The 2000 Grammy Awards will forever be remembered as the night Jennifer Lopez slinked her way down the red carpet in a heart-stopping, low-plunging, tropical-print green Versace dress. But for Kenny Meiselas and wife Beth Katz Meiselas, it was also the weekend then-couple Lopez and Sean “Diddy” Combs, aka Puff Daddy, played matchmaker to the pair.
“We kind of celebrate the Grammys as our anniversary,” says Katz Meiselas, a publicist whose client list has included the likes of Lopez, Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell and Laurence Fishburne. “Our love story is forever immortalized in the ‘E! True Hollywood Story’ about J.Lo. If you look at footage of her walking the red carpet Grammy night in that famous dress, you can see me and Kenny, who was with Puff, in the background.”
As luck would have it, all their respective clients were staying at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. With an eye on having Meiselas successfully woo Katz and the Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala on tap for that weekend, Combs insisted on taking his lawyer shopping for the star-studded event.
“He said to me, ‘Before your first date, if you want to go out with Beth Katz, you need to step up your game,’ ” Meiselas recalls with a laugh. “So he took me over to Rodeo Drive, and we went into Versace and he picked up two suits. Then we went across the street to Cartier and he made me try on 50 pairs of sunglasses. Puff said to me, ‘If you want to step it up, you need to buy 20 pairs.’ I said, ‘I’m going to buy two pairs.’”
But Katz was “stuck at Grammy rehearsals” with Krall, who was nominated for album of the year, and she never made it to Davis’ party. “Puff was like, ‘Forget her,’” says Meiselas. Still, the Jersey girl (Katz grew up in East Brunswick), had a back-up plan.
As Katz recounts: “I felt really bad about missing the Clive thing. So I asked him to join me the following night for MusiCares. I had Pharrell [Williams] and Joni Mitchell and Diana Krall there. I remember coming to this party and there were thousands of people trying to get in. And Kenny came with me. And at one point, J. Lo turns to me and says, ‘See? He’s so cute! I knew you’d like him.’”
Married since 2004, and with four children between them — they have one daughter together and he has three sons from a previous marriage — Meiselas credits their mutual passion for music and the entertainment industry for helping to keep their relationship growing strong.
“I think the fact that we share a common interest and that we both love music is a factor,” he says. “We have the same clients, we overlap. We’ve been through crises together, we’ve been through amazing moments together. And we talk.”