The heady days are over.
Thursday evening in Cannes, amFAR organized its annual gala. The party that once drew Elizabeth Taylor, Elton John, Sharon Stone and Calvin Klein drew a host of D-list celebrities. All the big stars left. The ever-wise Stone was the star of the Cannes red carpet all week but left the city before amFAR. She made the right decision.
In New York, the struggling Friars Club had a “roast” comedian Tracy Morgan at the former Ziegfeld Theatre, now Ballroom. It was a gallery of rogue horrors starting with Rudy Giuliani and Geraldo Rivera, followed by former “SNL” cast member Chris Kattan. No Tina Fey or Jane Krakowski from “30 Rock”, no “SNL” heavyweights. From the photos, it looks a lot like the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”.
Both organizations have been mired in controversy. amFAR is now under the umbrella of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Festival. Contributions and subsidies are greatly reduced, but salaries continue to increase. Most of the guests last night were models paid to be there. And as is now the custom, the group made no announcement today on the amount of money raised during the evening. (They used to make these announcements immediately, but that stopped a few years ago.)
The Brothers settled a million-dollar sexual harassment lawsuit, fired their CEO after federal agents raided the place, and he — Michael Gyure — was convicted of tax evasion. They can’t reopen their restaurant because they don’t want to pay union dues to the workers. Now they’re also suing Gyure (pronounced, ironically, “jury”).