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Back on Track

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Single girls of the world--particularly those with a taste for personal Cessnas--rejoice! The Donald is still on the loose.

Donald Trump says there’s no truth to the rumor that the newly sprung Donald is getting back together with the newly sprung Ivana, even though they’ll both be spending New Year’s in Aspen--under different roofs.

Trump was stumping through L.A. recently to promote his new book about--guess what?--himself! He says Random House asked him to write his third book, “Trump: The Art of the Comeback,” after being impressed with the Trumpness of it all.

“My business is much bigger and stronger now than it ever was in the ‘80s,” he said, picking at fruit in the boardroom of CBS before a meeting with network chief Les Moonves while his bodyguard worked the phone outside. “There was a huge recession or depression in the early ‘90s. I had many billions of dollars in debt, and people were not so sure whether Trump could ever make it back.

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“I took my eye off the ball. I’d had a series of so many home runs. It’s like you writing a hundred great, great stories and all of a sudden you lose your focus a little bit.”

Yes, you may consider us the Donald Trump of journalists. Carry on.

“I owed the banks as much as $9 billion, $945 million of which was personally guaranteed. And now I have the same assets with virtually no debt. It was somewhat amazing, to be honest with you.”

Please. Don’t hold back.

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Anyway, more than a few women have, shall we say, noticed all those tasty assets. Oh, yes. And Trump’s green eyes, of course. Or blue. Or brown. Whatever.

One of them was Madonna, whom he met at a dinner at the Plaza and did not ask out and was not turned down. Despite press reports to the contrary. Got that?

Same goes for skater Katarina Witt. When he kept reading press reports of his spurning, Trump didn’t get mad. He wrote to People magazine: “Everyone is spurned at some time, but in this case it was Katarina, not Donald.”

Ouch! Just for the record, Irene did not turn down Donald for a date, OK?

Speaking of women Trump has issues with, he does a number on New Yorker Editor Tina Brown in his book, which was, interestingly enough, published by the house headed until last week by her husband, Harry Evans. Trump trashes Brown for promising him good press and giving him something else.

“Tina Brown is the worst,” he says. “She’s totally overrated. I think she’s third-rate at best. If you look at Vanity Fair, it’s a better magazine today than when she ran it.”

Perhaps Trump should just shake her hand. Not as a gesture. To do her in.

“Recent medical reports have come out saying that colds and various other ailments are spread through the act or shaking hands. . . ,” writes Trump, describing himself as a “clean-hands freak.” “In fact, I’ve often thought of taking out a series of newspaper ads encouraging the abolishment of the handshake.”

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Hey, eye on the ball, Donald. Eye on the ball.

*

A year ago, Amy Langer was driving in upstate New York when she noticed that her son was napping. She stopped the car and went to the trunk to get a blanket. Moments later, she was hit full-on at 50 mph by a guy who had fallen asleep at the wheel.

“I lost both legs at the knee,” Langer, 43, says now. “A doctor friend said, ‘If only you were wearing high heels with your shorts.’ ”

If this were just a story about a woman confronting epic stupidity with grace and humor, that would be amazing enough. But Langer was already a pro at turning stumbling blocks into steppingstones.

“I’m the Energizer bunny,” she says. “I keep going.”

When Langer was 30, she was already well on her way to the good life. A graduate of Yale and Harvard Business School, she was a muck-a-muck at the New York investment firm Lehman Bros. Her good fortune vanished when she learned she had breast cancer. Three years later, she decided she was needed elsewhere.

“It was a deal: ‘Let me live and I will work.’ I showed up at NABCO’s door,” she says of the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations offices in New York. “They said, ‘We’re too disorganized. We don’t know how to use you.’

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“I said, ‘I’ll be over tomorrow.’ ”

Voila.

Now, Langer helms NABCO, the leading nonprofit information clearinghouse and network of more than 375 breast cancer organizations. The organization ([888] 80-NABCO) has pressed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to let women who have had mastectomies get silicone implants.

And NABCO has linked arms with organizations like Avon and Weight Watchers to get the word out to women on breast health.

Langer doesn’t let her disability stop her from lobbying Congress. And recently, she made her first long-distance plane trip since the accident to network at an intimate lunch at Maple Drive in Beverly Hills organized by Joan McCraw, former publisher of Los Angeles magazine, and Joyce Ostin, daughter-in-law of DreamWorks SKG Music exec Mo. The lunch was attended by Superior Court Judge Diane Wayne, among others.

“I’m passionately convinced that being smart about breast cancer can change your life,” Langer said.

There are reasons patient advocates for breast cancer are a force to be reckoned with. Amy Langer is one of them.

*

Sacre bleu! New York hairstylist Frederic Fekkai just opened on Rodeo Drive, which is big news for Hollywood. Now Kate Capshaw, Rita Wilson and Barbra Streisand won’t have to schlep for a trim by the boyish Fekkai. Neither will the rest of us mere mortals, who may now partake of the new brand of grooming known as beaute de Provence.

Qu’est-ce que c’est?

No, it’s not about looking like a French farm woman.

“It’s about having a signature look,” Fekkai said recently at a lunch celebrating his new 5,000-square-foot salon. “It’s an easy lifestyle. You could get a pedicure and at the same time make your phone calls to the office. You can relax on the terrace and put your laptop on and do your e-mail. It’s the modem age. It’s not just where you go to a salon and get your hair cut.”

Hmmmm. Beaute de Provence sounds suspiciously like beaute de Brentwood.

Anyway, the forces of Fekkai stand ready to tend to all your beaute de Provence needs, but if you want to be snipped by l’homme himself, be ready to ante up a cool $290. And then cool your heels. Fekkai will spend one week a month in Beverly Hills as he does in his New York salon, where the patient and hairy wait up to four months for a cut.


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