The Mai and Paul Hallingby divorce settlement, said to involve about $25 million, went something like this: Investment banker Paul keeps the houses in Southampton and Nassau. Mai will stay in the plush city apartment...

The night before the gala, Buffy and Bill Cafritz, Carol and Paul Laxalt and Robert Higdon gave a dinner for Nancy at the Ritz-Carlton. Everyone was there -- cliff-dwellers William McCormick Blair, Evangeline Bruce, Kay Graham and Oatsie and Robert Charles, plus such Nancy fans as Phyllis George, Bob Gray, Ann and Lloyd Hand, Georgette and Bob Mosbacher, Lew Wasserman and Peggy Noonan of Reagan and Bush speechwriting fame. And lately that's what they've been up to in dear old D.C.

Which brings to mind: Disenchantment over Bill Clinton and his handling of the Presidency is nothing new. But what is new is that he is losing the grace and favor of a powerful media figure who was once one of his biggest boosters and now finds him a disaster. Doesn't really bother hiding it either.

Kirk Douglas will be in New York over Memorial Day to attend his grandson Cameron's graduation from Choate, Cameron being the offspring of Michael Douglas and his wife Diandra. While Kirk's here, he'll hit the talk show circuit to plug his new book.

The most depressed man in the Hamptons these days -- if you believe the chatter -- is rock superstar Billy Joel, who still cannot get over the fact that Christie Brinkley dumped him. It's all sort of pitiful until you remember that in the past, he was the big dumpster.

The American Academy in Rome's benefit at the Puck Building was a great success for any number of reasons: The young royals, Lord and Lady Linley, lent their glamour. Donna Hanover Giuliani smiled all evening. Mercedes Bass, there with husband Sid, looked sportive and rich wearing Roy Lichtenstein's baseball cap and her very own pop beads. The dessert was a replica of the Roman Forum, and many thought Francesco Rutelli, the handsome mayor of Rome, was a bit of a work of art himself. The stylish Adele Chatfield Taylor, also known as Mrs. John Guare, ran the show celebrating the Year of Architecture and honoring Michael Eisner of the Disney Eisners, Phyllis Lambert, Vincent Scully and Robert Venturi.
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