Jewish World Review August 6, 2004 / 19 Menachem-Av, 5764
Flap at Ground Zero; weird premonition?; more
Police officers at the First Precinct have been fielding angry phone calls about provocative posters in the windows of a luxury penthouse across the street from Ground Zero.
"No More War," reads the message in the first bank of windows on top of the 11-story condo on Liberty St.
The second bank of windows is graced by '60s-era peace signs.
The third bank carries the message: "No More Lies."
I'm told that a cop heard one neighborhood denizen grousing, "If they don't take 'em down, I'll go up there and take 'em down myself."
In an e-mail to owners of the palatial apartments at 114 Liberty St., the management company advised: "Apparently, in the last few days, the complaints and calls have increased (since the terror alert) . . . Please, whoever hung the signs, remove them."
But hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons who owns the two-story, 11,000-square-foot penthouse has no intention of taking them down.
"The basic idea in this country is that citizens have freedom of speech, and the freedom that citizens enjoy should be protected," Simmons told me Thursday about the signs created and installed by lefty activist-artist Glenn E. Friedman, a longtime Simmons pal. "If there's a security issue, the police should be going after the people making the threats, not the people hanging the signs."
Condo Board President Dave Stanke said he supports Simmons' message, but still must abide by the rules and regs. While lawyers discuss their options, Stanke is considering putting the windows to a vote.
The 10-unit luxury building was severely damaged in the collapse of the Twin Towers and has been uninhabitable and undergoing expensive repair work since 9/11. Before the terrorist attacks, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs had agreed to buy Simmons' apartment for $5 million an agreement rendered moot by the devastation.
"It has obviously been a very emotional time," Stanke said. "But people should be able to move back into their apartments by this Sept. 11."
Robert De Niro and his Tribeca Film Co. business partner Jane Rosenthal are getting much more attention than they want from "The Twins," a brother-sister act who say they're "44th-generation diviners" and claim they predicted the terrible events of 9/11 six months before they occurred.
Forty-one-year-old Amnau Eele, who claims to be able to see the future with her same-aged brother Enjai, told this column that, in March 2001, they delivered to Rosenthal's office a portfolio of "divination art," including a drawing that spelled out ringleader Mohammed Atta's name, as well as the date, time and precise nature of the attack on the World Trade Center.
The claims are repeated in "The Letter," a crudely-made short film focusing on their close encounter with Tribeca Film.
"Ms. Rosenthal viewed the work, she found it interesting, and she sent the materials to (a development executive) at Tribeca Films," asserts their home movie. "Today, The Twins wonder what would Mr. De Niro say or think if he knew that information on Sept. 11, 2001, was in his office on March 26, 2001."
I'm told that The Twins both skinny and slight, with their heads shaved bald are a regular and sometimes unsettling sight in front of the Tribeca Film Co. headquarters.
One night last month, they even managed to find De Niro coming from dinner at a Chelsea restaurant, and shoved a DVD into the movie star's hands.
"He put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Please, I want to see this film,'" Amnau insisted, adding that shortly afterward De Niro's female companion was spotted tossing the DVD out of a vehicle.
Undeterred, The Twins say they have sent another copy to De Niro's agent, Bryan Lourd.
But if The Twins really had the goods, why didn't they skip De Niro and just contact law enforcement agencies?
They did, but were ignored, Amnau said.
"We don't mean him any harm," Amnau said. "He seems to be a very nice, very kind-hearted man."
Publicists for Rosenthal and De Niro declined to comment; Lourd's office at Creative Artists Agency didn't respond.
LUNCH BEFORE JAIL: That was entertainment wise man Charles Koppleman, brand-new director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, leaving Cipriani Thursday with the company's convicted namesake. The two shared a quiet meal for the second time in a week, but Stewart's flack declined to tell me what they discussed, and the stogie-chewing Koppleman who is also advising Michael Jackson, among other beleaguered celebs didn't have time to return my call.
KINKY DREAMS?: The upcoming Elle magazine asks Rob Lowe: "What woman is your guilty fantasy?" The handsome actor whose new CBS series "Dr. Vegas" debuts this fall replies: "It used to be Peggy Noonan. She's attractive and has that patrician WASPy thing. Now all I watch is cable news. I've definitely noticed Norah O'Donnell and Campbell Brown." O'Donnell and Brown didn't return my calls seeking their reaction, and NBC News, their employer, had nothing of interest to say. But Lowe's former fantasy flame, Noonan, e-mailed: "Really? That's so nice. I am honored to have been his fantasy, and think he is a wonderful actor."
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© 2003, Creators Syndicate