New York Gossip Queen Cindy Adams: “My loyalty is to anyone who gives me the best quote”

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New York Gossip Queen Cindy Adams: “My loyalty is to anyone who gives me the best quote”


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Clongtime New York Post gossip queen indy Adams battled Hurricane Ida in her Manhattan apartment. Her burrows were disturbed and she was not sleeping. “A glass penthouse is not good,” she said. “The pounding of the rain. And not just the rain, the thunder. I was up all night.

The next morning, as the blue skies returned, Adams, 91, was back at work, compiling her column as she has done, five days a week, since 1979, and signing them off: ” Only in New York, kids, only in New York. «

Over the past few weeks, Adam’s star has undergone a transmutation. Two weeks ago Gossip, a four-part Showtime documentary focused on the rise, and in some ways the fall, of the art of the gossip industry came out. Adams is very present.

“That’s it, it’s the Big Apple. The great city of sin. The city where you can do it all. Get a burger at two in the morning where you can get dirty pictures, a bitch. You can get whatever you want in the world. So that brings everyone like moths to a flame, ”Adams said, delivering an ever-optimistic message of Naked City’s past, present and future.

“They come from their small towns or villages. They lead a reasonably good life. They come to New York and everything goes to hell. I don’t know how they are in their hometown, but when they get here for five days, they turn into savages. Those who remain dedicate themselves to the city.

The New York Post is of course a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch, his first in the United States – ownership of the Wall Street Journal came later. Newsprint, it is widely reported, is the media mega-baron’s first love and a trumpet for his view of power, and who currently wields it. “Of course we’re friends,” Adams says of his boss. “I have an intense love for the New York Post because I’m a New Yorker and it’s the smart mouth of New York.

“You can’t go to the Hamptons, or go out to dinner, if you haven’t read the Post, because you won’t have anything to say. It is the quintessential New York mouthpiece, and we who work there have a bit of it. “

In this sense, Adams’ pace is the entire city, its power brokers and the gossip that surrounds them, often like a bad perfume. She is a sharp operator who would probably hesitate to be described as a tough broad. “My loyalty goes to anyone who gives me the best quote or the best story,” she says.

Her mother, a single mother, worked as a secretary in the water department. (She then married an insurance agent.) Adams came to gossip – a term she doesn’t like – via comedian Joey Adams, her husband from 1952 until his death in 1999. “For Joey, it was the most exciting job on earth, and I was pushed into it, ”she says. In fact, her husband and the famous columnist Walter Winchell were brothers-in-law. It was Winchell who said, “Gossip is the art of saying nothing in a way that leaves virtually nothing unspoken.

In his house, the walls and ceiling are plastered with Post shovels, themselves a tribute to the city’s energy. Donald Trump figures prominently, alongside Harvey Weinstein and a parade of four decades of dubious figures.

Oddly, however, there is no Jeffrey Epstein, an absence that suggests he was a non-entity in social and power terms. ” I did not know him. Never met. If I did, I had no reaction to him, ”Adams says.

Harvey Weinstein is another story. Weinstein has been the subject of countless blind articles on page six and has used the tabloid to promote himself, just as the tabloid has used it. “Harvey Weinstein didn’t want to live in Tulsa,” she notes.

With the release of the documentary came new recognition for Adams, but also critics. Adams is known for making friends, or at least having contacts, with a succession of international rascals, including Indonesian President Kusno Sosrodihardjo, aka Sukarno, whose autobiography she co-wrote in 1965, and Imelda Marcos, the widow of the widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Criticisms against these associations were amplified by the documentary.

“It’s a valid point,” Adams concedes. “When I was a newcomer a thousand years ago, I couldn’t wait to have stories that no one else could have. Anyone can have a story about a movie or TV star. I needed to become something, and I started to find ways to have stories that no one else could have.

But there is a second point, she says, that underscores the New York mentality. “These important people like a general or a president are not used to the New York mentality. With Sukarno, people approached him on the stomach in the Javanese manner. I kissed him on the forehead and called him darling. I did what I could to make them laugh or smile. It was very New York, and that is what it was.

His friendship with Trump still irritates many. Adams served as Trump’s spokesperson in a divorce battle (Trump’s wife Ivana visited New York Daily News columnist Liz Smith). The couple, Cindy and Donald, were introduced by Roy Cohn, the formidable lawyer who, she says, “is what he is – he was awful. I was just a kid, so I didn’t mean anything to him.

But Cohn was used to her husband, who played the role of toast master at dinners for important people, and Trump learned from Cohn how to use the press to achieve his goals. Trump and Adams became quick friends, so much so that she avoided writing about him during the four years of her presidency.

Adams with Lou Reed in 2006. “For all his problems, [New York] is still the capital of the world. Photographie : Andrew H Walker/Getty Images

“It wasn’t easy, but I believe in intense loyalty. He is my friend and he is extremely nice to me when I needed him after my husband passed away. I don’t forget something like this.

As long as Trump has figured out – and understands – how to make media work, now with the self-publishing subsets of social media, is it correct to call him the first tabloid presidency?

“He used the press, he used everything he could to get his name out there. This is how he made a name for himself at the start. That’s why Roy Cohn told me in the 70s that this kid was going to become something in New York. He’s going to run the city.

Adams stood by Trump on the night of his election victory, watching seven TV screens from the middle of his office as everyone stood back. “He said to me, ‘Do you remember what Roy Cohn said?’ It was the night that this child became President of the United States.

Gossip has received positive reviews. An equally good, though fictitious, take can be found in Burt Lancaster-Tony Curtis, a masterpiece Sweet Smell of Success. But Adams did not find approval from all sides.

A reporter for New York magazine described his column as “a story about the heel of the kitten rather than the leather of the shoe – proudly transactional, rarely transparent, designed not for the public interest but for private grievances, maneuvers. professional or a small war ”.

But Adams, in her ninth decade, gives as much as she gets. “She had a little attitude, and I knew I was going to be blasted. If a lady comes up to you and she has long blonde hair and she thinks you don’t notice it – and I notice it all, that’s what I do … she put it on one shoulder and then on the top. ‘other, several times. It’s a nervous tic that shows insecurity.

Adams shows no sign of giving up his pace. It’s not for everyone, but she has opinions on how the gossip itself hasn’t changed, but her forums have. “When I started, it used to be a fun and charming little thing. Now everyone is doing it. Every program, every journalist, every newspaper. It’s in various forms, but it’s gossip. It has infiltrated the whole world.

Like Cindy Adams, so is New York – and in her opinion, the world. “Despite all its problems, it is still the capital of the world. You cannot do without it. You can’t get tougher, smarter, richer, and smarter than here. This will not happen in Poughkeepsie.

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