Warm Hugs and Cold Beers with Lauren Hutton
By Albert Stern
I met Lauren Hutton in front of my apartment building in Miami Beach, about 15 feet from the spot where, a few years later, Gianni Versace would get shot. She sat with my friend Adam on the coral rock veranda of the Amsterdam Palace, an edifice with a singular, irreproducible charm that so beguiled Versace, he bought it and reconstructed it from top to bottom.
The fetchingly gap-toothed supermodel wanted a tour of the place—supposedly modeled on Columbus’s villa in Santo Domingo—and I was proud to act the docent. An astronomer’s observatory overlooked the verdant Spanish-style courtyard. Bas reliefs of personages like Plato, Moses, Lenin, Florence Nightingale, and Mussolini adorned the walls. Though ramshackle, the place amazed.
Lauren enjoyed bantering with Adam and me, and she joined us for several beers, regaling us with stories about the modeling industry and giving us warm hugs when we parted.
About a year later, I was changing planes at Dulles Airport, and found myself queued up behind Lauren Hutton. Why not say hello?
“Excuse me, Lauren,” I said. “You may not remember, but a year or so ago, my friend and I showed you around my place on Ocean Drive, and then we had some beers.”
Her lip curled and she made a point of looking at me in the eye, then said: “Why would I ever have done something like that?”
Would that it all have been over then, but she was seated in First Class on my flight, and sneered at me as I passed her on my way to the narrow seats with less leg room.