We’re going to be straight with you: David Geffen is the thorn in our obsessed-with-stalking-the-planes-of-rich-and-famous people asses. So we’re going to expose what the little scallywag thought would be an elaborately difficult but successful business plan that would a. make him lots and lots of money b. louse up our plan at world domination via planespotting and c. finally make Ashlee Simpson look legit.* Ready? Okay. As you may already know, Geffen, Ron Burkle (billionaire investor), Peter Ueberroth (Commissioner of MLB and former Olympics organizer) and Eli Broad (philanthropist AKA a nobody) are interested in buying the LATimes. As you also likely know, Geffen has recently been at the forefront of a major question posed by The New York Observer,**as to the mystery inhabitant of a loft he just purchased for $10 million at 158 Mercer Street. Geffen, you see, is one of the trustees registered on the deed-transfer record, but Marci Klein, daughter of Calvin and seasoned Saturday Night Live producer, was revealed in April to be the future inhabitant of the 11th floor apartment; so that’s confusing and upsetting and off-putting. But just wait, it’ll all soon be resolved. Since you obviously have a subscription to US Weekly (excuse us, your “girlfriend does and [you] just found it lying on the coffee table”), you know that Ashlee Simpson was the recent recipient of a new face. Simpson, one of Geffen’s most gifted clients,
*While making sure to say that, although we believe this to be true, it is entirely unconfirmed (as most brilliant conspiracy theories are).
**So a minor/less-than-minor question to the rest of the world.
needed a place to hide out during the first few months of post-op from her (rumored to be) new nose, chin, eyes and brain surgery. Realizing that no one would agree to go in on a deal for the Times with “the manager who thought no one would notice if Ashlee Simpson emerged from a doctor’s office one day replete with a brand spanking new face (but, alas, still with the same shamelessly creepy father),” Big G placed a call to Marci (no 'e') Klein. He knew that Klein would agree to “go halfsies” on the Mercer place because as second-in-line to Lorne Michaels, she’s been planning a “groundbreaking” episode of SNL in which Simpson will return to the stage for the first time since last year’s lip synching incident and once again try her hand at this whole “singing without a tape playing at the same time thing.” For the show to go off without a hitch, Klein knew she couldn’t risk anymore bad press for the Simpson camp. Additionally, Geffen was well aware of the fact that he couldn’t stash AS at his once-secluded Malibu beach house, as his (pretty pansy) court battle to block the opening of a public-access walkway adjacent to his home was shot down last May, and the paparazzi et al would be chomping at the bit to get a shot of “the new face of Geffen Records Ashlee Simpson.” So there you have it: try as he might to screw us over, we not only found out who’s living at 158 Mercer/how Geffen’s trying (in vain) to make himself look good to prospective partners in the Times deal, but where Geffie-Geff’s plane has been these days: JFK and LAX. Thank you and good night.
Planespotting: Rich Plane Ritalin-Free Pilot Run Amuck or Marc Rich Back to Old Habits?
Those habits being white collar crime, etc, etc, etc. You remember Rich, right? If not, first hang your head in shame, repeat “I am nothing without DealBreaker, nothing!” three times, and then read this background info: Rich is the infamous(ly-unethical) financier who in the eighties did for WCC what Jay McInerney did for cocaine; or, depending on how you see it, did for himself what McInerney did to coke—blew it, and was made a fugitive, forced to renounce his U.S. citizenship. Mrs. Denise Rich, whose husband was charged with fifty counts of tax evasion, fraud and conspiracy in 1983, made headlines for, among other things, writing to President Clinton on December 8, 2001, asking him to pardon her “quasi-innocent” husband.
Rich wrote that "exile for seventeen years is enough. Marc has made the lives of countless others better," though which and how are unclear, as "Marc" is the same "Marc Rich" who had dealings with Iran during the hostage crisis in the 80s and did business with South Africa, albeit that pesky little apartheid-era embargo.
Clinton responded to Denise's letter by issuing the pardon in question, and explaining that a bunch of prominent tax experts "here" and a couple of legal precedents "there" justified his reprieve, though his own advisers disagreed. Clinton's chief of staff, John Podesta, noted that "the staff informed the president that it was our view that the pardon should not be granted... [But] the president was the president." And a blow job was a blow job, Denise Rich (we feel) must've noted, as well, after visiting the executive mansion of the White House over a dozen times during Clinton's tenure, including the evening before the pardon was granted.
Then, on May 22, 2006, after not so much as a "Hey, how's it going from Denise or Marc," we found out (and reported, naturally) that the Rich plane, a Learjet 60, flew from New York’s Westchester Airport to Arkansas’s Rogers Municipal Field and back again. We assumed that D. "Boom Boom" Rich was just in for the night, performing her “civic duties,” no harm, no foul (even Hillary’s cool with it, at this point). But, then—hold on there, Skippy. Today’s regularly scheduled stalking of all things Marc and Denise has turned up the following fishy smelling bit of hard facts: between June 8 and June 14, D. Rich’s plane flew from Teterboro to Ohio; to Kansas; to St. Louis; to JFK; to DC; to Bedford, MA; to Maine; to Westchester; back to Bedford; to Chicago; back to Bedford again; to Teterboro; to Westchester; to Connecticut; and scene. The fishy smelling bit of hard analysis? Either the pilot behind the wheel is one of the New Yorkers The Post recently outed as “so disorganized that they fail to seek treatment [for ADHD] two years after being urged to do so,” or Marc Rich is trying to keep the Feds off his trail while his wife pulls some, well, let’s just say “strings” with the former Prez, pardon-wise. Rich, if you’re reading this, we’ll just say this: the Feds are one thing; but trying to throw us off the trail? We think not.