Tuesday, November 16, 2004

"Me and Mrs. Jones Reynolds"

Something's wrong with this picture. Besides the fact that you won't see many of these until the official pics hit the newsstand--something is missing. True, the bride's makeup is flawless, her dress is stunning, and the diamond tiara is sparkling at 10-thousand watts. But if you look closely, you see that ... no one is smiling. Maybe it's just pre-wedding jitters.

I don't know Star, we worked in different buildings. She is normally at The View studios at 67th and West End; I was 66th and Columbus, or GMA in Times Square. But we've seen each other sociallly, and she seemed pleasant.

That's not what my many of my former coworkers say. On Friday, Star sent a global email to ABC staff saying that she would no longer be called "Star Jones" or even "Mrs. Jones."

"She wants to be called Star Reynolds — no hyphen, nothing. She is dropping Jones completely," a former coworker sez. Apparently, media, friends and family have been told this--everyone except for the hardworking IT team on the fourth floor at 77 W. 66th (hi Steph! hi Miles!). Star is still accepting emails at her old email address, but maybe it'll be down in a few days.

Gossip: everyone has an Al story except for me. I don't know him, have only seen him at the NYSC on Eighth and 23rd just once or twice. Unfortunately, I was not one of the guys invited to Friday's Roman-bath themed bachelor party at the Time Hotel (convenient to Port Authority, Escuelita, and other tourist attractions.)

All clothes were put into plastic bags on the floor and the 60 men were given bathrobes to put on. "We sat basically naked in a freezing room for a couple of hours," says an attendee. "There were only two bars and they were sponsored by Hypnotiq, Remy and some awful beer. At 11:50 p.m., 10 topless girls came out. They were butt-ugly except for two of them who simulated lesbian sex on the bed.

Putting clothes in plastic bags? I've heard about stories like that.

I've been following Star and Al for a minute--and who in NYC, or the media can't/doesn't--and it seems that they have a little history of simulating sex on beds. Last July, the Times ran a scathing piece called "The Hostess Diary". The writer worked as a hostess at Hue, a chi-chi nightspot on nearby Charles Street in the West Village, and she wrote about Star and Al's shenanigans. Hue is well-known for having a VIP room of large, lush beds. (It was portrayed in a Sex and the City episode, but filmed at XL, on 16th btw 8th/9th. Just had to say that.)

Fully clothed, Star is on her hands and knees on the bed, laughing. Her fiancé is behind her, hands around her waist, mimicking a sex act. In front of the other customers in the room, he then flips her over and climbs on top of her. I stare, mortified.

But the real shocker came later. Naturally, Star and Al did not pay for any of their food or drinks. But the happy millionaires do not tip, either.

"I'm sorry, I would tip you but I don't have my wallet," she tells Liza. "Oh, no problem," Liza says, clasping her hands in prayer."God will provide." Star smiles as her eyes look to the ceiling. "Yes," she says. "He will."
When the story ran last July, it angered Ms. Jones Reynolds so much that she threatened legal action against the Times. But, the grey lady stood by the story. (It's really dishy, I'll try to put a link up, but its archived) Apparently, someone advised Ms. Jones Reynolds--who is quick to tell everyone that she is a "lawyer" and former "prosecutor"--about the futility of trying to sue a paper like the New York Times over something as petty as bad publicity. And then there's that small issue of ABC distancing itself from that article, and reprimanding her for the wedding freebies.

But I'm glad she's happy now, and wish her and Al the best on Thursday when they leave for Dubai and St. Bart's an undisclosed location.

(PS: Ignore everyone who sez the bliss won't last a year. It will last at least two years. Otherwise, the Jones Reynolds pre-nup sez the boytoy Al gets nothing.