Gwyneth Paltrow Gets Press-Shy at Bent On Learning Gala

Gwyneth Paltrow at the Bent on Learning gala. (Patrick McMullan)

Gwyneth Paltrow at the Bent on Learning gala. (Patrick McMullan)

Early Wednesday evening found The Observer at in a dusty backroom of Urban Zen, Donna Karan‘s newest venue, in the West Village, awaiting the arrival of celebrities, especially the ever-elusive and chronically overexposed (somehow, she’s both at once!) Gwyneth Paltrow at Bent on Learning’s gala.

The event celebrated Russell Simmons and Ms. Paltrow for their support in establishing yoga as a means for physical fitness and teaching emotional wellbeing and preservation in schools throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.
The press was entirely focused on Ms. Paltrow–everyone wanted to know about the Goopstress’s latest career news. The Observer perched on an ottoman. Suddenly, without announcement, an ice-blonde woman in a silver dress draped over her frame entered the cocktail area, flanked on all sides by burly men who looked like they were serious. She was whisked past the press line, a thin hand in front of her face, muttering “no press, no press, sorry…no interviews tonight…” And with that, she disappeared into the masses, leaving behind her echoes of her name from dejected journalists.

Tika Sumpter, of Gossip Girl semifame, addressed the gossip surrounding her costar Blake Lively’s rumored relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio. “Blake is gorgeous and she’s a smart girl! Leo’s really lucky!” said Ms. Sumpter.  Kelly Rutherford, a Gossip Girl regular also in attendance, expressed her ignorance of the fledgling relationship. “I’m just hearing about it now. We’re not shooting right now, I’m so out of the loop!”

Actress Sanaa Lathan sang the praises of the likes of Ms. Paltrow and Eddie Stern, a famed yogi.   “Yoga is a wonderful tool, and it’s something that they learn and they can always remember and go back on and feel good.”

Russell Simmons, another recipient, assured The Observer that he loved the press, unlike the Shakespeare in Love diva. “I’m here to work,” said Simmons. He divulged the nature of his practice: “In a yoga session with me, we take a lot of snack breaks and have plenty of conversation about the significance of yoga,” said Simmons. When asked the significance of learning yoga, he pondered the question for a moment before responding: “Life has become difficult. And you can smile and breathe in every pose. Learning to do that is a very important part of life, to be able to take life as it comes with a smile, and yoga is just the physical practice, manifestation of that.”

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_