Celebrity Appearance Fee Face-Off: Part 2! How much would it cost to get Anna Nicole Smith to down shots and drop Ecstasy at a country club gala? An excerpt from the phone prank everyone’s talking about. Read the entire transcript in the November/December issue of Radar, on newsstands now.
As America’s appetite for celebrity reaches an absurd frenzy, greedy A-listers and Z-listers alike are quietly cashing in on the booming personal appearance market. Whether they’re mugging for cameras at booze-sponsored bashes (Carmen Electra), dangling like bait at nightclubs (Sean “Diddy” Combs), or gleefully performing the Wal-Mart cheer at corporate conclaves (Halle Berry), the industry’s dirty little secret is that you can actually pocket six figures for walking a red carpet, partaking of free booze, and—if you’re feeling supermagnanimous—actually talking to a guest or two. “Even that Jackass guy Bam Margera gets paid to go out,” sighs one veteran publicist.
These contrived scenes are the bread and butter of celeb-starved networks such as E! and VH1. The pie-eyed pics pad the glossy pages of Star, People, In Touch, and Us Weekly. If you’ve ever wondered what, say, Eva Longoria was doing at a party for a furniture polish, now you know. Radar interviewed corporate and celebrity publicists, agents, and event planners to uncover the price ranges of the most craven celebrity moonlighters. Whether they’re Oscar winners, overpaid athletes, or B-movie bimbos, they all have one thing in common: If you pay them, they will come.
So how much would it cost to get Anna Nicole Smith to down shots and drop Ecstasy at a country club gala? Read the entire transcript in the November/December issue of Radar, on newsstands now. (To find out how much it would take to lure Star Jones to an eating contest, click here.)
HOWARD K. STERN [Smith’s attorney and booking agent]: Hello, this is Howard.
RADAR: Hi, Howard. This is David Steinman. We’re looking to book Anna Nicole for a personal appearance at the Short Hills Country Club in New Jersey for our annual gala. What is her appearance fee?
It depends. Send me an e-mail about the event and what you were thinking.
Okay. It’s a celebration for the fall. We’d like her to speak for about half an hour on the fall.
On the change of seasons in fall?
Exactly. Will she mingle with guests, have dinner? There’s also a charity casino where she could deal a few hands. What’s a figure that would guarantee her appearance?
It would be in the hundreds of thousands to guarantee a real good chance.
So we’re saying $100,000?
Maybe a bit higher. She’s turned down $190,000, $200,000, but it was because it was something she didn’t believe in.
What was it?
Speaking at a porn convention. But for a country club, I don’t think we’ll have that issue. Her day rate for nonspeaking things is $75,000, and for travel she gets paid half of that each day.
Does she travel with an entourage?
She travels with a bodyguard and, normally, hair and makeup, and sometimes her son, and sometimes myself. It all depends on what she’s thinking.
At the end of this event there’s an eating contest.
I don’t know if there’s any amount that would get her into an eating contest, because of her relationship with TrimSpa. I don’t think she would gorge herself because of that. She’s spent so much time losing weight and looks great.
There’s no porn involved at all. Would she eat sorbet, to keep it fat-free? If we brought it up to $300,000?
If you brought it up to $1 million she would be into the sorbet-eating contest. For $300,000 I don’t know.
Could we do a paella, or would it have to be something fat-free?
Look, if the money were high enough and she’d have fun, she would probably do it. But the money would have to be high. What are your objectives?
Just to celebrate the fall. That’s it. So for around $700,000 would she do a suckling pig–eating contest?
Wait, pig? She’s a vegetarian. She wouldn’t eat it regardless.
For any amount of money in the world?
For any amount of money. A vegetarian paella… You know, if the figure is high enough she might do it. If you came in with a million dollars, I would tell her, “Hey, it’s two days—why don’t you do it?” My advice would be to do it.
If it was $700,000 for the vegetarian paella–eating contest, she would get down for the duration of the contest?
I couldn’t guarantee you that she’d win. [Laughs] I can tell you right now she doesn’t eat that much. She gets full fast.
Because of the surgery?
She didn’t have surgery.
That’s usually one of the side effects of the surgery.
She did not have surgery. She took TrimSpa and she just… She did not have any surgery. She took TrimSpa. She doesn’t have scars.
For $700,000 how much paella do you think she could eat?
I have no idea. You’re asking me hypotheticals.
So how do we turn a hypothetical into a “hypo-realtical”?
I’m telling you that I can’t speak for her. An eating contest is not something that she’d want to do, so the money would be higher. Speaking on the subject of fall… You know, I don’t know that she’s really ever thought of the subject of fall in any profound way. She probably wouldn’t enjoy talking about it for 45 minutes.
Last year we had William Shatner, and he spoke about fall for a good 45 minutes.
How much did you pay Shatner?
Hey, that’s pretty good money.
And he took part in the eating contest. He came in second place.
I’ll tell you this much: She’s a competitive girl. She might win the eating contest. But the number has to be high enough.
Would she do it in a swimsuit?
[Laughs] Now you’re even getting further afield.
It’s a very affluent country club. The members are extremely wealthy, and they like to do these things for fun.
Look, Anna’s crazy. She’s a wild girl. She’ll do a lot of different things. And if they want to pay that kind of money for her to enter an eating contest, she might just do it.
Would she have cocktails?
Let’s say MDMA became kind of available around the party…
Would she have a problem if everyone at the party were taking ecstasy?
She might have a problem if everybody were taking ecstasy.
Would that cost more?
Look, that’s something she doesn’t get involved with.
So, no ecstasy. OxyContin?