The surname of Ed Rogers and Haley Marshall Rogers was misspelled in yesterday's Reliable Source column. (Published 08/05/1999)
The Suit That Made Milwaukee Famous
We'd thought Jerold J. Mackenzie was sitting pretty. Six years ago, the former Miller Brewing Co. middle manager gained instant notoriety--and cause celebre status among the enemies of political correctness--when a female co-worker accused him of sexual harassment for repeating an off-color joke he'd heard on "Seinfeld." The beer company started proceedings against him, and Mackenzie's two-decade career at Miller was dead. But he turned around and sued for damages, winning an astonishing $24.2 million in a 1997 jury trial in Milwaukee. The trial judge later upheld the verdict, and Mackenzie waited to collect.
Today, at age 56, he's jobless, nearly penniless--and still waiting, our colleague John Greenya tells us. The Miller Co.--whose attorney declined to talk to us--is predictably appealing the ruling, and the Wisconsin Circuit Court of Appeals won't hear oral arguments from both sides until Aug. 18. Meanwhile, Mackenzie hasn't been able to find work--more than 70 companies rejected his applications--and he and his wife, Bonnie, have sold their heavily mortgaged home to settle debts and borrowed a relative's cabin on a remote island off the coast of Washington state. Bonnie Mackenzie says her husband is deeply depressed and just about ready to give up his job search. Jerold Mackenzie told us: "When the jury verdict came back there was vindication. They gave me my dignity back and they sought to make me whole financially. That was two years ago. The wheels of justice grind slowly."
Sizing Up the Two Haleys
* Till now, Republican poobah Haley Barbour--who these days earns a gigantic income as a Washington mega-lobbyist--has managed to escape the nickname "Big Haley." His son Haley Jr. is known by his middle name, Reeves. And though the massive Mississippian has been heard to boast, "I don't sweat much for a fat boy," he hates the idea of being lumped in the same (labored) breath with such heavyweights as Big Daddy, the Tennessee Williams plantation owner famously played by Burl Ives. Then, a few weeks ago, Ed Rodgers, Barbour's law partner and ex-aide from GOP politics, named his firstborn son after his longtime mentor. "My first thought was 'Okay, maybe I can get away from this "Big Haley" thing if I go on a diet,' " Barbour told us.
Fat chance. Since Haley Marshall Rodgers was born July 11 to Ed's wife, Edwina, he's been known around the law-and-lobbying firm as "Little Haley." Barbour, unavoidably, has been nicknamed you-know-what. A few even note a surprising physical resemblance between Big Haley and his godson. "We both have five chins," Barbour conceded. Little Haley, a preemie who weighed just under four pounds at birth, is doing well at Fairfax Hospital and is expected to be released in a few days. Barbour, meanwhile, seems to accept the inevitability of his new moniker, up to a point. "Anybody who wants to can call me 'Big Haley,' " he said, "if they're willing to be fired." We think he was joking.
Gabbing Through The Night
* What more can be said about Talk magazine's hugely hyped launch party Monday night on Liberty Island? Other than that we were there--which is the main thing. First of all, it was very poorly lit, which is probably why we identified only a tiny fraction of the marquee names we later learned were present--and definitely why we kept reaching for the crab claws when we desperately wanted shrimp. Even husband-and-wife movie stars Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick seemed a tad disoriented. "Have you seen any food around here?" the glamorous blond Sedgwick beseeched us. Darkness: The Great Equalizer.
THIS JUST IN . . .
* News from the love front: Detroit Pistons forward Grant Hill, a graduate of Reston's South Lakes High School, has married Grammy-nominated recording artist Tamia. Robert De Niro has filed for divorce from his wife of 25 months, Grace Hightower. And the Queen Mother has agreed to meet her grandson Prince Charles's mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, for tea.