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Toast is Talk of the town

Plush party packs stars onto Liberty Island

NEW YORK — Even the most hardened partygoers were impressed by the lavish spread at Tuesday’s launch party for Talk magazine.

Liberty Island was rented for the occasion, the lawn beneath the Statue of Liberty decked out with hundreds of colored-paper lanterns hung over picnic blankets adorned with baskets filled with bottles of Mondavi wine and other assorted goodies. In the East River, a barge painted with the Talk logo fired off $15,000 worth of fireworks over the Manhattan skyline.

“Next to starting the studio, launching this magazine is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done,” Harvey Weinstein told Daily Variety. “This has been a lifelong dream of mine. The studio was act one, and Talk, along with Miramax Television, is act two.”

Even among his fellow media moguls — Barry Diller, Michael Eisner and Howard Stringer among them — Weinstein was clearly the king of the evening, with Talk editor Tina Brown his resplendent queen.

“He took this English patient and turned her into pulp fiction,” Brown said of her boss.

More than just the big names in attendance, what made the Talk party so interesting were the combinations of guests who mingled beneath Lady Liberty’s torch.

There was Weinstein bragging to author Salman Rushdie that the magazines were selling faster than they could print them. There was director Quentin Tarantino embracing fellow helmer Mike Figgis while Talk publisher Ron Galotti was rapping beside Talk profile subject Queen Latifah. And there were helmers Todd Solondz and John Waters conferring on matters of art and state over wine and lamb chops with Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry and Henry Kissinger.

Other talkers toasting the mag included contributor George Stephanopoulos, Rupert Everett, Christopher Reeve, models Heidi Klum and Kate Moss, Madonna, Robert De Niro, magician David Blaine, the Rev. Al Sharpton, rapper Fab Five Freddy, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Buck Henry, Pierce Brosnan, Paul Newman, Demi Moore, Dan Rather and designers Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan.

And while most guests spent the evening talking to mere acquaintances, thesping couples Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson, and Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley took full advantage of the settings’ romantic ambiance by spending most of the evening with one another.

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