Angel takes issue with Valentino

Another public expletive-spiced outburst by Luxor headliner Criss Angel is raising eyebrows.

Fellow magicians Val Valentino and Ron Jones said they were asked to leave shortly after entering a party hosted by Angel at a Luxor lounge Tuesday night.

About 90 minutes later, as Valentino and Jones were leaving another lounge, they said they by chance crossed paths with Angel, who instructed his bodyguards in obscene language to have them removed from the property.

"He looked at me," Valentino said, "and yelled, ‘Get that piece of (expletive) out of here.’ It was bizarre, so unprofessional. I was so disappointed in him."

So for the second time, Valentino and Jones were told to leave, and this time they were escorted to the hotel’s front entrance.

Valentino outraged many in the magic community in the 1990s when, billed as the "Masked Magician," he hosted a series of Fox specials that exposed how tricks were done. To great fanfare, he was unmasked in the finale.

Valentino said the first hint that they were unwelcome came shortly after they entered Liquidity, site of the party Angel was hosting to celebrate the opening episode of his sixth season of the "Mindfreak" reality series on A&E.

Fans had begun surrounding Valentino, he said, when security approached. One said, "Mr. Angel is angry and does not want your presence in the hotel."

Jones, who accompanied Valentino to the party because he is a fan of magic and Angel, said, "I think Angel was intimidated by Val’s popularity when people started asking for his autograph. Val was not there to take away the limelight," said Jones, who has a mobile magic company.

Angel made headlines last year after interrupting his "Believe" to ridicule Perez Hilton with blue language. Two years ago, Angel’s histrionics at the Miss USA pageant at Planet Hollywood resort included making an obscene gesture at an NBC cameraman after Angel’s then-girlfriend, Miss Nevada Veronica Grabowski, was eliminated from the finals.

Angel’s rep did not return a message.

PURE SPECULATION

Is Pure Management Group’s scaled-down front office a foreshadowing of a sale?

That’s one of the scenarios buzzing in the local nightclub industry amid a flurry of major management changes.

PMG’s California-based public relations firm, PMK, isn’t saying, but reports of executive layoffs have been confirmed. The nightlife company, led by its flagship megaclub Pure at Caesars Palace, has been the subject of continued speculation since an IRS raid in February 2008.

Little is known about the outcome of the raid, and there has been no official word on how the managing partners, Robert Frey and Steve Davidovici, will be affected. Davidovici has moved on to other ventures in and out of Las Vegas.

Media queries are directed to spokesman Ross Johnson with PMK-BNC, Pure Management Group’s agency of record.

"As a matter of company policy, personnel matters at Pure Management Group are confidential," Johnson said.

Joining the recent shake-up at PMG and the Steve Wynn properties was the Hard Rock hotel where Corey McCormack no longer runs the nightlife operation as of this week.

There were rumblings late Thursday of another executive exiting one of Wynn’s clubs.

SCENE AND HEARD

The Las Vegas Hilton told TMZ.com that surveillance cameras rebut a woman’s claim that she was roughed up by Vince Neil of Motley Crew.

MAY I RECOMMEND …

The 72 bars or restaurants that dedicate themselves to a specific NFL team, which can be found at lvrj.com/nflbars and were listed in Sunday’s R-J.

PUNCHLINE

"(New York) Mayor Michael Bloomberg may join President (Barack) Obama’s administration. If he does, it will cost about $3 million. They’ll have to lower every door knob in the place." — David Letterman

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

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