By Roger Friedman, ,
Published May 18, 2015
Yes, it’s great and fitting that O.J. Simpson is going to jail for, like, forever.
It’s karma for the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman. The Las Vegas prosecutors accomplished what the Los Angeles ones couldn’t back in 1995: convict a double murderer.
If you’re still looking for someone to blame in that mess, try Gil Garcetti, Marcia Clark and Chris Darden. The latter two botched the case, lost it, and went on to score heaps of dough for their ineptitude.
Meanwhile, back in Dana Point, Calif., Nicole’s sister, Denise, also continues to reap the benefits of her sister’s death.
She’s still running the Nicole Brown Simpson Charitable Foundation. Denise takes a salary and leases a car with the donations, runs up dinner bills and makes lots of phone calls.
The Foundation’s grant to organizations that help abused women: $1,000.
Denise’s salary: $10,000 in 2006, and maybe $30,000 in 2007. I say maybe because the person listed as the group’s executive director in 2007 was someone named Deborah Stone. She’s not listed or mentioned on the group’s Web site, never before appeared in any of their paperwork, and is not found through Google. She is also the only member of the board not to have an address listed on the Nicole Brown Charitable Foundation tax filing.
At least this is better than in 2004, when the Foundation had a deficit. Now their expenses are equal to their income. But only $1,000 in grants in 2007 from $94,000 in public support? Wow! Instead of giving money away, NBCF chatted up a phone bill of over $6,000, spent $2,800 on travel and $4,221 on rent. Another almost $4,000 went to “meals,” and auto expenses came to just under $9,000.
And $1,000 went to battered women. Seriously. Here is the statement of purpose for the Foundation: “Provide funds to organizations that shelter and protect families caught in the crisis of family violence. Educate through community awareness the tragedy of domestic abuse.”
And Denise is busy! According to the foundation’s Web site and one found on MySpace, she’s hooked up with an ex-con to write a movie about O.J., or the coincidences of people’s lives connected to O.J. Jimi James is her collaborator on “Angel in the Mirror,” which already has a poster and My Space page, if not a script, producer, funds, or purpose.
You’ll be happy to know that Leonardo DiCaprio’s security guard gets an on-screen credit in “Body of Lies.”
Only Warner Bros., which funded this $100 million-plus action thriller, needs to know what Jason Irizarry did to protect Leo during the Ridley Scott production in Morocco.
It’s not the first time Leo has had a credited security person. He had it on “Blood Diamond,” too.
Leo’s security was in full force Sunday night at the warm and elegant premiere for “Body of Lies” at the Time Warner Center’s Jazz at Lincoln Center. The after-party was a fundraiser for Robert Kennedy Jr.’s Natural Resources Defense Center. DiCaprio, an avid environmentalist, was instrumental in making that happen.
Meantime, Leo’s co-star in the film, Russell Crowe, whom you would think would need some kind of protection, was affable and accessible Sunday night. He chatted up just about everyone and was pretty low-key.
This is the fourth movie he’s made with director Scott, with one more to go at least — “Nottingham.” You’d think the two would have an unspoken language on set by now, but one actor told me: “You should hear them fight on set. It’s like father and son.”
Who wins? “The father, of course,” the actor said, meaning Scott. As it should be, I guess.
A few more of the “Body of Lies” cast drifted around the after-party, all of whom did good work in an exasperating movie: Oscar Isaac, Mark Strong, the beautiful Golshifteh Farahani (who should consider changing that name to Goldie Farhi, or something more Hollywood).
Only Simon McBurney, who plays a computer hacker, was obviously absent. He’s directing “All My Sons” on Broadway with Katie Holmes (and, yes, Dianne Wiest and John Lithgow), so he has his excuse.
Warner Bros. could use a hit with “Body of Lies” now that “Harry Potter 6” was moved to July 2009. My guess is it will do well the first weekend, and abroad. But in the end, this convoluted saga of the CIA in the Middle East is at once familiar and a little weary. William Monahan adapted the screenplay. It’s very much like “The Departed" in its structure, for better or worse.
I think late 2008 is going to feel like 1996-1997 soon. First it was the year of "Titanic" star Kate Winslet, with two big movies. Now it seems "English Patient" star Kristin Scott Thomas is also having a renaissance.
KST is in the French film, “I’ve Loved You So Long,” which could earn her an Oscar nom easily. But she’s also on Broadway, starring in Chekhov’s “The Seagull” with Peter Sarsgaard and a remarkable cast of British actors.
Broadway is bustling right now in the fall season, but “The Seagull” is really phenomenal and worth doing what you must to get tickets. KST is the main character, Arkadina, a vain actress who’s ignored and/or belittled her son until he’s a shred of himself.
It sounds dark, but the play is inherently funny, and this production plays up those strengths. Mackenzie Crook as her son, Konstantin, and Carey Mulligan as Nina, his love, are superb. …
Monday night, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus celebrate the 15th anniversary of their Oscar-nominated documentary, “The War Room” at the Paley Center (aka Museum of Broadcasting) on West 52nd St. in New York City. The updated version, “The Return of the War Room,” airs Oct. 13 on the Sundance Channel, with Carville, Stephanopolous, etc all back for more. Check back Tuesday for a report. ...
Tuesday night, Ben Stiller hosts the annual Project ALS benefit at the Waldorf-Astoria. Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman and Jon Stewart will perform. Katie Couric undoubtedly will make an appearance before the prez debate begins. ...
Also Tuesday night, word of a star-studded, very hush-hush Obama event before the debates down at 632 Hudson St. Debra Messing and Susan Sarandon are on the list; so, too, are Rosie O'Donnell, Matthew Modine and a host of luminaries.
One of the organizers is Suzzy Roche, once part of the beloved singing group The Roches. The New Yorker’s Malcolm Gladwell and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will rally the troops. Equal time: if such an event exists for John McCain this month, please, someone call and let us know. ...
And The Pretenders play the Highline Ballroom at 9 p.m. Tuesday night, as they release their ninth album, “Break Up the Concrete.” (See www.thepretenders.com.) Chrissie, Martin, et al have moved to Steve Bing and Jeff Ayeroff’s Shangri La Music after one album on the late, lamented Artemis and seven on Sire with Seymour Stein. Smart move for all involved.
The Pretenders are my favorite active group; the sweet part is that Chrissie could care less. She’s a rocker. Whatever. “Talk of the Town.” “Cuban Slide.” “Night in My Veins.” Top 40 should be so lucky. ...