Liv Tyler Engaged to Rock Singer | Forget About Who Denise Rich Gave Money to — Who Gave Money to Denise? | Denise's Gifts Came Through Others Too
Liv Tyler Engaged to Rock Singer
Some good news for a change: Sultry actress Liv Tyler is getting hitched. Tyler, who's just finished filming the three-part Lord of the Rings, became engaged on Valentine's Day to Royston Langdon, lead singer and bass player for the group Spacehog.
Tyler, 23, is the daughter of Steve Tyler of Aerosmith and former Ford model, Playboy playmate, and rock singer Bebe Buell. In a strange twist, Tyler was born Liv Rundgren and believed until she was about 10 years old that her father was rocker Todd Rundgren, whom Buell lived with from 1972-78.
Langdon and his brother Antony are two of the founding members of Spacehog, and come from Leeds, England. Tyler and Langdon have been an item since the fall of 1998, after Tyler broke up with actor Joaquin Phoenix.
With this announcement, Tyler may be part of a trend of second-generation celebrities settling down faster than their parents. Recently Goldie Hawn's 21-year-old daughter, Kate Hudson, married Black Crowes leader Chris Robinson — even though Hawn herself has remained in an unmarried state with actor Kurt Russell for nearly 17 years. Tyler's parents were never married either.
Bebe Buell told me over the weekend that she was thrilled for Liv and that all of the families have spent time together over recent holidays, "and get along very well." On a personal note, I've known Liv Tyler since she was a teen model and fledgling movie star; she's one of the great kids, a real person, unaffected and a lot of fun. Congratulations to her and to Royston! This one sounds like a keeper.
Forget About Who Denise Rich Gave Money to — Who Gave Money to Denise?
For a songwriter, Denise Rich has some pretty interesting pals.
You may recall that on November 30, 2000, Denise threw her second annual fund-raiser for her G&P Charitable Foundation — the one where Bill and Hillary Clinton did their dog-and-pony show and Bill received a new sax. Denise's heart was in the right place on this one, because her oldest daughter, Gabrielle, tragically died from a form of leukemia in 1996. Denise is hunting the world for a cure and raising money for research.
But now that Denise's Democratic fund-raising is being questioned in light of former President Clinton's pardon of her fugitive ex, Marc Rich, some of her acquaintances are looking rather questionable.
Interestingly, two of the largest donors to the G&P are oil billionaires Marvin Davis and John Catsimatidis. Davis, by coincidence, once owned the 20th Century-Fox film studio before it was bought by our beloved leader Rupert Murdoch and merged into News Corp. Davis is thought to be the person on whom John Forsythe's 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.
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' 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 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 on the same night as Paul McCartney, Queen Noor of Jordan and former Soviet premier 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 minimal 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.
Both the Swiss and the oil traders seem to be very generous people. Who knew?
Denise's Gifts Came Through Others Too
Meantime, the U.S. Attorney's Office has not picked up on Denise's "secondary" gift-giving to the Democrats and to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani — a story reported by FOXNews.com on February 2. According to FEC records, Denise's son-in-law Philip Aouad, as well her daughters Ilona and Daniella, her father Emil Eisenberg, and boyfriend Niels Lauersen, all gladly gave to Democratic causes heartily over the last four years.
Giuliani — who has excoriated Clinton for pardoning Rich — accepted campaign donations from Rich's father-in-law, daughter, son-in-law, and from Denise Rich's boyfriend.
As mayor, Giuliani would have been in no position to help Marc Rich gain a pardon from President Clinton. But it seems clear that Denise Rich, her family and friends considered anyone who might be a federally elected official a potential help to them.