Chelsea Clinton is getting the hang of keeping her private life private.
The 25-year-old McKinsey & Co. consultant � who regularly copes with fame as the daughter of one former President and a possible future one � has learned some tricks of the trade since breaking up last year with Ian Klaus.
With the 26-year-old Klaus, Clinton was photographed everywhere � in the front row of the Versace show, watching the French Open at Roland Garros, celebrating the Fourth of July in Las Vegas and vacationing with Bill and Hill in the Dominican Republic.
But not with her latest beau, 27-year-old Goldman Sachs banker Marc Mezvinsky (though they were snapped together at a Renaissance Weekend in 1996).
At the School of American Ballet's spectacular Winter Dance the other night, Clinton � a "junior co-chair" of the event � worked the red carpet alone at the Time Warner Center. Later she danced with a few girlfriends.
But the bespectacled Mezvinsky stayed well out of camera range � and discreetly hopped in a cab with Clinton shortly before midnight.
He's the son of former Pennsylvania Rep. Marjorie Margolis Mezvinksy � who lost her House seat in 1994 after supporting President Clinton's unpopular tax hike.
His father is disgraced ex-congressman Ed Mezvinsky, who's in a federal prison camp on a fraud conviction, but is expected to be released on Nov. 29, 2008 � in time for a possible Hillary inauguration.
A Clinton spokeswoman declined to comment on the romance, and Mezvinsky quickly hung up when reached at his office.
"Oh. I don't talk to newspapers," he advised. "Bye-bye."
The long charm of the 'Law' star
"Law & Order" star S. Epatha Merkerson � who won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for her performance in the HBO film "Lackawanna Blues" � ought to write her memoirs. If her recent Q&A; at the Tribeca Cinema is any guide, they'd be blunt and funny.
"I'm a trivia question," she told her interviewer, "Lackawanna Blues" director George C. Wolfe. "There've been no other black women on a TV drama for this long."
* "I did a musical with Morgan Freeman. Not many people can say that."
* "When I turned 50, I learned how to say 'no.' When I turned 51, it was 'Hellllll no.' Now at 53, it's 'Hell to the no.' "
* "When I said I was getting married, my friends called and were like, 'Who is this man? We don't know this man.' Turns out � neither did I! I just got divorced two or three weeks ago. Hallelujah! I could have loved [social worker Toussaint Jones] for a long time, but he f� it up."
* "The only thing I won't do is disrobe, even when I was young and cute! � The only time I thought I may take off my clothes was for Terrence Howard, but it wasn't for the film."
Quick & Dirty
YOU CAN'T FAKE THIS Is "Daily Show" anchor Jon Stewart, the apostle of "fake news," getting butterflies about hosting the Oscars in a couple of weeks? "The hosting job is the one thing that opens you up to the largest a�kicking you could possibly receive from the show business community or from the media," Stewart confides in the upcoming Premiere magazine. "But who's in more need of a good old-fashioned show business a�kicking than me?" The Comedy Central personality adds: "This is the first thing that I can remember in a while that broke through and tickled. I felt it was a certain tent post for me. And I don't usually feel that way about pretty much anything." As for whether he learned anything from Chris Rock's tough hosting experience last year, Stewart says: "The only lesson is, there is no lesson. All you can do is what you think is funny, what you hope is appropriate, and once you let it out there, it's gone. And I'm sure Chris feels the same way."
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS First the bad news: I hear that right-wing radio guy Rush Limbaugh and CNN daytime anchor Daryn Kagan � who've been dating for nearly two years � are finally kaput. The good news, of course, is that the fabulous Kagan is back on the market.
I'm starting to think Simon Cowell really is a nasty brute. Sitting in for Regis Philbin opposite Kelly Ripa on Friday, Cowell was talking about the lost whippet when he held up a photo of Jessica Simpson. "It looks a little bit like that, but with a collar," Cowell said. Ripa pasted a shocked grin on her face. "Joke, joke, Jessica," Cowell backtracked. "Jessica, you do not look like a whippet. At all. But your sister! ..." At which point Ripa advised, "You need to resuscitate your image." Too late.
With Katherine Thomson
Originally published on February 20, 2006