Following Edward Snowden Modeling Pics Leak, BlackBook Uncovers 5 Other Political Figures’ Modeling Pasts

Edward Snowden

Photo via

Yesterday photos leaked that showed controversial whistleblower Edward Snowden’s modeling past. We would never have guessed such an influential political figure made such a cute (albeit twinkish) male model, so we did some digging and uncovered some other men in politics that have had surprising (and sexy) secret modeling pasts.


Vladimir Putin for Versace 

Vladimir Putin


Anderson Cooper for Vivienne Westwood

Anderson Cooper


Mitt Romney for Calvin Klein

Mitt Romney


Joe Biden for Polo Ralph Lauren

Joe Biden


Thomas Jefferson for Versace

Thomas Jefferson

All artwork by Alexander Cavaluzzo

Talking to Carmen Electra About New Single, XL Nightclub, & Photographer Mike Ruiz

Tonight they will be celebrating the birthday of photographer extraordinaire Mike Ruiz. over at XL Nightclub, 512 W. 42nd Street, Carmen Electra, Martha Wash , The Ones, Janice Robinson and Jason Walker will perform. The event  will be hosted by the luscious Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio and the cast of HOT MESS. DJ Escape and Whitney Day will provide the sounds. The whole shebang will benefit the Ali Forney Center (AFC).  Admission is $15 for non-members. They are trying to raise $15,000 for the Center which provides shelter and care for homeless LGBT youth. The center was particularly damaged from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

Carmen Electra will perform her new single “I Like It Loud” which was produced  by Grammy-nominated producer Bill Hamel. Carmen will do the media rounds with appearances on The Wendy Williams Show, VH1 Morning Buzz, and Anderson Cooper before scooting over to XL. I asked her all about it.

Why did you decide to be part of this benefit for the Ali Forney Center at XL Nightclub? 
When I heard the center was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, I could not help but to be part of this amazing night.

How did it come about? 
I am friends with Mike Ruiz; he called me and asked me to be part of the benefit.

Have you worked with Mike Ruiz as a model? 
Yes, he’s shot for a few magazines.

You have a diverse career. What are your career goals? 
To continue entertaining my fans and touring the world.

XL Nightclub’s Director of Operations elaborated:
How do you think Carmen Electra will energize your crowd? What makes her work?
She is a versatile entertainer; she’s been on MTV, Baywatch, and she now has a singing career. Gays respect a hot woman continually reinventing herself.  She’s working with Mikey Minden (Pussycat Dolls), and the act is pretty over the top. I saw a couple rehearsals and know the crowd will love it.  She’s come a long way from slow-motion jogs down the beach.

XL Nightclub is no longer the new club on the block. How would you define it and compare it to the dominant gay clubs of other eras… say the Roxy, etc.
XL isn’t just a big dance club; we’re a full-service, 200-seat cabaret and lounge.  In any given week, we’ll have artists like Alan Cumming perform in the cabaret, DJs like Danny Teneglia spin for 2,000 people in the nightclub, we’ll produce a rock concert on our 32-foot stage, host a young-professionals mixer in our front lounge, or host a full sit-down charity dinner. We do it all.

Besides this, what is planned as far as performances and events that you think will be the highlights at XL this winter? 
We have loads of new programming that we’ll be rolling out in the winter. I’m most excited about our new lounge concept.  We’re completely gutting our front lounge and creating an exclusive new “club-within-a-club.”  It’s a high-end exclusive, “gay Bungalow 8”  concept that we think is missing from our community.  The goal is to have it open by the end of January to coincide with our one year anniversary.  More details on that soon.

Linkage: Jesse Tyler Ferguson Supports Illinois Same-Sex Marriage, Emmy Rossum Is Just Too Pretty

Bow-tie enthusiast and Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson stopped by Chicago yesterday to lend his support in the fight for same-sex marriage, the legislation for which may pass in the Illinois General Assembly before the session ends on June 9. Said Ferguson: "A lot of people who were not comfortable with marriage equality … turn on the television and see a show that has a lot of different families in it — and one of those families just happens to be gay. They’re realizing they have a great time watching the show, then they’re watching a gay couple that’s having a lot of the same problems and issues they have. They realize ‘Oh they’re not so different from me.’ And at that point, we’re in their living rooms." [Chicagoist]

South Korean screenwriter Young Il Kim has penned a film titled Rodham about, well, duh. [Politico]

Speaking of questionably titled biopics, jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher, will close out the Sundance Film Festival and see an April theatrical release. [Deadline New York]

If you were rooting for Lil’ Wayne in your office Worst Tattoo of 2013 pool, it looks like you’re coming out ahead already. [Crushable]

Zooey Deschanel in Glamour: "I want to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking Peter Pan collar. So fucking what?" Do you, girl! [Jezebel]

EGOT winner Mel Brooks gives some solid advice on how to make all of your creative dreams come true. [Fast Company]

Look, I get that times are tough but if you’re willing to let your boss fart on you then maybe you should just go on unemployment? [The Gloss]

If you expect Kathy Griffin to apologize for trying to perform oral sex on Anderson Cooper during the pair’s annual New Year’s Eve hosting gig, you can, well, suck her dick. [EW]

Emmy Rossum (or, as I like to call her, The Poor Man’s Jennifer Love Hewitt) claims she was almost not even considered for her role in Showtime’s Shameless because she was too pretty. It’s a little early in the year for this, yes? [The Frisky]

"[W]e eagerly await the BuzzFeed post, 10 Reasons We Raised $20M to Write More Things Like “Pretty Japanese Girls React to Drinking Poop Wine.” [Observer]

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No Duh: Anderson Cooper is Gay

WELP. The inevitable finally happened: Anderson Cooper has written the words "I am gay" somewhere that wasn’t in a leather-bound journal buried deep in some massive trunk hidden away in the basement of the Vanderbilt mansion. This morning, Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan has posted an exclusive email from the dashing Mr. Cooper in which he finally reveals his sexuality, because there were still people in this world who figured he was only hanging out with Kathy Griffin in order to get into her pants.

Sullivan’s post this morning is in response to last week’s Entertainment Weekly cover story in which the author claimed that actors are coming out in a new way—revealing their sexuality with just a shrug and a relaxed attitude. Thankfully, Sullivan agrees with me; he writes:

We still have pastors calling for the death of gay people, bullying incidents and suicides among gay kids, and one major political party dedicated to ending the basic civil right to marry the person you love. So these "non-events" are still also events of a kind; and they matter. The visibility of gay people is one of the core means for our equality.

He reached out to Anderson Cooper "for reasons that might be obvious to most," and Cooper sent him a very candid response, which he allowed Sullivan to post online today:

Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years. Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.

But I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.

I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn’t set out to write about other aspects of my life.

Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.

I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.

The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.

What can I say, other than "fiiiiiiiinally"? Well, I’m very glad that Cooper has publicly addressed what so many of us had known for years. No matter how trite people like those covered in the EW article last week might consider it, to be out and open in public in a sphere in which an actor can show those who still struggle with their own sexuality in a very private and personal way is still extremely important. Cooper closes his email to Sullivan with, "But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy." While I respect that Cooper wants to have a private life and have a level of integrity when it comes to keeping his personal life separated from his public persona, I still applaud him for coming out (yes, finally) because, at the end of the day, he will still be a role model to a lot of people, and having someone in his position make the claim that I have bolded above is vital—even in 2012, when some might think it’s "not that big of a deal."

What’s more impressive? That Cooper decided to come out by revealing it in a professional way, rather than having it splashed on the cover of People magazine. And, perhaps more importantly, he makes it clear that it’s not something to just brush off as "not a big deal."

How We Take Advantage of Closeted Actors

The New York Observer has a great piece today about the tricky nature of outing celebrities. While most people (those who work in the media, at least) assume that it’s a known fact that Anderson Cooper is gay, the article shows that there are still some people who haven’t figured it out! And should we be reporting on that sort of thing? Is it a story? As Lance Bass, former boyband member and currently out homo, commented, "If you’re in the closet you get made fun of more than if you just come out!” It’s true that revealing the secret lives of famous people is not just enjoyable—it’s also a great way to get the attention of those who care about the personal lives of celebrities. But what’s the real takeaway from all of this? Wouldn’t it be kinda fun to date a closeted celebrity?

Let’s take a look at the opening paragraph of the Observer piece:

At a crowded movie premiere in Midtown recently, The Observer witnessed a young movie and TV star—a dashing young man who’s been involved with several starlets despite whispers about his close relationships with other men—sitting for the entire party in close conversation with a well-groomed gent, even as his co-stars circulated. As we passed, the plus-one stared us down, as if to say, “Step off,” or perhaps, “Don’t you dare write about this.”

I want to be that well-groomed plus-one!

I once described myself (years ago, mind you, during my silly, post-graduate, slow gravitation toward eventual maturity) as “a starfucker who doesn’t know any stars.” At this point, famous people don’t really excite me. You see them all of the time in New York. They’re just like us! But there’s something about the furtive nature of dating someone who has to keep his entire romantic life secret. Wouldn’t it be fun to be the guy that everyone knows is sleeping with the TV star, but whose status isn’t recognized out of a polite nature for said TV star’s privacy?

Sure, there’s the downside of never being recognized as someone’s significant other, and that seems like it’d be quite the strain on a relationship. But, let’s face it: actors are probably the worst at relationships anyway, so you’re already holding your delicate feelings to a burning flame. Why not go balls-out? At least you have a great story when your ex shows up on the cover of People above the headline, “Yep, I’m gay!” “No shit,” you can mutter to the magazine stand at the grocery check-out line as you clutch your diet soda and pint of ice cream. 

Watch Anderson Cooper Crack Up Over Something Called ‘Dyngus Day’

Anderson Cooper plays many roles: The authority figure calmly delivering the daily news, the daytime talk show host instructing us on how to properly coordinate an Easter meal, and, as we’ve seen before, a complete giggle-saurus who can’t stop himself from breaking kayfabe in the studio. On yesterday’s CNN telecast, Cooper lost control of his laugh reflex yet again, this time while discussing a Polish-American tradition called "Dyngus Day" which involves something called a "pussy-willow branch." As you’ll see when you skip to the 1:25 mark of the clip (hat tip to Vulture), he simply can’t deal with how ridiculous it sounds.

Don’t you feel like all things are possible after witnessing such carefree elan and joy for life? Back to the grind!

M.I.A. & Anderson Cooper Start, Quickly End Twitter Spat

M.I.A. is often mad as hell and quick to Tweet about it. After a Channel 4 documentary called Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished aired last night, she took to the Internet to defend herself, once more, against those who would criticize her for supporting the Tamils (for whom her father is a leading activist). Upon elaborating on her own views, she turned her ire to an unlikely target: CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. "Anderson Cooper called me a terrorist for speaking out, and expressed support for the SLgov (Sri Lankan government) when this (killing) was happening," M.I.A.wrote, and later retweeted someone else saying, "I thought AC (Anderson Cooper) was a fair news reporter until the SL killings took place and he kept his silence! Disappointed!" To which Cooper snapped, "You are mistaken. I never called you a terrorist. I don’t even know who you are other than the lady who sang at the Superbowl." 

Did things escalate from there? No, not really. When M.I.A.said that he’d called her a "lady Tamil Tiger" in 2009, Cooper pointed out that the phrasing came from a link on his CNN blog to an article expressing that point of view, written by someone else. Furthermore, he’d defended her after she flipped the bird at the Super Bowl, unlike so many other staid media figures. "I can understand your frustration if someone wrote untrue things about you, and I’m glad you were able to respond," he wrote. "And the brutal war in SL has not gotten enough coverage in the US, and I know that [sic] very upsetting." 

After that, M.I.A.thanked Cooper for defending her and implored him to watch the Killing Fields documentary she had been talking about. Beef in, beef out, that’s the way these things go. This should set the stage for the two to make doilies or some other household item on his Anderson daytime show, shouldn’t it? Think of the potential GIFs!

Afternoon Links: Adele Suing Over False Sex Tape Claims, Willow Smith Finds the Love of Her Life

● Adele has vowed to sue the French rag Public, who claim to have images from the singer’s sex tape. "These claims and images are entirely false," Adele’s spokesperson says. [HuffPost]

● Harvey Weinstein and Michael Moore are back in business together, and next on queue? A sure-to-be-searing documentary on the billionaire Koch brothers. Heads up, boys! [Page Six]

● R&B man Robin Thicke was arrested for marijuana possession in New York City last night when two officers caught him smoking a joint while sitting in a Cadillac Escalade with "another person." [NYDN]

● It’s been a minute, but John Mayer is making some real John Mayer-y music again. Someone, somewhere must be happy. [JohnMayer]

● Young Willow Smith says that Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator is "the love of her life." They grow up so fast. [Rap-Up]

● Anderson Cooper has risked his life on numerous occasions to report live from disaster-struck locales and the center of revolutions, but he is too afraid to get a tattoo. This is what he would look like if he weren’t. [Us]

Adele Talks Grammys, Serenades Anderson Cooper

Adele is set to perform for the first time since her throat surgery at the Grammys this Sunday, which has everyone wondering just how she will sound. Only four months since she went under the knife, will she struggle, will her voice crack, have her vocal chords healed enough, will she burst into tears because Karl Lagerfeld called her fat all over the media?  The singer gave a preview of her performance to Anderson Cooper for an upcoming 60 Minutes and she sounds…see for yourself.

Cooper is clearly a fan, devoting a ‘Ridiculist’ segment this week on CNN to stand up for Adele against Lagerfeld’s mean weight comments.  “She is a little too fat, but only in the brain! She has a really fat brain filled with knowledge!” Cooper said.

Adele also talked about how she is feeling about the Grammy performance, telling Cooper that she is not nervous but  "I will shit myself."

The "60 Minutes" profile of Adele with Cooper will be on Sunday right before the Grammys.