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6 degrees (no Bacon): Jewish celebrity roundup

‘Princesses’ rile 9/11 families

NEW YORK—So remember that thing in our most recent “Princesses: Long Island” recap about Amanda Bertoncini’s ridiculous Drink Hanky photo shoot? You know, the one in which a model, toting a beer bottle clad in one of Amanda’s high-fashion signature Drink Hankies, poses with a statue of a firefighter?

Well, it turns out we missed something. This wasn’t just any statue of a firefighter but a memorial statue of a fallen 9/11 firefighter from Great Neck named Jonathon Ieipi. Amanda apparently made the same mistake.

During the shoot, Amanda and her friend Ilton encourage the model to kiss the statue and put her beer to his mouth. It was difficult to watch without understanding the context. Needless to say, people are less than thrilled.

“It was a slap to the people of Great Neck,” Lee Ieipi, father of the 29-year-old New York City firefighter, told the New York Daily News. “It was a slap to the fire department of Great Neck and it was a slap to all of the people that were lost on 9/11.”

Bravo has agreed to remove all the footage from any future airings. “We are extremely sorry for any distress we caused the family of Jonathan Ielpi and other firefighters,” the network’s rep said.

Amanda also has issued her own statement of apology, proclaiming she was unaware of the statue’s “sentimental value.”

“I never meant to hurt or offend anyone when I was doing my photo shoot for the Drink Hanky,” she said. Because there’s never a bad time to plug your line of ‘beverage couture.’ ”

Comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted about the incident, “Finally, a way to blame the Jews for 9/11.”

Ellen Grossman reviews Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta’

Visual artist Ellen Grossman made headlines last year when she failed to recognize Jay-Z on the R train to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Now she is offering a critique of the rapper extraordinaire’s new album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail.”

MTV News contacted Grossman, a Brooklyn native, for the review gig after her subway encounter with Jay-Z was featured in the documentary “Jay-Z’s Life and Times: Where I’m From.” The unlikely critic analyzes a few of the rapper’s rhymes and metaphors honing in on the trials and tribulations of his rise to fame.

“It sounds like he’s really going deep into his heart and into fatherhood and even the meaning of fame,” Grossman said. “[He’s saying] that the money’s nice, but there’s life beyond that, that he’s exploring. I picked that up from the papers, but I felt it in the man, too, when I met him, that he had a depth to him.”

On one of the 16 tracks, Jay-Z shows love to his Jewish fans—his lawyers in particular—with the song “Somewhereinamerica.” The first line of the first verse reads, “Shout out to old Jews and old rules.”

It’s not the first time Jay-Z has mused on Jews in his lyrics. “This Can’t Be Life,” from his fifth album, “Roc La Familia: The Dynasty,” gives us “flow tight like I was born Jewish.” Jay-Z has used “Jewish” as an adjective to describe those that are smart or conservative with money.

In “What More Can I say?” from “The Black Album,” he refers to himself as ”The Martha Stewart that’s far from Jewish” due to his savviness about finance.

Dunham’s friendly advice

Lena Dunham has added one more line to her ever-growing resume: relationship advice specialist.

The “Girls” creator is participating in Miranda July’s “We Think Alone” project in which stars share their private emails. For a recent installment, participants were asked to contribute “an email that gives advice.”

Dunham’s wise words are directed at her friend “K,” who appears to be in a troubled relationship.

“You did nothing wrong. He is NOT NICE. He says not nice things in a nice voice so they seem nice but they are not,” she wrote. “He isn’t kind or careful with you, he wants to suck the kindness out of you, and if he’s like this after 10 years of group therapy then G-d help us all. He’s not for you bc he’s not for anyone. Do you hear me? Good. I understand SO much the appeal, but he’s not worth your energy and someone like art guy may not be perfect or right but he’s starting on a good foot by offering some of himself to you and wanting to give you pleasureful times.”

Not exactly the kind of thing you’d hear self-involved Hannah Horvath telling Marnie, is it? And what’s with the G-d spelling? Did Lena go to yeshiva or something?

Amy Winehouse exhibit

The late, great Amy Winehouse is being honored with an exhibit at The Jewish Museum in London tailored to her private life and Jewish roots. 

“Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait,” which was designed by her brother, Alex, and his curator wife, Liz Selby, features a mixture of Amy’s most prized possessions and never-seen photographs. Some of the items include Hunter S. Thompson’s “Kingdom of Fear” and 30 years of collected letters between Vladimir Nabokov and Edmund Wilson, as well as her CD collection and clothes.

Alex Winehouse said in a statement that Amy was “incredibly proud of her Jewish-London roots.” He added, “We weren’t religious, but we were traditional. I hope, in this most fitting of places, that the world gets to see this other side not just to Amy but to our typical Jewish family.”

The exhibit’s captions were written by Alex, who was close with the “Back to Black” singer even through her darkest days. Amy died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.

“We wanted to show Amy in a slightly different light to how she has been perceived in the media,” Selby told the Guardian.

“Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait” is at the London museum through Sept. 15.

For the latest Jewish celebrity news, visit JTA’s 6 degrees (no Bacon) blog.


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