Cameron's got a gun

Cameron Diaz (Jay Connor for The Boston Globe)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / October 13, 2009

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Yes, that was Cameron Diaz filming on Congress Street yesterday, waving a gun and wearing the same yellow dress she’s worn during other outdoor scenes. Under the watchful eye of director James Mangold, the “Something About Mary’’ star ran diagonally across a vast parking lot and into the intersection of Congress and West Service Road. As if being chased, the frantic actress stopped suddenly, causing stunt cars to screech to a halt. Diaz then ditched the gun in a phony mailbox and hopped onto an MBTA bus. Cameron’s costar, Tom Cruise, was MIA yesterday. Britain’s Daily Mail is reporting that the Hollywood hero and his wife, Katie Holmes, are enrolling their 3-year-old daughter, Suri, in the Yawkey Center for Early Education and Care in Dorchester. Wait a minute: the celebrity Scientologist is sending his kid to a Catholic preschool? Apparently not. Catholic Charities, which runs the Yawkey Center, says it isn’t true. They say the rumor was started after Holmes and her daughter visited the Yawkey Center for Children and Learning at the Boston Children’s Museum.

His side of the story

The back-and-forth between Todd English and his former fiancee Erica Wang continued yesterday, with the celebrated chef claiming he had been abused by his would-be wife.

English was eager to respond to a story in Sunday’s New York Post, in which Wang said the Olives chef called off their wedding just hours before it was to take place Oct. 3 and then left her with a $12,000 bill. Wang told the tabloid that English - her boyfriend of two years - has cut off her credit cards and is forcing her to move out of their Chelsea apartment, leaving her without money or a place to live.

But English gave us his side of the story yesterday. Reached by phone, English said he and Wang were in therapy because she has an explosive temper and more than once became violent with him. On Sept. 15, he claims, Wang hit him repeatedly in the face with his own watch, opening a cut around his eye that required stitches. (The restaurateur said he had to walk a red carpet a few days later wearing sunglasses.)

“Until that day, I planned to go through with the marriage,’’ he said. “I disappeared before the wedding because I didn’t want to get into another confrontation with Erica. I didn’t know where this thing was going.’’ (Wang, who couldn’t be reached for comment last night, denied to the Post that she ever hit English.)

Danielle de Benedictis, English’s attorney, told the Globe yesterday she and others had urged the celebrity chef not to go through with the wedding, but he wouldn’t listen. The chef acknowledges that some of his friends were not fans of his fiancee. “Especially after the incident with my eye,’’ English said. “Look, I’m stubborn. I wanted a relationship, something stable for my kids, someone I can come home to and not be verbally, psychologically, emotionally, and physically abused.’’

English scoffed at the suggestion that he’s been anything less than generous with Wang, who he said had a habit of racking up huge credit card bills, and threw herself a $250,000 party at the St. Regis Hotel after the wedding was canceled. “I made a mistake,’’ he said. “I let it go too far, but I got out of it in time before it cost me more in the future.’’

Simon sues Starbucks

Songbird Carly Simon is suing Starbucks, claiming the coffee conglomerate didn’t sufficiently hype her last record. Simon says the CD, called “This Kind of Love,’’ was intended to be her successful swan song, but claims it stiffed largely because Starbucks retreated from the music business without telling her. The singer, who lives on Martha’s Vineyard, has signaled she means business by hiring legal eagle David Boies. In the suit filed in California, Bill Clinton’s former counsel alleges Starbucks engaged in “unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices’’ and he’s seeking between $5 million and $10 million in damages. Despite her pedigree - her father was a founder of Simon & Schuster - and hits such as “You’re So Vain’’ and “Anticipation,’’ Simon told the New York Times she’s not wealthy - at least, not as wealthy as people think. “People think I’m an heiress,’’ she said. “I was a working girl, and my parents did not give me a big allowance.’’

Will Steinberg return?

In a bit of good BoSox news, we’re told Dr. Charles Steinberg, who helped transform the fan experience at Fenway during his nearly six years here as executive VP for public affairs, may be headed back to town. Word is Steinberg is all done with the LA Dodgers and is mulling offers from other teams, including the Sox.

Out and about

Revolution players Michael Videira, Chris Albright, and Jeff Larentowicz kicked back at Game On! Fenway over the weekend. . . . Actor Jeremy Renner stepped off the set of “The Town’’ into the Estate, where he mingled with patrons and partied in the VIP area . . . Publicist Lauren Birmingham said “I do’’ over the weekend with former Italian race car driver Rino Piscitelli. The ceremony took place at the Madre Maria Assunta Church in Positano, Italy.

‘Rare Bird’ in the window

Octogenarian fashion icon Iris Apfel was in Peabody yesterday, styling windows at the Nordstrom Northshore Mall. Apfel, who’s appeared on Vanity Fair’s international best-dressed list, has inspired influential fashion designers from Jason Wu to Ralph Rucci. (Her window designs will be on display for two weeks, and be replicated at Nordstrom Natick Collection and Nordstrom Burlington.) Apfel is also the subject of an exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Called “Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel,’’ the exhibit includes more than 80 over-the-top ensembles from her personal collection.

Mixing it up

Some of Boston’s finest chefs, mixologists, and sommeliers make up the 2009 Class of Boston Rising Stars. Announced at a recent gathering with StarChefs CEO Antoinette Bruno, the culinary crew will be feted with a private dinner at Craigie on Main, a panel discussion with students, and a tasting event Nov. 3 to benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank. Rising Star winners include Toro chef Jamie Bissonnette, Uni chef Chris Chung, Garden at the Cellar’s Will Gilson, Clio chef Andres Grundy, Via Matta chef Mike Pagliarini, Catch chef Chris Parsons, Aura’s Rachel Klein, L’Espalier pastry chef Jiho Kim, Oleana sommelier Theresa Paopao, Craigie on Main bar chef Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli, restaurateur Joanne Chang, Maura Kilpatrick, who won a concept award for Sofra, Louis Di-Biccari, community award winner for Sel de la Terre, and Richard Garcia, who was given a sustainability award for Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro.

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