High atop the list of my most sadistic gifts to the world have been blind items—those pesky little tidbits, framed as questions, which tell you everything about a certain piece of tawdry celebrity information except the names. Those are for you to fill in, using all the gossip skills and googling tools at your (trash) disposal. Making this enterprise a high-spirited guessing game not only frees me from potential harm, it also provides a wildly popular interactive experience for you people, so hey, you’re welcome! But for sanity’s sake, I strongly suggest that you think of it as delightfully mind expanding rather than torturously vague. Go ahead, guess! (And no, they’re not all Elton John or Amanda Bynes.)
Which gay star and his man have indeed undergone some trouble in paradise--or at least an extremely open relationship? (The star had a hot, guilty fling with a friend of a friend of mine last year. Whoops. I wasn’t supposed to tell that.)
Which Oscar winner who’s feuding with a music diva is also disliked by another singing star, who after spending an extended amount of time with the trophy holder, finds her such a trip she never wants to see her again?
Which widely loved showbiz lesbian who comes off like a total cream puff apparently treats her underlings like utter garbage?
Which long-running music star and award winner lost a bundle by blindly handing money to new agey fortune tellers and chakra twirlers, the kook?
Which hip-hop diva feels like a prisoner of her life, her schedule, and the controlling mob of business people who tell her what to do at all times?
Which recent NYC awards event hired seven fake paparazzi to hold up pretend cameras in hopes of making the red carpet look a little more gala? (I’m pissed I wasn’t invited to walk the carpet as a fake celeb.)
Which socialite sisters were livid when they showed up at an event wearing the same couture outfit? (It was sort of like the “Paris Original” number from How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, but not quite as hilarious.)
Which copycat designer was banned by a Parisian retailer due to her flagrant "homages"?
Which stylist was caught furtively eBay-ing gifts from her designer friends? (She should have gone the classier route instead—regifting them!)
Which heiress has gotten so disturbingly thin she's started shopping in the children's department? Which gay design duo are the cheapest shoppers on the planet, but unfortunately don’t think price reductions are such a great idea when they sell their own stuff?
What screen legend is giving interviews about the tantric fulfillment she’s found with her man, though in reality she’s getting frisky and anxious to cheat?
Which gay pundit asked a friend of mine to go home with him and play with his “sex swings” and all kinds of other toys, five years ago at a resort town? (The guy declined. By the way, when the scribe talks about having dramatically calmed down, I assume that means since then.)
Which entertainment journalist is so desperate to be thought of as straight that he tried to pass off a female journo as his fiancée, even though the two have always been utterly platonic? (She was stunned when his parents were a little too thrilled to finally meet her.)
Which personality who wrote a show adamantly refused to make necessary trims despite the urgings of many sane people around her? (She insisted that every syllable was beyond reproach. Critics disagreed.)
Which actress playing a legendary gay icon had me host two talkbacks after performances, but turned into a shrieking shrew after the first one, chiding me for having blogged about what she’d said--even though she’d pronounced it to a full house and I’d not only couched it all in superlatives, I framed it as a plug for the second talkback? (Good riddance, babe!)
Which new media titan has been spotted on the gay dating site Scruff?
Which Governor is rumored to have appeared in a porn video when he was younger? (But that’s not the real scandal---it’s that it was straight porn!)
Which Bette Midler character was so much more vicious than she was portrayed on Broadway that if they’d attempted more documentary realness it would have come off like Pacific Rim? (If you can’t figure this one out, your gay card will be immediately removed, along with your Kylie collection.)
Which offbeat female star fired a stylist for procuring her some multicolored male outfits rather than black-and-white ones she insists on?
Which pop diva looking to be hot again has become a major pothead from the stress? When will I see you again? (Complimentary answer: Next week! And I’ll be dealing in names this time!)
Terence Howard and Oprah Winfrey in 'The Butler'
WHAT THE BUTLER SAW
Wait, I’ve got some names already! Lee Daniels! Oprah Winfrey! And so on! Those are certainly good enough to drop this pesky line of questioning and simply start reporting again. And so: Last week, O, The Oprah Magazine hosted a special Hearst Tower screening of Daniels’ The Butler, about a White House worker whose life experiences traversed decades of change in American civil rights. At a Q&A afterward, Forest Whitaker (who plays the title character) and Oprah (who’s his wife) gave some insight into the film’s creation, as Oprah’s bestie, Gayle King, moderated the discussion with passion.
Oprah said she’d gotten an acting coach for the film, “at Lee’s suggestion,” since he wanted her to fine tune her instrument after being off the big screen for so long. But the ex-talk show host still craved more guidance. Daniels smilingly said that during filming, Oprah asked “too many damned questions. Oprah is full of questions. I couldn’t answer enough. For one scene, she and Forest were in bed, making love. She looked around and said, ‘What time is it?’ I said, ‘It doesn’t matter. You’re getting laid. Shut up!’ ”
Still, said Daniels about a whole other sequence—one where Oprah’s character has hit the sauce--“When she surrendered, she was on the floor, rolling around like Anna Magnani.” Literally,” interjected Oprah. “That scene’s cut,” she added. (So was a bit where she extramaritally made out with Terrence Howard. Test audiences preferred her to stay more faithful.)
Whatever they all did to create the performance, Oprah didn’t realize her worst fear: “To embarrass myself.” In fact, Jane Fonda—who plays the finely coiffed Nancy Reagan—sent Oprah a telegram saying, “You disappeared into the role.” And Gayle approves too, telling the crowd, “I was so nervous about seeing her in a love scene—Would it be uncomfortable?—but it was so loving.” No matter what time it was! Gayle went on to ask Whitaker if Oprah’s a good kisser, and the fact that she had to ask made it clear that they’re just friends. Oh, well. I guess some other people’s blind items are wrong.