Denise Rich came out of the woodwork and into the spotlight at a New York Club Thursday night . . . making her first public appearance since the pardon of her ex-husband, Marc Rich, reports PEOPLE. The socialite and songwriter appeared at Club Exit to receive an award with singer Natalie Cole for “Livin’ for Love,” a song they co-wrote that’s currently at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Though the crowd didn’t express too much enthusiasm when Rich was introduced, Cole was well-received. But after the performance, Cole made sure to put in a few good words for her friend. “Don’t believe everything you read,” Cole urged the crowd. “Believe the good stuff, not the bad stuff. People adore Denise. She’s the best.” Rich, who was dressed in tight black pants, high-heeled pumps and a cleavage-baring black T-shirt adorned with jewels, had little to say to reporters. “I’m here to talk about music,” she told the Associated Press, “and that’s it.”