Sale to the Chief
And now a word about the unofficial sponsors of the White House hullabaloo
President Clinton's woes (see cover story, p. 52) have united two of the country's obsessions—sex and shopping—better than any Victoria's Secret catalog. Never mind whether you should buy his story; people are talking about whether to buy the stuff associated with it: ties, books and the most well-timed movie since The China Syndrome opened the same month as 1979's Three Mile Island scare.
Perhaps surprisingly, not all retailers are scrambling for attention. The $110 Ermenegildo Zegna tie, for instance, that Monica Lewinsky reportedly gave the President, was first sold in the winter of 1996 and has been discontinued. "It'll never come out again," says Richard Cohen, the Italian clothier's North American CEO. "That isn't the way we do business." Officials at the Gap, where Lewinsky is said to have bought the blue dress later turned over to prosecutors, insist there has been no demand for blue frocks—and no attempt to incite one.
But Clinton has been a boon for some. Nicholson Baker's phone-sex novel Vox, a copy of which Lewinsky reportedly gave the President, saw sales skyrocket 600 percent when the scandal first broke and is still selling strongly. (Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, the 1855 book of poetry Clinton allegedly gave the former intern, seems to be selling no better than before.) And since the U.S. raids on terrorist sites in Afghanistan and Sudan, video renters nationwide have been barking for Wag the Dog, last year's film about a phony war ordered up to divert attention from a president's philandering. The movie "barely rented" before the attacks, says Erik Evans of D.C.'s Washington Video minichain, whose 40 copies are all out. "It's art imitating life. And it's improving our life."
She's Out from the Shadows
Has John Lennon's long-lost younger half-sister surfaced? According to the British tabloid The Sun, she has—and one Lennon relative is thrilled. The paper's story is that Ingrid Pedersen, a 53-year-old Southampton, England, hospital clerk, is Victoria Elizabeth, daughter of John's mum, Julia, and a soldier boyfriend (Julia later had two daughters, Julia and Jacqui, by another man). Adopted by Norwegian-born sailor Peder Pedersen and his wife, Margaret, Ingrid discovered her identity in 1966 but came forward only after Margaret's death five weeks ago. Says Lennon biographer Ray Connolly: "Her parents did a great job by telling her it would have ruined her life if she came out of the shadows—as if the only reason she was on earth was to be a Beatles half-sister." There's no comment from Yoko Ono, Julian or Sean, but Stanley Parkes, 65, Lennon's cousin, couldn't be happier. "John tried to trace her," Parkes, a retired agricultural worker, told PEOPLE. "It was sad they never met, but we will all be happy to get her into the fold of the family."
Who: Donny Osmond
What: Personal History by Katharine Graham
Where & Why: "I technically didn't read it—it was a book on tape. That's what I do on the plane and in the car. The problem is, they don't have enough pictures on the tapes."
As historical re-creations go, it wasn't exactly Cleopatra's barge. The original Studio 54 is closed, but the building still stands in midtown Manhattan. That didn't stop Hollywood from creating a replica of the sex-and drug-saturated club for a party to celebrate the premiere of the film 54 on Aug. 24. There were tube tops, Village People clones and leopard-print pillows aplenty, but have the naughtier aspects of the '70s gone the way of Caligula? "Party all night? You must be kidding," declared Sela Ward, a regular at the real 54. "I have two kids. I need my sleep."
As the new spokesman for Kellogg's "For Heart's Sake" nutrition-and-exercise campaign, health-savvy composer John Tesh—whose late parents, John Sr. and Mildred, both suffered from heart-related ailments—will grace 12 million cereal boxes. His own daily bowl? With water. No milk, please; he's lactose-intolerant. But Tesh, 46, who gets no compensation other than 100 boxes of cereal and the privilege of having his face all over the nation's food aisles, does know how to kick up his heels nutritionally. "When there's a birthday party," he says, "I have two pieces of chocolate cake."
You Can't Always Get What You Want
They were two Stones shy of a rock band at the wedding of Keith Richards's daughter Angela, 26 (by model Anita Pallenberg), to carpenter Dominic Jennings, 24, on Aug. 16. Among the 1,000 guests at Richards's English country mansion in Sussex were Stone Ron Wood and model Kate Moss
. Sending regrets were tax exiles Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts, whose finances would have been complicated by a trip home.
Photos Get the Lowe-Down on Jackie Kennedy
To Jacques Lowe, the most fascinating portraits of one of the world's most famous women are the ones in which she's being ignored. The former First Family personal photographer, whose traveling exhibit "Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: The Making of a First Lady" is currently touring the U.S. (it opens in Portland, Ore., Sept. 4), says that JFK was especially fond of a picture showing the then senator and his wife, Jackie, greeting supporters at an airport in Portland—all three of them. Another photo taken in the fall of '59 shows Jackie anonymously sipping coffee in a diner. "There wasn't a great deal of respect there," says Lowe. "But by 1960 she couldn't walk out the door without being besieged."
Lowe—who occasionally takes pictures for JFK Jr."s magazine George—met the soon-to-be First Family through Robert F. Kennedy, who posed for Lowe for Redbook. Having been "a fly on the wall" at Camelot, Lowe thinks the Kennedy mystique is no myth. "In my lifetime," he says, "it's been JFK, Jackie, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and James Dean. That's about it."
MANDRELL'S CABIN FEVER COOLS
Barbara Mandrell says Fontanel, her 6-bedroom, 13-bath colossus on 141 acres in Whites Creek, Tenn., is the largest private log cabin in existence. But at 27,000 square feet the place, named after the soft spot on a newborn's head, is a bit cavernous now that two of her three children with hubby Ken Dudney have grown up and moved out. So she's selling the property—which includes a heated indoor swimming pool, a shooting range, 46 phone outlets, a helicopter pad and 3 guest houses—for $7.5 million. Mandrell plans to build a smaller home (a mere 10,000 square feet) nearby.