George Christy Talks About Charlene Wittstock, Princess Kate, Sharon Stone, Edoardo Baldi And More!
Did she flee? Did bride-to-be Charlene Wittstock runaway from her $75 million royal wedding to His Most Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco? French news-hounds reported she was nervous about the nuptials and was stopped by the police at the Nice airport. “The princely Palace firmly denies the allegations,” affirmed a Monaco spokesman. “These rumors have the sole aim of harming the image of the sovereign and of Miss Wittstock, causing serious damage to this happy event.”
This Saturday, the Zimbabwe-born, blue-eyed, Olympic swimming champ with the athlete’s physique weds 53-year-old Prince Albert II of Monaco’s Grimaldi dynasty. (The Prince is an Olympic bobsledder.) Charlene’s 20 years his junior, and began studying French, the native language of Monaco, after accepting his marriage proposal last June. Charlene’s father, Michael, is a sales manager, while mother Lynette was a sought-after swimming coach, now retired.
While England’s Princess Kate prefers casual elegance, Charlene’s admittedly a high-fashion follower, and wishes there were a Manolo Blahnik boutique (and a Starbucks) in Monaco. She enjoys a tight friendship with couturier Karl Lagerfeld who promises to make her a style icon. Although Giorgio Armani’s designed her bridal gown.
The weekend event is the tiny principality’s most lavish wedding since Grace Kelly wed Prince Rainier III in 1956. Prince Albert II is their second child, having developed a playboy image over the years, dating Brooke Shields, Elizabeth Hurley, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, etc.
He’s fathered two children out of wedlock from random liaisons, but the Monaco constitution decrees that only legitimate children may be heirs, with Monegasques anxiously awaiting their successor to the throne. (Princess Caroline anticipated her oldest son being anointed.) The Grimaldis have ruled Monaco with its loose tax laws since the 15th century – billionaire Aristotle Onassis was a principal investor in its high-end casinos.
After a civil ceremony in the 200-room Palace, a Catholic ceremony will follow the next day in the Palace’s marble courtyard attended by 3,500. Five-star chef Alain Ducasse is preparing the gala dinner accompanied by Pierrier-Jouet champagnes and South African wines for the 500 guests that will include European royals, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Virgin Air’s Richard Branson, Giorgio Armani, and Karl Lagerfeld. Who will attend – if anyone? – from Washington remains unknown.
The night before the wedding, Don Henley and the Eagles kick off the three-day festivities with a free concert at Stadium Louis for 15,000 celebrants.
Also this weekend, Brit supermodel Kate Moss weds rocker mate Jamie Hince at her country estate in the Cotswolds. During the weekend-long festivities, guests will include Snoop Dog, Kanye West, Sadie Frost, Naomi Campbell. Kate’s 11-year-old daughter Lila Grace is the maid of honor. (Dad is photographer.)
In Beverly Hills this past weekend, Amanda Goldberg wed Philip Raskind after a courtship of many moons in the capacious garden of the Goldberg estate. The newlyweds planned a private family affair. Amanda’s the beautiful daughter of Leonard Goldberg, the TV and film producer, and his wife Wendy, a guardian angel for our charitable fundraisers, notably Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
Amanda and writing partner Ruth Hopper, whose dad is the late Dennis Hopper, are the authors of the bestselling lampoon, Celebutantes, and the recently published Beneath a Starlet Sky, an entertaining sendup of the Cannes International Film Festival. The groom, Philip, is a powerful agent at William Morris Endeavor, representing leading writers and directors.
Now: what do these folks have in common? Leonardo DiCaprio, Mick Jagger, Al Pacino, Elton John, Brad Krevoy, Sharon Stone, Anne and Arnold Kopelson, Simon LeBon, Renee Zellweger, Diana Ross, Jeremy Irons, Danny DeVito, Mike Medavoy, Paul Sorvino, Paula Wagner, Vidal Sassoon, Lorne Michaels, Ken Moelis, Paul Attanasio?
They return for lunch and dinner at Edoardo Baldi’s restaurant, e. baldi, on North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills. Why? His grilled Dover Sole is irresistible. “I serve more than 100 Dover sole orders every day,” reveals Edoardo.
A master chef at age 35, Edoardo’s the son of the late chef Giorgio Baldi whose eponymous restaurant is a Santa Monica landmark. He was born in Forte de Marmi in the Italian province of Lucca, and credits his mother Roberta and grandmothers Cesarina and Ida for his love of cooking.
Fortunately for Beverly Hills, Edoardo’s created a can’t-stay-away-from Italian restaurant attracting discerning diners these past five years with his no-nonsense Tuscan menu prepared with the freshest ingredients. Rage Against the Machine’s among his other faithful diners. As is Cameron Diaz, who orders a double portion of Edoardo’s mouthwatering agnolotti with sweet corn, burrata and mascarpone. Not long ago, WME’s Ari Emanuel took over the dining room to celebrate his 50th birthday.
Wonderful seeing Sharon Stone often at e. baldi. Sharon’s charisma undeniably exudes stardom – would that there were more Sharons on our screens than robots. She was among Edoardo’s loyalists the night we dined with producer Brad Krevoy, who described his slate of exciting films with his Motion Picture Corp. of America. Brad co-produced with Steve Stabler such hilarious classics as Dumber and Dumber and Kingpin that remain favorites with all ages now and forever.
Brad’s preparing What Will Kenny Do? starring Justin Bieber and Ashton Kucher, with producing partners James Lassiter and Will Smith, also producing the English language version of the Oscar-winning foreign film Departures. “We’ve just finished producing Arena, with Kellan Lutz and Samuel Jackson, also Catherine and William: A Royal Romance for the Hallmark Channel with Jane Alexander, Jean Smart and Victor Garber – it airs in August.” Next month, Jean-Claude Van Damme will star in Six Bullets, with Brad filming in Europe and Los Angeles.
Noting as we did earlier about Charlene Wittstock desiring a Manolo Blahnik boutique in Monaco, we’re reminded of Bette Midler’s remark: “Give a girl a pair of good shoes, and she’ll conquer the world.”