Thursday, January 07, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

(image via JH/NYSocialDiary)

"Actor/director/ photographer/sculptor/art collector Dennis Hopper is very ill battling cancer. He was first diagnosed with prostate cancer a decade ago; was treated, and it went into remission. More recently the cancer has spread and his condition has worsened noticeably ... The situation in the Hopper household had been under something of a cloud for sometime, with the husband complaining that his wife was indifferent to him. It was exacerbated when the current Mrs. Hopper, Victoria, wife number five, presented the husband with a list of the art works in the household that she believed belonged to her. The Dennis Hopper art collection is one of the most important collections of contemporary art in America today. He began collecting a decade before his wife was born (she was born in 1968), and it is also a substantial part of the man’s estate. On hearing his wife’s request, evidently surprised by her claim of ownership, while getting his affairs in order, he removed her as executrix of his estate, and replaced her with his eldest daughter Marin Hopper (with his first wife, Brooke Hayward). Marin is separated from her husband and living with their daughter on another part of the Hopper property in Venice." (NYSocialDiary)

"Mahmoud Tamimi's friends call it the ''Dubai syndrome'' -- the insatiable longing for a city he loves but was forced to leave. Back in Dubai, the 31-year-old had a good job, nice apartment and a $3,700 monthly salary, dozens of times what he'd ever made before. Then, early last year, the Jordanian of Palestinian origin was laid off as Dubai's economy plunged. With his residency permit tied to his job, he couldn't stay. He now squeezes into a two-bedroom apartment with his wife, daughter and seven other family members in a poor neighborhood of Jordan's capital, vainly looking for work. Dubai's downfall is not only hurting the city-state and the financiers who bet big on its promises. Even before Dubai's financial crisis, the sheikdom's growing economic woes had begun rippling out across the Arab world, forcing workers like Tamimi back to their home countries, where jobs are scarce and wages often rock bottom. That is eating away at the money many Middle East families depend on, sent home from relatives who work in Persian Gulf countries and emirates such as Dubai." (NYTimes)

"A few months ago, publicist Lizzie Grubman, for whom Ms. Johnson worked as an intern 10 years ago, visited her in Los Angeles, and they caught up over a sushi lunch. 'There are all these rumors about drugs and everything, but I think this was in between her stints in rehab and she looked really good,' Ms. Grubman told the Transom. 'She looked like she got her shit together. She was showing me pictures of her daughter and she said she was single, and she was actually talking about possibly moving back to New York. At that point, I felt like she was in a better place than I had seen her in a long time.' But soon after that meeting, amid reports of Ms. Johnson’s increasingly strange behavior, Ms. Johnson’s mother, Sale Johnson, swooped in and took custody of Casey’s 3-year-old daughter, Ava, who was adopted from Kazakhstan in 2007. Johnson mère also reportedly restricted Casey’s access to family money. Casey wanted her daughter back desperately and, according to friends, was ready to give rehab another go." (Observer)

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