In America: Bush booted out of media spotlight by Brad and Jen

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The Independent Online

Never mind the President's inauguration. Forget about Donald Trump and Melania getting hitched at the weekend. There is only one topic gripping the attention of America and, odds are, it will continue to do so for some time to come.

Never mind the President's inauguration. Forget about Donald Trump and Melania getting hitched at the weekend. There is only one topic gripping the attention of America and, odds are, it will continue to do so for some time to come.

Last week, the four main celebrity magazines in the United States all went with the same story on their covers - an overlap that in general spells disaster when they hit the news-stands - and not one of their editors regretted it. In fact, this breaking drama is so hot, each of the titles achieved near-record sales.

The matter was of such frantic importance that People magazine and US Weekly actually rushed out their editions several days earlier than usual. Had the nation been invaded, perhaps?

No, this avalanche of words and paparazzi snaps was over the marital rupture of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.

Understand, that this is the biggest Hollywood break-up ever. (Well since Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck went their separate ways.) Just in case you still don't know how big this is, People estimates that its sales last week topped 2 million copies.

It's been a while since that happened. A little more than three years, in fact - when the magazine broke all records with the issue that followed the 11 September 2001 attacks.

* WE LEARN that Jade Jagger, daughter of Sir Mick, is taking a plunge into the world of property development.

Already creative director at Garrard, the jewellers, Ms Jagger has joined forces with the London-based property company, YOO, and its founders, John Hitchcox and interiors genius Philippe Starck.

Her first order of business will be to design a line of bathrooms and the furniture to fill them. It could be a busy gig. Under chief executive Hitchcox, YOO is involved with building apartments around the world, including in Britain, the US - in New York City and Miami - as well as Phuket and Buenos Aires.

Anything Ms Jagger creates will go under the brand, "Jade Jagger for YOO".

YOO may not mean YOU, unless you have the cash for a swank Hitchcox-Starck-Jagger pad.

* MEET THE FOCKERS was the king of the holiday box office in the United States, but the critics hated it. What did screen great Robert De Niro think he was doing?

But there is news to suggest that he may have a chance at redemption. The New York actor - who has also found a handy source of income in a new American Express television advert in the US - has revealed he is in talks with director Martin Scorcese for a sequel to the movie that established his reputation in the first place, the 1976 classic, Taxi Driver .

We say get yourself into that yellow cab pronto, Robert.

* SHORT OF cash and have a Picasso in the attic? Find a gallery to flog it for you and your bank account will bloom again.

But wait, this is the 21st century. Much better to hawk it online. So says Seattle-based art dealer Jim Tutwiler, who has just sold a 1970 crayon drawing of a face by the Spanish master via cyberspace.

But he went a step further, eschewing the normal sites for such web-based trade like, say, eBay. He chose the website of Costco, America's second largest discount megastore chain after Wal-Mart.

Shoppers must have been baffled to find a Picasso among images of crates of Pepsi and Quaker Oats. It's like selling a Titian at Tesco, a Stubbs at Sainsbury's. But someone added it to their cart, bidding $39,999. Sold!

* Careful with that sign language, Jenna. The photo agencies caught snaps of the President's daughter gesticulating with her right hand at the Texas State Society's Black Tie & Boots inauguration ball on Wednesday night that involved lifting aloft her pinky and index fingers.

It was all perfectly innocent, of course - it was recognised by the Texan guests as the "Hook 'em Horns" signal of support for the University of Texas Longhorns American Football team.

Trouble is the same gesture signifies something quite different to regular practitioners of sign language. In one word, it means "bullshit".

We assume she had no idea.

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