Besides being one of the coolest and most successful jewelers in the world, Loree Rodkin has been my close friend for almost 27 years! The way we met is right out of a fairy tale book: it was in Monte Carlo at a Gala dinner hosted by, non other than, Prince Ranieri and Grace Kelly at the Palace! It was 1987 and I was in Monaco with Joan who was filming her mini-series for ABC named, of all things, Monte Carlo, while on hiatus from Dynasty.
We were invited to one of Monaco’s most prestigious yearly events: the Monte Carlo Celebrity Tennis Tournament, benefitting the Princess Grace Foundation for the Arts, and after a week of hilarious tennis matches between celebrities from all around the globe, most of whom had never held a tennis racket before, the event comes to a close with an over-the-top, black tie, sit-down dinner at the Palace.
Just imagine sitting at a grand table in a royal palace with Prince Ranieri & Prince Albert as our hosts, along with Sean Connery, George Hamilton, Rob Lowe, Catherine Oxenberg, Roger Moore, Malcolm McDowell, Robert Wagner, Dudley Moore, Sherry Lansing, Linda Evans, Sophia Loren, just to name a few of the 200 guests; it was magic!!!! I was seated between 2 ladies whom I never met before: Loree Rodkin and Virginia Madsen…it was love at first sight! Loree, or as we lovingly call her: “The Dark One”, was with her then boyfriend Judd Nelson; along with her was this young, stunning blonde, with piercing blue eyes: Virginia Madsen. Loree at that time , was a very successful manager whose clients included: Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., Virginia Madsen and Lauren Holly. I instantly fell in love with Virginia, whom I thought was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen; though, sadly, at that time I was so shy that all I did was blush…and I mean red as a pepper! Regardless, I knew, right there and then, that I would be friends with these 2 ladies forever. That night we all went on to get in serious trouble for stealing Sean Connery’s limo on our way out of the Palace for a quick dash over to the Casino, where one of the funniest man alive: George Hamilton, was waiting for us in the private Black-Jack room, for an all nighter of gambling, cocktails and laughing hysterically…the croupier was NOT amused!
So back to the present! Traveling with Loree is a very unique experience; you see: ” she’s a germaphobe, she only eats sweets, she gets bored very quickly, and she will leave a hotel room at the slightest sign of any type of odor, a hair in the bathroom, an ant in the floor, a speck of dust, bad linens, bad Feng Shui, undesirable location, ugly staff and the list goes on and on…”. So I’ve learned how to maneuver around these small hurdles by not unpacking immediately after entering my hotel room, instead waiting a half an hour until the coast is clear; I choose restaurants with large dessert menus, I try to pick only really fun parties, the ones she won’t want to leave within the first 15 minutes and I carry a bottle of anti-bacterial gel and a can of Raid in my bag in case the unthinkable happens: like running into a spider or touching something dirty, which is usually followed by a resounding: “Eew”.
Nonetheless, traveling with Loree is a total pleasure; we are 2 peas in a pod and seem to like all the same things! She’s hilarious (unless she’s bored), she will stay out till the sun comes up (only if the party is beyond amazing or a young, tattooed super model is flirting with her), she’s generous to a fault, charismatic (in a dark sort of way) and has an endless amount of fabulous stories, involving huge celebrities, that are always a crowd pleaser…or shocker.
We are both “life-lovers”, hopeless romantics and never pass up the opportunity to meet new people, visit new places, wear a new outfit or act like two 16 year olds, always getting into trouble and loving every minute of it!
The next several posts will chronicle a 6 week summer marathon with Loree through Paris, St. Tropez, Cap d’Antibes, Barcelona, Istanbul, Mykonos and London…fasten your seat belts!
Loree and I in Istanbul
On our way from St. Tropez to the Hotel du Cap in Cap d’Antibes for lunch…