Heart of Stone, nerves of glass

Sharon Stone loses it at Glamour's Women of the Year awards. Plus: "Survivor" faces a cosmic wrinkle and Mr. Spock's ears go, logically, to the highest bidder.

By Amy Reiter

Published October 25, 2000 4:57PM (EDT)

Sharon Stone may be the first woman on record to suffer postpartum depression after adopting a baby.

At Glamour magazine's Women of the Year awards at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art Tuesday night, Stone looked great in a black dress and white overjacket, her blond hair tussled just so. But from the moment she stepped onto the red carpet and began to hold forth on her admirable fight against AIDS, her emotions proved dangerously close to the surface.

Perhaps we can blame it on new mother sleep deprivation?

When one TV reporter asked Stone, as she'd been asking other women treading the ruby rug, the first thing she'd do if she could be a man for a day, the actress turned a teary eye to the camera. Her handlers, perhaps sensing danger, pleaded with the actress to continue on her way and leave the question unanswered. No, Stone would not be swayed. This was an important question, and she would give it her all.

"If I were a man for a day," she emoted to the camera. "I'd just try to be a good man, do everything in my power to be the best man I could be."

After Stone had been whisked off to her next photo op, the TV reporter turned to me in alarm. "Sharon Stone just had a major emotional moment right in front of me," she said.

It wouldn't be Stone's last that night.

To be fair, Glamour's Women of the Year Awards can be a heart-wrenching, tear-inducing affair -- taking the "sisters are doing it for themselves" spirit to the next level: Sisters are doing it for other people.

This year's awards ceremony saw Layla Ali pay tribute to Karenna Gore Schiff for her work to renew her generation's faith in politics -- and Schiff toast her right back as "one of the most glamorous people I can possibly think of, and so strong." Schiff, who was wearing the zestiest dress in the room, a textured black-and-white-and-red-all-over number, didn't use the podium to stump for her dad, but nearly everyone else did, something she later told me "touched" her.

Sheryl Crow, who has campaigned against land mines, accepted her award from Lenny Kravitz on behalf of the female amputees in Cambodia, whom she says she always thinks of when she's choosing between the Blahniks and the Prada shoes for a big night out. Hearing their story, she said, "makes you want to get off your cushy seat and go do something."

Ellen Barkin (who arrived with new hubby Ron "Mr. Revlon" Perelman in tow) gushed that her friend actress Julianne Moore, hailed for her work on behalf of women's reproductive rights, was "the greatest actress of her generation." (Some nasty man in the audience barked a laugh at that, but I'm with Barkin.) And Moore modestly contended that using her celebrity platform to help other women was the least she could do, and that her contributions paled in comparison to those of other honorees.

It was difficult not to agree. There was nary a dry eye in the house as "Norm" star Faith Ford enumerated the achievements of Million Mom March founder Donna Dees-Thomases, Joan Osborne paid tribute to New Jersey housewife Gloria Weichand's inspiring efforts to save 60 gravely ill children and Lilly Tartikoff discussed her late husband's struggle with cancer. But as they addressed the serious issues to which they've devoted their lives, Thomases, Weichand and Tartikoff managed to hold it together onstage.

Not so Sharon Stone.

The actress was introduced by her apparent biggest fan, columnist Liz Smith, who, clad in a trim, sparkly tuxedo, looked a good 20 years younger than her 77 years. After giving her own heartfelt Gore endorsement -- "Don't let those men in your life talk you into voting for a frat boy who may be the least qualified man ever to run for president of the United States" -- Smith introduced Stone as "a woman who is more -- much, much more -- than the sum of her underwear. Whether she's wearing any or not."

Then ... meltdown time. Hands held to heart, arms outstretched, sentences sometimes finished, sometimes left dangling, Stone addressed the audience. She spoke obscurely, she spoke haltingly, she spoke forever. She left poor Smith standing onstage behind her for what seemed like an eternity.

"AIDS is what happens when you forget to look at the person next to you," she said, somewhat cryptically. And, she added, it's up to the "young men and women who read [Glamour] magazine" to make a difference.

Then, after thanking everyone from her publicist to her assistant to her best friend, who stands "in the shadow of the glare of my spotlight," Stone stopped. And, apparently moved by her own words, she cried.

"It's just the first time I've talked about this since being a parent," she said, wiping away the snot, "and it is a very different ballgame for me."

Guess all that diaper changing can take its toll on a gal.

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Coming your way: Kofi Annan in a crop top?

"I think we've just got to work on the image of it as a whole, make it exciting."

-- Geri Halliwell, the artist formerly known as Ginger Spice, prescribing a makeover for the United Nations, for which she serves as a goodwill ambassador.

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Juicy bits

Can "Ally McBeal" do for Anne Heche's damaged rep what it did for Robert Downey Jr.'s? We'll all have a chance to find out when Heche steps over to the small screen for three episodes to be aired in November. Ellen DeGeneres' ex will play a client of John Cage. Get ready for some wild nose whistling.

And speaking of celebrity body parts ... how'd you like to own Spock's ears? The original mold for Leonard Nimoy's pointy Vulcan prostheses are up for auction next month at Christie's in L.A. The mold and a couple of sets of plastic ears are expected to go for $20,000 and $2,000, respectively. And an original plaster cast of William Shatner's head, which was used to fit Captain Kirk's occasional facial prosthetics, will set you back only an anticipated $6,000. Beam that up.

Does Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov's recent statement to the press that the Mir space station would be allowed to drop out of orbit and crash to Earth in February mean that "Survivor" creator Mark Burnett's "Destination Mir" will be lost in space? Not at all, says NBC, which plans to carry the show. The network told the Hollywood Reporter that it remains "excited and supportive of 'Destination Mir,' and our development of the series will continue as planned. We have every faith in Mark Burnett as a producer, and as far as we are concerned, the countdown has begun for the series liftoff next fall." Maybe they can blast over to Pulau Tiga instead?

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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