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The Insider

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The Duchess of York, the former Sarah Ferguson, wants to sell her story. Her agents at International Creative Management are pitching a book project to American publishers. It would focus on their client’s life either before her 1986 marriage to Prince Andrew or as a single mother to Princesses Beatrice, 7, and Eugenie, 6, after her separation in 1992. Because Fergie signed a confidentiality agreement with Britain’s royal family, she’ll not be using this book to dish the dirt about her marriage or counter the allegations about her that the British press has attributed to her former lover and financial advisor, American businessman John Bryan….

Attention, voyeurs: You don’t have to wait for the June 28 release of Striptease to catch a glimpse of Demi Moore topless—again. What theatrical exhibitors refer to as a “red-band” trailer of Striptease, considerably more provocative than the “all-audience” trailer that has been running in theaters, is now playing before R-rated movies. Studios often run racier or more violent trailers before R-rated films….

Whoopi Goldberg was the featured speaker on May 1 before 300 movie enthusiasts at Town Hall in Manhattan. After her talk, Goldberg was asked about racism in Hollywood. She said it exists and spoke of how difficult it has been to round up financing for her proposed remake of the 1945 romantic drama The Enchanted Cottage, which she wants to produce and star in with Gérard Depardieu and her current beau Frank Langella. “If Jodie Foster had [the rights to Cottage],” said Goldberg, “it would get made.”…

Novelist Oscar Hijuelos, who saw his 1989 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, become a movie starring Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas, is working on turning Mambo into a Broadway musical. I hear Hijuelos has already adapted his novel for producer Arne Glimcher, who produced and directed the film version. No word yet on who’ll do the music….

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a sequel to The Birdcage, flying high with more than $100 million at the box office. A rep for Robin Williams says the only way he would do Birdcage II is if director Mike Nichols signed on again. But Nichols’s rep says it’s unlikely the director will do that, since “he’s never liked the idea of sequels, his or anyone else’s.” Still, a spokeswoman for MGM-UA, the studio that released Birdcage, remains hopeful. “A sequel sure sounds like a good idea to us,” she says….

At Sting’s Rainforest Foundation benefit concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City last month, I heard Elton John introduce a magnificent ballad, “Live Like Horses.” Now I’m told that he will record the song for the first time, as a duet with Luciano Pavarotti, and donate the track to a Bosnian relief album, which is now in the planning stages….

Oh, that Oprah. Over the weekend of April 26-28, Oprah Winfrey made good on her Jan. 30 promise to take her entire studio audience from that day to Walt Disney World, near Orlando. The 211 folks who made the trip from Chicago were put up at the Hilton in Disney World Village; Oprah herself bunked at Disney’s more luxurious Grand Floridian. Not that Winfrey undertook this whole adventure, which included feting six lucky female guests in her suite one evening, just for fun. She will air highlights from the trip on her show this Wednesday.