Apparently. Seems people are so afraid of being attacked by what has arguably been considered one of the most powerful gossip columns in the world, they’ve been ponying up money to ensure their protection.
Those of you who have read my new book, Sex.Lies.Murder.Fame. (and those of you who haven’t, how can I ever afford those banging red shoes unless you show me some love?) know that I mention Page Six several times in the story.
The scandalous gossip column is a constant presence that terrorizes and ridicules the characters whenever things go awry. (At one point, they refer to my character Beryl’s face as “the ultimate contraceptive.”)
Needless to say, Page Six is both much-hated and much-read. Some shameless fame seekers even find ways to deliberately cause a ruckus just so they can make the column. The Sixies even wrote about me writing about them (so meta, I love it!!!) shortly after my new book dropped. Of course they took at dig at me in the process, which was way funny and way expected because that’s just how they get down.
Well, news breaks today that The Sixies (or, at the very least, one of their highest profile writers) have been EXTORTING MONEY in order to guarantee someone not being written about. Okayyyyyyyyy??? WTF????? And to make matters worse (for the The Sixies), the news was on the front page of The New York Post’s (where Page Six appears) mortal enemy—The New York Daily News. Half the fun of these papers are the ridiculous and/or clever headlines they come up with for outrageous breaking news. Here’s how The New York Daily News jumped on this mess. First they made a graphic with a fake Post header:
Okay, how funny is that? And this was the cover of the paper:
Per the article:
A New York Post Page Six staffer solicited $220,000 from a high-profile billionaire in return for a year’s “protection” against inaccurate and unflattering items about him in the gossip page, the Daily News has learned.
In two 90-minute meetings, characterized by a shocking breach of ethics, Jared Paul Stern, a fixture on the city’s gossip scene who also edited Page Six The Magazine, asked for a series of payments from Ron Burkle, the managing partner of Yucaipa Cos., a conglomerate with interests in supermarkets, celebrity clothing lines, and media.
It was all a setup, a sting monitored by law enforcement, including the U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI, who are now investigating the extortion attempt. The meetings, on March 22 and March 31, were videotaped.
The shakedown began with a series of e-mails sent last month by Stern to Burkle.
An exasperated Burkle finally said, “How much do you want?” after Stern said he could control coverage by Richard Johnson, the column’s chief writer, and his staff. “Um, $100,000 to get going and then you could get it to me on a month-to-month, maybe like $10,000,” replied Stern.
“Okay, that’s a great deal,” said Burkle, the subject of numerous Page Six items including a “date” with supermodel Gisele Bundchen, meetings with other women and a nasty breakup with a longtime lover.
Dayum!!! This is totally insane (yet credible)!!! See, this totally supports my theory that gossip columns, celebrity mags, and the whole world that surrounds the famous and would-be famous is just made up of a bunch of sick fucks who desperately want to be famous themselves.
All that to say, if you really want to understand this world and the lunatic people in it, you should read my new book.