Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Those silly British scandal sheets...

...are having a weird field day with the naming by the New York Post of a British divorcee, Andrea Hissom, as Steve Wynn's paramour. Weird, that is, because it's unclear whether most Britons have heard of Wynn and it's clear they're slapping together breathless articles with very little knowledge of the Wynns, Las Vegas or, for that matter, facts.

This lengthy piece in the Daily Mail by Paul Thompson, posted a few hours ago, is the most blatant example. I thought it might be entertaining to take it apart a little bit. Like this part:

Under U.S. law Wynn's wife, who divorced her husband in 1986 only to re-marry him five years later and helped build his casino empire, would be entitled to half his fortune.

Legal experts said the divorce would be the most expensive ever, eclipsing the £100million U.S. basketball star Michael Jordan paid his wife Juanita when they split.

The piece never identifies said "legal experts" but it's really an odd statement because if the Jordans' divorce cost him US$140 million, it's nowhere near the most expensive settlement ever. That honor goes to ... the owner of the New York Post, Rupert Murdoch. He parted with $1.7 billion in 1998 to get unhooked from his wife. At least three other couples have split for more than the Jordans, including two American couples, according to this list. The reporter must have gotten this from Fox News' list here, but that's celebrity divorces and evidently it's wrong, anyway, since Murdoch is at least as big a "celebrity" as Wynn. Interesting that Fox News didn't include their owner, huh?

Of course, I find it difficult to imagine Elaine would try to take Steve to the cleaners, considering that both of their financial interests are so firmly bound up in their company. Stranger things have happened, though, but she didn't do that when the divorced the last time so far as I have heard. That was pre-Mirage, though. I just don't see her wanting to make this messy; it's not usually her way.

Back to the article:

Rumours about 67-year-old Wynn's marriage surfaced at the opening gala of his latest five-star Vegas hotel Encore just before Christmas. The Las Vegas casino tycoon's wife and his daughter were seen crying at the launch for the £1.8billion hotel.

That's fun, cuz there was no opening gala before Christmas. The place opened before Xmas, but the gala was at the end of January on the weekend of Steve Wynn's birthday. And the Norm Clarke column where this crying thing came from doesn't say that it occurred "at the launch."

According to Las Vegas newspaper columnist Norm Clarke Wynn has moved out of the suite he and his wife shared at the Wynn hotel, one of six he owns in Vegas.

Interesting, since Norm never said Wynn owns six homes in Vegas. Or is it that he owns six hotels? Either way, it's false. Norm did say that Elaine issued a statement saying, "There will only be one person that will occupy the villa and that will be Mr. Wynn." That's exactly the opposite of the Daily Mail report, right? And this comes from the aggrieved party.

I liked this part, too, about the alleged girlfriend:

She is believed to be well known among London's social set, and her Facebook page lists over 70 friends including financier Guy Dellal.

Is her having 70 Facebook friends impressive, a sign of status? Because if that's so, I ought to start planning my bid for president. As an aside, I'm not even sure this is the right person; she does not appear to have a single Facebook friend in Las Vegas. You'd think someone here would want to friend her, right?

One more little thing:

His company developed The Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio and Wynn Hotels.

Well, his former company developed the first three. I think the reporter thinks Wynn still owns or operates the first set. And, if he thinks there are six Wynn hotels in Vegas, what's the sixth? The Golden Nugget, which is now at least three owners removed from its days as a Wynn asset?

From there, the story goes through Wynn damaging the Picasso, the Wynns' earlier divorce and remarriage and the kidnapping of Kevyn Wynn in 1993. (Thompson says it was Gillian, so he didn't get that, either. Yeesh.) It's like the writer couldn't stop. I'm surprised he didn't mention Wynn's meeting with the Dalai Lama and Andy Warhol.

The Wynn drama is interesting, but I suspect it's less exciting than the Brits want to make it out to be. There is a legitimate reason for the public to be interested, mainly that the fate of a publicly traded company hang in the balance.

But, again, I just find it hard to imagine Elaine Wynn wanting to make a big spectacle -- or a big pay day -- out of any of this. I was told that they visited Danny Gans backstage together recently and even held hands. That doesn't sound like either of them have whoever the latter-day Marvin Mitchelson is on speed dial.


VinceD said...

The British tabloids never let a thing like facts get in the way of a story.
Vincent UK

mike_ch said...

This story is particularly bad, but I never used to get the "Steve posts a media story and splits hairs and points out inaccurate sentences that were accurate a few years ago" stuff. Perhaps it's because as a fan of computers and video games through the 90s, I was used to Big Media reports about my hobbies being inaccurate and written by people who don't use computers frequently, or at their most bleeding edge. "Double click a hyperlink and you'll visit the webmaster! Just be careful not to crash!"

I've just come to accept that niche media reports their niche much more accurately than the blurb in the big national paper, so this sort of stuff never surprises me anymore.

I suppose though, it makes financial sense for you provide a service of being a Guy In Vegas for media hire, for you to point out articles clearly not written by a Guy In Vegas and suggest they hire one. :)

Anonymous said...

oh please...this is just an opportunity for steve to write about something that he wants to write about but thinks is beneath him to write about. get it?

Tom M. said...

I am just guessing here but I would bet that there is a prenup in place and any part of wynn corp that Elaine gets would probably be in stock that she would not be allowed to sell or have to sell to Steve at a set price. Maybe you can forward my guess to the british tabs so they can quote me and write more tripe.

Tom M. said...

I am just guessing here but I would bet that there is a prenup in place and any part of wynn corp that Elaine gets would probably be in stock that she would not be allowed to sell or have to sell to Steve at a set price. Maybe you can forward my guess to the british tabs so they can quote me and write more tripe.

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