About Town: Rambling Reporter

57 TOWN Scarpetta
Courtesy Scarpetta

Scarpetta at the Montage Beverly Hills.

Following the latest happenings around Hollywood and who's dining where at today's power lunch spots.

It seems former HBO chairman/CEO Michael Fuchs has seen better business days. Fuchs has been involved with many ventures since leaving HBO in 1995, but the most lucrative possibilities appeared to be in Hawaii real estate. According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Fuchs bought a 65-acre parcel in 2002 in Mauna Lani on the Big Island for $15.5 million with big development plans. His Ke Kailani luxury home project (complete with spas and golf courses) was slated to cost $100 million. Fuchs managed to sell 14 home lots and two condos for $38 million. But the recession stymied further sales, and three local bank lenders filed foreclosure last year for the remainder of the land, claiming Fuchs defaulted to the tune of $52 million. The auction for those remaining parcels (compromising 24 home sites and eight condos) was scheduled for mid-November in Honolulu but has been rescheduled for Jan. 6. Fuchs could not be reached for comment.


Why did Fox Searchlight delay its Nov. 24 media screening of Black Swan for a full 20 minutes? It sure had the audience curious. At 6:50 p.m., none other than Prince walked into the William Fox Theater in Los Angeles and quietly took a seat. “His people called us; he just wanted to see the movie,” a Fox spokesperson says. Well, he won’t have time later on: He has three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden starting Dec. 18.


THR is in the celebratory spirit, so we decided to check in on the town’s December party circuit: Shelli Azoff is hosting her 11th annual holiday party for 150 women; this time the theme is “Simply Christmas.” The ladies — including Kelly Meyer, Julie Chen, Lauren Sanchez and Gwen Stefani — are requested to wear green and white. … Adam Sandler’s annual bash has swelled, with 5,000 people expected at Burbank’s Pickwick Center for skating and bowling. Sandler puts together a band and jams with the likes of Waddy Wachtel and Jeff Lynne. Everyone tries to crash, but no one succeeds. … Armani’s Wanda McDaniel and hubby producer Al Ruddy show off their collection of ornaments at their home, and the likes of Arnold and Maria and Clint bring new baubles for the tree. … Jennifer Aniston’s annual party competed Dec. 4 with that of producer Jennifer Klein. With Grey Goose providing cocktails for 300, Klein transformed her backyard into a cushy living room with Sanaa Lathan’s brother Tendaji spinning. ... Michael Bay holds his annual shindig in the Santa Monica offices of his Platinum Dunes production company. ... Ron and Kelly Meyer are known for their New Year’s Eve soiree for those who haven’t bailed to swim or ski.


In less than a year, Nick Jones’ Soho House has established a hold on the social life of Hollywood; now it wants in on the bedrooms. The private club, says a real estate source, is scouting around town for a hotel space. Makes sense: The NYC club has a 24-room boutique hotel, the new Soho Beach House in Miami boasts 50 rooms. and the European outposts have hotel rooms. It’s only fitting its L.A. visitors be able to sleep over too.


Amy Pascal spotted with Tom Rothman at the new Scarpetta at the Montage Beverly Hills. Terence Stamp was there the same week. .... Ammo was hopping: Erica Steinberg of Ben Stiller’s Red Hour lunching with Universal’s Peter Kramer; at other tables were Lionsgate’s Barbara Wall and ABC’s Channing Dungey. ... Owen Wilson dining at Gladstone’s with producer Mike Fleiss. ... Rob Reiner at Table 2 at e.baldi with Castle Rock compadre Andrew Scheinman, a breadstick’s throw from Steve Tisch and WME’s George Freeman at Table 1. ... Nigel Lythgoe ordering roast beef and Yorkshire pudding at Waterloo & City in Mar Vista.