A Pop Singer’s Search for Domestic Harmony
Melissa Etheridge has written a memoir dishing aplenty about her 12-year relationship with Julie Cypher, who left husband Lou Diamond Phillips to set up housekeeping with the rocker and later pulled an Anne Heche, announcing “I’m just not gay.”
Etheridge’s 229-page autobiography, “The Truth Is ... My Life in Love and Music,” confirms rumors that Brad Pitt and Jackson Browne were considered to father the women’s two children until David Crosby volunteered to be the biological dad. Etheridge, 40, also reveals that Cypher had an affair with singer k.d. lang and that presidential candidate Bill Clinton “zoomed” Cypher during a 1992 fund-raiser in Santa Monica. Clinton “took one look at Julie and he started checking her out. He didn’t know she was with me,” she writes.
The two women remained a couple through it all, Etheridge writes, even after Cypher dropped a bombshell during a therapy session in 1999: “She said, ‘You know, I’ve tried and I’ve tried these last couple of years, and I’m just not gay.’ Ten years and two children later seemed like a bizarre time to make that discovery.”
Cypher’s confession came after “the k.d. lang incident” and another affair with a male friend, according to Etheridge. Years later, lang offered a kind word while the three women shared a hot tub with comic actress Ellen DeGeneres. “We were going around ... asking each other to say a word that described each of us. When it was k.d.’s turn to describe me, she said, ‘Generous.”’
While Etheridge admits cheating during previous relationships, she insists she was true blue to Cypher. “I wanted her and only her,” she writes. “I haven’t looked at another woman for ten years.” The book, published by Random House, hit stores this week.
Etheridge and Cypher broke up last year but bought back-to-back houses so they could share a yard for daughter Bailey Jean, 4, and son Beckett, 2. Etheridge is now involved with “Popular” cast member Tammy Lynn Michaels, 26, who will appear in Etheridge’s video for “I Want To Be in Love,” a song from her new album “Skin.”
Attention: trendoids. A new hot spot is on our radar.
Rande Gerber, barkeep to the stars, is taking over the bar at the W hotel in Westwood next month. Gerber, whose company Midnight Oil runs an impressive roster of trendy watering holes, promises “minor changes, a major impact.”
“I will be changing the vibe,” he said over the phone. The fine tuning will include lighting, “Making sure that everyone looks beautiful,” and olfactory issues. “I want it to be familiar, like, ‘This smells like one of Rande’s places.”’
Gerber informs us that renovations won’t be completed until September, when we hope there will be a party. It’s his 16th bar nationwide and his second in Los Angeles. He also runs the Whiskey Bar at the Sunset Marquis.
The husband of Cindy Crawford is best known here as the original operator of Skybar at the Mondrian on the Sunset Strip. But last year he released his interest to hotelier Ian Schrager for $1 million after their dueling lawsuits, over Gerber’s going to work for a competitor, were settled out of court. The settlement prevents Gerber from opening up watering holes in the vicinity of Skybar.
Gerber is unfazed by the flaky economy: “When times are good, people drink. When times are bad, sometimes people drink more.” And on the domestic front, he and his model wife are expecting their second Gerber baby around Labor Day.
The Jury Has Spoken
Over lunch at the French Consulate in Beverly Hills, French actor-director Mathieu Kassovitz gave us the inside scoop on jury deliberations at the recent Cannes Film Festival. He revealed that he tried to talk Terry Gilliam, of Monty Python fame, out of voting for a particular movie, which he was too polite to name. “Terry, you can’t be serious,” Kassovitz pleaded, but Gilliam had made up his mind, and the film won its category.
Liv Ullmann, who presided over the jury’s work, ran a tight ship, Kassovitz added. If the talks bogged down, Ullmann got the jurors’ attention by ringing a tiny bell. Meanwhile, fellow juror Julia Ormond commanded his attention. “She’s this incredible sharp, beautiful, intelligent, married woman,” Kassovitz sighed.
The lunch celebrated the upcoming release of Kassovitz’s “The Crimson Rivers.”
Summer of Their Discontent
Six months into the Bush administration, Hollywood liberals are sick and tired, and they’re not going to take it anymore. On Sunday, Warren Beatty, Rob Reiner and Ed Begley Jr. will join Democratic politicos such as House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri, Congress members Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, Dennis Kucinich, of Ohio, Hilda Solis, of El Monte and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich at a daylong conference at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. The rallying cry: “Wake up, Democrats! Take back the country!”
The event, which also will draw locals like Tom Hayden, Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg and the ACLU’s Ramona Ripston, is the brainchild of Lila Garrett, president of the Southern California chapter of Americans for Democratic Action.
Times staff writers Gina Piccalo and Louise Roug contributed to this column. City of Angles runs Tuesday-Friday. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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