Madonna, her Brazilian lover Jesus Luz, and Marc Jacobs certainly kicked up quite the international media storm last week, as competing allegations about Luz's immigration and work status ate up column inches in every tabloid.
First, last Monday, The New York Post's Page Six gossip column reported that Marc Jacobs had written a letter to U.S. immigration authorities supporting Luz's application for a work visa that would allow him to remain in the country legally, and continue seeing Madonna. Alleged a tipster, Jacobs wrote that Luz was "highly talented" and "a necessity to the label." A client brand making such an overture to immigration on behalf of a foreign model isn't at all unusual, if in fact a business relationship exists between the model and the brand.
Nonetheless, at the time, Madonna's rep denied the singer had asked her designer friend to pull any strings. (But this is the same woman who said in 2006 that Madonna wasn't adopting a baby in Malawi, and in 2008 that Madonna and Guy Ritchie had no plans to divorce.) Marc Jacobs' own PR representative — likely Kate Waters, who has herself been less than forthcoming in the past — also rubbished the report that Jacobs had written any such letter.
But then on Wednesday, at a benefit for Parsons, Jacobs himself gave two wildly conflicting quotes on the subject to two different media outlets. When asked by the New York Daily News, he admitted that Madonna had, in fact, asked him to write a letter in support of Luz's visa application, framing it as a favor for a friend. "I'd do anything to help a friend," said the designer. "It's no big deal — I didn't know that anybody even knew about it. Jesus is the sweetest guy. I hope he and Madonna are happy." But that same night when New York magazine asked Jacobs to clarify his working relationship with the model, Jacobs replied that there was none. "Why is everyone asking me about him?" protested the designer. "He's not modeling for me. I don't do men's wear."
So which is it? Is the Brazilian male model's talent so crucial to Jacobs' label that the designer simply had to do his utmost to get his immigration situation regularized, or is Luz a "sweet guy" who is absolutely irrelevant to the Marc Jacobs business? Is Jesus Luz working for Jacobs, or not? And if indeed he is not, then did Jacobs do something far more serious than lying to Page Six — lie to the INS?
Luz Keeping Madonna Warm [P6]
Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's Lying Flack [Gawker]
Cleaning Up [P6]
Seen and Heard [NYDN]
Jesus Luz Won't Appear In The Louis Vuitton Campaign, Enjoys Dinner Dates With Marc Jacobs' Fiancé [The Cut]
Madonna And Marc Jacobs In Liars' Corner [P6]