Gossips Bare Their Claws in the Battle of Column a Vs. Column B

UPDATED 04/18/1988 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/18/1988 at 01:00 AM EDT

Maybe your yacht has been becalmed off Cap d'Antibes. Or maybe quelle horreur!—you don't care about the thin, rich people who flit through the society pages like a plague of egrets. If so, you will have missed the battle royal that has le tout New York buzzing over its bisque. In one corner we have Suzy, dowager queen of society news, who sprinkles her haute skinny in the New York Post with a soupçon of French phrases. In the other corner is James Revson, the young, bright and well-connected (he's one of those Revsons, darling) columnist for New York Newsday. Revson claims to cover parties the old-fashioned way, by going to them. And he was miffed at not seeing la Suzy in attendance. So Revson reported that some frou-frou Suzy'd written about a party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was fiction: Twenty of the guests she gushed about had actually been no-shows. But, of course, Suzy couldn't have known that because she was in Mustique, a princely little playground in the Caribbean.

It was a breach of gossip etiquette, noted the New York Daily News's own social lioness, Liz Smith, tantamount to "slapping the queen." And Suzy, when she returned from cavorting on royal sands, was not amused. So she'd skipped a soirée—Revson, she wrote, was an ass, a rat, a liar and, even worse, a nobody. Then the 60ish grande dame—whose real name is Aileen Mehle and whose real age is a national secret—got nasty. "Anyplace Rat Revson is," Suzy warned the hostesses of New York, "I will not be." Can it be, my dears, that Revson has committed social Suzy-cide?

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