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NEWS LITE : KNOT CONTROVERSIAL TIE THAT BINDS FOR CLINTON, LEWINSKY?

Fashion and President Clinton never quite fell in the same sentence - until this week, when a certain tie got wrapped up in his political affairs.

That gold-and-blue print cravat by Italian designer Ermenegildo Zegna has been rumored to be a 50th birthday gift from one Monica Lewinsky. The president wore the tie in question Aug. 6, prompting insinuations from prosecutors that it was used to send some sort of a secret signal to Lewinsky.

Since those reports hit print, that piece of neckwear has become the talk of customers digging through the tie piles at local stores.

According to saleswoman Maryam Maghen at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills, the tie brand has always been the store's top seller, but now customers are asking for it by another name: the Clinton tie.

``This week we've had several people asking for the tie Monica gave Clinton, but I have to explain to them that that design is old and we would no longer carry it,'' Maghen said.

Zegna officials in the designer's New York offices reluctantly admitted they had been besieged with calls, but declined to comment further.

The silk tie, a 1996 design with a navy crisscross pattern over a gold background, retailed for about $110. Lewinsky, now 25, reportedly gave it to Clinton, who turned 52 on Wednesday, with the message: When I see you wearing this tie, I'll know that I am close to your heart.

The famous tie was a popular item well before the president got caught wearing it, says Maghen. ``Harrison Ford wears one . . .'' she added, ``. . . and he played a president.''

`Outrage' gets new incentive

Capitalizing on favorable winds, William Bennett's new book, ``The Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals'' - originally due in November - will be rushed to bookstores next week. In the 154-page essay, ``The Book of Virtues,'' the author attacks nine identifiable defenses of the chief executive, such as, They all do it.

Renters called more

likely to be

neurotic

The popular notion that New Yorkers are more neurotic than other Americans just got scientific backing. A new study suggests that people who rent rather than own their apartments and do not own cars are more likely to suffer from neurotic disorders such as anxiety.

While researchers led by Glyn Lewis, of the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff, based the findings on a survey of nearly 10,000 British residents, a high proportion of those living in America's largest city also do not own cars or homes.

Based on interviews with all study participants, the researchers found that people who rented their homes were about 30 percent more likely to have a neurotic disorder than homeowners. And compared to people who had access to two or more cars, those who lacked access to an automobile were about 40 percent more likely to have some sort of neurosis, the investigators reported in this week's issue of the international medical journal The Lancet.

Lewis offered a couple of possible explanations, both based on the assumption that renters have lower incomes than homeowners. One is that poor people feel excluded from society, so they develop feelings of anxiety. Another reason may be that having a low income makes it more difficult for families to deal with stressful events.

Celebrity sextet tapped for honor

A child movie star who grew up to be an ambassador and one of the first African-American actors to star on prime-time television were named recipients of the 21st annual Kennedy Center honors Thursday.

Selected with Shirley Temple Black and Bill Cosby were popular musicians Willie Nelson, John Kander and Fred Ebb and classical conductor Andre Previn.

The honors will be formally presented at the White House on Dec. 6, after which President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will attend a gala performance at Kennedy Center.

The night before, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will host a winners' dinner. They were chosen by 132 national committee members, including actress Jane Alexander, former head of the National Endowment for the Arts; playwright Arthur Miller; and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Prosecutor makes case for Buffett gig

A Pittsburgh prosecutor used her powers of persuasion to land a one-night gig as Jimmy Buffett's backup singer.

Debra Barnisin sent in a 20-second contest entry and was named a finalist along with four others to perform with the mayor of ``Margaritaville'' when he appeared in suburban Pittsburgh on July 27.

But she missed a telephone message at her office informing her that she had made the short-list. When she found out after the concert what had happened, she tracked down Buffett and made her plea.

``He said, That's the saddest concert story I've ever heard. You can sing backup with me anytime,'' said Barnisin, who will head to Columbia, Md., this weekend to perform with Buffett.

Griff prods gripes of grumpy gawkers

Entertainer Merv Griffin says it's not his fault his 130-foot yacht, the Griff, blocked the view for some spectators during last weekend's Dragon boat races in Victoria, British Columbia.

``I was a little embarrassed because there was nothing we could do about it,'' Griffin, a regular visitor to Victoria, said Wednesday from Beverly Hills.

Victoria's harbor master assigned the berth, he said.

Some spectators yelled abuse at Griffin and his guests and even threatened to egg his boat, but in spite of the hostility, Griffin signed autographs and posed for pictures with race participants.

``Everyone who came around was generally very nice,'' said Griffin.

The crew eventually moved the Griff.

Race organizers were unhappy the yacht blocked the view from part of Ship Point, including an area designated for spectators with disabilities.

Griffin's weekend visit to Victoria was the culmination of a three-week British Columbia cruise.

News Lite is compiled by Karen Duffy from Daily News staff and wire reports

CAPTION(S):

3 Photos

PHOTO (1) Questions have arisen over a tie of President Clinton's.

(2) Cosby

(3) Griffin
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 21, 1998
Words:991
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