Mitchell Fink
March 17, 1997 12:00 PM

Although Brooke Shields and Andre Agassi have yet to set a wedding date, more than 80 of their friends, including Kevin Costner, Barbra Streisand and Paul Reiser, turned out for a Feb. 22 engagement party at the Malibu home of Grammy-winning producer David Foster. My spies at the soiree report that one tense moment occurred when Neil Sedaka sang to the couple and the microphone was then passed to Streisand. After hesitating for what one partygoer called “an eternity,” Streisand, who is notoriously fearful about her singing (especially when it isn’t her idea), declined….

Was it the blue flu that caused Bruce Willis to call in sick the day that his director, producer and cine-matographer, among others, were fired from Broadway Brawler, the romantic comedy Willis started shooting last month in Wilmington, Del? Willis instigated the firings, sources say, but didn’t want to face director Lee Grant and her husband, producer Joseph Feury, the day they got axed. Though disappointed to be off the project, Grant nevertheless feels it was “the best work Bruce has ever done.” Willis had no comment….

Grammy Award-winner Toni Braxton has a brand-new boyfriend. He’s New England Patriots running back Curtis Martin. A source tells me that Braxton and Martin coupled up in early February and have been hitting it off “big-time” ever since….

R&B singer Curtis Mayfield informs me he watched the Grammy Awards from a Manhattan hotel room, saying, “It warmed my heart that Eric Clapton even mentioned me.” In fact, Clapton twice on TV praised the work of Mayfield, who has been wheelchair-bound since a freak accident at a concert in 1990 left him a quadriplegic. But the British blues and rock star could have thanked Mayfield in person the following night had he accepted an invitation to attend the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Awards, also in New York City. Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, that fellow once known as Prince and Mayfield came to see some of their fellow artists being honored, but Clapton chose not to attend. Bonnie Raitt, a foundation trustee, says Clapton is invited every year, “but he never shows up and he never donates money.” Clapton’s decision to stay away, says his rep, “was not a snub. He just didn’t want to go.”…

It’s auction time for the estate of Bernard Lafferty, late butler to the late Doris Duke. Lafferty, who had inherited more than $4.5 million from the tobacco heiress, died last November at 51, but his state and federal tax debts survive. On March 16, the Los Angeles branch of the Butterfield & Butterfield auction house hopes to move much of the ornate furniture from Lafferty’s Bel Air mansion and estimates that the auction will bring upward of $200,000. This should make a small dent, say insiders, in the roughly $2 million his estate owes in back taxes….

Michael Jackson’s dressing room trailer at the Feb. 16 taping of Elizabeth Taylor’s 65th-birthday party in L.A. wasn’t just bigger than anyone else’s; it was also stuffed with Mickey Mouse memorabilia, including dolls, posters and Disney videos. Jackson, 38, often enjoys the comfort of a “theme trailer,” explains a well-placed source, and at previous venues he has also requested motifs based on such real people as former child star Shirley Temple Black.

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