Friday, November 25, 2022

Blind Items Revealed #12 - Reader Blind - Anniversary Month

April 2, 2018

I have lived in Asia for several years, practically grew up here. Through work in the publicity sector and contacts in the hospitality industry, I have had several encounters with celebrities, some nice, some not so nice, and some a bit odd. (Although no one will ever be as nice as a now-deceased UK singer, who took the time to meet and chat with my family when he went to perform in one particular country that was just opening up to the world.) One incident in a neighboring place involves a famous supermodel. She had flown into one of the Asian dragons to grace the cover of the new local edition of one of the world's biggest fashion magazines. She was originally denied entry into the country because her passport did not have six months left on it. She then threw a huge fit in the immigration line, screaming at the airline rep as well as the customs officer, then went way off to the corner to sulk and smoke. Because of the way she was dressed, most people thought she was just another one of these F-list, newbie models just getting their start that they fly in for catalog work. Her childish fit (which admittedly was worthy of even the bitchiest supermodels) and smoking was widely reported, although her handlers denied everything.

The Canadian embassy then came to her rescue and she was let in. What many people don't know is that it got worse during the press conference for her cover shoot. The press conference took place at a hotel that was built where a shantytown once stood, and ties into several other celebrities in this blind. The magazine had originally planned to have her wear something by a local designer. She refused, and instead insisted on wearing something she had brought by a classic American designer whose initials are not CK or MK. She spent much of the press conference snapping at both local and foreign reporters, telling them to leave if they didn't have any interesting questions to ask her. In a place where face is so important, to say she angered and embarrassed her local  hosts is an understatement.

A few years later, a European band came into town to promote their third, and just about final, album at the same hotel the supermodel held her press conference. They had had some pretty big international hits and were often compared to another quartet from their same country who hit it big in the 70s. The visiting group had managed to squeeze out one last hit before disappearing. I knew someone who was covering their press event so I managed to attend that and then hang out with the band afterwards in a VIP space off to the side after the event. This was the same hotel where a pop king had stayed a few years earlier, and had spontaneously invited an Indian couple and their child up to his room for photos with their child, photos that the couple would try to shop around to the press (not for any scandalous reason, but just to brag that they met the guy).

There was nothing special about the photos, except that the singer looked hideous in them--his face was literally falling off. This was at the same time the singer was facing some serious allegations, and his family came out to defend his innocence, staying at another five-star hotel across town. Despite the accusations and accompany stress, he performed two knock-out, perfect shows. Back to the European group, they were incredibly nice, more than happy to sign autographs, and seemed genuinely interested in anyone who talked to them, even though it was obvious their days on top of the charts were about over. Their bags didn't arrive in time and they were literally wearing the clothes they flew in on. One odd thing, however, is that one of the members never showed up. In fact, you can see on their album art, that she sort of fades in the background.

They really didn't seem to want to talk about her, saying she was afraid of flying, and kind of leaving it at that. This was in the same room, by the way, that a few years later a Disney star turned singer would channel the supermodel and have a huge fit where nothing was right while trying to rehearse for her press conference. The hotel where all these singer events took place would become famous in its own right several years later, when it became a filming location for what was a current big actress star's first big bomb. A couple years or so after the European band's visit, a Latino heartthrob who is enjoying resurgent fame in a TV role stayed at a different hotel across town.

This hotel is rumored to be haunted as it was build over an old graveyard. His first concert in this city, he enlisted a local (Hong Kong born, but North American raised) Asian superstar singer, who mostly sings in Mandarin and whose English-language debut flopped, to sing a duet with him. She would brag about being a virgin and loving her adopted country (not everyone thinks it is a country) but everyone knew she was not a virgin and everyone knew she would rather live somewhere else. As for the heartthrob,  in addition to spending a lot of time at the hotel gym's sauna, he ordered up both male and female escorts. Although it was not clear at the time, we now know which escort was meant to throw the scent off the trail, and which one he enjoyed.  

George Michael/Linda Evangelista/Ace of Base/ABBA/Michael Jackson/Scarlett Johansson/Ricky Martin/Grand Hotel in Taipei/Coco Lee

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