Dragon-bitten newsman Phil Bronstein of the San Francisco Chronicle has been gossiped about so much in the competing Examiner that he recently wrote his staff a memo about it. Of course, it took about a nanosecond for the document to leak to Jim Romenesko's media gossip Web site.
As Brand Ex has it, Bronstein is taking anger-management classes after yelling at Chronicle staffers. Bronstein and the staffers in question say the blowups never happened.
Architecture critic John King denies he was chewed out and says he was in Chicago at the time of the alleged browbeating, according to the Bronstein memo. And a second false item about a blowup involving staffers Carla Marinucci and Stacy Finz was planted as a joke, the memo says.
"When it's about me, I can let it pass, but when our Chronicle colleagues are brought into it, it's a whole other thing and merits comment," wrote Bronstein, who has developed a thick skin since marrying Sharon Stone.
Examiner columnist P.J. Corkery writes that the "balding, barely tolerable" Bronstein blew up at Marinucci and Finz over Connie Chung's scooping them with the Gary Condit interview. We reached Finz, who laughed and said it never happened. "This columnist apparently doesn't believe in fact-checking," Finz said. "All he had to do was call me and I would set him straight."
Chronicle spokesman Joe Brown said the column that prompted the memo "mentioned a lot of names, and none of them got a call" from Corkery.
Corkery said that he did place calls to check out the rumor but that no one called him back. "His complaint that we didn't check it out is a dodge because they didn't return our calls," he said. "We checked it out as best we could, given the fact that they ... take no cognizance of us."
Speaking of gossip columnists, USA Today is killing Larry King's and Jeannie Williams' columns under a redesign of its features pages. Both have written for McPaper for years. Williams will continue as a reporter. King will go on being King.
The Best of Times
"To have my husband in a play, directed by my son, my father coming over to see it from England and my daughter getting married .... My cup is running over," actress Juliet Mills said with a breathless laugh last week as she sat down for dinner at Prizzi's in Hollywood. There was much to celebrate, and many family members to celebrate with.
Mills is the daughter of Sir John Mills. She is married to actor Maxwell Caulfield. Their son is director Sean Alquist. Her sister is Hayley Mills. Her mother is Mary Hayley Bells, her godfather was Noel Coward, and her godmother was Vivien Leigh. Some pedigree.
Caulfield is starring in "Lemonade," directed by Alquist, at the Tamarind Theatre in Hollywood. The show runs until Sept. 16. And last weekend, daughter Melissa Caulfield married actor David Tuchman in Ojai.
The bride's proud grandfather called in with a report. "The wedding was absolutely sensational," said Sir John. "It was very romantic and deeply moving. The shares of Kleenex went up because of it."
Kate Moss in Wreck
Model Kate Moss, whose name conjures images of waifishness and ex-beau Johnny Depp, was treated at a British hospital for a minor shoulder injury and released after a car crash east of London, according to news reports. Moss was being driven to a fashion shoot when the Range Rover hit another vehicle and plunged down a slope. The driver and two other people were hurt--one had to be cut from the wreckage--but their injuries weren't life-threatening.
Yes, they Cancan
Director Baz Luhrmann and actor Ewan McGregor phoned us to dish once they'd recovered from the glitzy London premiere of "Moulin Rouge" Monday night in London's Leicester Square. It was a bawdy evening with cancan dancers flashing their knickers at Prince Charles, who shared the front row with stars McGregor and Nicole Kidman.
Luhrmann said that usually "when you've got a royal in the house ... there's a lot of tension there." At the screening, though, the crowd "just absolutely went for it, hooting and hollering!"
Some even took off their clothes. The after-party was billed as "One Night of Sin" and featured topless dancers and waitresses in heart-shaped knickers. "It was a brilliant party," McGregor said. "A lot of bodies. It was nice!"
"It's good that HRH didn't go to that, or he would have been in a bit of hot water today," said Luhrmann.
Times staff writers Louise Roug and Gina Piccalo contributed to this column. City of Angles runs Tuesday-Friday. E-mail: email@example.com.