran Irving Azoff, who not only managed the Dan with Craig Fruin but has them signed to his Giant Records — thus collecting a management fee for the recordings he makes by them.
Asher is making his move at the right time. Also available as clients: Macy Gray, Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers, and Fiona Apple.
Loved the news that Chelsea Clinton had her 21st birthday party at the Hudson Hotel on Saturday night. How perfect: the Hudson is owned by former federal felon and tax evader Ian Schrager, the restaurants are run by former federal felon Jeffrey Chodorow, who bankrupted Braniff Airlines twice and left thousands of passengers in the lurch without notice. I thought when criminals get out of jail they aren’t supposed to fraternize with other former lawbreakers...
Leonardo DiCaprio getting married? Frolicking all over the world with Gisele "My name hasn’t been in the paper this week" Bundchen? All doubtful, since Leo’s been in Rome since Jan. 5 and is still in Rome shooting Gangs of New York for Martin Scorsese. Maybe Gisele forgot about all that when she phoned her item into Brazilian newspapers...
Loved the Daily News piece on Denise and Marc Rich’s divorce. What they missed: that Denise’s side in the proceedings was handled by a former boyfriend, Richard Golub, who preceded the marriage. Golub went on to marry and be divorced by actress Marisa Berenson...
Finally, thanks to People magazine, the National Enquirer and others who failed to give this column credit for breaking the news about California’s "lengthy marriage" law and its impact on Tom Cruise’s divorce plans. People (and US Weekly, which apparently also borrowed our scoop about Brad Pitt’s interest in playing Jeff Buckley on film) based almost their entire story last week on the Fox411 tidbit. So, where’s the check? And something called peoplenews.com — which looks like it’s out of the UK — happily helped themselves to our exclusive news about Liv Tyler’s engagement. Really, I’ve got to say, children and cats must be fed back here in New York. Send money, guys!