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Angel-Valentino incident denied

Magician Val Valentino made it up.

In the opinion of a Las Vegas security executive who had a front-row seat, Valentino’s recent claims about Luxor headliner Criss Angel are bogus.

Robert Schwartz, chief executive officer for Schwartz Security, said he was in his wheelchair last Tuesday in close proximity to Angel outside LAX nightclub, the area where Valentino said the Luxor headliner referred to him as a “piece of (expletive).”

“I was in front of Criss when he walked into LAX so I know it didn’t happen,” said Schwartz, who took issues with other Valentino claims.

Valentino told Vegas Confidential last week that he attended Angel’s “Mindfreak” party at the “personal invitation” of Schwartz.

That’s seriously stretching the truth, said Schwartz, who once worked security for Angel.

“I never invited him,” said Schwartz. “I did a Facebook blast to 3,000 people. If they came, they had to pay to get in. It’s not a personal invitation.”

Schwartz said that when Valentino, known as the “Masked Magician,” showed up at Liquidity, he was dressed in costume and carrying his mask and souvenir T-shirts. Valentino had a friend, fellow magician Ron Jones, taking photos.

Schwartz said it appeared that Valentino, best known for his 1990s expose of magic on a series of Fox TV specials, was at the event for self-promotion or to provoke an incident with Angel.

Valentino told Vegas Confidential that Angel had security evict him from Liquidity and the hotel.

“I guess he thinks I’m going to corroborate what he told you,” said Schwartz, “but I’m telling you the truth. He blew that story up bad.”

A top Luxor executive said the hotel’s security received no reports of anyone being evicted or Angel ordering anyone out of the hotel.

Valentino, reached late Wednesday, said “that all happened. Self-promotion? That’s amazing.”

THE GAGA FACTOR?

Now that Lady Gaga has sort of jumped on Sen. Harry Reid’s bandwagon, imagine the campaign appearance possibilities.

“What red-white-and-blue creation would she wear? The imagination reels,” wrote political columnist Suzy Parker of PoliticsDaily.com.

A day after Lady Gaga won eight MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Reid “got a boost that money can’t buy,” wrote Parker, after the pop music phenom urged her millions of fans to call the senator and have him schedule a vote to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The policy restricts the U.S. military from asking, or requiring a service member to reveal, whether he or she is gay. It also prohibits openly gay individuals from joining the military. A vote on the repeal already had been scheduled for next week.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Late arrivals at Saturday’s “An Evening with Buzz Aldrin” at the Luxor had to be wondering if they had walked into a Tarzan audition. But that was no amateur who had the chandeliers shaking with his Tarzan’s yell. It was former pole vault world record-holder Don Bragg, who won the gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Bragg rocked the high roller affair, duplicating what he did on the podium after winning gold in Rome. Bragg was twice offered the Tarzan role but declined because of injuries. …

Correction: Gaming icon William “Bill” Bennett didn’t build Circus Circus, as misstated here on Wednesday. Bennett and Bill Pennington of Reno leased it in May 1974 from its founders, Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin.

THE PUNCH LINE

“New FBI statistics say that crime in the United States fell 5 percent last year. See what happens when we put Lindsay Lohan in jail?” — Jimmy Kimmel

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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