May 27, 2010
March 19, 2010
Beleaguered author Gerald Posner was at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens last night on the premise that he'd speak about his book-in-question, Miami Babylon. The Miami New Times, of course, was there to capture what could have been just an awkward book reading. Instead, it turned uglier than a drag queen detoxing from makeup and stimulants. At least according to the New Times, it did. Apparently there was an altercation between Posner and Lera Gavin, the fiancee of Frank Owen, author of Clubland: The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture, from which Owen alleges Posner plagiarized. We also heard from Owen earlier this week via email in which he sent us his account of word thievery as seen on the New Times blog.
After Posner caught wind of the blog this morning, he fired back at the free weekly with a letter (forwarded to us afterwards) to Tim Elfrink, the author of the blog's post, and to the newspaper's editor, Chuck Strouse, calling them out for posting without giving him a chance to comment first. In the letter, Posner says he received a note for comment three minutes after New Times posted the blog. He also says he wrote back saying he never saw comments made on Owen's personal Facebook page because, well, Owen defriended him.
Here they are: The real sparks came after the reading when Lera asked Posner "Are we still going out for a drink to discuss this?" Posner exploded. His plastic face turned red: "Yeah, I'm a thieving cocksucker." "Yes, you are a thieving cocksucker," Lera replied. And then an elderly lady came running towards them: "This is a botanical garden. It's a peaceful place. Can you please take it some place else?"
According to Posner, a lawyer who once worked at New York's Cravath, Swaine and Moore, the New Times account of the incidents in the garden is false, fictional and defamatory. He also says that Owen wasn't present during the altercation and cites Elfrink's friendship with Owen as affecting the quality of his reporting.
In Posner's account in a second letter to Strouse, he said he was disapponted by the way Owen had gone about all of this and told his fiancee he has apologized twice to which she replied, "It's not enough because you haven't admitted it's intentional plagiarism." Posner said it wasn't and the debate went on. "None of us, including Lera, ever raised our voices. But my impression was that somehow Frank, who strangely didn't come up to me to talk, was somehow enjoying all the publicity he's engendered. . . This isn't a game. It's not a matter of "gotcha" or fireworks" or vulgar mud slinging. When I called you on that remark last night, after you introduced yourself to me, you said, 'Oh well, you know Frank.' Actually, I don't, and the more I learn, I'm glad I don't."
While some are crying foul, others are introducing the pot to the kettle, and, somewhere out there, an old peacenick lady may still be traumatized, the jury is on spring break on all accusations. In the meantime, we asked both sides, really, what's going on here, to which Posner replied:
"A reporter accepted a second hand account of what he called 'real trouble' without getting comments from anybody who was actually there . . . And the reporter's friendship with Owen, my accuser, raises ethical questions of whether he is unbiased in his reporting. That is because the same reporter had a few days earlier posted on Owen's Facebook page that "I expect an invite for the fireworks," referring to my talk before the Miami Beach Historical Association. It raises questions about whether the reporter hoped for 'real trouble' to write about in the New Times, and was so anxious to publish what turns out to be a false account, that he cut corners."
As for Strouse, he posted Posner's letter online in its entirety and sent us an email statement saying "Tim Elfrink's reporting on the Posner situation, which was followed by the New York Times, Gawker, and the Miami Herald, has been professional and ethical. On the other hand, after resigning in disgrace from the Daily Beast amid plagiarism charges, Mr. Posner acknowledged that "already published sources [got] through to a number of my final [works]."
Elfrink also sent us an email saying: "If a Facebook 'friendship' is the mark of being too close to a source these days, we're all in big trouble. I'd never met Frank Owen before Thursday night. I Facebook friended him earlier this week after learning that he felt Posner had plagiarized him. It was the easiest way to contact him for his phone number. . . I'm not sure why posting Gerald's account counts as 'first-hand information about what happened, while posting Lera's account is 'second-hand' just because she posted it on Frank Owen's Facebook wall first . . .Interesting that Gerald is blowing up over all these minor complaints at the same time he's admitting his second major act of plagiarism in just over a month. Why, do you suppose, is he trying to shift the conversation?"
Gavin's own account of the incident is posted on her Facebook page. In it she writes, "Gerald Posner wouldn't know the truth if it bit him in the ass," and goes on to recreate the scenario as she saw it, refuting a few things in the process, saying, "The idea that Gerald made me uncomfortable is ludicrous. If he had come any closer, I would've flipped him on his Ken-doll ass, Staten Island style. As for the notion that either Tim or Frank has behaved unprofessionally, that's rich coming from an admitted serial plagiarist like Gerald Posner."
After our post went up, we also heard from Owen, who emailed us a statement saying "First, Tim Elfrink is not a friend. This is a flat-out lie from Posner. The first time I talked to Tim was Monday when I sent him the same email I later sent you. The first time I met him in person was last night. Secondly, calling Tim 'unprofessional' is ludicrous, especially coming from an admitted serial plagiarist like Posner [ed note: similarities between the affianced is not plaigiarism--LA]. Thirdly, saying that I'm doing this solely for publicity is equally ludicrous--especially coming from a media whore like Posner. I offered to settle the matter earlier in the week . . . if he gave a full and frank apology for stealing multiple passages from my book, a fact Posner doesn't deny. Instead, he resorted to lawyerly evasion, first claiming that a Miami Beach policeman he interviewed must have read 'Clubland' and repeated passages from the book to Posner, which is how chunks of my book ended up in his book. Yeah, right. Then he tried to blame his wife Trisha and his two assistants who helped him on the book. Real classy. Blame the help. Now he's blaming a new system of 'trailing footnotes' he instigated for Miami Babylon. Now he says he copied and pasted bits of my book and just forget where they came from. Eight examples of plagiarism--half of them full paragraphs, plus five stolen quotes. This is bullshit beyond belief. He's delusional if he thinks anybody buys this nonsense."
Our apologies for this long post. As the wise prophet Judge Judy once said, "If you want the facts, you go to a therapist. If you want the law, you come to court."
December 15, 2009
Congrats to George Clooney, Jason Reitman and Up In the Air for landing six Golden Globe nominations including best drama and best dramatic actor. In celebration of the nods, here are some exclusive pix of Clooney filming parts of the flick right here at the Hilton Miami Airport where shooting took place for a week in May and included scenes in the hotel's lobby, pool deck, elevators and ballroom. Despite the fact that writer-director Reitman told one TV interviewer he's no fan of Miami International Airport (who is?), he may have been more upset with the city's priorities, telling Cinematical that, through all his travels, "In Europe, there was a lot of talk about the economy. Everyone wanted to talk about the economy. In Miami, it's George Clooney,George Clooney, George Clooney." Of course we did.
November 17, 2009
New York media is much more obsessed with A-Rod than we are, but when it comes to what happens in our own backyard, we've no choice but to pay attention. Which brings us to this post. Page Six published a picture of A-Rod's ex wife Cynthia Rodriguez holding hands with a mystery man. Worse than that, they asked women what they thought of the new dude, and one woman bluntly called him, well, "ugly." Not nice! To each his own, and if anyone has any idea who he is, feel free to let us know.
October 09, 2009
While some people may be worried that their covers will be blown in esteemed author Gerald Posner's new Miami expose, Miami Babylon: Crime, Wealth and Power. A Dispatch From the Beach, the best part about it is all the on-the-record stuff that people are saying about each other. Snap! We scored an advance copy and have picked out some of our faves:
Thomas Kramer on his short lived partnership with developer Jorge Perez: "We did a lot of party and pus*y."
Kramer on banning gays from his short lived club Hell: "I have nothing against faggots, but I wanted a club with beautiful women and men like me."
Kramer on the accusations he molested a little boy in a NY bathroom whom he claims was horsing around and bumped into him at a urinal: "[I told him] If you don't stop this, I will rip this off [grabbing the child's crotch.] And then the little mother*ucker ran off to his mommy to say I molested him."
Ex Miami Beach mayor Niesen Kasdin on Kramer: "Kramer was like watching a train wreck in slow motion."
Ingrid Casares on teaming up with so called club kingpin Chris Paciello in the night club biz: "I needed a substantial profession to prove I was more than just a drug addled sycophant."
Paciello on whether he'd return to Miami: "Most people in Miami respect me. Who knows if I'll end up back there one day. Miami wouldn't be the same without me--and I don't mean that as an ego statement."
Former promoter/club owner Gary James on Paciello's unlikely return to Miami: "Chris seems ready to reclaim his glory. I'd advise him to do it in Los Angeles where he's a new face. No matter what he thinks, South Beach isn't kind to yesterday's stars."
Developer Craig Robins on fellow developer Don Peebles: "His legacy in Miami is not particularly meaningful."
Peebles on Miami: "Miami is just not comfortable with blacks. I don't acquiesce. I am married to a white wife, I make a lot of money, and my problem is that I don't know my place."
Robins on Lincoln Road developer Michael Comras: "Comras is parasitic, not a visionary."
November 28, 2008
So here you have it. The official word on the Madonna Sticky and Sweet after party on Wednesday night. Hosted by Madge BFF Ingrid Casares and Fontainebleau owner Jeff Soffer at his Indian Creek manse, the party's guest list included Pharrell, Timbaland, A-Rod and his and Madge's manager, Guy Oseary. Food was catered by Fontainebleau restaurant Scarpetta, with sushi from Blade. Of course we know you don't care who catered the party, but what went on inside, and whether or not Madonna and A-Rod made out or something. Use your imagination on that one. According to our inside (literally) source, "We all danced and partied until 5 a.m. Beyond that I can't divulge any more." No need. We got the picture, although wouldn't it be amusing if, after all the hype, Madonna was really hooking up with Soffer? Hmmm....
January 20, 2008
There was no need to even mention that Paris Hilton may show up at the Bay Point All Stars Gala at the Ritz Carlton South Beach last night---she didn't, so to the commenter who told me she was in Sundance and not South Beach, mea culpa---because she certainly wasn't missed. Pam Anderson was there, with a small entourage including best friends Dan Mathews, Senior VP of Anderson's pet cause PETA, and dragster Elaine Lancaster, without whom we don't think Anderson would have uttered a word. In fact, Lancaster seemed to be running the Anderson show--fielding questions from media, conducting photo ops like the Zubin Mehta of the paparazzi and even telling her what to say and when to say it. Anderson needed no coaching, however, when it came to taking about marriage, telling us that she's done and is in the market for a good divorce lawyer (and asked Lancaster if Bay Point co-host, defense attorney Roy Black was one). Anderson also reiterated that "My mom wishes I was gay already!" before trying to slap a PETA sticker saying "I'm an a-hole, I wear fur" on fellow journo Michael Cohen, who admitted to wearing a horsehair tie. After Anderson said she was supporting the Bay Point cause because she had a soft spot for bad boys, event co-host and organizer Lea Black made a funny, replying, "And bad boys have a hard spot for you!" Even some of the good ones were guilty as charged, at least last night anyway. Moving away from Anderson, who introduced comedian Tommy Davidson who did a hilarious take on Spanish language TV and Sabado Gigante's Don Francisco, the night was full of stellar live performances---the legendary Patti LaBelle, who was kind enough to invite this blogger on stage to sing backup on the disco classic Lady Marmalade, was in stellar voice, as was Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver rocker Scott Weiland, who told us that we should be on the lookout for an STP reunion in the coming months. But the biggest star of the night, besides the event's co host Alex Rodriguez, had to be 6-year-old prodigy pianist slash genius Ethan Bortnick, who played a little Mozart, Scott Joplin and his own original Ethan Bortnick compositions, before fielding questions and photo ops from the impressed, hard to impress crowd. Bortnick's dad Gene told us that Ethan may be performing at the Grammys. Very impressive, as was the event in general---a motley mix of performers, celebs, socialites, Rush Limbaugh (!), and philanthropists made this event possibly the best thus far. Kudos to Lea Black, Haute Living's Kamal Hotchandani, Antonio Misuraca, Jason Clarke and their team for pulling it off so seamlessly. So again we say, Paris who? Following the gala, Anderson and crew made their way to Mansion and then SET, where Weiland was seen holding court in the Trophy Room. They all stayed until about 3:30 a.m. Anderson took off today, back to Malibu on a private plane. She told us she "had to get back to my boys." As in her kids, not another crop of boyfriends. And over at Sundance . . . Anderson's soon to be ex husband of three weeks, Rick Salomon, was spotted Saturday with a Snow Queen---vodka that is, drinking his sorrows away at the Kenneth Cole Reaction Lounge.
January 12, 2008
Sad news. Attorney and Make a Wish honcho Jim Ferraro left his fiancee, his girlfriend of 9 years, Patricia Delinois,at the altar last night before 100 shocked friends and family. Ferraro and Delinois were to say "I do" at a lavish Fisher Island wedding last night, but when it came time for Ferraro to say those words, he just couldn't. "He left her at the altar tonight when it was time for him to say 'I do'," says one shocked guest. When we asked why, our source said, "Long story. But he just didn't go through with it. And of course he should have called it off BEFORE the ceremony." But wait, there's more! Just like in a bad Lifetime movie, when Ferraro said "I changed my mind," the bride's sister lost it. "The sister was in the front row, screaming 'I'm gonna rip your ***ing head off, you****ing piece of s**t.'" After that outburst, the priest urged everyone to chill, telling them, "Let's calm down, these things happen," as the bridesmaids dragged the dejected bride to the back. "The priest walked over to the sister to try to calm her down," says our source, "And then actually physically put himself between Jim and the sister to prevent her from carrying out the 'I'm going to rip your head off part!'" As for the bride, well, "She was very gracious," said one guest, who was surprised by the abandoned bride's composure. But no one was more composed than Ferraro, who shocked everyone again when he came back out after all the dust settled to eat dinner! "He literally reappeared and started eating dinner," said our source. "He said, 'I love her, but I just didn't feel like doing it.'" And then, we swear as we write this, Ferraro, the new bachelor, took off and went to SET after the wedding that wasn't! Worst of all, just like the bad Lifetime movie starring a dejected, beleaguered Valerie Bertinelli, rumor has it that Delinois is actually considering getting back together with him. Unbelievable.
January 03, 2008
When the New York Post reported that actress/activist Shannon Elizabeth was virtually homeless in Miami, saying she didn't have anywhere to stay and was desperately searching for a hotel room despite the fact that she was ringing in the New Year as hostess of the Sagamore 's New Year's Party, Elizabeth wasn't amused. But we had no idea when we talked to her at the Catalina's Happy Zoo Year party on Sunday and we asked her where she was spending the last night of '07, because we were so confused as to who was going where and we hadn't seen the Post article that day. "I'm hosting the Sagamore party," she smiled. We guess she didn't see Page Six that day either, because on New Year's Eve, Elizabeth was a no-show at the New Year's party. Maybe she decided to stay in---at whatever hotel she ended up staying. Turns out, she stayed at the Fontainbleau and wasn't homeless after all.
June 18, 2007
Janet Jackson and a group of male and female friends--no sign of boyfriend Jermaine Dupri---slipped in the back door of Prive Saturday night for promoter Justin Levine's Empire Events party. Holding court in Prive's hip hop section, Ms. Jackson, clad in head to toe form fitting white pants, shirt and shoes showed off her svelte figure while sipping red wine and grooving to hits by Diddy, Jay-Z and a vintage Jackson 5 remix. Jackson is down here with record exec LA Reid for the next three months recording her new album at Circle House Studios. Boyfriend Dupri is also in on the production.