Bar Refaeli under cover in Las Vegas

Is Bar Refaeli, last year’s cover girl of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, a sore loser or a team player?

Depends on who you believe after a report surfaced in the New York Daily News suggesting the Israeli beauty was miserable over losing the title to Brooklyn Decker.

Insiders involved in the Las Vegas leg of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit launch quickly attempted to shoot down the report. Refaeli was a no-show at a Wednesday event in Las Vegas, but it was because she was “under the weather,” a source said, not because she was boycotting it.

“The item is ridiculous,” a second source told Vegas Confidential. “She’s here. She was on the plane. She’ll be at the party tonight (Friday’s event at the Hard Rock Hotel).”

The Daily News reported Thursday that Refaeli “looked anything but pleased” when she attended the launch party in New York City on Tuesday night. The newspaper, quoting a source, said Refaeli, who has been dating Leonardo DiCaprio for some time, was scowling and at first brushed off fans and photographers before getting involved.

A second source close told me, “Despite being under the weather, she desperately wanted to join us in Las Vegas. She was scheduled for just one event on Wednesday, and we gave her the night off so she could be at her best for tonight’s Club S.I.,” the signature event of the three-day visit put together by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The newspaper said Refaeli might have been upset because of premature reports that she was going to repeat as the cover girl.


The red carpet list for the VIP opening of Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva Elvis” show was released Thursday. Notably absent: Lisa Marie Presley. Her mother, Priscilla, is on the list, along with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Regis and Joy Philbin, Gene Simmons, Tommy Lee, Perez Hilton, Taye Diggs, Rita Rudner, Carrot Top, Holly Madison and others. Nobody throws opening parties like Cirque, but word has it this one might be toned down in scale. A smaller venue is in the plans. Haze nightclub at Aria is said to be high on the list of party sites, but it might be too small.


Best places to pop the question on Valentine’s weekend: The Voodoo Lounge terrace at Rio, the ghostbar deck at the Palms, the Strip-facing booths at Nove Italiano at the Palms Fantasy Tower, the Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay, Mix at Thehotel at Mandalay Bay, the terrace at Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace, Cloud Nine, Beso (Spanish for kiss) at CityCenter and, for those who want to roll like Johnny Depp, the sirens-pirate show at the cove in front of Treasure Island.


Retired baseball slugger Sammy Sosa attended the late performance of “O” (Bellagio) on Wednesday. … S.I. models Hilary Rhoda, Jessica Gomes and Damaris Lewis, dining at the Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas for lunch with S.I. executives; three others, Dominique Piek, Zoe Duchesne and Esti Ginzberg were at a meet-and-greet at Paris Las Vegas, and Irina Shayk, Anne V and Sonia Dara signed autographs in The Mirage lobby. … Las Vegas models, dressed Marie Antoinette-style, shooting a feast scene at Nove Italiano on Thursday for an ad campaign. … Retired Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold, who was in command of the USS Cole when it was attacked by terrorists in 2000, huddling with political consultants at the Paradise Cafe at the Las Vegas Hilton on Wednesday. Lippold, a Carson City native, is considering a run for U.S. Senate. … Country star George Strait, playing blackjack in the Deuce Lounge (Aria at CityCenter) after hanging out at a Super Bowl party with Bill McBeath, president and COO of Aria, at Union (Aria). They met at the National Finals Rodeo in the early 1990s through calf roping great Roy Cooper.


“It’s so cold out there, the writing on Sarah Palin‘s hand said, ‘Economy, jobs, put gloves on, stupid!'” — Jimmy Fallon

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or Find additional sightings and more online at

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