New York's exiting Mayor Rudy Giuliani is not moving to Paramus, New Jersey.
The Time Magazine Person of the Year is so popular right now he's certainly wanted in a lot of locales. Yesterday I was told that he had "definitely" purchased a new custom home in the Fairway Oaks development in Paramus. Fairway Oaks is owned by real estate developer/magnate K. Hovnanian, a major Republican party donor.
"The building permit for a 5,500-square-foot home there has the mayor's name on it," insisted a source knowledgeable about such trivia. The source named Bennington Terrace as the mayor's new street.
But Hovnanian spokesman Doug Fenichel told me: "We'd love to have the mayor, but it's a rumor we've heard for two weeks. His name is not one of the purchasers of those homes." There are 48 homes in the Fairway Oaks development. The estimated price for the non-house that Giuliani isn't buying is $1.5 million.
Not that he couldn't afford it. Giuliani, don't forget, has a $3 million book deal with Talk/Miramax books for two tomes. He could use that contract as collateral. And my guess is mortgage brokers would be tripping over each other to make a deal for him.
But it's not happening. The mayor's press officer, Sunny Mindel, told me: "That's off the charts and not true."
It should be noted that Giuliani's son, Andrew, who is 14, attends St. Joseph's private high school in nearby Montvale. That could be how some of the story got started.
Mindel declined to say where the mayor would be living after Dec. 31, when he hands over the city to Michael Bloomberg at a Times Square ceremony. The mayor currently lives in the home of Howard Koeppel, on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
This isn't the first time a Rudy-to-Jersey story has surfaced, by the way. My colleague at the New York Post, Neal Travis, speculated Giuliani was thinking of moving to nearby Passaic back on Dec. 12. But this is the first time anyone's had a street name. Stay tuned.
New York City's erstwhile First Lady, Donna Hanover, has to move out of Gracie Mansion on Dec. 31. The next day, Michael Bloomberg becomes the new mayor of New York.
Hanover—a talk show host and actress—has been living with her two kids in the mayor's official residence, Gracie Mansion, since Mayor Giuliani moved out last summer. The couple is getting a divorce.
So how will Donna move out of the place she's called home for eight years? With a bash, of course. Not bashing Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who will soon be her ex-husband. But with a real bash—a New Year's Eve party.
Donna's press office tells me "Donna and the children [Andrew and Caroline] will have a New Year's Eve party at Gracie Mansion, and when they're done, they will go to their new apartment." By new apartment, they mean the former Giuliani home on East 86th St.
The questions are, who will be at this party, how much will the party cost, and who will pay for it? Hanover's press rep didn't have those answers. But Donna's friends include folks from media circles as well as fashion, like designer Nicole Miller.
At least the cuisine should be tasty, since Hanover still has ties to the Food Network.
One guest who won't be there is Hanover's former TV producer, Gail Yancosek. She told me she hadn't been invited.
More importantly, doesn't this sound like a vindication for the mayor's divorce lawyer Raoul Felder? He once said, "They'll have to pry Donna's fingers from the chandeliers at Gracie Mansion to get her out of there."
A source—not Felder, by the way—sniped, "She'll be leaving claw marks when she goes."
Michael Mann's Ali had a strong start on Tuesday. Columbia Pictures trumpeted a Christmas Day record opening with $10.8 million in box office sales.
Nevertheless, Ali finished second on Tuesday to Lord of the Rings, which had more than a million bucks extra in its own sales.
So much for firsts.
Meanwhile, the big hit with "legs" is Steven Soderbergh's star-packed Ocean's Eleven. The remake of the Rat Pack film is already over the $100 million mark and climbing. Look for the names who took back end deals in lieu of upfront pay—Clooney, Pitt, Roberts, Damon—to start notifying the accounting office for their pieces of the action.
And the worst news continues to be the total collapse of movies starring Jim Carrey (The Majestic) and Tim Allen (Joe Somebody). For Allen, who had a hit TV show and a couple of hit movies like Santa Clause and Galaxy Quest, this is not a good turn of events. He may have to contemplate a return to television soon.
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