I love how other "writers" just pick up on stories, reword some things and then craft little more than the original story. It seems this has been done a lot with the Page Six scoop.
There's this odd little place called Celebrity Cafe, which penned this story. Star magazine editor may star in former employee's tell all book It's actually better than the one in Page Six.
Anywho. My spirits have lifted, as the Lexapro has kicked in (evidenced by very bizarre, vivid, memorable dreams, constant dry mouth, and the fact that I don't want to kill everyone anymore), my family is coming in town tomorrow, which means fabulous shopping, great restaurants and wine and a fun time in general. I'm also playing host to my crazy-ass friend Nicole, she of the Crazy Fun Weekend fame.
But what I am most excited about is the fact that I finally joined the BEST GYM IN THE WORLD, The Sports Club LA. To call Sports Club LA a gym is such a misnomer; it's really a day spa with some gym equipment thrown in. And this one happens to be inside the Four Seasons. Ahhh. And, being a former member of the NY eastside one, I get such an amazing discount: Initiation fee: $113 Monthly dues: $110 Knowing that I'm paying about the same price as those of you sweating it out at those nasty New York Sports Clubs: Priceless.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I love how other "writers" just pick up on stories, reword some things and then craft little more than the original story. It seems this has been done a lot with the Page Six scoop.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 9:45 AM
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Though I give no credence to the haters, for we have all been guilty of it at times, I have one message for them, specifically 'reality check': stop reading. I mean, honestly, if you hate me, why the hell are you wasting your time reading me? Get a life, or get your own blog, or scurry back into your rathole. Enough said. Didn't your mom tell you that bitterness and jealousy cause wrinkles?
I thought I'd post some of the comments that my friends and family made in response to this dreck: Stephanie Green's Remnants of a Bonnie Fuller Tell-All / Jossip
Good friends always have your back. If only Page Six accepted comments. Love you guys!:
Fourth time's a charm (by which I mean, your comment boards suck):
Average looking? Damn, you guys must be getting some seriously fine ass to think this girl is only average. And if so, where are you going to be hanging out this Friday? said: Not Chosen on August 22, 2006 10:44 AM
This had to happen so that when you are on Oprah talking about your "fabulous life" as a published author, the audience will have sympathy for all of your struggles.
GOOD KARMA WILL PREVAIL!
said: Stacey on August 22, 2006 3:27 PM
As most educated people know, whether a book is published or not has nothing to do with the quality of the writing. Case in point: Confederacy of Dunces and Memoirs of a Geisha, rejected by nearly 50 publishers before becoming international bestsellers.
said: nancy on August 22, 2006 7:23 PM
This blog is a load of CRAP!!!!!!! Have you met Stephanie Green? She is talented writer. Also she is beautiful, interesting company and is usually dead on with her observations. SHE WILL BE PUBLISHED.(No, I am not her mother...just someone who knows Stephanie and realizes that this blog is a load of CRAP)
said: Lynn on August 22, 2006 10:33 PM
As an observer, I am quite impressed with Ms. Green and her observations. This puts Devil and Bergdorf Blondes to shame. Let us not forget that this is a few years old. If there was never a lawsuit, than I am convinced these critics would be shining Ms. Green's shoes. Well Done Ms. Green..I look forward to Dishalicious 2...
said: F on August 24, 2006 4:44 PM
Anyone who has read Anything Stephanie has written knows that She Will Absolutely be published! You obviously don't know her if you think anything will stop her from achieving her goal. And she actually HAS the talent to get that accomplished! Her Style and looks will make her bookcover Fabulous! Get Ready!
Can't wait Stephanie! Lynn C.
said: Lynn C. on August 29, 2006 9:30 PM
Are you nuts? Have you ever read a decent book in your entire life? Why don't you post a picture of your mug up here and let us comment. Boy, did you miss the mark on this one.
said: Lee Ann on August 30, 2006 12:17 AM
Posted by Stephanie Green at 9:54 AM
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Hurricane Update: (OK, tropical storm, but still.) Shiiiiit. I've never been through one despite growing up in Fla. So now I am trapped in my apartment, loaded up on food, water, wine, flashlights, books, books on CD, batteries and 250 pages of my manuscript to edit by candle or flashlight. My condo is shuttered, which is quite good because most people down here do not have hurricane shutters—these things that look like accordians for windows. But the winds are a blowin' and the shutters make this creepy noise. Thank God for Klonopin
I live in Miami, right on the water, and since there is an actual hurricane coming, I have limited time for damage control today. But, before I go out and buy food, water, alcohol, and DVDs, a few things.
Thanks to all the new readers and passersby who have offered encouragement. I truly appreciate it, especially from other writers, and people like "Gary Worth," whom I greatly admire and respect and know will prevail;)
Page Six blindsided me, as is its style, for a few reasons: 1. I left the NY media willingly about a year ago. 2. I won the lawsuit last April. I guess in gossip there is no old news. 3. I did not publish the excerpt of Dishalicious for publicity, rather I published it b/c I am a nice, Jewish girl who wanted to get her nice, Jewish, friends, relatives and family friends off her back and make them stop asking me, "When can I read the book?"
This time of year, perhaps because it's near my birthday, has always been when everything always hits the fan. It was around this time two years ago that I first made Page Six, Women's Wear Daily, Gawker etc. It was around this time two years ago that fugly Sara Nelson wrote her fiction about me in the biz section of the Post, which later got me sued. And, it was around this time two years ago that I was served by AMI.
For those of you non-NY media types, a few facts: There is nothing a media grunt likes more than delighting in the downfall of his/her peers. If you were chained to a desk for 12 hours a day, doing work that was essentially without merit, wouldn't you be resentful, jealous, wondering whether the grass was greener?
Working like a slave was never for me. I'm a strong personality; I'm spoiled; I'm opinionated; I'm used to getting what I want, when I want it, and not being at the mercy of tactless bosses; and I have morals made of steel, thanks to being raised by parents who are paragons of strength and virtue and sheer coolness. So, I admit it—I never had what it took to claw my way to the top of the magazine heap. 70 hour weeks are not for me. I like doing things at my own pace and believe that life is waaaaaaaaaaay too short to work for other people if you don't like or respect those people. So I said good-bye to all that.
And now? Now, as a non-member of the snarkiest club in the land, I don't give two shits about what Page Six, Gawker, Mediabistro thinks of me. I do what I want when I want. I work from 9-4. I have a fabulous apartment with a balcony on the bay, and I spot dolphins and manatees daily. I have great friends and family nearby. I go to the beach whenever I want. And I write whenever I want. I still have the "fabulous" life—the closet full of designer duds, more Manolos than I can possibly wear, more jewelry than any 30-year-old deserves. So go ahead and hate, for I probably would too, if I were still chained to a desk, working for nasty, marginally talented people with no hopes of earning a sustainable living. But ask yourself this, Conde Nasties, Wenners, Hearsties, in the end, is it worth it? I didn't think so.
I think these are the things in life that matter, that upon your deathbed you shall review and smile about—family, friends, truth, integrity, fond memories of fun, living a life that is true to what you want. Below are the people who matter to me, cause it does come down to people, not print, either black or white or green.
I will always write; I always have. I have been writing stories since the sixth grade. I published letters to the editor in Vogue and Interview when I was 16. I started publishing in national magazines at 19. I've written (a lot) for free. Because it's not about the money or the fame or the book deal or Page Six. It's the fact that writing is like oxygen to me, like cooking for a chef, like painting for an artist; it nourishes me. And whether you like it or not, well, frankly my dears, I just don't give a damn.
Now I'm going to buy food, water, batteries and close the hurricane shutters and bring the furniture inside. Here are some pictures of the calm before the storm. Wish me luck...
Posted by Stephanie Green at 11:32 AM
Monday, August 28, 2006
Shit. I am always the last to know and only realized I'd made Page Six again when I saw the site traffic triple. Oh well. Media Bistro picked up on it too. Ah, the sublime cruelty. Let's take comment bets on whether AMI tries to sue again...Anyone? Bueller? In light of all the new readers, I guess it can't hurt to shamelessly self-promote. My agent: JENNY BENT, TRIDENT MEDIA GROUP
My attorneys: Law Firm of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard (David Wolf)
And, I've been Gawked again, first inaccurately, but then they were kind enough to correct it. Thanks, guys.
• Former US WeeklyStar writerresearcher wins right to finally write book no one wants to read. (Sorry, our bad. Still, we feel the heart of the joke was in the right place.) [Page Six]
Page Six, Round 2
From Page Six:
By RICHARD JOHNSON with PAULA FROELICH, CHRIS WILSON and BILL HOFFMANN
August 28, 2006 -- FORMER Star magazine scribe Stephanie Green has won her court case to publish a book a la "The Devil Wears Prada" - overturning a confidentiality agreement she signed - but no one's interested. Green spent more than $30,000 winning her case, but no publisher is jumping to sign a deal, much to the relief of Bonnie Fuller and Star editor Joe Dolce - who come off pretty badly in the excerpts of the "fiction" we read on Green's blog, Dishalicious. It could be that, with the exception of "Prada," no one's interested in tales that excoriate former bosses or co-workers.
No Takers For Another Prada Book (Page Six)
Former Star magazine scribe Stephanie Green has won her court case to publish a book a la The Devil Wears Prada — overturning a confidentiality agreement she signed — but no one's interested. Green spent more than $30,000 winning her case, but no publisher is jumping to sign a deal, much to the relief of Bonnie Fuller and Star editor Joe Dolce — who come off pretty badly in the excerpts of the "fiction" on Green's blog, Dishalicious.
mediabistro.com: jobs, classes, community and news for media professionals
Posted by Stephanie Green at 10:30 AM
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Um, the blog is getting a little too personal as of late, now that more than just friends and family are reading. And it's kind of creeping me out again. So I will just continue with my pithy observations about human nature in general and mercilessly mock the deserving dimwits. Onto JDate.
This dude had this picture posted—from like high school or his bar mitzvah, riiiiiiight???
And he emailed me, and though I had no interest, I had to ask about the picture. So I wrote:
OK, I have to ask, is that first picture a bar mitzvah or high school pic? It looks awfully old...
And he responded, within a couple of hours THREE SEPARATE TIMES:
RE: RE: hello
Bar Mitzavh to match yuor Bat Mitvah pic...how about you come see me and find out for yourself?
We can start with your tel #.
(This makes no sense, as I clearly look my age in my pics; they are all within the past six months.)
RE: RE: hello - reply #2
I just purchased a large piece of Wild Salmon. Now I just talekd to a chef and I must go back and get Sesame oil, Wasabi Powder, Garlic, Ginger, Tereaki Suace, Lime/lemmon and honey mustard. If yo9u want you can come over for dinner. Do you like that? What else do you like? I will get it if you say yes.
(Jesus H. What the hell?)
RE: RE: hello - reply #3
Better yet, as I will prob not be back to the computer -- call me at if you have the daring to do so.
please introduce yourself as SG19 so I know who you are.
And to that last one, because he was just a LITTLE too fucking psycho, I responded:
RE: RE: RE: hello
you have serious issues.
I HONESTLY cannot believe that people meet their mates on this site. These guys are total nutjobs.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 9:44 PM
It's official: I'm an insomniac again and I'm an auntie. No, catch your breath, not Michael. My BFF has spawned a son. I will post Silver-approved pics of me and the little booger later.
And in case you're wondering, which, obv. you are since you are all still reading my gibberish:
I'm finally running again, albeit slowly and carefully.
I have been discharged from physical therapy, which means I will now have to pay for massages by the masterful Mike.
And finally, I have a couple new, interesting, writerly projects in the works. So, Daryl, if you're reading, hop to it and get me that info. And if anyone has friends/contacts at The Miami Herald, send 'em my way. That paper is in desperate need of fresh voices.
I will be back in NYC Sept. 21-24th to do some liver and wardrobe damage and to see family and friends. And, miraculously, I have secured reservations at Babbo and Gramercy Tavern, neither of which, shockingly, I've ever been to. Girls, check your schedules and check in with me...
Oh, and in the dept. of the narcissicistic: It seems that those bitches over at Jossip Jossiped again just can't get enough of me. Though I don't understand the inchoherent ramblings of this post, I'm honored to be lumped in with Toby Young, whose memoir How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is freaking brilliant, and Jeff Bercovici, who is a sweetheart who penned the WWD Women's Wear Dailystories about me and now works at Radar Radar.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 8:49 AM
Friday, August 25, 2006
I've got a long-distance crush, and though I'm sure nothing will ever come of it, it's worth exploring right? I have the perfect geographic excuse to meet mom in the city that he just happens to reside in, sooo, should I stay or should I go?
The second book I've written, and I use the term book loosely, because it's essentially 400 pages of a very stream-of-consciousness first draft, is a memoir of what happened before and after I worked at Star. Lawyers? Can it be a memoir, or must I claim it as fiction?
My new hair looks FAB. And I can't wait to have my stylist in NY do her magic in September. For those NYers out there looking for a good stylist, go see Lauren at Oscar Blandi. Oscar Blandi
She rocks. Though she's only there on Tuesdays, she will come to your apt. hotel, whatever.
I really miss my NY friends and am anticipating a very emotional visit in September. Though I'm not considering moving back, I do so wish I could be a younger-than-average snowbird.
My BFF Dana, appears to be going into labor as I write this, something about a mucus plug. Blech. I am SO not a baby person, but I suspect I may be doing some time at Mt. Sinai this weekend. Maybe I can cop some Valium from a friendly doc or nurse?
Posted by Stephanie Green at 9:39 AM
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Keep in mind that the book is fiction and I only stumbled upon this link through a function of my site tracker. This is pretty unbelievable dreck, but worth some shits and giggles. BTW, this "writer" takes offense at the fact that I use expletives in my writing. Um, OK, what can I say? I have the manners of a Miss Porter's graduate and the mouth of a sailor.
Some random girl's regurgitated crap
BONNIE FULLER'S THE JOYS OF MUCH TOO MUCH -- INSPIRING IN SO MANY WAYS
* * * * *
Here comes bits of a story about a former research assistant at AMI who has attempted to sell a "tell-all" book about how difficult it is to work for Bonnie Fuller.
But this former employee giave a six-week notice when she left AMI.
How difficult could it be to work there, if you give a six-week notice?
And how bad can it be if they let you give a six-week notice?
In many places, upon giving any notice you immediately might be "out the door."
The author mentions that near the end of her eight-month tenure, she brought information to further substantiate the Jennifer-Brad-Angelina rumours to Bonnie Fuller -- who appeared not to recognize who she was (one of her employees who works as a research assistant).
If the person about whom you are writing a "tell-all" doesn't even recognize you, how much actual first-hand information could you have about this person?
* * * * *
And yet, Stephanie Green did work in some way in the same firm as the great editor, and the book "The Devil Wears Prada" was a big hit, and it would be reasonable to wish to write a similar best-seller,
From the New York Daily News on 5-7-05, "Green, who worked at Star from Nov. 17, 2003, to June 18, 2004, ... earned $40,000 a year, according to court papers....
* * * * *
Wonder how Stephanie would feel if a co-worker wrote a "tell-all" book about her? (Note from author: I would lurve it!)
* * * * *
THE SEDUCTIVENESS OF GOSSIP
Of course we would read this supposed "tell-all" book avidly, who wouldn't? Yet we are tempted to say -- another whiny employee "writes" a book about a female boss, this time, our favorite editorial director, hard-working, risk-taking Bonnie Fuller?
We did read "The Devil Wears Prada," but found it slightly annoying. Someone attempted to lend us the book in CD form. We picked a CD at random, and listened for a bit, but it was just too annoying -- worse than the book.
This is like being trapped with that hostile person who is always full of poisonous gossip about other people -- you want to hear the gossip, yet at the same time, you wish they'd just go away, but it can't happen because you're in a situation -- school, work, whatever -- where you are required to "get along."
And yet, it is about Bonnie Fuller -- let's face it, the good gossip part is irresistible.
* * * * *
THE DOUBLE STANDARD ISSUE
Would this book even be written if Bonnie Fuller, acting exactly the same as she acts as a "boss," were a man?
Bonnie Fuller writes about (in other contexts) "The Double Standard and Other Unfortunate Realities" in "The Joys of Much Too Much," and how she deals with it (page 112 on).
* * * * *
Here's how it feels from the boss' point of view:
In her book, Bonnie Fuller compares some gossipers to the creator of a black hole -- someone who sucks all the joy out of a place and brings other people into the "black hole."
It must be difficult trying to get a job done, to meet goals, and have some angry underminer around. It's almost impossible to avoid. If the gossiper is a truly malicious person, and you're the boss with all the boss' pressures, it could be hell.
* * * * *
The following is from www.jossip.com:
(You've already read this part.)
Here are Dishalicious author Stephanie Green's comments from her web site "www.Dishalicious.blogspot.com":
* * * * *
A "tell-all" is usually a "tell only negative things."
This interesting excerpt is compelling reading, and is actually about how Stephanie Green got one of the scoops (and a cover-story by-line) about Brad and Angelia.
But what's the advantage of obtaining such a cover by-line, if shortly after this you will be shopping a "tell-all" book about a famous, succesful editor who was your boss? How is that byline going to advance (what's left of) your career?
In the original text, Stephanie Green uses so-called four-letter words, and mentions using illegal drugs.
Also, although people nowadays can use four-letter words with impunity, how wise is it to include such in your book? And also, to include information about illegal drug use? Surely that can't be good for one's career?
* * * * *
In addition to other experience, Bonnie Fuller was chosen and trained by famed Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, so she has a solid background. She went on to distinguish herself, took risks to increase circulation.
For all this we admire her (and we love her book "The Joys of Much Too Much").
But now -- after reading Stephanie Green's "roman a clef" or whatever it is, we are in total awe of Bonnie Fuller.
WHAT a tough and high-stress job she has! Working late into the night. Struggling to get gossip.
And the deadlines are weekly, in real time, not monthly, in advance.
For her to take on this job -- what inner strength she must have!
* * * * *
* * * * *
Posted by Stephanie Green at 11:06 PM
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I am on JDate for the same reason as Friendster; boredom. I haven't actually been on a Jdate in three years, as the last guy was a burn victim crossed with The Swamp Thing and it scarred me for years to come. This is by far the most bizarre email I've received lately and the picture is the kicker.
08/18/2006 03:58 PM
Hi, I like your profile and picture
I think we have allot in common.
So what are you doing tonight tomorrow and in the next 50 years?
Would you like to meet for a date?
How about a prefect first date?
I will love to cook for us a romantic dinner with red wine? (I am good cook)
Your future husband...
What make and color was your first car? Do you remember?
Please send me your number and i will call
Posted by Stephanie Green at 8:58 PM
American Media Inc., has now visited my site a whopping 8 times today according to my site meter, linked, natch through Jossip. Welcome!
A refresher for you, AMI, just in case you've forgotten that The New York State Supreme Court ruled, ahem, in favor of little ol' me.
Matter of American Media Inc. v Green
2005 NY Slip Op 50892(U)
Decided on April 8, 2005
Supreme Court, New York County
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.
Decided on April 8, 2005
Supreme Court, New York County
In the Matter of American Media, Inc., Petitioner,
Stephanie Green, Respondent.
Joan A. Madden, J.
Petitioner American Media Inc. ("AMI") moves for pre-action discovery from the respondent Stephanie Green ("Green") pursuant to CPLR 3102(c). Green opposes the petition, which is denied for the reasons below.
AMI is the owner of several nationally distributed newspapers and magazines, including the Star, a weekly publication based in New York City which concerns the lives of movie stars and other celebrities. AMI employed Green as a fact checker/researcher for the Star from November 17, 2003 to June 18, 2004. As a prerequisite to her employment, Green was required to execute a "Confidentiality & AT-Will Agreement" (hereinafter "the Confidentiality Agreement").
Under terms of the Confidentiality Agreement, Green agreed that "at all times during and after her employment with [AMI]" she
[would] hold in confidence all Confidential Information..regarding the Company,.... [with] Confidential Information defined as all non-public information regarding [AMI], its officers, and employees (and all information that has become public by your actions or actions of persons obtaining access to that information directly or indirectly from you.)
[would] not without prior written consent of the President of [AMI] (i) use any Confidential Information for yourself or anyone else, (ii) disseminate any Confidential Information to any [*2]person other than the President of the [AMI] or (iii) discuss with the media any aspect of your employment with [AMI]; and
[would] not write, speak or give interview, either directly or indirectly, on or off the record about your work at [AMI] including without limitation facts and information you have learned during your employment at [AMI] and about [your] assignments, for purposes of publication in any media in any way, directly or indirectly, without prior approval of [AMI].
Green also agreed that should would "not make any statements regarding [AMI], its officers or employees that are intended or may reasonably be expected to disparage or impugn them or to otherwise make a statement that will adversely affect the reputation of [AMI], its officers or employee or otherwise disrupt, damage, impair or interfere with [AMI] or its operations or business prospects."
On September 10, 2004, The New York Post published an article stating that Green had written a 281-page manuscript of a book entitled "Dischalicious", based on her experiences at the Star. The article depicts the manuscript as a "tell-all" book which uses characters based on real employees at the Star, including the Star's Editorial Director. The article states that the book has gone out to about ten New York publishers. The article also states that Green admitted she was working on the manuscript while she was still working for AMI. Green is quoted as saying, "Yes, it was inspired by my life, but I haven't talked about what went on at the Star. The book is obviously a work of fiction."
In this proceeding for preaction discovery, AMI seeks a copy of the manuscript, asserting that the document is required so it may plead in its complaint the specific statements made by Green and support its claims for breach of the Confidentiality Agreement and breach of fiduciary duty. AMI also seeks copies of any documents evidencing Green's communications with prospective publishers of the manuscript so as to obtain Green's description of the manuscript and "to give the publishers notice of Green's contractual obligations so that they won't tortiously interfere with such obligations."
In opposition, Green submits her affidavit in which she states that although she was required to sign the Confidentiality Agreement, it was never mentioned to her during her employment at the Star, no one explained to her what it was intended to cover, and she never saw any documents labeled "confidential" or "proprietary." Likewise, Green states that she was never advised or provided information as to what kind of statements would "disparage" AMI.
According to Green, "the manuscript ... is a work-in-progress unfinished draft of a work of fiction," and that she did not start to write it until after she left the Star. Green states that the manuscript "has never been published or circulated publicly" and "has been rejected by publishers to whom it has been submitted and it is not currently under active consideration by any publisher." Green also states that the New York Post, "apparently obtained a copy of an earlier version of the manuscript from some third party..."
Green argues that preaction discovery is not appropriately granted as AMI has no actionable claim for breach of the Confidentiality Agreement, or for breach of fiduciary duty. Green also asserts that purpose of AMI's application is to obtain a prohibited prior restraint on publication.
CPLR 3102(c) provides for preaction disclosure by court order. The court has discretion to grant preaction disclosure "'to aid in bringing an action (or) to preserve information.'" Thomas v. New York City Transit Police Department, 91 AD2d 898, 899 (1st Dept. 1983)(quoting CPLR 3102(c)) Specifically, CPLR 3102(c) has been held to authorize discovery "to allow plaintiff to frame a complaint and to obtain the identity of prospective defendants." Stewart v. New York Transit Authority, 112 AD2d 939 (2d Dept 1985).
However, preaction disclosure "is available only where there is a demonstration that the party bringing such a petition has a meritorious cause of action and the information being sought is material and necessary to an actionable wrong." Liberty Imports, Inc. v. Bourguet, 146 AD2d 535 (1st Dept 1989); Stewart v. New York Transit Authority, supra at 940. In other words, "preaction disclosure is not allowed to determine whether facts supporting a cause of action exist," Gleich v. Kissinger, 111 AD2d 130, 132 (1st Dept 1985). The purpose of this limitation is:
To prevent the initiation of troublesome and expensive procedures, based upon mere suspicion, which may annoy and intrude upon an innocent party. Where, however, the facts alleged state a cause of action, the protection of a party's affairs is no longer the primary consideration and an examination to determine the identities of the parties and what form the action should take is appropriate.
Stewart v. New York Transit Authority, supra at 940.
Here, AMI has not met its burden of demonstrating that it has a potential cause of action against Green for breach of contract or breach of fiduciary duty, such that pre-action disclosure is proper to assist AMI in framing the complaint.
Restrictive covenants not to compete and confidentiality agreements will be enforced only "if reasonably limited temporally and geographically, and to the extent necessary to protect the employer's use of trade secrets and confidential information. " Steipleman Coverage Corp. V. Raifman, 258 AD2d 515, 516 (2d Dept 1999) The purpose of such agreements is "to protect the employer from unfair competition from former employees." Scott, Stackrow & Co. v. Skavina, 9 AD3d 805 (3d Dept), lv denied, 3 NY3d 612 (2004); see also, CBS Corp. V. Dumsday, 268 AD2d 350 (1st Dept 2000)(allegations that employees breached employment agreement by disclosing confidential information to a competitor to divert work from employer to competitor was sufficient to state a cause of action).
In this case, the Confidentiality Agreement cannot be enforced to prevent Green from using her observations regarding employees and supervisors at the Star, to write a fictional account since such information does not qualify as a trade secret, and is not otherwise entitled to confidentiality. See, Reed, Roberts Assocs., Inc. v Strauman, 40 NY2d 303, 309, reargument denied, 40 NY2d 918 (1976)(holding that former employee is not prohibited from using knowledge of his former employer's business operations which do not qualify as trade secrets); See Buhler v. Michael P. Maloney Consulting Inc., 299 AD2d 190 (1st Dept 2002)(noting that an employee's recollection regarding the needs and habits of particular [*4]customers is not confidential). Indeed, AMI cites no case authority which would permit the enforcement of the broad provisions of the Confidentiality Agreement.
Moreover, AMI does not claim that Green, as a fact checker and researcher, had access to trade secrets or proprietary information entitled to confidentiality, nor does AMI assert that Green intends to use any information to unfairly compete with AMI.
AMI's intended claims also arise out of Green's alleged breach of the no-dispargement clause. Such clauses are intended to prevent false representations regarding another's product or services, and to prevent unfair competition. Electrolox Corp v. Val-Worth, Inc., 6 NY2d 556 (1959); 104 NYJur2d Trade Regulation,§ 268. To state a claim for breach of a no-dispargement clause, the employer must sufficiently allege damages resulting from statements by the former employee. Arts4all, Ltd v. Hancock, 5 AD3d 106, 110 (1st Dept 2004).
In this case, AMI submits no proof that statements in the manuscript disparage the services provided by Star and, in any event, AMI does not claim the unpublished manuscript has resulted in economic harm to AMI.
Moreover, in contrast to a defamation claim, the particular words used by a plaintiff need not be pleaded to state a claim for breach of contract or breach of fiduciary duty. Thus, as AMI requires the manuscript or other documents to determine if a cause of action exists, rather than for the purpose of framing a complaint, the petition must be denied. Holzman v. Manhattan & Bronx Surface Transit Operating Auth., 271 AD2d 346 (1st Dept. 2000); Gleich v. Kissinger, 111 AD2d at 132; Compare Hoo v. Forest Pharmaceuticals Inc., 225 AD2d 504 (1st Dept 1996)(permitting preaction disclosure where petitioner alleged facts sufficient to establish prima facie case for defamation except for the requirement that the particular words complaint of be pleaded)
Finally, contrary to AMI's suggestion, preaction disclosure is not properly used as device to identify publishers contacted by Green so that AMI can notify them of their potential liability in the event they publish her manuscript.
In view of the above, it is
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that AMI's request for preaction disclosure pursuant to CPLR 3102(c)is denied.
DATED: April 8,2005
Posted by Stephanie Green at 12:42 PM
So I've been Jossiped again. (Jossip is a gossip web site for New-York centrics.)
Jossip and Me
It's not a bad post, with the exception of the guy referring to me as 'barely average looking' (or is he referring to other unattractive authors inking book deals?), and writing that the genre of chic-lit is SO over. I beg to differ, darlings. Women are always in need of a sappy romance with fabulous shoes, happy endings and glamourous haunts, no? And, by the way, I prefer to think of my books as Chic-lit.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 10:27 AM
Monday, August 21, 2006
On my way home from work today, I spotted a late-model, cherry-red, sans-hubcaps Honda Civic with an interesting shoe-polished message on its rear window:
Good lord, where am I?
I don't know what disturbs me more; the lack of syntax and grammar, the sheer desperation, the tinted windows disguising the "good man" seeking said good woman, or, or the fact that for a nanosecond I could relate just a little bit to this clear-cut cry for help in the dating department. Clearly it's a jungle out there.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 8:53 PM
For those of you new to Dishalicious, just the facts:
It started as a novel, two years ago.
I worked as a researcher at Star, prior to writing the novel.
American Media Inc., the parent company of Star, The National Enquirer, The Globe, The Weekly World News, etc. sued me after I wrote Dishalicious, saying that I had violated a confidentialty agreement I signed upon employment.
AMI's suit, was, believe it or not, based primarily on a poorly written story that ran in the The New York Post, written, ironically by this troll-like woman who is now the editor of a publishing magazine. You can read that text, here, scroll down to SARA NELSON:
Roman a clef Cuts Bonnie to Shreds
This article was pictured in a photo grab on no less than 60 Minutes, along with a head shot of me.
I won the case. It took six months to resolve in court. It cost more than $30,000 to fight them. Under New York State Law, you are unable to recoup legal expenses. You can read about the case here.
Despite all the media attention, my legal victory and my agent, Jenny Bent, the book was never bought by a publisher. So someone might as well enjoy it. Plus this will shut my mother and her nosy friends up once and for all.
Dishalicious centers around Serena Gold, a morally grounded research editor at the tabloid Celeb. Serena stumbles upon a major scoop about Hollywood's golden couple, Billy Dust, of the matinee-idol-blond-haired-blue-eyed Adonis type beauty, married to Kristen Kirby, of the blonde-haired-blue-eyed-cute-as-a-button type appeal garnered by years as a major TV star. They are the ultimate Hollywood duo, until the skanky, tattooed, full-lipped Heather Hill enters the picture while she and Billy are filming a movie together. Though Hollywood is abuzz with rumors that Billy is stepping out on America's sweetheart Kristen, NOBODY in the Manhattan media has ANY concrete proof. Well, nobody, save for lowly research editor Serena, who has had just about enough of the underhanded tactics her notoriously ghastly boss Penny makes her employees use (paying sources, stalking celebs, literally digging through trash) to get scoops that may or may not be grounded in truth. Serena has always been one of those six-degrees of separation people who knows a lot of people all over the country, so it's not unusual for gossip to fall into her lap. Sometimes she chooses to share it with her superiors, sometimes she doesn't. This time, however, seeing as she's nearing the end of her tenure there (for she can only take so much muckraking), and knowing that she is the only journo in the nation with concrete proof that Billy is stepping out on Kristen, Serena bites the bullet and tells her bosses, knowing that she will walk out of that god-awful tabloid with at least a cover story.
Following is an excerpt from Dishalicious. Since it's from the middle-to-end of the novel, I've cut out the subplots and focused solely on the scoop and the adulterous couple, in this book, dubbed "HillBilly." FYI, Ed is the fab gay editor in chief and Penny is the evil wench in charge of all the company's tabloids. It's a long excerpt, so if interested, you may want to print it.
This is a work of fiction, and none of the characters or the companies described in it is intended to portray specific living people, companies or actual events. Names, characters and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any actual living persons, companies or events is entirely coincidental.
(Link to legal counsel at right of page.)
Chapter 21: Piecing the puzzle together
That Wednesday, I had the day off because my mother was in town yet again to do even more damage to her AmEx black card. She was super lucky that card had no spending limits. Little did I know that I was about to find out the true meaning of “be careful what you wish for.” All those months I’d been waiting for the perfect cover story, I never actually thought that I would find such an elusive specimen. But as I checked my e-mail, I was surprised to see the following from a girl whom I’d tried to help find a job in the media, as a favor to an ex-college professor of mine:
How are you? Thanks for all your help over the past few months. Listen, I have some insane gossip for you! Get this shit—my good friend works as a junior concierge at the Peninsula in Beverly Hills. Heather Hill and Billy Dust recently came in together. They sat out by the pool in a dark corner for most of the night. Well, my friend walked out there to call on them and caught them in the act—making out!!! Can you believe that? And, this is a friend that I completely trust—I’ve known him for ten years and he would NEVER lie to me. I have no doubt that this story is completely true, so I just thought I’d share. Do with it what you will.
“Holy shit!” I exclaimed after I’d read Samantha’s e-mail. “Hmm.”
“What is it Serene?” My mom and brother were sitting on my couch.
“Well, I just got a tip that Billy Dust is cheating on K.K. Kirby with Heather Hill. Jesus, this is huge. I can’t believe it! What a scumbag, how could anyone cheat on K.K.?”
“Who is it from?” Mark asked. He wasn’t one to indulge in gossip, but even he knew that this was earth-shattering dish. “Do you believe her?”
“Well, she’s not someone whom I talk with frequently, so I think she’d only contact me if she thought this was legitimate. She’s got no reason to lie to me because I’ve helped her out with advice and stuff a lot over the past few months.”
“Are you going to tell your editors?” Mom asked.
“I don’t know. I really don’t want to, because I love K.K., who doesn’t? Man what a filthy fucker Billy is. And with Heather Hill? She’s just such a trollop. Ugh, all those body piercings and her disgusting ex-husband whose portrait she had tattooed on her left butt cheek? Christ—what a letdown, this is why working at Celeb is so sleazy. I really just don’t want to know this kind of stuff. What should I do? If I tell my editors, it will definitely be a cover story. And there have been all these rumors floating around about HillBilly because they’re shooting a movie together in L.A. right now. So that’s been their ‘official’ excuse for spending so much time together.”
“Hmm,” was all Mark had to say on the matter.
“I don’t know Serene, you just have to decide whether it’s worth a byline for you,” Mom said absentmindedly.
Nanette’s thoughts were no doubt distracted by what time Bergdorf’s was open until that night. Mom and Mark left my apartment, I printed out Samantha’s e-mail and took Pucci over to Jon’s place.
“So,” Jon asked, “What’s this huge ethical dilemma that you’re in the throes of? Did your boss make you distort the truth again? Or did she try to give Madonna a Jewish last name? Or did she make a joke about September 11 or suicide bombings or something equally distasteful?”
“None of which I’d put past Penny, but no, this little conundrum actually relates directly to me and my personal contribution to the downfall of Western civilization. Let’s have a drink.”
“Sounds like it calls for one. Hard or soft?”
“You know I don’t do hard liquor unless I’m trying to forget my name. Let’s have wine, as usual.”
Jon poured us some Pinot Grigio and we went out to the patio, where I noticed Pucci had taken one of the Greenies from a package he’d torn open with his mouth.
“So, what’s up?”
I silently handed Jon Samantha’s e-mail and sipped my wine as he read it.
“Wow, is this really true?” he asked when he’d finished.
“I have no reason to think it isn’t. There’s just no motivation for this girl to lie to me.”
“Man, Billy and K.K. are like the It Couple. This would totally destroy their golden image, right?”
“Precisely my point. I do suspect that their marriage is probably just as shady as any other high-profile Hollywood union, but still, do I really want to be the first journalist to cast aspersions on it? Even if I’m just the one who passes along this information, is it worth it? I could potentially just sit on this and nobody at Celeb would ever be the wiser. Moreover, why should I give this information to them, what have they ever done for me?”
“Well first, yes, you could sit on this info, but I have a feeling it would get out eventually. I mean just between your mother and my mother, all of Palm Beach, Miami and Jacksonville will know in a few hours. And no, you don’t owe your bosses anything at all. But, wouldn’t this be a boon to your career if you slapped your name on the story?”
“Possibly. Or more likely, I’d give my editors the information and then they’d fuck me over and not give me a byline. I don’t know. I’m going to have to think about this one. I have no qualms telling my friends what I’ve heard, but telling the whole world—that’s just a different story altogether. Anyway, I have to go back to work tomorrow, so I’ll just wait it out and see how I feel.”
Chapter 22: Leave Your Friends at the Door
Things got so complicated the next day at Celeb that I pushed the HillBilly tip to the back of mind, where the morality of the issue could be debated by my unconscious. Naturally, being the true gossipista that I am by nature, I had already told a few friends at work about HillBilly. Their first question was whether I was going to tell the editors. But I still had yet to decide. The following Thursday, however, my decision was essentially made for me.
Brooks and PMS called a cover session around 9 p.m. The closing day for that particular issue had been pushed from Friday to Monday due to some kind of printing snafu. For some inexplicable reason I decided to attend the cover session, which I hadn’t done in months by that point. I’d gotten sick of commenting on which shade of neon orange was less jarring to the eyes, or which photo of Renée—chunky or thin?—was more riveting. But I felt oddly compelled to go to the meeting that night. And, to my utter horror, I realized that I was right in feeling the urge to attend. I saw two mock-up covers, each with photos of Billy Dust and Heather Hill side by side. Each cover had screaming headlines such as, “Sizzling Sex Scenes Rock Tinseltown: Are Billy and Heather Steamy Off-Set?” As I stood among the other staffers and read the headlines closely, I became increasingly flustered. My face flushed. I picked up on certain keywords including “suspicions,” “rumors” and “reportedly,” which to me indicated that Celeb really had no specific information on Heather and Billy actually doing anything. All Celeb had at that point were suspicions and rumors to rely on.
See, when a publication uses the word “reportedly,” it really means that the publication has literally gleaned its information from a “report” in another publication. Celeb uses the word “reportedly” more than any other word in the English language, indicating that most of its information is lifted from other publications, be it the Star or The New York Times. Now, only a well-trained eye would know this. I only knew because it was my job to add the “reportedly” whenever required. That was a large part of my duties, in fact. The mere use of the word “reportedly” could potentially save Global from a damaging libel lawsuit. That’s why I knew instantly that the juicy HillBilly information I was concealing from my employers could make or break their cover story. I could make or break the cover story.
Sadly, this had turned out to be my moment—again, not what I’d pictured and dreamt about, but my moment nonetheless. Would it be irresponsible and unprofessional of me to let Celeb proceed with a cover story that was pure speculation? Or would it be more reprehensible for me to add lighter fluid to the brewing fire that Brooks and PMS had set? I decided to say screw it, once again. There are simply no rewards without risks and I needed the damned byline. And I knew that in order to get a byline at Celeb I’d have to do something shady anyway. Whether it was the HillBilly story or another article down the road, it inevitably would be tinged with vulgarity; that was simply the nature of the business. I went into Penny’s office an hour after the meeting ended, with a copy of Samantha’s e-mail in hand. I was confident, as I knew that I possessed more information about HillBilly than any of her well compensated editors did. Brooks was sitting in Penny’s office with her, which made me a little more comfortable.
“Ed, Penny, I have some information for you about Heather and Billy, and it’s big.”
Brooks looked at me skeptically and with a hint of amusement, while Penny just stared at me blankly, probably trying to place my name. Brooks respected me precisely because I am extremely blunt, as is he. I saw the two of us as kindred spirits—our brutal honesty ricocheted off one another’s egos seamlessly. Also, I’ve always been a total fag hag, à la a Jewish version of Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous.
“Tell me your big news then, Serena. What is it?” Brooks said sarcastically, which I relished because I knew that as soon as he read Samantha’s e-mail, he would be my new best friend. I was undeterred by his good-natured doubt. Penny continued staring at me blankly.
“I’m serious, Ed, this is really big,” I said. “So, if you use this I want you to swear to me that I will receive a byline.”
“Okay, sure you can have a byline,” he answered.
I handed him the paper. Penny scooted her chair closer to Ed’s and read over his shoulder. I watched them both read it, waiting for their expressions to change. Natch, as soon as they reached the juiciest bit, they both looked up at me with sheer glee.
“Holy shit, Serena! Who is this from?” Brooks squealed. “Who is this girl’s friend and can we get him on the phone right now? Oh my God, this is great. Penny, isn’t this fabulous? What else do you know? How much can you get? Tell me everything. Now.”
He was giddy and she was, well, astonished that the research editor and not one of her over-compensated minions had stumbled upon the celebrity scoop of the year. I explained the situation in its entirety—that I didn’t know Samantha very well, that the info had come from her friend on the West Coast, whose name I didn’t even know, and that I wasn’t sure how much more this concierge guy would even tell us.
“Serene, are you willing to work this over the weekend? Since we’re not closing the book till Monday this week, this could work out brilliantly for us.” Brooks said this without giving me a chance to answer, because the question was rhetorical anyway. “I want you to track your friend Samantha down and either you interview this concierge guy or you have her do it. But please make sure that you track this kid down one way or another. I’m counting on you, Serena. And, remember—this story has to close Monday night!”
“Listen Ed, I’m not even sure whether her friend will speak to us, he seems to be afraid of losing his job.”
“Well, offer each of them like $600 as a reporting fee. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll take it from there,” Brooks instructed.
Ohh-kay. Reporting fee my rotund, alabaster ass. I headed back to my desk. Only a couple hours to go until Saturday, when I’d have to get up and work for Celeb again. Ten minutes later, Brooks and Penny called me on speakerphone.
“Serena, we just want to make sure you know that we’re depending on you for this story,” Penny barked.
“Of course, Penny, don’t worry about it.” Duh.
Twenty minutes later, Brooks and Penny appeared in my section and asked me to follow them into the hallway. The copy girls shot me ‘Ooh, you’re in trouble’ looks.
PMS closed the door behind her. “Listen, Serena, I just want you to know how important it is for you to come through on this,” she said gravely and a little condescendingly.
“Penny, Ed, trust me, I get it. You only have to ask me to do something once.”
“I thought so. Great. Thank you,” Brooks said.
Brooks then told me to call both him and Penny at home over the weekend to give them updates. I immediately called Jon to tell him that I’d be unable to go to the beach house with him that weekend. He seemed happy that I’d taken the plunge and given my editors the information I possessed.
Chapter 23: Money Brings Out the Worst in Those Without It
Shit, was my first thought upon waking up that Saturday. I hated working on the weekends, especially when Celeb had already gobbled up my Friday night, as it had each week for the past eight months. Shit, shit, shit. I just had to get this over with and call Samantha, beg her to put me in touch with her friend and let me interview him. A simple plan on its face, but nothing attached to Celeb ever turned out to be simple. Ever. Weeks had passed since Samantha had sent me the e-mail, and I hadn’t actually seen her or spoken on the phone with her in ages. I prayed the number I had for her worked. It didn’t.
Double shit, fuck. I then had to call my ex-professor who’d originally introduced me to Samantha. He was of no help in finding Samantha’s number. But he did give me the e-mail address of Samantha’s cousin, who I’d actually grown up with in Jacksonville. She didn’t respond. I tried my next option: my folks. Coincidentally, my dad had recently worked on a case with Samantha’s aunt, who was a doctor of some sort. I then had to have my dad call Samantha’s aunt in Jacksonville. No luck there either, the aunt was out of town. So my dad had to leave a message with the aunt’s answering service. I prayed that the answering service in Jacksonville was more on the ball than the ones I’d dealt with for my doctors in the city.
Miraculously, Samantha’s aunt picked up her messages from her answering service and called my dad back immediately. Like the 20/20 reporter had stated, somebody up there loved Penny Sapp. By Saturday night, I had Samantha’s new cell phone number in hand. But I decided to call it a day and start again on Sunday. I was tired and I wanted to relax with Jon. I changed out of a Juicy jumpsuit and into slim jeans and a clingy, black wrap top. I put on my wooden platform Chanel sandals, grabbed a matching purse and said bye to Pucci. I wanted a proper date with Jon, without canine companionship. I told the doorman not to ring Jon’s apartment, and I knocked on his door.
“Hi! I’m taking you out to dinner tonight. No arguments. It’s high time I did something for you. Aside from merely gracing you with my presence and putting out, I mean.”
I woke up early on Sunday, which for me translates to before 12 p.m. on a weekend. I like to sleep—a lot. Lots of sleep means no raccoon eye-bags. I called Samantha first thing. I got her voicemail, left a message and crossed my fingers that she was still interested in talking to me about the HillBilly incident. I was prepared to sweeten the deal, but I wasn’t sure how exactly I was going to accomplish that. I suspected that Brooks and PMS would pay way more than $600 for this information—despite his and PMS’s constant denials that they didn’t pay “sources”—but I had no idea how much more. The only thing Ed had mentioned about money was that $600 “reporting” fee. Frankly, I felt that since Samantha was an aspiring magazine girl she should be more than happy to get a byline on a cover story in a major celebrity publication—regardless of money—even if it was a smut-rag like Celeb. I offered her that option on the message I left. Samantha immediately called me back—thank God—because by that point she’d heard from both her cousin and aunt that I was desperately trying to contact her. I’d very soon regret getting Samantha’s extended family involved at all.
Like I said earlier, Samantha was sort of a friend-of-a-friend. I’d been friends with the younger of Samantha’s two cousins as an adolescent, when we’d been in school together. Although I’d been friends with Tiffany Miller, the younger sister, I was several years younger than her older sister, Kara, so I didn’t really know her. Kara had ended up in New York and had become a fairly successful newspaper writer and sometime author. I had no reason not to trust any of them. So when Samantha had first e-mailed me the tip about her friend walking in on HillBilly, I jumped to the conclusion that she had no ulterior motives save for possibly getting a byline in Celeb, which I completely understood. Naturally then, I took her tip at face value. When I finally got Samantha on the phone, I gave her two options. First, she could let me interview her concierge friend myself. Or, second, she could interview the concierge herself, report back to me and take a byline.
I also told her, per Ed Brooks, that we’d be able to pay her a $600 “reporting” fee. Not bad money for about an hour’s work—she could buy herself a cute little Gucci bag with that. Samantha assured me that she would spend all day tracking down the concierge, which was more complicated than it sounded because he was in L.A. and probably not even awake yet. We made a plan to touch base at 5 p.m. regardless of whether she got in touch with the concierge or not. I then left separate messages for Brooks and Penny on their cell phones, assuring them both that everything was under control and that Samantha was working on getting an interview with the concierge-eyewitness to the HillBilly make-out session. Everything was rolling along seamlessly, which of course was cause for concern when it came to Celeb. Little could I have predicted that in the span of a couple of hours on a sleepy Sunday Samantha would go from sweet, innocent, up-and-coming reporter happy to get a byline, to shameless, money-grubbing bitch.
Samantha’s entire demeanor had changed by the time she called me at 5 p.m. I could discern the transformation merely by the tone of her voice. It had gone from extremely accommodating and eager to downright smug. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I thought that I knew what was coming next. Things started out pleasant enough, but then quickly went downhill.
“Hi, I have good news. I got the interview and I got some really good quotes and descriptions about what exactly Heather and Billy were doing when he walked in on the two of them.”
“Okay, so why don’t you tell me what you’ve got? You can either e-mail it to me or just tell me over the phone and I’ll take notes.”
“Well, er, there’s kind of a little problem,” she replied.
Of course there was.
I sighed. “What’s the problem?”
“Well, um, I’ve been talking to my cousin Kara, who’s been talking to her agent, and they both seem to think that this information is worth a lot of money.”
I was silent. She continued speaking.
“Well, they, um, say that Penny Sapp is like famous for paying a lot of money for this kind of juicy gossip.”
Well, I never! Was this person I barely knew really trying to extort me? Seriously, when did everyone in the world start caring only about money? I did a quick search on-line for the legal definition of “extortion” and found it described as “forcing a person to give up something through the use of violence, fear or under pretense of authority.” Okay, so maybe it wasn’t technically extortion—and maybe she really needed the money—but still.
“Well, actually Samantha,” I began awkwardly, “Maybe Penny used to do that at Who, but she’s said publicly several times that Celeb doesn’t pay sources.” Okay, so I resorted to spouting the party line, but desperate times . . . “So, as far as I know, Celeb doesn’t actually pay sources the kind of money you’re thinking of. Your cousin is clearly a little out of the media loop.”
And in all honesty, although I knew that Brooks and PMS did, in fact, pay some sources, I had no idea how much money these people actually received. Moreover, from what I’d gathered over the past several months, payments were almost exclusively reserved for family members and close friends of superstars.
“And,” I continued, “I’ve already offered you $600, which is as much as Brooks authorized me to offer you. Moreover, $600 for a couple hours’ work is a lot more than regular reporters usually get. So, what exactly are you getting at with all of this?”
I wanted to pressure her into giving me a number, because if she was going to assume the role of greedy girl, she should at least have the decency to be honest about it.
“And you know what?” I began again, “If you have heard about Penny paying for things while she’s been at Celeb, it’s most likely been in regard to photographs. So, unless you have a picture, I really don’t think you’re going to get very far. And, you haven’t even told me anything to indicate that the information your friend gave you is even worth money. Exactly what did your friend witness?”
“Er, I’m afraid I can’t really tell you that until we work out a payment arrangement.” She uttered a nervous laugh, which sounded like, “har, har, har.”
Ugh. This girl was totally fucking insane. “Look, Samantha,” my tone was now annoyed, verging on rude, and I didn’t much care, “Frankly, I don’t want to be involved in any discussions of money. I simply do not want to get my hands dirty with this because like I said, I’m really not privy to any kind of behind the scenes stuff that goes on with Brooks and Penny.”
“Oh, sure, I understand that.” She was back to being nice and accommodating.
But it was way too late for that. She was no better than Mickey Dees’ uncle or Holden Mays’s ex-girlfriend.
“The only thing I can do is put you in touch with our editor at large Ed Brooks. I will call him and leave him a message to call you later today. But please try to be professional, because Brooks is a very big editor, and if you want a future in magazines, you do not want to get on his bad side.”
We hung up, and I was reeling. I immediately phoned Brooks and Penny and left them messages explaining what was going on. I broke my no-abusing-substances-during-the-day rule and took several bong hits in an attempt to rid my brain of the sordid exchange that I’d just engaged in. I turned on an old Sex and the City and screened my calls for the rest of the night. At 10:30 I picked up a message from an irked Brooks.
“Hi Serena. Thank you for putting me in touch with Samantha. But I have to say, she’s really aggravating me. She won’t tell me what her friend saw without me committing to a sum, and frankly, she just doesn’t know what the fuck she is doing. Who does this girl think she is?”
I smiled, because as much as I hated Celeb, I did adore that Brooks. Still have a bit of a gay crush on him, actually. At least he seemed to be on the same page as me, which was fortunate since I wanted a byline and I wanted to remain on his good side. Complicating matters even further was the fact that it was Sunday night, and we essentially had about 24 hours to close this story.
Additionally, there were still many pieces to this puzzle that had to fit together to ensure an even passable cover story. First, assuming the money-grubbing girl got her “reporting” fee, there was still the matter of her concierge friend, whose job might be in jeopardy for talking to the press about the Peninsula’s celebrity clientele. A legitimate concern—I was willing to give Samantha that. However, in order for Celeb to use the interview and quotes from the concierge, he would need to sign a contributor contract with Global. That meant that he would have to sign a company document using his real name, which most normal people were extremely wary of, mainly for fear that their name would end up in print. Of course, anyone who has ever read Celeb would know that 99 percent of its sources remain unnamed, otherwise nobody would ever talk to its reporters. Or sign those damn agreements. Now, not all sources have to sign the contributor contracts, but this story had the potential to be defamatory because we were alleging that Billy Dust had cheated on his wife.
What all of this meant was that in less than 24 hours, Samantha had to convince the concierge to sign the agreement with Global. She also had to convince the concierge that there was no way his name would end up in print. And, Samantha had told me that the concierge had been the only one who’d been in the area that HillBilly was making out in, so that added even more weight to his fear of losing his job. Before I went to bed that night I called Jon to fill him in on my afternoon slumming it with the scum of the earth. And he had some insightful comments, which were the result of a lifetime of being on the receiving end of reverse elitism.
“Well, I hate to be the one to have to break this to you, Serene, but the term ‘money is the root of all evil’ does have some validity to it. People without money, it seems, will do anything to get it, even if that means compromising their morals. I mean you just witnessed that firsthand. People lie, cheat, steal and even kill for money on a daily basis. We’re lucky enough not to have to worry about money. But for those people who aren’t so lucky, money isn’t a trivial matter. It’s literally a matter of life or death.”
“I know, you’re right. Samantha definitely turned into a green-eyed monster once she heard the word ‘money.’ I just assumed that because I knew her cousins that she was a trustworthy person. Believe me, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m exhausted from all of this duplicitous activity. I’m going to go to bed, but I have Tuesday off, so I’ll come over.”
Chapter 24: Bitchy, Bothered and Bewildered
I arrived into work early that Monday morning, knowing that I’d have to deal with Brooks and PMS on the HillBilly cover story. I headed straight to Brooks’s office. Brooks was sitting in his large, airy office with Gary Worth, another office fave of mine in light of his status as a preeminent gossipist and his superb sense of style. G.W. is hands-down the chicest straight man I’ve encountered in Manhattan. He actually wore a pocket-handkerchief and suspenders on most days, how retro cool is that? And he’s Jewish to boot—love him.
“Hi guys. What’s the latest? I want to apologize for Samantha’s behavior. I’m completely appalled that she is acting this way. Please don’t think that she’s a friend, merely an acquaintance and if I had any inkling that she would turn on us like this, I never would have sent her to you. I’m soo sorry!”
“Darling, it’s okay,” Brooks drawled in his baritone voice, which according to Darren was a dead ringer for Thurston Howell III from Gilligan’s Island. “It’s totally not your fault, but she’s really fucking annoying, that girl. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about, and she refuses to tell us what exactly the information is. And for her to ask me for $20,000—”
“WHAT?!” I shrieked. “She asked you for that much? Is she completely fucking insane? Oh my God! I’m soo embarrassed!”
“Serena, calm down, it’s not your fault. But $20,000, I mean that’s like a quarter of my budget for the entire issue. It’s just not happening. And, that agent her cousin has is a complete idiot.”
“I know, I know. I’m beginning to think anyone even associated with this family is mildly retarded.”
“Anyway,” Gary jumped in, as he was going to top-edit the story, “The bottom line is that we can’t offer her a figure without her telling us at least a little of what she found out from the concierge. And she’s pretty much refusing to do that.”
“So, what’s going to happen is that I’d like you to call Samantha and explain to her that she’s acting ridiculous and that she’s never going to get that kind of money from me,” Brooks said to me. “I mean,” he continued, “Tell her she could maybe get a couple thousand dollars. But that’s it. We need to move this story—make sure you tell her that we have a deadline TONIGHT. And Gary, you will work on having Samantha get the concierge to commit to us, to sign the agreement so that we can move forward.”
A couple thousand?! Damn, they really did pay sources a lot. I went back to my desk and breathed. Thankfully, nobody was in my department yet because it was only 8 a.m. I phoned Samantha. I planned on making no attempt to disguise my disgust at her behavior. She didn’t pick up.
“Samantha, it’s Serena. Ed told me everything that’s going on, and he told me how much money you asked for. I’m going to be honest with you—that sum is ludicrous and I can’t imagine what you are thinking. You are not going to get that kind of money out of them. Period. You may be able to get a couple thousand, but only if the concierge signs the contributor contract. From now on, you’ll be dealing with Gary Worth. Please try to be professional with him, he is extremely capable and the former editor of GQ.”
I hung up, and tried to concentrate on my real work. I was after all, still a research editor. I had to leave early that day, and when I stopped by Gary’s office to see what the deal with Samantha was, he still hadn’t gotten the concierge to sign the contributor contract. But he assured me that he was making progress. That night, I received no frantic phone calls at home. So I reasoned that everything must have gone swimmingly—meaning that the concierge had signed the contributor contract.
The magazine hit the stands on Wednesday that week due to the printing problems. I popped into Gristede’s before heading to the office and saw that my byline was attached to the story, along with three other writers’ bylines. All of the info from Samantha’s source was in the story—including a play-by-play of the HillBilly make-out session, a physical description of their surroundings and quotes about what exactly they were and weren’t doing to each other. That meant that the concierge had signed the contributor contract. Brian the lawyer wouldn’t have let the concierge’s info make it into print without a signed contributor contract—he was an extremely conscientious attorney.
Ironically enough, as someone who’d aspired her entire life to be a magazine editor and writer, I wasn’t that excited to see my name attached to a cover story, though my friends and family were. For me it was somewhat anticlimactic, probably because I’d had to go through eight months of career hell just to get my name into the smut-rag. When I really thought about the past eight months at Celeb and what it had taken to get to this point—the point of merely having one measly little clip to attach to my résumé when I went looking for another job—I realized just how utterly naïve I had been about what my job would be like. And although it had been only eight months, that was years, perhaps decades in Penny-time. Her staffers had an extremely high burnout and turnover rate. The average career span of her staffers probably was eight months. Walking into the office that Wednesday, I had no concrete reason to suspect that everything wasn’t on the up-and-up with the HillBilly story. But, after eight months of dealing with the bullshit that wafted through the Celeb office on a minute-by-minute basis, I should’ve fucking known better. As soon as I sat down at my desk, I checked my inter-office e-mail and saw that Brooks wanted to see me as soon as I got in. I walked over to his office.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 7:00 AM
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I've been a prisoner of my newly Japanese-straightened hair all weekend, so men, you may want to skip this beauty entry. I've been doing this every six months for 3 years, as I have majorly curly hair and I hate it, natch. Japanese straightening (thermal reconditioning) is, quite simply, a Jewish girl's savior. One six-hour-long treatment every six months, and you have shiksa-straight locks—no frizzies, no blow drying, just wash and go.
Do you know how much time and money and products this saves? Sure, it's pricey, about $600 twice yearly, but soooooooooo worth it. Anyway, upon the advice of a friend who tried it for the first time (ahem, Schwartz) I went somewhere different six months ago in the city to save a measly $150 bucks. I was never happy with the results, though it looked good on Schwartzie. Well, yesterday I found out that the new place I tried in the city, which claimed I was getting thermal reconditioning, did not even DO thermal reconditioning. They merely do a curl reducer puh-lease.
What makes it thermal reconditioning is the use of the flat iron, which sets in the product. So girls, pony up the extra money, do not go here: SEI Tomoko, and go here: Momotaro. Momotaro rocks; they do this every day, all day, and to boot, they are on 5th ave across from Saks and a few floors above Jimmy Choo;)
And if you live in Florida, go here: Vincent J Salon.
The results from Vincent J:
And on the way home from Vincent J, stop here, Cafe Martoranofor a true, legit, Mafia run Sopranos-style Italian feast, replete with neon lights and The Godfather playing on TVS. Though word to the wise: you must secure a reservation via the assistance of someone with a name like Johnny Meatballs, or endure an hour long wait. Florida is sooooooooo bizarre.
Vincent J Salon
Posted by Stephanie Green at 1:23 PM
Friday, August 18, 2006
Welcome to the new readers courtesy of the brilliant Not Chosen, Just Posin' and the vomit-inducing, debutante diatribe Belle in the Big Apple.
And a big holler to the reader from Orange Park??? I grew up over the bridge in Jax. I didn't know people in Orange Park read, so kudos, my friend.
I will post more scintillating stuff later, once I've done my morning exercises. Today I think I'll reveal how I was one of the first journos in Manhattan to have incontrovertible proof that Brad was stepping out on Jen with skanky Angelina. This knowledge led directly to my demise at Star.
***Update: in a fit of self-destruction/self-pity/hatred of the publishing world, I seem to have deleted all drafts of Dishalicious from my e-mail. I will dig something up this weekend. In the meantime, I thought I would post this embarrassing picture of my dad and his buddy on the boat. LOVE the hat dad.
I have my long overdue Japanese straightening session tomorrow, which means SIX HOURS in a salon chair being poked and prodded. So I could use some good book recs...
Posted by Stephanie Green at 9:17 AM
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Um, I haven't read this yet, but this could be interesting/horrifying/funny/anti-Semitic:
Not Chosen, Just Posin'
And Re: this lovely Brooke Parkhurst/moi smackdown, Gawker put it best. My only point is that the fashion media, the most notoriously judgemental, bitchiest niche of the media (GOD LOVE EM ALL:) will eat this 'genteel Southerner' for their liquid lunches. And call me crazy, but I'm a Southerner as well, but I was brought up to keep at least some of the twins to the imagination sartorially speaking.
Radar on Gawker
OK, Jason Binn. Utter douchebag. I interned for him at Gotham and he had me lie repeatedly to Christina Greeven Cuomo, who then ran Manhattan File magazine, so that he could snoop on her publication. He's actually a good friend of a good family friend, who may or may have not met him in a certain Anonymous group. I don't quite know whether it's AA or NA...
Posted by Stephanie Green at 8:03 PM
Day three on the Lexapro; the only of the myriad antidepressants I've tried that has no withdrawl effects. That, combined with the fact that I can run again and therefore get my body back into the shape I so desire, may equal, if not happiness (God forbid), then at least contendedness. Fucking drugs. Can't live without them, yet people who are able to think they are a bad invention.
Jason Binn is such a pansy ass gay boy. Why would this probably nice Jewish girl marry him? He is such a schmuck. When I interned for him, he had me lie repeatedly to Christina Greeven Cuomo, who then ran Manhattan File magazine, just to snoop on then. Oh, and he's an alcoholic and a drug addict. I know it's supposed to be AA/NA, but a family friend met the douchebag in either and NA or AA meeting and now they are good buds. If you have an addiction, own up to it dude. Or just keep drinking. Life is too short to be substance free.
Party Pictures 8/17/06 - Good for All
Posted by Stephanie Green at 12:54 PM
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
In case you can't tell, I'm in a really fucking shit-ass mood of late, so I thought I would call some people out.
For those of you who don't know, the site meter I have ENABLES ME TO SEE WHERE YOU ARE READING MY BLOG FROM.
AOL users, I can only see AOL.com, so you are safe, though I do have a good idea which AOL users are e-stalking me (ahem, asshole exes and wanna-be exes).
However, most other IP addresses reveal more. And since I have access to how long people view my pages, I have concluded that I seem to have several creepy e-stalkers from companies and places I've never heard of. To wit: Please reveal yourselves. Most of these people check everyday, sometimes for disturbing period of times. Check yourselves, freaks:
Proskauer Rose, 13 minutes 27 seconds, today
Grey Advertising, 27 minutes, today
Proskauer Rose, 21 minutes, yesterday (do you not do ANY work at that law firm of yours anonymous lawyer stalker????)
M. Shanken Communications, nearly daily, I'm pretty sure this is Scott's stalker. If so, get a life, girl and move on.
Then there are the regular stalkers, only whose locations I can identify, including one in Gaithersburg, Maryland, who spends hours, upon hours reading my drivel.
It would be one thing if I actually wrote things of interest, however, given that I have THE MOST BORING LIFE IN DADE COUNTY, I really can't understand what the hell you people are looking at or reading about. Seriously. Get lives.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 1:57 PM
The one light at the end of my interminable, miserable, morose tunnel is that I can FINALLY run again. The orthopedist gave me the okay yesterday and it felt soooooooo fucking good to get on the treadmill again after SIX months. There is simply no comparable way to burn calories when it comes to using treadmill by running or walking on an incline.
Tomorrow I promise to post more of my second "novel," a term I use completely loosely, as even that must be more interesting than this drivel.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 12:11 PM
Monday, August 07, 2006
I had my wisdom teeth removed Friday and am still under a Percocet induced haze. It really is a pretty miserable experience, but luckily mom came in to hold my hand and dote on me. I did look like a chipmunk the first two days, but now the swelling has gone down and I can talk somewhat normally. This was actually my first-ever surgery, and though there are certainly no pleasant things to note, I have to say that local anesthesia is niiiiiiiiiice. I seem to recall asking the doctor if I could take the IV home with me. Nothing exciting to report. Maybe things will pick up later in the week when little bro comes to town and I have an excuse to party again.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 5:08 PM