Wednesday 17 January 2018

US Diary: Studios unite for murder victim SJP's boy steals red carpet hearts

ENTERTAINMENT industry types on both coasts are today still trying to make sense out of the gruesome murder on Monday night of veteran Hollywood press agent Ronni Chasen.

The 64-year-old (who was managing the Oscar 2011 campaigns for Alice in Wonderland, and Michael Douglas's bid for a Best Supporting Actor nod for Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps) had attended the Cher-Christina Aguilera-Stanley Tucci-hosted premiere of Burlesque, and was driving home from the after-party at the Beverly Hills W Hotel when she was shot five times, causing her car to crash into a light pole.

Six minutes before the shooting, according to the LA Times, Chasen called her office and left a to-do list for her staff on voicemail.

"She was not a drinker. She never did drugs," says publicist Kathie Berlin about her friend of 45 years, who headed campaigns for more than 100 movies, including last year's Best Picture winner, The Hurt Locker, as well as Cocoon, The Verdict, On Golden Pond, Driving Miss Daisy, Crazy Heart and Dreamgirls.

Chasen's long-time friend, PR guru Stan Rosenfeld (who represents George Clooney, Robert De Niro and Will Smith), spoke for many when he said: "I don't remember anything hitting the nerve of this town quite like this."

The LAPD, which has ruled Chasen's death a homicide, says it is baffled about whether she was the victim of an attempted carjacking or a targeted attack.

Many of the friends and colleagues who toasted Chasen's memory in Manhattan on Thursday night will be in Beverly Hills this morning for her funeral, which will be followed by a reception hosted, in a rare moment of Hollywood camaraderie, by all five major studios.

Queen of chat to hit Garden State

FIRST it was The Sopranos. Whether or not the crew from Jersey Shore added or subtracted from New Jersey's burgeoning cool factor remains unclear, but news that Oprah is close to buying a $68m estate on the grounds of the old Frick estate in Alpine, NJ, has residents of NY's ugly-sister state beside themselves.

The queen of daytime TV, who is set to launch her own network next year, reportedly had a "walk-though" of the 30,000-square-foot, 19-bedroom, 12-bath mock-Tudor chateau on Wednesday, taking time to check out the English gardens, tennis court, and saline pool.

Of course, the giant library leading into the ballroom and a huge movie theatre will come in handy for visits from friends such as Chris Rock, P Diddy, Mary J Blige and Eddie Murphy, who live in nearby gated communities.

SJP's boy steals red carpet hearts

MEANWHILE, Muggle-mania struck in Manhattan on Monday night when a boatload of fans including Liam Neeson, Lourdes Ciccone Leon and Gabourey Sidibe pitched up with cast members Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton and Ralph Fiennes at the splashy Lincoln Centre premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Sarah Jessica Parker and husband Matthew Broderick also attended, but it was their eight-year-old son, James Wilkie, who stole the spotlight (and quite a few hearts) on the red carpet.

In an adorable moment, SJP introduced her completely star-struck son to Emma Watson, who sweetly knelt down to talk to the child. Unable to get a word out, James blushed and stammered until, at his mother's gentle prodding, he eventually handed Watson a letter he had written about how much he loves her character, Hermione Granger.

Yes, some celebrity kids are genuinely sweet.

Sunday Independent

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