Irena Medavoy on Her St. Bart's Holiday With Stallone, Tesla's Elon Musk and Russell Simmons (Guest Column)
The philanthropist wife of A-list film producer Mike Medavoy on the island's who, yacht and where: "Christmas was warm and sexy at Nikki Beach."
This story first appeared in the Jan. 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
My husband, Mike -- who got a break from shooting The 33, the Chilean miners' story, in South America with Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche -- and I took our son Nick with Sly and Jennifer Stallone and their three daughters, Sophia, Sistine and Scarlet, on a yacht we were invited on by friends called the Cakewalk to St. Barts for two weeks. Our tradition of holidays with the Stallones has created some wonderful memories, from Venice to St. Tropez and Cabo to Careyes. Sly has that way of making everything funnier. One of the biggest secrets is his sense of humor. Jennifer, owner of uber-successful Serious Skin Care on HSN, was looking like a sister to her daughters -- her body is sick.
Christmas was warm and sexy at Nikki Beach, with Russell Simmons holding court at one of the tables with his whole family celebrating together, as they have for the past 16 years. His ex, Kimora Lee Simmons, looked gorgeous in her yellow bikini, and she and her new amour, Tim Leissner, were commingling with their children and parents.
We shopped at Sunday, a boutique with outposts only in St. Tropez and St. Barts, where the Vilebrequin special collection 24-karat-gold embroidered swimming trunks that Mike wanted were €8,381 ($11,562). (We decided to get the silver version for much, much less.) It was a reminder that we're at a place where there are no sales at Christmastime. This is luxe to the max. Hermes carries shoes in sizes made for the tall Russian models who need 11s and 12s.
In town were Paul McCartney and wife Nancy -- lovebirds. Also on the island were Robert Downey Jr. and his producer wife, Susan, on holiday with Amanda Goldberg and her husband, WME's Phil Raskind. Brett Ratner and Steven Mnuchin stayed on the boat of their RatPac-Dune Entertainment partner James Packer.
Taking a break one day, we decided to go to a private beach in Anguilla. We were walking on a fairly remote part of a beautiful stretch when we passed a seated figure. Mike right away called out, "Hey, Jeffrey," to Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was staying at one of the Viceroy Anguilla's villas nearby.
The talk on the screeners circuit in St. Barts was a debate over whether Leo was going to get a well-deserved fourth Oscar nom for The Wolf of Wall Street. Elon Musk and his gorgeous wife, Talulah Riley Musk, arrived to St. Barts in time for New Year's Eve. (And the boat talk was all about whether Apple would acquire Tesla and have him run the company.) Being with them is always like entering a magical playground. Their parties are themed and very secret -- the absolute best.
Michael Ovitz and Tamara Mellon were on his boat with MT Carney. Maurice Marciano of the Guess empire chartered the Seabourn Spirit for 100 of his closest friends to celebrate his birthday with a final bash that would end on Nikki Beach on Jan. 2. One thing the Marcianos do very well is entertain, besides running their successful business. On the boat, just in case any sniffles arose, Dr. Joey Sugerman and The Biggest Loser's Dr. Rob Huizenga would be tending to any complaints while being pampered guests. Some of the cool guests on the Seabourn included Cheryl and Haim Saban and David Foster and his wife, Yolanda.
On New Year’s Eve day, Mike and I had drinks with Brett Ratner and Brian Grazer and then a lovely lunch with Steve Mnuchin and Louise Linton aboard the Seahorse. Brian, who was staying on the boat, and Brett then went off to the Taiwana hotel for lunch. We preferred staying back on the boat and avoiding the crowds.
Everyone was at Nikki Beach to ring in 2014 and hear David Guetta, including Sly, who has been filming Expendables 3, producer Lawrence Bender, who was staying with New Line co-founder Bob Shaye and his wife. Everyone seems to be staying longer than usual this year. The big news was that Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich didn’t do his annual blow-out party. Jean Pigozzi jumped into the gap and threw his own New Year’s Eve party.
After that, we headed on the Cakewalk -- which incidentally is for sale and ranks as the largest yacht built in the United States -- to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands after 10 days in St. Barts. Ambassador John Emerson of Germany and his wife Kimberly, who were visiting with Lynda Carter and Robert Altman, were just leaving.
On Thursday, Mike and I and the Stallones went to a pretty deserted beach, and the first people we see? Billie Jean King and Maya Angelou and a great group of women we ended up hanging out with. They all asked to take photos with Sly and Sly did it. I guess you have to go home for any isolation, but when you have Maya Angelou and Billie Jean King you go with the flow. It's party all the time, even on virgin territory.
Now Sly is leaving directly for openings in Rome and London to promote Grudge Match and we're back to Los Angeles on Sunday morning for back to school on Monday -- and reality.
Irena Medavoy is a founding board member of The Truth-In-Advertising Alliance, working to pass legislation to outlaw excessive Photoshopping and fight anorexia and bulimia.