Notorious Neighbor was telling us why his birthday party was much more sedate than certain individuals had hoped for.* An old friend of his, a highly prominent agent/lawyer type, hosted it at his house in Hancock Park. Shortly after NN got out of jail, this friend sat him down and made him go through the entire and very long guest list, making him justify each name and explain why he wanted that person at the party — or in his life.
“He kept crossing names out,” NN said, slashing at the air to demonstrate. “He’d say, ‘Okay, this person is out of your life!…and this person is out of your life!”
In the past, this friend had always tried to advise him, look out for him, steer him clear of trouble, but NN had been too young and stupid to listen.
Now he was listening.
“No more [certain notorious blonde socialite],” NN said happily.
I said, “I thought you liked [notorious blonde socialite]**.”
“I hate her.”
“You’ve never said anything bad about her.”
He shrugged. Before he went to jail, he would sometimes make comments about her, that she’s smarter than people give her credit for and has an impressive memory for (phone) numbers. He’s also said that she’s a bad friend for any girl, ends up turning on or discounting her. And there are other stories, that involve being naughty on hotel balconies in Ibiza and yachts in St Tropez. At some point she must have decided that her association with him tarnishes her image — I find this bemusing — and has stated for the record several times that she does not and has never had any kind of relationship with him. There are videos that imply otherwise. (Nudity, yes. X-rated, no. So draw your own conclusions, if indeed your mind must go there….I’d rather stab needles in my eyes, but whatever.)
At any rate, NN is the only person I know who can start off conversations by saying not only “When I was kidnapped…” but now “When I was in jail…”
*It was a pleasant and sophisticated affair in the guy’s backyard, DJ and bars and lights and couches and paved walkways and good-looking people, including a lot of gay men, including an ex-member of a very famous boyband who is surprisingly short in person. I also ran into a pretty blonde girl who looked familiar. She was not completely sober, and she kept twisting herself around NN to whisper at my friend and me, “I hate him. I do.” Pointing at NN, who was oblivious to her, talking with other people, including me. “I hate him!” Then she’d walk away and he’d call out her name and she would instantly stop and wait for further direction and then reappear at his side: “I hate him.” (She left the party with him.) Memory clicked: she’d been hanging out with NN the last night I saw him before he went to jail. She wasn’t completely sober then, either, and she was acting kind of ditzy in the way some girls learn to do because they think other people think it’s cute. NN didn’t find it cute; he’d been annoyed and embarrassed by it, standing in his driveway and smoking and muttering, “I hate her. I hate her.” For two people so clearly not fond of each other, they seem to spend a lot of time together.
** I’ve had two incidents where I was nearly run over by paparazzi. The first was on a sidewalk in Beverly Hills, by photographers backpedaling to snap photos of the socialite when she was a lot more in demand than she is right now.
The second was just last week, when I was stepping up the escalator at the mall in Century City. A pack of photographers came barreling down around me and I had to flatten myself against the side. I reached the top in time to hear someone say, “….the Beckhams.” Since Mr Beckham is one of those people I would actually like to see in person and never have — as opposed to people I don’t give a damn about and so of course see all the time (like the blonde socialite) — I strode across the walkway and looked down through the partition in time to see the back of a very familiar haircut and narrow body pass underneath. Photographers swarmed around, lifting cameras. Alas, it was the female of the species. The male, with all his bright intriguing plumage, had already gone.