Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cancelled: Carlyle Group-Kennedy Center Chief David Rubenstein Pulls Book at Last Minute


EXCLUSIVE A lot of people have decided to pull their memoirs from publication at the last minute. Oprah did it years ago, Billy Joel more recently.

Now we can add to that list David Rubenstein, the very wealthy head of the secretive billionaire boys club called the Carlyle Group and self-styled philanthropist who took over the Kennedy Center a few years ago. You may recall it was Rubenstein who ousted founding “Kennedy Center Honors” producer George Stevens, Jr. He’s so rich one of his passions is to restore the public monuments in Washington, DC.

A few years ago Rubenstein signed a contract with HarperCollins for a book called “Beyond Wall Street: Inside The Rise Of Private Equity.” It was listed in all the HarperCollins catalogs and due for publication in 2009. Well, calendar pages flew by, and the most recent date scheduled was for December 2015. But that date came and went. Now I’m told that Rubenstein has pulled the book, even though it was written, edited, and ready to be sold.

I asked, Did he give back the big advance? My spy laughed. Rubenstein could probably buy HarperCollins and have it pulped if he wanted.

So what happened? “He realized it would do more harm and than good to his dealings.”

You could see glimmers of Rubenstein emerging as a personality this year. There was a piece on him from “CBS Sunday Morning.” And there’s a terrific piece about him in The New Yorker this week concerning billionaires and tax breaks.

But it may finally be dawning on Rubenstein that his baby steps into the spotlight are making it harder to do his kind of business. A book would be the tipping point, particularly with a p.r. tour on places like Charlie Rose and NPR.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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