||Patricia Neal, the Academy-Award winning
actress (won for Hud, nominated for The
Subject Was Roses), doesn't mince words.
She told me on Friday night that she's not thrilled that her granddaughter, model
Sophie Dahl, has been dating Mick Jagger.
The moment came because the 75-year-old Neal was deposited by her yellow cab on
the wrong side of Madison Square Garden for Michael Jackson's show. She was
one of the much-hyped 50 "Leading Ladies" whom Jackson producer David Gest
trumpeted all over the place for their attendance. Apparently he didn't think about how
all these grande dames would get to the show.
Neal emerged from her cab with an assistant right at the corner of 32nd Street and
Seventh Avenue — quite a distance from the miniscule red carpet entrance on Eighth
Avenue near 33rd Street. When I informed her that she should get back in the cab and
go around the corner, she bravely said: "Nonsense! I'll walk. I love to walk." OK.
Neal is a sturdy lady with a lot of courage. She also looked beautiful in a red silk
ensemble. It wasn't long before the subject of Sophie's social life came up. How did
she feel about her 20-something granddaughter globetrotting with the nearly
60-year-old Rolling Stone and man of much sexual history?
"I hope she stays away from that bastard!" the legendary actress declared. "I've never
met him, of course, but that's no good!"
Neal told me she was concerned about Sophie, but she was also more concerned that
the entrance to Madison Square Garden was still not in sight. She's had at least one
well-known stroke, which she's bounded back from nicely. And she was wearing high
heels. In the end, we walked the entire length of the Garden Penn Station complex from
Seventh to Eighth Avenue, and then broke through police sawhorses so we could stay
on the sidewalk as we made it to the red carpet area.
Once we arrived, there was little to no
help getting her past the crush of
police, publicists and paparazzi.
Indeed, the photographers were
clueless about who this distinguished
actress was, and needed prodding to
take her picture. "This is an Oscar
winner," I informed them, but 'N Sync
was ahead of us and siphoning off all
attention. Had Ms. Neal heard of the
five boys from Orlando?
"No, what are they?" she asked. It was
certainly a generational face-off. In a
normal world, she would have been
more worried about her granddaughter dating Lance than Mick. But that's another