By: Lieba Nesis
-The New York Post ‘s Miranda Devine skewered Melania Trump’s press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a much talked about takedown. The 44-year-old Grisham serves as both chief of staff and press secretary to Melania and missed numerous opportunities to showcase the magnificent Melania. After being offered positive portrayals of Melania by Women’s Wear Daily and the New York Post, Grisham gave the exclusive to Tatler, with little impact since the cover was secured by Meghan Markle. For a first lady not to insist on a front page position in a second rate, or any magazine, is unheard of. Moreover, it was reported that Grisham relocated to Kansas in April with only 30 visits to the White House in the past 8 months. When she was anointed White House press secretary in July 2019 her track record was no better-according to the Post. She never once held a press briefing and left the president to answer to the hostile White House corps.
Equally inexplicable is Grisham permitting Bob Woodward nearly unfettered access to the president for his damaging book “Rage” without monitoring the deleterious conversation recordings. Grisham’s brusque manner turned many insiders off. I can think of no First Lady who has been as poorly served by the media as Melania. Her efforts to meet with sick children, deliver numerous heartfelt speeches, and dress impeccably for each occasion were largely ignored by the press. Melania was rarely utilized to bolster the president’s outreach with women during the past year of campaigning. The Post was undeniably fed the information from those within the President’s circle who have an ax to grind with Grisham-however, the seriousness of the accusations seem almost irrelevant at this stage of the game. The Post said the informants were trying to keep Grisham from assisting in writing Melania’s memoirs and interfering with her post-White House life; however, I think the leakers must have a bone to pick with the irascible Grisham.
-Foot traffic on Black Friday was half of what it was last year while, according to RetailNext, actual spending only fell 30 percent. This is because the smaller numbers attracted those with serious intentions of buying. While retailers have undoubtedly suffered, The Real Deal reported retail rent collection was at 89 percent, the highest since before the pandemic. The biggest issue for malls is excessive debt and reduced capital; however, when the vaccine becomes available to everyone in June 2021, there will be a race to engage in in-person activities like never before.
-Talk show host Ryan Seacrest is feeling excessively bullish about the current real estate market as he placed his 8,628 square foot home in Beverly Hills on the market for $85 million this past week. Seacrest purchased the home on 1196 Cabrillo Drive for $36.5 million in 2012-according to The Real Deal. High end home sales in Los Angeles have gained steam since August with Pierce Brosnan listing his home in Malibu for $100 million in September, Ellen Degeneres putting her Santa Barbara compound on the market for $40 million in October, and Jeffrey Katzenberg selling his home for $125 million during the summer. However, Seacrest’s price tag seems a tad optimistic-especially considering the struggling economy and the problems plaguing California including wildfires, the pandemic and earthquakes.
-Celebrities continue to defy lockdown as Rita Ora invited a group of celebrity friends to London hotspot Casa Cruz on Saturday November 28th to celebrate her 30th birthday. Sources place anywhere from 7-30 celebrity friends at the restaurant until the early hours of the morning, despite police unsuccessfully attempting to gain access to the venue at 9 PM. Since indoor dining is currently prohibited in England, Ora has volunteered to pay a fine of more than $13,000 and apologized for her behavior saying she was of “the misguided view we were coming out of lockdown”-she must be living under a rock as everyone knows the date of easing of restrictions in England is December 2nd. However, Ora has continually flouted travel restrictions as she was shown maskless in a bikini on a yacht in Ibiza in July and August, and in another bikini in Corfu Greece in August surrounded by friends without a care in the world-it’s nice to be a celebrity. Similarly ignoring widespread disapprobation, Cardi B posted about her 37 person Thanksgiving celebration on Twitter. She later apologized-“too little too late.” She claimed everyone at the party got tested further displaying her insensitivity to those who can’t afford a $300 test for 37 people.
-It was confirmed by People magazine that singer Rihanna is dating longtime friend ASAP Rocky after Page Six reported they were having dinner with friends over the weekend at Beatrice Inn. ASAP Rocky told Power 105.1 in October 2019 that he was a sex addict but could be monogamous. Whether he and Rihanna will endure is anyone’s guess-however, I vote them hottest couple around.
-Since celebrity encounters are the current rage I would like to recount an interaction I had with Brad Pitt at The Cape Fear premiere at the Ziegfeld in October 1991. Standing next to him on line where he was accompanied by girlfriend Juliette Lewis, I asked if I might have an autograph while confessing I had no idea who he was. He replied, “why then would you want my autograph”? To which I responded, “everyone else was asking for it and I had nothing better to do.” While Pitt had recently starred in Thelma & Louise I still had not seen the breakout hit. Pitt asked me my name and wrote a lengthy message jokingly signing the paper Fred Savage. When I asked the woman seated next to me about Savage she said I had been duped by Pitt-as The Wonder Years star Fred Savage was only 15.