Volume 18 • Issue 28 | Nov. 25 - Dec. 2, 2005

UnderCover



Crowe submits to Freed
What is it about Judge Kathryn Freed that she seems to get all the celebrity arraignments in Criminal Court? Last Friday, Freed took the guilty plea of Aussie actor Russell Crowe on charges of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, in his phone assault on a desk attendant at the Mercer hotel in Soho. “He was perfectly well behaved,” Freed told us after fining him $160 (compared to the $100,000 he reportedly paid to Nestor Estrada to settle the civil claim) and sentencing him to no jail time if the actor stays out of trouble for a year (good luck, Russell).

“He was a bit shook up going through a [media] gauntlet to get into the court,” Freed added. “I essentially took his plea and did the sentencing.” Freed said Crowe did not ask to use her phone, and that he couldn’t anyway because “it’s illegal.”

We can’t help but wonder if Freed recalled any of her legendary Soho hotel battles before she sentenced Crowe for assaulting a Soho hotel employee. The Soho Mercer didn’t raise Freed’s ire too much but 10 years ago she led the battle to try and stop the Soho Grand when she was in the City Council.

But don’t think our favorite, curly-haired former councilmember, former Tribeca resident was star struck by Crowe. Freed has also arraigned Fifty Cent and G-Unit and Robert Chambers, among others. On her way into court on Friday, she bumped into actor Christian Slater being hustled out the back exit. “Apparently, he never patted that woman on the butt,” Freed said, noting that charges against Slater in an alleged incident on the Upper East Side were dropped.


Prodigal Dem returns
What do George W. Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton have in common? They both can count on the support of hizzoner, former Mayor Ed Koch. He tells us he’ll be supporting Clinton for president in 2008. However, he said, if John McCain and Condoleezza Rice run on a G.O.P. ticket they’d be a “dream team” and “unbeatable.” He said Hillary would be good on security and has moved to the center in recent years. “She’s said publicly on three occasions that she wouldn’t have won [election to the Senate] if I hadn’t been supportive of her,” Koch noted.


De Luca’s delight
Amenities-starved Hudson Square residents and workers will appreciate Georgione 508, the latest offering from Giorgio De Luca of Dean & De Luca fame. Set to open in a few weeks, the new place, on Greenwich St. between Canal and Spring Sts., De Luca said, will be a sit-down restaurant in the day, also offering for sale packaged cheese, eggs and butter from a variety of countries, and at night will become a bar. It joins the new Tomato Store nearby on Canal St. where people can buy foie gras and Sotheby’s real estate in the same visit. What is it about Hudson Square that all the shops have multiple personalities?


De Niro sighting
Speaking of tomatoes, Robert De Niro may not live in Tribeca anymore but he was spotted partying at a private, afterhours party at the Tomato Store last week.


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