Monday, February 19, 2018

Snapped

TV presenter Sam Armytage has been tweeting about the dreaded paparazzi hounding her at Bondi Beach. To nip them in the bud she posted this snap on Instagram. And who is the chap Sam is getting up close and personal with on the far right ?. it's designer Jonathan Ward who has been responsible for the successful revival of the iconic Aussie brand R.M.Williams.
The annual Fag Hag 2018 bash went off with masses of wigs and hairspray at The Star Sydney as a lead-up to the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (pics by Belinda Rolland)
The Bay Soiree at the Watson's Bay Boutique Hotel raised funds for the Victor Chang Institute (launched in 1995 by the late Princess Diana as her last public charity event). Artistic duo Charles & Krista Billich (left) attended.
And last but not least: our snaps from the sensational Inaugural Grammy Awards party hosted by Steven Tyler in Los Angeles to raise funds (nearly $2M !) for Janie's Fund which assists young girls from across America who have suffered from trauma and abuse. Our own Ruby Rose was there along with..some Kardashians (it's not a party without a Kardashian) Alice Cooper with Sharon Stone while Tyler performed.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Strangest story of the week

Broadcaster Phillip Adams who chairs the Late Night Live program on the ABC's Radio National is a particular favourite of Whispers. Each day when we are traveling by car we avidly listen to Adam's show when it is re-broadcast. His mixture of guests with their take on world affairs is always fascinating as is Adam's presentation.

But now word reaches us the Adams and an ABC crew have been banned from visiting India. They have been denied visas after planning the trip for weeks. Why? This is a real mystery. Many consider Adams a bit of an old 'lefty'. Indeed former Prime Minister John Howard on one of his regular attacks upon the ABC and the (ill-conceived) view it was too "left wing" famously pondered "where is the right-wing Philip Adams.?"
Australia's media seems to have ignored this bizarre insult which can only be political but India's Hindustan Times has the scoop.

Whispers has spotted Adams around town in the past but he now appears to have retired to the country after selling his magnificent Paddington home. On one memorable occasion we attended a party in Queen Street Woolahra for the launch of the famed Prince Lorenzo Montesini's (left) autobiography, wittingly launched by Philip.

Monday, January 29, 2018

In LA

G'Day Australia went off with a bang again in Los Angeles on the weekend. This is when Australian business including the local film industry showcase their wares for the US market. Naturally, those in the Gum Leaf Mafia come out in force.
Below: Left to Right : John Travolta * Ruby Rose * Rose Byrne *Rebel Wilson * Nicky Whelan * Delta Goodren * Olivia Newton John & John Farrar and Human Nature.
And it wouldn't be an Aussie celebration without Margot Robbie and Rachael Griffith.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

That Big Versace lie

Private eye Frank Monte and girlfriend Sharon Sargeant
WHILE THE VERSACE FAMILY fulminate about the new TV series The Assassination of Gianni Versace : American Crime Story about the murder of Gianni Versace one matter still remains unresolved.
In 2002 Donatella and Santos Versace sued Sydney and Los Angeles based private eye Frank Monte for defamation over his book, The Spying Game in which Monte alleged Gianni was murdered over his involvement with the Italian Mafia and that the accused killer Andrew Cunanan was acting for the Mafia but soon realized he had been set up as a patsy and as promised support from the underworld evaporated he killed himself shortly after.

The Australian media, as it so often
does acted like a chorus chamber and their reports on the Versace family were frankly, embarrassing as they treated the Versaces like Royalty and Monte like something the cat dragged in who dared to challenge the Versace empire.

Not one media outlet- bar Whispers- has reported one very pertinent fact. Donatella Versace was grilled via a TV link in the Australian Federal Court by one of Australia's most respected legal eagles Clive Evatt QC.
She emphatically, and with some outrage stated that she had never taken drugs in her life and said the claim was an outrageous lie. Monte lost the case.

Yet less than 2 years later Donatella Versace gave an interview to Vogue Magazine in which she stated that she had been addicted to cocaine before and after Gianna's murder and the singer Sir Elton John had aided her recovery in a clinic.
Donatella had committed perjury in Australia's top court and the Australian media remained mute, occasionally continuing their outrage at Monte's claim the Versace empire was propped up by Mafia money.

In 2011 one of Italy's most famous and respected investigative journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi released the book "Metastasi" in which he detailed how the feared and  notorious Italian Calabrian mafia N'Drangheta had murdered the fashion icon over financial skullduggery. Santos Versace threatened to sue Nuzzi over claims that mirrored Monte's. He never did.
 

Even in the current controversy over the new TV series to be screened in the UK and USA next week, the Australian media still remains silent on this insult to our courts. The provincial nature of our media is sometimes an embarrassment.
# with the original book pulped, Monte re-released The Spying Game without the Versace claims which became a best-seller in Europe.
## In 2010 a Miami detective confirmed their suspicions echoed Monte's claim of Mafia involvement in Gianni's murder.
### Vanity Fair's article on Maureen Orth's book on which the new Versace TV series is based.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Whispers will be jetting into LA for this event

Janie’s Fund Gala and GRAMMY Awards® Viewing Party

When: Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hot Spot: RED Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

Deets: Iconic singer, songwriter and humanitarian,Steven Tyler, and Live Nation will present the inaugural Janie’s Fund gala and GRAMMY Awards® viewing party on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the historic RED Studios Hollywood. The exclusive event will include a star-studded red carpet, live viewing of the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, live auction, dinner, and a musical performance.

Attendees will be treated to a multi-course dinner menu designed by GRAMMY Award-winning singer, best-selling cookbook author and lifestyle expert Trisha Yearwood. Following the dinner and telecast, Steven Tyler and his Nashville based band, LOVING MARY, will take the stage for a can’t-miss special live performance to close out the night.

Co-chair supporters for the event include Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Andrea Bocelli, Bo Derek, Britney Spears, Sir Elton John, Jim Carrey, Joaquin Phoenix, Joe & Marjorie Walsh, Kate Hudson, Lionel Richie, Sharon Stone, Whoopi Goldberg, and Yoko Ono.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Janie’s Fund, a philanthropic initiative created by Tyler in partnership with the national family services nonprofit Youth Villages to bring hope and healing to girls across America who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect. Tyler first gave voice to this cause with his hit “Janie’s Got a Gun,” and his establishment of the fund ensures that these vulnerable girls will have an enduring voice for years to come.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Lost in Paradise

 Whispers has been invited several times to check out the Lost Paradise Festival in NSW's Glenworth Valley but we haven't quite made it yet. Still our spies are omnipresent and sent some snaps from the idyllic valley where the festival is fast becoming one of the main music attractions of the New Year celebrations.
The valley itself is lush as our snaps show and despite it being the middle of summer cool breezes are constant making the weather ideal.
Long gone are the days of camping in an uncomfortable tiny tent. Luxury marquees with comfortable beds and living areas make perfect accommodation.

And below: the people- they dress up, they behave, the dance and sing and make merry.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Fairfax Clanger of The Year

It's that Silly Season time of the year when tabloids print endless round-ups of yesterday's stale offerings so here is Whisper's take which we think is the Clanger of The Year.
It's a tale about our most wonderful Opera star  who took the stages of the great Opera Houses of the world by storm and dominated for several decades.
We refer of course to the late great Dame Joan Sutherland who may be turning in her grave if she read this tale in the Sydney Morning Herald to find the Sydney Opera House- where she appeared in so many triumphant performances including her final public concert (watched by Whispers) is to re-name it's theatre the Joan Sullivan Theatre (who she?)

Perhaps they are all in the local pub celebrating New Year's Eve early. Even on their uncorrected Google web search the Mysterious Joan Sullivan lurks.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hugh Jackman & Sydney's New Year's Eve

Actor Hugh Jackman who stars in the film The Greatest Showman is aiding in the organising of the sensational New Year's Eve fireworks that will be on display on Sydney Harbour on Sunday night. The Sydney celebrations are usually the first in the world and are viewed by 100s of millions around the planet. What fantastic publicity for Jackman's new flick!
Below is Hugh at the Sydney Opera House and below that a trailer for The Greatest Showman.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fab car but it was sold




 Seda Star danced for joy when she spotted the new Lamborghini
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 



Tony Graziana ( right) throws some pretty swell parties at his Woolloomooloo auto showroom Scuderi Graziana and the launch of the new 2017 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster 50th Anniversary model was a must to attend.
 This set of wheels costs over One Million $$ and it had been sold already. Tony wasn't saying who to but he did say he would be happy to order another one if we were interested. We'll think about it.
One nice aspect of Tony's showroom is the first floor. Here you will find some gorgeous cars that previous owners have purchased and kindly "run in" for you. Among some of the most luxurious brand names cars to be had: Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes and even the famous "James Bond"Aston Martin DB5. But not one, two are there for sale..


Sunday, November 26, 2017

She's back !




How pleasing to see our favorite chanteuse and actress Maria Venuti made it to the Bong Bong Picnic Races this week. Maria suffered a stroke earlier this year after she found a stranger in her living room. But she's looking much better and as always, larger than life. Maria is pictured here with two Southern Highlands' residents broadcaster Alan Jones and the always stylish Glen Marie Frost.

There was a time when the Picnic Races had to be cancelled for a number of years due to the attendees imbibing just a little too much in alcoholic refreshments and basically running amok. Now they have returned to calmer times and really are a wonderful day out in a superb location.

Noticeable attendees: broadcaster Alan Jones who tends to be to the right of politics but his new friendship with the former Australian Labor Party candidate for Prime Minister Mark Latham has taken on all the attributes of a bromance. Latham seems to have veered to the right at a rapid pace and now writes for the right-wing website Rebel Media and when he's not castigating "snowflakes" he's cosying up to that Milo character or getting stuck into former Labor colleagues like ex-PM Kevin Rudd and former NSW premier Kristina Keneally who has a real chance of picking up the Bennelong seat in the upcoming by-election which could put Labor in power and PM Malcolm Turnbull out.
We digress: Latham and Jones have teamed up to give the world just what it needs- another cookbook as Mark tweeted with the accompanying photo : "Here we are in the kitchen enjoying the great story about Alan's sultana scone recipe. One of many cracking recipes to feature in the book.'
We can't wait.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Backstage with George

Star Trek star George Takei is in Australia on a speaking tour where he talks about his treatment in an internement camp during WW2 and the prejudice Asian actors face in Hollywood. We managed to get some snaps backstage after his Sydney talk tonight.
 Pics by William Yang

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

News Corp Fail # 1

An occasional series:
Published yesterday in Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper, one of Rupert Murdoch's leading Aussie tabloids.
A story on the death of ACDC co-founder Malcolm Young who passed away sadly from dementia at the young age of 64.
Earth to editor : Malcolm was not a bass guitarist, he was a rhythm guitarist (big difference !) who many regarded as one of the greatest on the planet. Better luck next time. Vale Malcolm.

Will there be Redemption?

While the world is still reeling from sexual harassment accusations about Hollywood movie stars and producers, two events in New York illustrate how things may eventually end up.

Whisper's spy in the Big Apple and Hollywood disguised as Aspidistra plant in several upmarket venues spotted some interesting faces out and about recently.
Making his first appearance at a prestige NY event (according to those in the know) was Kevin Spacey accuser, actor Anthony Rapp who sang 2 songs from the musical Rent at the Harboring Hearts annual gala to raise funds for cardiac research.
Anthony Rapp (second left) and pals at the Harboring Hearts fundraiser.
Just days later a magnificent fundraiser was held at Hearst Castle in California the magnificent home built by the legendary US newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Our exclusive photos from the event give some idea of this splendorous home where Hearst threw some of the most amazing parties during the 1940s and '50s. When he died in 1957 he left the castle to the California state so the exquisite collection of antiques and art can be preserved and viewed by the public. Each year the Hearst Castle Preservation Society holds a shindig to raise funds and promote the estate.
Apart from the cream of LA society naturally there are numerous Hearst family members on hand and the above snap caught our attention. It's Patricia Hearst Shaw (above left) with Suzanne Tucker, and Wendy Stark.
Perhaps older readers may recall the extraordinary events of 1974 when Patricia, the grand-daughter of Randolph Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a left wing revolutionary group. 





While police searched for the kidnapped heiress, suddenly she began appearing in a number of banks participating in bank hold-ups wielding a sub machine gun helping to raise funds for her captors.

Hearst was eventually arrested and jailed for 7 years and finally pardoned by President Bill Clinton. Now she's a regular again on the social circuit. 

Will Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein et all have to wait that long?

Below: some more snaps from the Hearst Castle bash.









Wednesday, November 15, 2017

So that's a YES then..

Over 61% of Australians have voted "yes" to same-sex marriage which means it will be legal by Christmas.
# Whispers has been laid up with illness for 2 weeks now but will be back on board shortly. Even the Office Cat had to make a visit to the vet.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ottos' lunch- for a good cause



Those hard working ladies of the Black & White Charity Committee have a lunch on Tuesday 14th November at the uber restaurant Ottos on the Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo. The guest of honor will be the previous NSW Governor Dame Marie Bashir and she's well worth the price of admission alone, quite apart from Ottos' superb food.
Tickets can be bought here. There will be loads of great prizes and remember- every penny raised at these functions goes to support services for children and their families.
# You may even spot superstar actor Russell Crowe escorting a group of refugees to his sensational penthouse which is at the end of the wharf.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Rock'N'Roll Row

Famed music entrepreneur Simon Napier-Bell (pictured left) was in Sydney last month and Whispers popped along to the Newtown music club Leadbelly to hear him give a talk on the music industry.  Napier-Bell discovered such legends as Marc Bolan & T-Rex, Dusty Springfield and the late George Michael and Wham. He has managed numerous stars and steered their careers including The Yardbyrds in the 1960s up to Sinead O'Connor last year.

One of Napier-Bell's themes is the influence of gay managers on the emerging music business in Britain that included not just himself but Brian Epstein and The Beatles, Kit Lambert and The Who, Australian Robert Stigwood and The Bee Gees and Larry Parnes. Parnes discovered and launched numerous stars in the 1960s including Billy Fury and Marty Wilde. One tale told by the late Kit Lambert is that Robert Stigwood rang Parnes and said " I've just driven past your office and there is a blond Adonis working on the roadworks, look out your window". Parnes looked, spotted the handsome blond and the career of Tommy Steele was born. Napier-Bell reckons gay managers had a unique feel for what teenage girls wanted and acted upon it.
Top: Epstein & The Beatles* Jann Werner Bottom: Stigwood & the Bee Gees. Kit Lambert & The Who

Parnes & Tommy Steele
The New York Times just last week featured this theme (after speaking to Napier-Bell) in a feature written by journalist Jim Farber on the occasion of the pending launch of a biography of the famous Jann Werner who launched the music bible Rolling Stone magazine. Werner, now 70 only just came out the closet recently. But an almighty row is now brewing between Werner and his biographer which you can read all about. What fun!

The articles:

The Gay Architects of Rock

Who created that gorgeous 20th-century creature, the rock star? Consider
the gay image makers of the day, like Brian Epstein and Jann Wenner.