Mariah's Movie: Labor Day Release Beckons
Mariah Carey reports on her Web site that she’s in Spain recording still more songs for her upcoming 20th Century Fox/Columbia Pictures movie, All That Glitters. Carey also reports that the film, aka Glitter, will have a Labor Day release. It’s not exactly a make-or-break weekend in Hollywood terms, but a good chance for Carey to market herself on venues like MTV. After all, Jerry’s Kids will be her only competition.
Last week, when she signed her deal with Virgin Records and ended her association with Sony Music, she sang an eight-second message into the same answering machine. It went like this: "I’m freeeeeeee… ."
As you know, Carey was allowed to take the soundtrack of Glitter with her from Sony to Virgin even though she still owed an album to Sony. Wonder why? I did. A source told me: "The movie is very biographical. You’re going to see a lot of references to Mariah’s marriage to Tommy Mottola. It’s better that he doesn’t have to deal with it."
Carey’s video for the song "Honey" caused a lot of talk when it was released — it featured Carey escaping from a man who looked like Mottola into the arms of a male model. Presumably, Sony’s big cheese was not pleased. I don’t blame him.
Bob Dylan’s Secret Life — Not a Surprise to Us
Yikes! Did you see the story yesterday that ran on the wire services? "Bob Dylan’s Secret Life!" Talk about old news!
Way back in the fall of 1997, Broadway singer Carol Dennis told this reporter — in an interview which was published in the New York Post’s Page Six and on a Web site called Cinemania.com — that she was the mother of two of Bob Dylan’s kids. She said she’d been married to him as well. Carol, who has a wonderful, deep contralto voice, has also sung backup on most of Dylan’s albums since the 1980s.
A few months later, in March 1998, a woman named Susan Ross called the Post and retold the same story. She said she was an ex-girlfriend of Dylan’s and was angry that he hadn’t taken her to the Grammys. My gosh!
Now someone’s written a book about Dylan’s "unknown" wives, girlfriends and children. Yesterday felt like 1997 all over again. Not a good thing, really. So Bob Dylan has more than his four children with his one acknowledged ex-wife Sara. Jakob (of Wallflowers fame), Jesse, Sam, and Anna are the official kids. Big deal. But even funnier was that the story rehashes every couple of years, and that now someone’s written a book about it.
For the record, Carol Dennis told me then: "Bob Dylan has a lot of children you don’t know about. I think he has eight or nine kids altogether." She declined at the time to name her own.
Update: Denise Rich's Friends Were Marc Rich's Friends Too
Parts of this item appeared on Feb. 9, 2001. Because we have short memories, maybe once again it’s important to restate some facts and explore some new ones.
Wednesday’s New York Times did a very thorough job of exploring the world of Marc and Denise Rich, fugitive commodities broker and songwriter respectively.
What the article ignores is who gave money to Denise Rich’s G&P Charitable Foundation in 1998 and 2000 — important because some of the donors to this cause are directly linked to Marc Rich and suggest that Denise and her ex-husband were in contact well before Marc’s pardon in 2001.
The Times article quoted Michael Steinhardt, and identifies him as a Marc Rich supporter and philanthropist. True enough. But the Times fails to identify him as a self-described friend of Marc Rich for 25 years who has also been a major contributor to the G&P Foundation. In 1998, he and his wife Judy donated $10,000. At the more recent benefit, on Nov. 30, 2000, the Steinhardts were again not only top donors but were also responsible — through their connections to various other causes — for delivering Michael Jackson and his pal, Shmuley Boteach, to the event.
That odd couple each thanked the Steinhardts then, and thanked them again at Michael’s Feb. 14, 2001, Carnegie Hall seminar on children. This was a fund-raiser for Michael and Boteach’s Time to Heal Foundation. You remember that event, I’m sure. Apparently, Steinhardt and Jackson share one peculiar vision. Steinhardt also operates a zoo on his estate in tony Bedford, N.Y.
Ironically, Steinhardt has not been a particularly big Democratic booster. According to FEC filings, he donated money first to Rudy Giuliani and then to Rick Lazio in last year’s New York Senate campaign. He was also a backer of former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, R-N.Y., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. He also donated to Bill Bradley's presidential bid. A Clinton/Gore cheerleader he definitely wasn’t.
But back to Denise Rich: For a naïve songwriter with no interest in politics, you have to admit, she nevertheless keeps an eclectic group of powerful pals.
Interestingly, two of the largest donors to the G&P Charitable Foundation are oil billionaires Marvin Davis and John Catsimatidis. Davis, by coincidence, once owned 20th Century Fox film studio before it was bought by Rupert Murdoch and merged into News Corp. Davis is thought to be the person on whom the John Forsythe character was based in the TV show Dynasty. He gave G&P $25,000 in 1998 and presumably a similar amount last November (figures aren’t available yet).
Davis’ partner during his 20th Century Fox years? None other than Marc Rich.
No one has asked the Davises about their association with the Riches. No one dares, I say. At the American Film Institute Tribute to Barbra Streisand, I ran into Barbara Davis. She is a most elegant, refined society matron. She wears the kind of jewelry you see in the Van Cleef & Arpels ads, the kind few people actually own. She owns it. Denise Rich owns it.
I said, "Mrs. Davis, you and your husband were among the largest donors to Denise Rich’s charity last year."
She replied, in a performance worthy of an Oscar, "We were? Are you sure?" Her glazed-over smile was worth a million dollars right then.
The Marvin and Barbara Davis Foundation donated $25,000 to G&P in 1998. The Davises are listed in the G&P 2000 program as top-tier donors again.
Catsimatidis is the owner of New York City’s Red Apple supermarket chain. A self-made Greek-American who was raised in the poverty of East Harlem, Catsimatidis has been a fervent Clinton supporter as well, raising millions and co-hosting events with Denise at her townhouse. Catsimatidis and his wife Margo donated $10,000 to G&P in 1998 and are listed in the 2000 program as significant donors and as part of the benefit committee.
Coincidentally, like Marc Rich and Marvin Davis, Catsimaditis’s fortune is in international oil. He bought a piffling oil refinery in Pennsylvania in the mid 80s — around the same time Rich fled the U.S. but continued to do business here through shell companies. United Refining of Warren, Penn., is now such a player that a couple of months ago, Catsimatidis tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to buy Getty Oil.
United Refining gave at least $200,000 to the Democrats in soft-money contributions over the last two years.
It’s important to note too that G&P Charitable Foundation — which was formed to raise money for cancer research after the Riches’ daughter Gabrielle died of leukemia in 1996 — has an affinity for Swiss money. This is perhaps because Denise Rich lived in Switzerland with her fugitive husband before coming home and divorcing him. One of the sponsors of the 2000 event was Novartis AG, the pharmaceutical company. As a quid pro quo, Novartis’ CEO, Dr. Daniel Vasella, was honored by G&P at the Novermber 30 ball along with Paul McCartney, Queen Noor, and Mikhail Gorbachev.
According to the G&P book and other materials, the charity is excited about a new leukemia drug being test-marketed by Novartis. But research shows that cancer drugs are a miminal priority at Novartis.
(And here’s a little side gossip: Dr. Vasella, who is an administrator, is married to a niece of one of the founders of Sandoz, one of the two companies that merged to form Novartis.)
Another Swiss-based international company, Orbitex Investments, is a major contributor.
G&P also received substantial donations from World Telehealth, a company founded by Matt Weber, whose only previous credit was as CEO and founder of the now-defunct Global Infrastructure Corp., a trader in international commodities such as metal and oil — coincidentally Marc Rich’s specialties.
The Swiss and oil traders seem to be very generous people. Who knew?
Weekend This and That
It's only Easter weekend, and we already have Memento, Spy Kids and Bridget Jones's Diary to be thankful for. Already a big improvement over last year's releases. ...
I hear some big name acts who appeared at that TNT Brian Wilson tribute will be cut from the final show. One performer may go loco when he gets the word. Another one, who was not in the best voice that night, has apparently agreed to "fix" his mistakes. ...
Let's see how many commercials for the Sylvestor Stallone film Driven we can count over the weekend — without any mention of Stallone, just some young people and the zooming car. Hollywood is a hard, harsh place for anyone — and I mean anyone — over 50 ... Ouch!