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Talk Magazine Celebrates Launch

August 3, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Guests ranging from Madonna to Henry Kissinger boarded boats Monday to help Talk magazine celebrate its first issue in a star-studded picnic at the Statue of Liberty.

Before hitting newsstands on Tuesday, Talk had grabbed international headlines with its interview of Hillary Rodham Clinton in which the first lady discusses her marriage and her husband’s infidelity.

The first lady did not attend, but hundreds of celebrities, politicians, literary types and fashion trend setters did, munching on fried chicken served in baskets at the foot of Lady Liberty. Fireworks lit up the sky.

Joining in the fun were writer Salman Rushdie, actor Rupert Everett, Liam Neeson.

``I think that the mix of the guests really reflect what the magazine is all about,″ said Nadine Johnson, a spokeswoman for Talk magazine’s editor, Tina Brown.

Kissinger gave the new magazine a positive review.

``I think it’s an astonishing collection of extremely interesting appearing articles,″ said the former secretary of state.

The gala was moved to Liberty Island after plans for a bash at the Brooklyn Navy Yard were nixed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a move some claimed was political since Mrs. Clinton _ who appears on the magazine’s cover _ is a potential rival for a Senate seat.

``Anyone that Rudolph Giuliani doesn’t like, I’m coming to their party,″ said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who often battles Giuliani in the press.

Mrs. Clinton, who is photographed wearing a white shirt and dark shades, shares the cover with a skimpily dressed Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow and a grinning Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

``Hillary Opens Up,″ ``Gwyneth Goes Bad,″ and ``George W. Gets Real,″ read the cover headlines.

The first issue also features several photos taken of John F. Kennedy Jr. as a boy in the 1970s.

The photos, rushed in to the magazine just before deadline, include one of the late Kennedy peering backward at the camera while sitting in the cockpit of a helicopter over Skorpios, the Onassis family’s Greek island.

The magazine’s biggest star maybe Ms. Brown, who is no newcomer to New York’s magazine world. She made plenty of waves in her tenures as editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, both of which are part of the Conde Nast magazine family.

``We love her energy and dynamism,″ Neeson said.

The magazine, which cost $2.95, will have an initial circulation of 500,000.

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