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Take One

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John F. Kennedy Jr. is many things, but a good housekeeper isn’t necessarily one of them. Someone who rented Kennedy a two-bedroom Manhattan co-op for two years has told friends that Kennedy, 26, left the apartment in “obnoxious condition.” The landlord said that John left a two-year layer of dirt. The walls had holes that had been hastily patched but not repainted, and the carpet had to be replaced. When the ex-landlord tried to reach young John, a law student, to discuss the matter, it was impossible. “Everything was done through his lawyers,” he adds. “I had to retain a lawyer to talk to his lawyers.” Kennedy’s attorneys claimed it was “normal wear and tear,” but still came up with an undisclosed financial settlement. “I had expected him to take care of the place,” says the landlord, who won’t be renting to the rich and famous anytime soon.

Vanna White does speak, but she likes to keep the number of letters in each word to a minimum. Ghostwriter Bart Andrews, who helped pen the first draft of her forthcoming autobiography, Vanna Speaks, was instructed to rewrite his pages on the game-show goddess because it wasn’t done the way Vanna talks: Some of the words were too long.

It’s been nearly 25 years since Marilyn Monroe died, but the public’s (or, at least, publishers’) fascination with the sex symbol hasn’t subsided. Now come writers Randall Riese, 29, and Neal Hitchens, 30, who have amassed more than 10,000 irrelevancies about the eternal blonde and turned them into what they claim is the first celebrity personality encyclopedia, The Unabridged Marilyn: Her Life From A to Z. For $25, hard-core fans can now locate specific hospital rooms she occupied, find and rent obscure apartments that Marilyn once lived in and even buy pharmaceuticals at her preferred pharmacy. “We don’t think it’s tacky, we were just after the facts,” says Riese. Isn’t everybody clamoring to know who made her bras?

When Paul Newman premieres his latest directorial effort, Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, at Cannes next month, he should look like a million bucks, or a fraction thereof. He’s just shelled out $5,050 for a custom-made tuxedo for the festival. When his New York City tailor, Henry Stewart, was asked if it came with a cummerbund, he politely said, “Cummerbunds are for phonies.” You can bet that Fast Eddie walked on that one.

On a different note, jazz musician Dexter Gordon has been cast aside by Coca-Cola. The Oscar-nominated ‘Round Midnight star was up for a gig as a jazz musician in a Coke commercial but, according to his wife, Maxine, “They turned him down because his skin was too light for the part. It’s an old story for black actors—you’re either too dark or too light. Thank God Irwin Winkler [‘Round Midnight’s producer] didn’t think that way.”

Prince got Sheena Easton in a lot of trouble with obscene lyrics when he penned her last hit, Sugar Walls. Now he may get her out of it. He’s written a new single for the Scottish rocker, a ballad called Eternity, and it doesn’t have a dirty word in it. Sheena’s album, No Sound but a Heart, due out June 19, signals a change of direction: She’ll leave dance music behind for ballads and mid-tempo songs. Only squeaky-clean ones, at that.

To err is human, to forgive is what TV evangelist Jim Bakker is asking his disciples to do. At Heritage USA, the theme park near Charlotte, N.C. run by Bakker’s organization, PTL, a “forgiven” campaign is underway. The word is spelled out in flower beds, brochures, on lapel pins and will appear on Bibles sent to PTL patrons. Forgive us for mentioning it.