Brawl In The Family
Relationships go pffft! when the parents of stars decide to air the household laundry in print
Oh, for the days when family memories were kept in musty photo albums reserved for close relatives and friends. Now Eddie Fisher, 71, writes Been There, Done That and angers daughter Carrie Fisher, 43, in the process. Nancy Aniston, 63, already estranged from daughter Jennifer, 30, writes From Mother and Daughter to Friends and watches their relationship sour further. Drew Barrymore‘s mother, Jaid, shops an autobiography touching on Drew’s wild-child days of drug and alcohol abuse—and wonders why Drew, 24, doesn’t call anymore.
The kids don’t want to talk about their parent’s tell-all tomes. The parents say they don’t understand their progeny’s anger—and, in the case of the senior Barrymore and Aniston, maintain that their books might actually spark a reconciliation with their daughters. They’re dreaming, says relationships expert Dr. Joyce Brothers. “You don’t do this publicly,” she says. “It is guaranteed to keep the estrangement going. Let’s turn the page, but not the written page.”
Nancy Aniston says her book offers “life lessons” that can benefit any family. “I came to realize that loving my daughter meant respecting her need to discover her own uniqueness and requiring my separating for a while.” (The two split three years ago after Nancy talked about Jennifer to a tabloid television show.) Jaid Barrymore, also alienated from her daughter for three years, believes her upcoming book will set straight “a million misconceptions” about herself. “The perception of me is this person who dragged Drew around and who lived off of her and exploited her,” she says. “Excuse me, but I’m really not that person.” As for Fisher, he doesn’t see what the fuss is all about. After all, he says, his daughter “knew the story long before I wrote the book.”
Roll over, Bill Shakespeare, and give Ben Jonson the news. Editors of the newest edition of the venerable Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, due in American bookstores in time for Christmas, have scoured pop culture in search of modern pith and come up with the following wit and wisdom from would-be Oscar Wildes:
“Being blonde is definitely a different state of mind.”
“If I’m more of an influence to your son as a rapper than you are as a father…you got to look at yourself as a parent.”
“Sex [is] like eating a bag of crisps [potato chips].”
“When it’s 3 o’clock in New York, it’s still 1938 in London.”
She’ll Be There for You Too
Look for that ever-popular circle of Friends to widen next month when supermodel Elle Macpherson joins the cast of the NBC series. The SPORTS Illustrated swimsuit beauty, who has acted in such films as Batman & Robin, Sirens, The Edge and The Mirror Has Two Faces, will guest-star in a November sweeps multi-parter as Janine, a dancer who is the new roommate of Joey (Matt LeBlanc). She moves in when Joey’s old roommate Chandler (Matthew Perry) splits for the pad across the hall belonging to Monica (Courtney Cox Arquette). (Got that?) Macpherson, who sells her own line of lingerie when not before the camera, joins a growing list of models called on to freshen up the scenery for aging sitcoms. Heidi Klum strutted her stuff on ABC’s Spin City, and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos lent her looks to NBC’s Just Shoot Me. Though only scheduled for four episodes, Macpherson could serve as a future insurance policy for the show, in case any of the established Friends stars decide to take a walk when their contracts expire after this season.
The Royal Treatment
Camilla Parker Bowles may never be Queen, but Prince Charles is treating his longtime love, 52, just like one. According to Britain’s Sunday Times, the 50-year-old prince ponied up $247,500 for her annual expenses—including a chauffeur and personal assistant ($74,250), gifts ($16,500) and the upkeep of her hunting horses ($39,600). “Charles is determined that Camilla’s lack of any official royal position will not affect the manner in which she lives,” a Palace source told the paper. Indeed. Charles—who earns $6.6 million annually, after taxes, from his estates—reportedly footed a $107,250 tab for his paramour to travel the globe. The Times story was “very speculative,” a royal source told Scoop. “We don’t give out any information about how he spends his money.”
One for the Money
At last week’s Elvis Presley estate auction in Las Vegas, Jim Mclngvale blew a sum fit for a king: $448,000. The Houston furniture-store owner known as Mattress Mac—he appears in TV commercials sandwiched within a sliced mattress—snapped up such Elvis items as Presley’s 1956 Mark II Lincoln Continental ($250,000); a cape Presley wore on his Aloha from Hawaii TV special ($85,000); and one of the singer’s serving-platter-size belt buckles ($32,500). Despite appearances, Mclngvale, 48, says, “I’m an Elvis fan, but I’m not crazy about him.” He plans to display the stuff in his store to lure Elvis aficionados. And he may do his next ad “wearing Elvis’s cape,” he says, “with the big belt buckle to hide my big stomach.” Thank you. Thank you very much.
Professor Winfrey Explains It All
The syllabus at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management apparently includes a little time for levity. Witness the opening banter between Professor Oprah Winfrey and Professor Stedman Graham, co-teaching a 10-week course, Dynamics of Leadership, at the Evanston, Ill., campus. “At first she kept referring to Stedman as honey, and then she tried to change it to Mr. Graham,” recalls Susan Moseley, 28, one of 110 second-year M.B.A. students in attendance. But the television star and her sports-management consultant beau soon got down to, well, business. Says Moseley: “He sticks to the material we’re supposed to be learning, and she provides valuable tangents. She brings the material to life.” Winfrey brings experience too. “She’s a celebrity and has wonderful charisma, but she also has a lot of good business stories to tell,” notes student Michael Kahn, 28. And she’s modest, giving herself a B for the first class, telling reporters, “I haven’t been this nervous since I danced with Tina Turner.”
ON THE BLOCK
OUT OF AFRICA
Earl Spencer has sold his thatched-roof home in Cape Town, where he shared custody of his four children with his ex-wife, Victoria. Spencer has been spending more time in England these days, while the family remains in South Africa. The buyer reportedly paid about $1.1 million for the four-bedroom house, called Tarrystone, which has a pool, barbecue area, stables, two guest cottages and a landscaped garden. Spencer still owns Althorp, the English estate where Princess Diana is buried.
Using Too Broad a Brush?
Charlize Theron angered some of her countrymen in August with a televised antirape spot questioning “what men are like in South Africa,” where “one out of three women will be raped in [her] lifetime.” After a flurry of complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority banned the ad last month, saying “it created the impression that all South African men are questionable.” Now the rape crisis center that produced the ad is appealing the decision (a judge could rule as early as this week), while The Astronaut’s Wife and Devil’s Advocate star takes her case to the press. “When you are dealing with these kinds of harsh statistics,” Theron told Britain’s Independent last week, “you need a hard campaign to get the message across.”