Cherie Gets a -Gate of Her Own
Sex, lies and real estate: what else is needed for a tangled tabloid tale about a charismatic chief executive's famous lawyer wife? This time, the red-faced First Lady is CHERIE BOOTH BLAIR, 48, above right, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Cherie whipped up a Fleet Street froth over her association with Peter Foster, an Australian con man who has done jail time on three continents, mostly over false claims for diet ads, and who was fighting depor-tation. Foster had become chums with CAROLE CAPLIN, an ex-topless model (it just keeps getting better) who serves as Cherie's personal trainer and style guru. When Cherie asked Caplin to look at a flat for the Blairs' college-bound son, Foster helped negotiate the buy--an arrangement Cherie imprudently denied through Downing Street aides. Cherie and Caplin, who was by now pregnant by the Aussie, also spoke with Foster's lawyers about the impending deportation. As the tattle total rose, Cherie was accused not of illegality but of a clumsy cover-up. She choked back tears last week as she read a statement, confessing, "I am not a superwoman." On the Monica scale, "Cherie-gate" doesn't have much weight. But it has stained Cherie's rep as a bright, popular woman, and some of the mud could stick to her PM husband. For another lawyer's experienced opinion on the subject, Cherie might give Hillary a call.
ONE ROSE SEEMS TO BE WILTING
The hype surrounding the first Guns N' Roses tour in nearly a decade seemed specious from the start, as only one original member of the band was involved. And he was the most volatile. Axl Rose failed to appear for the tour's opening show on Nov. 7 in Vancouver, allegedly owing to travel problems. Fans--fueled by thwarted nostalgia or beer--rioted. Then Rose, after playing to some half-empty stadiums, went AWOL again, in Philadelphia on Dec. 6. Again fans rioted. Last week, without giving a specific reason, the tour promoter canceled all remaining dates. Fans so far seem remarkably calm.
ANOTHER ROSE MAY BE BLOOMING AGAIN
PETE ROSE may have a questionable past, but darn, the fans love him. Which may explain why baseball commissioner Bud Selig has been negotiating to lift the lifetime ban on the all-time hits leader and make him eligible for the Hall of Fame. In 1989 Rose was accused of betting on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds. An investigation produced strong evidence that he had done so, but Rose steadfastly refused to admit it. Instead, he copped to betting on other sports and accepted his banishment for life. That "for life" part has struck some baseball fans as excessive, and sentiment for giving Rose a break has been growing. People familiar with the negotiations say Rose would have to show contrition and admit he bet on baseball before he could get the ban lifted. But getting him to do that could be harder than stealing home.