Yes, we’re still scratching our heads over the Madonna-Alex Rodriguez story. One of the oft repeated elements: that A-Rod was seen a few times coming and going from Madonna’s apartment building on Central Park West and 64th St .
It didn’t make sense, did it? Madonna wouldn’t have a lover come to her apartment while children were there. Not even Madonna would do that.
So it turns out that Rodriguez has another apartment, separate from the one he and his wife share on Fifth Avenue in a Trump building. I’m not even sure Cynthia Rodriguez knows about this: according to my sources, Rodriguez has been subletting a place in the condominiums above the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Columbus Circle . That would put him exactly six short blocks from Madonna (four up and two over).
Rodriguez, my sources tell me, rents from a professional man whom he doesn’t know and is not friendly with. The apartment is just for investments, to be rented out to wealthy businessmen.
How long has Rodriguez been there? The answer would be: at least for several months. A doorman at the Time Warner Center said he thought maybe Rodriguez was gone now. He also told me that Madonna had been a frequent visitor to the apartment building. “I think she has someone up there,” he said. “Like a manager.”
But Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary, who’s also been managing Rodriguez since December 2007, lives in Los Angeles . And anyway: mega super stars rarely visit their managers at home. It’s the other way around. How do we know this? From the Danny Thomas show, “Make Room for Daddy.” The great Sid Melton, who played Danny’s manager Charley, was always busting in on family events at Danny’s apartment. Danny probably didn’t even know where Charley lived.
The Madonna-A-Rod saga is a strange one, but little by little the pieces are coming together. If Kabbalah is involved, for example, the probability is that Madonna and her guru, Philip Berg, the sect’s founder, are more interested in Rodriguez for his bulging wallet than anything else. A Rod has earned over $200 million in his lifetime. His new deal with the Yankees is worth $350 million. Consider that Madonna has been the Kabbalah Center of Los Angeles’s top celebrity benefactor for a long time. She may be tapped out at this point, what with declining CD sales and slow-moving concert tickets at some venues. She has a lot of mouths to feed. A-Rod is a great catch for her and Berg.
It’s also interesting that in “flashes” yesterday from the book by Madonna’s brother, Christopher Ciccone, there was mention of a “rabbi” who was constantly refereeing Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s marriage. That’s likely to be Berg — a former insurance salesman — or one of his minions. It’s unclear that any confidentiality agreement has been signed. Imagine being an unrestrained fly on Madonna’s wall. The book by the brother would be nothing more than Dr. Seuss by comparison.
If Madonna does manage (or has already managed) to get a big Kabbalah donation from Rodriguez, it will be a first. He has not been notably charitable to anyone in his career. Rodriguez has two charities listed with guidestar.org, the A-Rod Foundation and the A-Rod Family Foundation. The former has been in business for several years. The latter began in 2005-2006.
My late great Aunt Bea used to have a very funny saying when she thought we kids were wasting our allowances. “Do you know the sound money makes when it leaves my hand? It shrieks!” A-Rod must have listened to her. In 2006, the Family Foundation donated a shocking $90 to the Miami Little League and $5,000 to Jay Z’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund — despite taking in over $368,862 from a fundraising event. The older organization gives away an average of a measly $14,000 a year. (Interestingly the signature on the tax filing for the Family Foundation belongs to “C-Rod,” Cynthia Rodriguez.
Of course, renting an apartment in the Mandarin Oriental comes to thousands a month.
Compare A-Rod’s giving to those of his fellow teammates. In 2006, the Jorge Posada Foundation gave away $85,452. Derek Jeter’s well-established Turn2 Foundation gave away $1.3 million in 2006 to needy kids. Superstar reliever Mariano Rivera has also been giving away millions for years. Former Yankee and Hall of Famer Dave Winfield started his own foundation in 1977 and has never stopped raising and distributing millions money to kids’ organizations over the last three decades.
(And the aforementioned Jay Z? He gave away $236,000 last year in scholarship money. It’s not a lot, but it’s a start.)
If a Kabbalah donation is what Madonna is after, maybe she should have made a move on one of those guys instead!
Christie Brinkley’s ex, Peter Cook, used to buy Mother’s Day flowers and gifts for her and charge them back to her! That’s one of the household tidbits that will come out this week in their ugly divorce trial — a trial, by the way, that Cook could stop at any time just by settling with Brinkley.
How Cook got away with his extramarital affairs and other bizarre activities will also be presented this week. The main reason should sound familiar to other moms across the U.S. : Brinkley was mostly busy with her kids. The former super model employs only a handyman and housekeeper but no nannies or au pairs for her two kids, Jack and Sailor. She’s considered a “hands-on” mom at their school, too.
Distracted by car pools and after school activities, Brinkley, friends say, wouldn’t have had time to wonder if her husband was fooling around with 18 year olds or surfing the net for porn partners.
I do hope Brinkley’s attorney, Robert Stephen Cohen, gets to ask Cook this week how he’s explained all this to his children. One can only imagine the conversation between Cook and 13 year old Jack on Friday when they were jet skiing. Cook, after all, testified that he sat at Jack’s computer and pleasured himself over a webcam while the kid was watching TV in another room or playing softball.
…Holy cow! Eternally youthful James Taylor, the original hippie singer songwriter, turned 60 in March. But he didn’t get a big celebration until Friday night when Carole King surprised him on stage at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Mass. Carole sang “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Up on the Roof” with Taylor, and performed “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.” JT also got surprise video tributes from Yo Yo Ma and Paul McCartney. There was also a very odd guest appearance from John Travolta. Taylor has been an avid supporter of Tanglewood and the Boston Symphony for over 30 years…
…Actor Ron Silver’s great morning talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio continues to be an unabashed hit. The Oscar nominee (“Enemies: A Love Story”) was a founder of the Creative Coalition and has always been a trenchant political observer. I’ve always loved his “take” even when I didn’t agree with it!...
…Legendary record man Clive Davis is taking a well deserved vacation in Italy while he awaits the release of his next smash, Jennifer Hudson’s debut album. Davis — the most youthful 75 year old in town other than Regis Philbin — can kick back: his Leona Lewis single, “Burning Love,” is still at the top of the charts after five months.
...Anniversary: believe it or not, today starts the 10th year of FOX411. In the beginning, we partied like it was actually 1999! CDs were still selling and Tom was married to Nicole! Nine memorable years. So here we go, into year 10. Anything can happen!