Published September 14, 2004
The word from London is that Guy Ritchie, Mr. Madonna to you, is becoming less and less happy with the influence Kabbalah has over his wife.
He called friends over the weekend complaining about the constant interference Kabbalah leaders seem to be exacting in his marriage.
There is no word yet whether Ritchie will join Madonna and 5,000 glaze-eyed Kabbalists in Israel for celebrations later this week; he's still in London, and Madonna is wrapping up her tour in Lisbon, Portugal where, ever-so-spiritually, she's offering "special tickets" to her "beloved fans" for $112 apiece.
Madonna has been quoted to be wondering where all the money she's given Kabbalah leaders Philip and Karen Berg has gone. She's certainly right to ask questions.
According to its 2002 federal tax return, Kabbalah's Spirituality for Kids Foundation had well over $3 million in net assets that year, but spent only around $600,000 of the money. About $373,000 was used for salaries. Another $133,000 was for office expenses.
Kids are not mentioned once on the tax return. No money was given for grants or scholarships, according to the filing.
Meantime, Madonna is still being featured prominently on the foundation's Web site as bait for prospective followers. Interestingly, there is nary a word about Kabbalah on the singer's official site, madonna.com.
The boy to whom Michael Jackson paid $23 million in 1994 in the settlement in a child-molestation lawsuit finally gets a chance to speak.
His uncle has posted an interview the 12-year-old had with a famous psychiatrist who specialized in false memory and child abuse.
The interview, conducted in 1993 with Dr. Richard A. Gardner (now deceased), is alarming beyond description.
It took place in the fall of that year, after the boy's relationship with Jackson had been discovered by his parents and terminated. By that time, a case was being prepared against Jackson and the wheels of justice were turning.
According to Ray Chandler, the boy's uncle and author of the book "All That Glitters," the family's attorney, Larry Feldman, sent the boy and his mother to see Gardner in New York "to see if he could poke holes in his story."
Ironically, Gardner had built a reputation for defending accused pedophiles against victims who invented stories about them. But in this case, Gardner was unable to shake the accuser's story.
There are some odd moments in the transcript when the boy does appear to be a little rehearsed or perhaps more articulate than one might think. But this could be attributed to having sat with countless lawyers and professionals prior to this interview.
What's most important is that the boy, whose name we still do not use as a matter of privacy, describes in detail with Dr. Gardner his sexual relationship with Michael Jackson, then a 35-year-old man.
Although the boy characterizes Jackson as "child-like," he also recounts Jackson's seduction of him, including several episodes when the pop star cried about the boy not acquiescing to him.
You may recall that in my November 1990 interview with Jackson I asked him why he wore sunglasses inside and at night.
"I cry a lot," the singer replied.
The interview with Dr. Gardner is graphic and certainly not for the faint of heart. Is it possible that this entire story was invented by the boy? I guess so, but if it was, he should receive the National Book Award for best first work of fiction. He would have to have been a sociopath, something Dr. Gardner did not find.
Of course, as I've written about this book since Friday (see the last couple of columns in the Fox411 archives), there is questionable motivation about why Ray Chandler has written it and whether his brother, bound by a confidentiality agreement with Jackson, might have helped him. (It would seem reasonable to assume this considering the access Ray Chandler has to sensitive documents.)
Nevertheless, the interview with Dr. Gardner is the most powerful evidence yet of Michael Jackson's sexual relationship with a minor.
In it, the boy — who is now 24 years old — relates that he became so involved with Jackson that he feared the singer would "dump" him. He also claimed that Jackson warned him if others found out about the relationship Jackson would go to jail and the boy would be sent to juvenile hall.
Donna Karan? Calvin Klein? Nicole Miller? Fugheddabout-them. Fashion Week, through last night, has been all about one thing: the amazing rise of hip-hop culture and entrepreneurism.
There was no doubt of that last night at Gotham Hall where jewelry — er, bling-bling — designer Chris Aire put on a showstopper of a spectacle to display his latest creations.
Wyclef Jean provided onstage musical accompaniment while Nelly put on a post-show rap concert. In between, Naomi Campbell and Tyson Beckford, sort of the homecoming king and queen of black fashion, did sexy takes on the runway, while Serena and Venus Williams and Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri were spotted in the crowd.
This was after Friday night's triumphant show by Wyclef's wife, Marie Claudinette Pierre Jean, and her Fusha line of sexy, sophisticated urban clothes.
Sean Combs's valet-turned-star Fonzworth Bentley was front and center, along with Vivica A. Fox, Emmy-nominated actress Tamara Tunie ("Law & Order", "As the World Turns") and a host of other black stars including, at the raucous after-party, cutie-patootie rap sensation Foxy Brown, who performed with Clef and the gang.
Fusha is such a hot line that the buzz backstage was for Claudinette to bring her designs to Hollywood for the Golden Globes, Grammys and Oscars. It's a great idea, and every publicist who represents a young, cutting-edge star should be on the phone about this right now.
Saturday night was hip-hop, too, but in a more hallucinatory way when both Ivana Trump and Bobby Short commandeered tables on the front patio at Cipriani Downtown while Mike Tyson and Monica Seles were spotted inside (separately).
Pleasant young 'B' actress Tara Reid, a Page Six regular, also took an outdoor table. Her substantial décolletage weathered the al fresco experience ably.
Cipriani is located in a big square box of a white garage that used to be a T-shirt shop in Soho. The service is horrendous, the prices are outrageous and the food is small portions of butter-soaked Italian cuisine. An 8:15 reservation kicked in around 9:45.
But if you build it, they will come, as did magician David Blaine and Madonna's business partner Guy Oseary — often mistaken for one another — who arrived together with beautiful models around 10:30, but left when they couldn't get a table.
About an hour later, former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik came in just before the end of the third anniversary of September 11. Wild, man. The place was so cramped and the staff so overwhelmed that our friend Karen finally had to go to the bar and fetch club soda for everyone at our table!
And, oh yes, a 20 percent gratuity was already on the bill when it was presented. Theater, you know, is expensive.
P.S.: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen seem to be getting right into their first semester at New York University. The 18-year-olds were spotted drinking and carousing at several nightclubs this week on the arms of men who were much older than upperclassmen. (Do they still use that expression?) The word is that their multi-million-dollar loft is quite the "full house."
See you at midterms, girls!