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Actress Tippi Hedren Gets $1.5M for a Gallon of Water Falling on Her Head

December 18, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

At first glance, you may think this story from The Hollywood Reporter is for "the birds." 

Actress Tippi Hedren, most famous for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film, The Birds, was granted $1.5 million stemming from being doused by a gallon of water that fell on her while rehearsing for a scene in the TV show, Fashion House, in 2006.

 Ms. Hedren was afflicted by constant headaches before having spinal fusion surgery to alleviate the problem. The surgery worked and she was able to work again. However, when the gallon of water unexpectedly fell on her during a rehearsal of the show, the headaches returned and she was unable to work.

The actress sued her then-attorney, Joseph Allen,  for malpractice, as Ms. Hedren was precluded from suing the producers of the TV show due to Mr. Allen’s failure to file appropriate paperwork on her behalf.

In 2009, Hedren sued her former lawyer for malpractice for all the money she reasonably could have expected to have recovered in the prior lawsuit had things gone right. A jury returned a verdict totaling $1,483,708, which included $213,400 for past, lost earnings and $440,308 for future lost earnings.

Wine Dealer Accused of Selling Counterfeit Goods Causes Worldwide Ripple

December 18, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Los Angeles-based wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan is accused of defrauding some of the wealthiest people in the world. He is currently on trial in a New York City courtroom for selling not-so-fine wine to people that believed they were purchasing the best of the best. Billionaire industrialist William I. Koch testified that he was conned in 2005, paying $35,000 for a double magnum of 1947 Chateau Petrus from the Bordeaux region. 

Mr. Kurniawan is reported to have sold $35 million worth of wine in 2006 alone.

A laser printer, sealing wax, ink stamps, empty bottles, and old corks were found at his home office. Wine producers, authenticators, collectors, and sommeliers are testifying in the case, offering their expertise on distinguishing counterfeit from authentic bottles of wine.

Kurniawan’s alleged actions have uncorked a blip in this market that created a rippling repercussions felt worldwide, according to industry insiders as reported by the Los Angeles Times.  

…."Every single person who drinks wine was affected by this because it drove all prices up," said Maureen Downey, a sommelier and wine consultant in San Francisco who came to New York to watch the trial in federal court in Lower Manhattan. "When you raise the ceiling, you raise the floor."

Read More on latimes.com ››

Rudolph the Red-Nosed 'Shortstop' Has a Very Shiny Baseball Card

December 17, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Apparently, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is a minor league shortstop when he’s not guiding Santa’s sleigh with that luminescent  bulbous nose on the night before Christmas, Yahoo Sports reports.

The switch-hitting reindeer has been playing professionally since 2009, starting out in the Workshop Summer League, moving up to the Arctic League, and is now playing in the Holiday League.

The 375-pound, 5’3” reindeer is coming into his own, having slugged 12 homers, with 79 RBI, and 188 hits while hitting .312 with 602 at bats.

….The record on Rudolph shows steady improvement from his first season, which of course was blighted by prejudice over his shiny red nose — from not only Rudolph's own father, but by Santa Claus himself — along with a measly .528 on-base plus slugging percentage.

A-Rod Turns to Flipping Houses

December 17, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

With an end to his career in baseball potentially looming, the New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez appears to be transitioning to his position as a house flipper, NBC Sports reports.

Less than six months ago, the slugger paid $2.1 million for a condo near Biscayne Bay, which is now on the market for $3.2 million. Rodriguez is reported to have commissioned designer Briggs Edward Soloman shortly after purchasing the three-bedroom, four bathroom residence to completely renovate, according to Realtor.com.

…. The All-Star third baseman was suspended 211 games after being linked to a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs and has since sued Major League Baseball. Besides his ongoing legal trouble, Rodriguez made real estate news earlier this year when he parted ways with the aforementioned ultra-modern waterfront mansion.

Read More on realtor.com ››

Nerds Night Out: A Red-Carpet Celebration to Honor Science & Techies

December 17, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

If the music, television, and film industries can have their Grammys, Emmys, and Oscars, why can’t scientists and techies have their own night as well?

Well, that is the forethought that went into the awards show called the Breakthrough Prizes. This year’s red-carpet ceremony, which was held on Thursday evening and hosted by actor Kevin Spacey, took place attheNASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Celebrity Chef Thomas Keller and his staff prepared dinner for the attendees.

Overall, seven awards and a total of $21 million were awarded, with each recipient receiving a cash prize of $3 million. Six Breakthroughs were issued in Life Sciences and one was given in Fundamental Physics. The 2014 Breakthrough Prizes will include a new category.

At the end of the night, Zuckerberg and Milner unveiled a third category of prizes to be awarded in the coming year — the Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics — with details to come in 2014.

Hamptons Home Developer Finds Full-Price Buyer at $43.5M, and then Says No?

December 17, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Joe Farrell is a homebuilder that is fiercely passionate toward his profession.

The former member of the New York Mercantile Exchange left a hugely successful career to pursue that passion … which had been burning within him for years.

Mr. Farrell, who has been called the “McMansion Builder,” built his own dream home in 2009 and then decided to sell it. He originally listed the mansion dubbed the Sandcastle at $59,5 million, dropped his asking price to $49.5 million, and ultimately, reduced it to $43.5 million. The house has been on the market since it was completed.

However, when a buyer finally offered to pay full price … Farrell said no and took the home off the market. What? As it turned out, his desire to keep the ideal home for his wife and three children was important than making the deal. Who said business moguls only have no heart?

Joe Farrell recently had a chat with JustLuxe’s Susan Kime and spoke candidly about his professional and personal interests. It is a good read. Like most of us, there is more to him than meets the eye. 

First-Ever 'Curved Coin' by U.S. Mint Honors Baseball's Hall of Fame

December 17, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Curve balls ... and now curved coins. 

 The U.S. Mint will release a series of coins that are curved instead of flat, as reported by the United States Mint, on its website. This is the first time ever that a coin will have a curvature built into it.

The coins, which will be issued in 2014, are being produced to commemorate the 75th anniversary of baseball’s Hall of Fame. 

Cassie McFarland won a nationwide competition for the design of the coin.

The common obverse, also know as “heads,” will feature a baseball glove; the common reverse (tails) depicts a baseball reminiscent of a major league baseball. The head side is concave and the tails side is convex.

There will be a $5 gold coin, a $1 silver coin, and a half-dollar clad coin. A contest was held to determine the design. Complete details are available at the U.S. Mint’s website.  

….Surcharges for each coin sold are authorized to be paid to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, an independent not-for-profit educational institution, to help fund its operations. Surcharges per coin are:

  • $35 for each gold coin
  • $10 for each silver coin
  • $5 for each half-dollar coin
Read More on usmint.gov ››

Will Value of Norman Rockwell's Art Rise after $46M Sale of One Painting?

December 15, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

The recent sale of American artist Norman Rockwell’s Saying Grace painting for $46 million at auction has raised questions concerning the value of other works by the prolific painter with 4,000 works to his credit.

Including Saying Grace, six Rockwell paintings sold for nearly $60 million this month at an auction by Sotheby’s, the world’s second largest high-end auction. It is uncertain whether that sale will prompt a spike in the value of any Rockwell painting in the future.

The artist, who is renowned for his paintings that were used as the covers for numerous Saturday Evening Post magazines gave away some of his paintings. Rockwell gave his work, The Babysitter, to a sixth grade class in Vermont that sent $48 to the artist along with and a request to buy a painting to memorialize a classmate that had died of leukemia.

An auction held on December 5 by Christie’s, one day after the Sotheby’s auction, sold other Rockwell paintings. The highest priced work of those sold went for $1.6 million.  

.... It must be noted that "Grace" is not just any Rockwell. The painting of a time-worn woman and young boy bowing their heads in prayer over a table in a bustling diner appeared on an enormously popular 1951 Saturday Evening Post Thanksgiving cover. It resonates in a special way, Plunkett, [deputy director and chief curator at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass,] said.

Read More on usatoday.com ››

SantaCon 2013 Hits Streets of New York

December 15, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Last month the NYPD sent a letter to bars, taverns, lounges, and clubs in the city with a special request.

The police requested that the alcohol diespensers refuse to serve booze to the Santa-clad attendees of SantaCon 2013 that would descend upon the city on December 14 in full St. Nick costumes to do their annual all-day bar crawl through the city. Attendees of SantaCon 2013 also dressed like elves and reindeer as well.

While it is reported that there were no-Santa zones established, as seen in the photo gallery posted by ABC News depicting the not-so-discreet Santa Clauses converging on and running through the streets of NYC yesterday, the request was not 100% upheld citywide in the City that Never Sleeps.

Oh well … ho-ho-ho!

How Long Will Green Cars Have Luxury Carmakers Seeing 'Red'?

December 15, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

The decade-long prognosis of deluxe carmakers that luxury automobile lovers would spend their greenbacks on green cars has not lived up to expectations.

The New York Times reports that the exact opposite has occurred, with high-end hybrids being the biggest duds in the market. With the exception of the C-suite execs of the Silicon Valley and, of course, actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio, the green movement has most brands seeing red ink instead of black on their ledgers.

However, with governmental regulations calling for cars that are more fuel-efficient with lower emissions and lighter carbon footprints, the rollout of these top-line hybrids carries on.

Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and other prestigious brands will continue with efforts to entice the market with their ecologically correct offerings.  

…. Promising better mileage than their forebears — and in many cases, the ability to recharge from the grid to deliver miles of pure-electric motoring — these hybrids will look to meet the more stringent regulations and attract more customers to low-fossil driving.

Read More on nytimes.com ››

Aspiring Luxury Market on the Rise Again, Wannabe 'One-Percenters' Are Back

December 15, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Status-seeking shoppers are back!  

The entry-level luxury market is showing signs of picking up, as consumers who aspire to be owners of high-end products are once again including luxury products on their shopping lists, CNBC reports.

Industry experts are seeing an increase in purchases of deluxe items from middle-class shoppers in 2013 than in prior years since the worldwide economic collapse of 2008. While the desire to shop like the elite “one-percent” is back, it is not occurring at the “warp-all credit cards” pace as it did previously. Consumers are buying slower and being more prudent.

The return of the aspiring market is also aided by luxury brands offering alternative lines of products to shoppers. The car industry is a good example with its offerings of less expensive, entry-level luxury lines, as seen by both Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

Consumers are trading up instead of burning through their cash and available credit.

….Before the recession, aspirational shoppers—often people with a household income of about $100,000—were responsible for a large chunk of consumer spending, Ben-Shabat said. But when the economy dropped off in 2008, they disappeared from shopping centers and online stores along with the rest of the population.

Read More on cnbc.com ››

Greece to Tax All Ships Passing Through Its Waterways Effective 2014

December 15, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Similar to cars being driven on a turnpike, ships that pass through Greece will pay a tax for such privilege effective January 1, 2014, reports Yachting Monthly.

Size will determine the amount of the fee that ships will pay to use Greece’s waterways. Jim Baerselman, a member of the Cruising Association, told YM that this fee could adversely affect the number of yachts that pass through. The Cruising Association has nearly 1,500 members that currently sail through the surrounding islands.  

According to Mr.Baerselman, he spoke with a Greek tax account that said that the tax will be charged for all recreational and commercial ships and small boats, regardless of their flag, which sail or are moored or anchored in Greek waters.

 ….[Jim Baerselman]went on to say the Minister of Marine and Aegean said yachts or motorboats sailing in Greek waters needed to keep proof of payment with their registration document which is issued when entering Greece.

$40K Crocodile Jacket Heisted from Zilli Store in NYC

December 14, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

A haberdashery in Manhattan had a $40,000 crocodile jacket stolen off its racks earlier this month.

The theft took place on East 57th  Street at the Zilli boutique, a high-end store that specializes in selling high-end exotic outerwear. The robbery reportedly occurred at about 5:30 p.m. The entrance to the men's store is locked and patrons have to be granted access to enter it.

Outerwear sold at Zilli is priced as high as $150,000. The niche shop is located next to the Four Seasons Hotel and is near other high-end designer stores, such as Prada and Brioni.   

The police have released photographs of two suspects, a man and a woman believed to be in their early 20s. It is reported that the woman removed the coat from the rack and handed it to the man, who then took it into the fitting room. It is believed that he placed it into a duffel bag and came out of the fitting room, and then the couple left the shop unnoticed. 

The store’s manager told the New York Times that there is more to the story, but that he could not comment any further.

.... How they were able to pull off such a brazen early-evening heist has yet to be explained. Thefts of such magnitude are not unheard-of in New York’s shopping enclaves, but rarely do they occur with such apparent finesse.

Read More on nytimes.com ››

Affluent Ex-Californians Bolster Luxury RE Market in Reno

December 14, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

The luxury real estate market in Reno, Nevada, is moving upwardly, according to a report by the Reno Gazette Journal.

Many of the upscale houses for sale in the Northern Nevada area being bought up by the exodus of Californians in search of better values and lower tax rates. 

The passing of Proposition 30 in California, which raised taxes for wealthy residents, has been a boon for the neighboring state’s high-end single-family residences. Reno, Carson City, and the Lake Tahoe area are selling well.

….More than 187 luxury properties priced above $750,000 in Reno, Sparks, Verdi and Washoe Valley are listed with Coldwell Banker. Additionally, the company is brokering 16 lakefront homes on the East Shore of Lake Tahoe and three on the South Shore in California.

Read More on rgj.com ››

'Get My Grandpa Laid' Contest Winner Dies Before Visiting Brothel

December 14, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

A resident of Illinois, Johnny Orris, 86, came up short in collecting his prize for winning the Get My Grandpa Laid contest staged by radio personality Howard Stern, the Nevada Appeal reports.

Mr. Orris is reported to have died after choking on a piece of meat at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe restaurant before hopping over to the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Mound House to have sex with a prostitute. Mr. Orris' grandson, Ed, who accompanied his horny grandfather on his last trip, was given the freebie by the owner of the Bunny Ranch, when he told him that his grandfather had died. 

Dennis Hof, the owner of the legal bordello, told the newspaper of the conversation he had with Mr. Orris’ on collecting his prize.

…. “He talked about how it was the greatest day of his life,” Hof said, “and how he never thought he’d be having sex again.”

….“He said, ‘Before I do this, I want to have a big steak’,” Hof added.

Singer Eryka Badu Is New Face of Givenchy

December 14, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Singer Eryka Badu, 42, is the new face of French design house Givency in its Spring/Summer 2014 line, the New York Daily News reports.

The first two images of the campaign were released through a new campaign on Instagram. The renowned photography duo, Mert alas and Marcus Piggott, shot the campaign for Givenchy.  

The singer has relased six albums and has appeared previously in two Tom Ford campaigns. 

Erykah Badu, who has released six studio albums, is already a familiar face in the world of fashion and beauty.

Beyonce's New Album Crashes iTunes' Website

December 14, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

The new, and surprising, Beyonce album sold more than 80,000 copies in three hours, the Daily Mail reports.  

Beyonce’s fifth album is available on iTunes in an explicit and a family version. The variants hold the top two spots on the iTunes charts. A total of 17 videos and 14 songs are included on the eponymous album, which will be available in stores on December 21. Most of the videos were shot outdoors during the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.

Does anyone ever listen to Beyonce without watching the accompanying videos? Would her fans buy an album sans sound? Don’t just shake it if you can’t take it!

….Once iTunes - Apple's music downloading site - was back up and running, fans were hit with another surprise - Beyonce's 14 new tracks could not be downloaded individually, instead they had to pay $15.99 (£9.80) for the entire album.

Hilton's IPO Is Soaring, Largest IPO Ever for a Hotel

December 14, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Large … large … large! It all adds up when you connect the dots.

Hilton, the world’s largest hotel company, issued the largest IPO ever by a hotelier this week, and the stock is soaring, according to a report by USA Today.

This bodes well for Blackstone, the private-equity firm that took Hilton private in 2007, paying $26 billion for its stock. While it appears that the $2.35 billion resulting from the IPO would be a huge loss for Blackstone, whereas it actually has the potential to do the exact opposite, as the IPO represents less than 12% of the total 117.6 million shares in this offering. 

….At the current trading price, that puts a more than $21 billion valuation on the hotel operator. When you add in the fact that Hilton still has about $15 billion in outstanding debt from Blackstone's buyout, Blackstone has made an almost-unprecedented paper profit on the IPO, with Bloomberg estimating the private-equity firm's take at $8.5 billion. 

Read More on usatoday.com ››

Virtual Reality Headgear Brings Future into Focus

December 13, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

While the development of virtual reality looms, the work being done by firms strident on bringing this vision to fruition is gaining momentum.

The Verge reports that one such developer, Oculus, received an additional $75 million to further advance the Oculus Rift headset. Based on the enthusiastic view expressed by the writer Sean Hollister, "THEY HAVE REALLY NAILED THOSE THINGS," it would appear that more good news is on the horizon.

So far, the startup has received a total of $91 million without even making a sale. The future looks bright to say the least.

…."Virtual reality has been a long standing dream in tech and sci-fi. To me it always felt kind of inevitable but it was one of those things, you never knew quite when it would become a reality," Dixon tells The Verge. He was impressed with the first developer kit he saw last year, but not enough to invest. Now, however, he says that Oculus has achieved what he was looking for. "

Read More on theverge.com ››

Michael Jordan's 1997 Game-Worn 'Flu Shoes' Sell for $105K

December 13, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

The shoes worn by basketball legend Michael Jordan on June 16, 1997, during the NBA Finals game between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz, sold via auction for $104,765 on Thursday, per several reports making the rounds. 

That game was dubbed the “flu game,” as Jordan led the Bulls to a 90-88 victory despite being noticeably ill throughout the contest. After the game, Jordan gave the game-worn shoes to Preston Truman, a former ball boy that worked for the Utah Jazz.     

The sports collectibles auction house, Gray Flannel Auctions, said that there was strong interest in Jordan’s shoes and other sports memorabilia sold at the auction.

…."I just didn't see the point to something so cool and a part of NBA history sitting at my bank anymore," Truman told the sports network ESPN.