Gwyneth Wears Brad's Fave Diamonds | Jacko Mystery Witness | Oscar Parties
Gwyneth Wears Brad Pitt's Favorite Diamonds
OK, I will say I am the first one not to understand the goings-on between Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. They're together, they're divorced, I don't know.
What I do know: According to a press release I received yesterday from my pals at the Diamond Trading Company, Gwyneth Paltrow — Brad's former fiancée — wore only Damiani diamonds, supplied to her by the company, on Oscar night.
Why is this interesting? Because Brad has designed jewelry for Damiani and had major business dealings with them. He's even been in a lawsuit with them, now settled. Pitt even had Damiani design Jennifer's wedding and engagement rings.
So does Gwyneth's choice of jewelry designer mean anything? There were plenty of others to choose among, including Harry Winston, of course, Chopard, Neil Lane and Fred Leighton.
I did notice that Virginia Madsen wore drop diamond earrings by my old pal Loree Rodkin. Very cool, Virginia.
Interestingly, only two well-known actresses, and one famous wife, wore their own jewels instead of borrowed items.
Julia Roberts and Annette Bening, dear friends, are not into borrowing. Of course, they can afford anything they like.
And Vanessa Paradis, mother of Johnny Depp's kids and his significant other, also dug into her top dresser drawer instead of opting for a sponsorship.
As for Gwyneth, I still do not know what it all means. Maybe it was just a tip of a hat to an old friend. Or maybe it was more. I will leave such musings to the tabloids.
Jacko Mystery Witness: Accuser's Family Planned It
A close friend of the family involved in the Michael Jackson child-molestation case has a startling statement ready for when she's called by the defense.
"She will say that the daughter told her they would own Michael Jackson's home."
So says H. Russell Halpern, attorney for the father of the children involved in the case.
What Halpern says is interesting, because it goes to the heart of the relationships in the family. These stories could come out when the defense presents its case.
However, so far, Halpern says Jackson's defense team has not contacted him for assistance.
Halpern often comes across as a publicity hound because he's given so many interviews since the Jackson scandal erupted.
On the other hand, he's never sold a story, and his accounts of the family are probably closer to the truth than any others. He's handled years and years of their domestic litigations, as well as criminal matters.
Halpern says that at some point before all of this started, the couple in question's oldest child, their daughter, went to stay with a family friend after she fought with her mother.
"She told the friend that they were going to wind up with Michael Jackson's house," Halpern told me. "The daughter also claimed that her mother beat her. Later, she recanted and said it was her father."
Last week, Halpern confirmed for press organizations that the boy in the case once instigated an investigation into his mother for abuse with the Department of Social Services.
Strangely enough, Halpern says that at one point in the parents' domestic war, the mother got the two sons to sign letters saying they didn't want to see their father anymore.
The daughter wouldn't sign, even though the mother had alleged in one of her many family-court skirmishes that the father had gone to the daughter's school and threatened to kill her. There were no witnesses to that incident, however.
The daughter, now 18, moved away from her mother and brothers and in with her maternal grandparents in 2003, just as the Jackson scandal broke. My sources have long argued that she did so because she disagreed with the mother's actions in the case.
Yesterday, in his opening remarks, Jackson's defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. depicted the mother as a grifter on the make who bilked lots of people, especially celebrities, out of money, using her kids' illnesses and apparent poverty as bait.
This much is incontrovertible: The mother solicited financial help several times from outside private sources, including the LAPD, never telling anyone that she had also had gotten celebrity help, welfare checks and a six-figure settlement in a case involving JCPenney.
So Mesereau has a mound of evidence that will show the mother did more than, as lead prosecutor Tom Sneddon said yesterday in his own opening remarks, "make a lot of mistakes."
Mesereau will set out to prove, if he can get all his ducks in a row, that the only "mistakes" made by the mother was leaving a bread-crumb trail of lies right to her own front door.
Oscar Parties: What Happened
So many parties to report on, and of course, thoughts about Chris Rock and how "The Aviator" could win the most Oscars and still lose Best Picture and Directing.
But first: Yes, that was singer/songwriter Carole King walking through the Kodak Theatre lounge during the Oscar show.
Carole didn't get much attention, but she seemed like she was having a good time when I caught up with her. Her life is like a tapestry, you know.
Drew Barrymore made at least two trips to the bar during the Oscar telecast, with a male and female friend in tow. No sign of her rock-star boyfriend, though. Drew looked very elegant as a reddish brunette, even though her blondeness remained unspoken.
Deborah Santana, wife of Carlos Santana, told me all about her memoir, which is officially published today. Called "Space Between the Stars: My Journey to an Open Heart," Deborah's book is already getting rave reviews. She's had a wild life, too, worth reading about. Did you know she used to date Sly Stone? Yikes!
Dreamworks' Jeffrey Katzenberg paced the floor in the lounge and bar, perhaps a little bored since his once mighty boutique studio was out of the running this year. Never fear, though: Dreamworks will be back big-time in 2006 with many hot releases.
Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy of "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" hung out, albeit separately. Delpy is set to direct her first film, from her own script, in which she will star with Hawke and Radha Mitchell. It's called "Elizabeth Bathory," a true story about a Hungarian noblewoman who bathed in young virgins' blood. "There are no vampires involved," Delpy reported.
Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" director) wandered around aimlessly.
Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, however, were purposeful. The pair needed drinks, appropriately, after "Sideways" lost all its acting awards. Giamatti, inexplicably snubbed even for a nomination by the Academy, was more concerned that Virginia Madsen lost.
"We thought she had it," the two friends observed (Cate Blanchett won.) Still, "Sideways" has changed all their lives for the better.
Chad Lowe has gotten all the financing for his movie directing debut, but has lost star Alec Baldwin, thanks to the latter's complicated child-custody arrangement with ex-wife Kim Basinger. Tim Robbins, I hear, may step in.
Sean Penn cooled his heels in the Kodak bar, chatting with audience members and comporting himself as the reigning best actor (from last year's "Mystic River") should.
Mickey Rooney got huge ovations on the red carpet, by the way. Wouldn't it be nice to give him a little tribute next year?
And at the same time, how about a nod to the great press agents like Lee Solters and Warren Cowan, still going strong, and the perennially masterful Army Archerd of Variety? They deserve their own Academy citations, with more contemporary legends Pat Kingsley and Paul Block right behind them.
Another great Hollywood star, Anne Jeffreys, remains elegant, sophisticated and youthful.
At the Ivy on Friday: Tom Selleck with a round table full of family and friends inside as "The Motorcycle Diaries" star Gael García Bernal entertained a beauty at a table for two.
Plus: Michele Lee spotted at the Universal party for Jamie Foxx at Spago with old pal Joel Siegel.