Swimming sensation Dara Torres wound up in the gossip section of a Miami-area newspaper over the weekend.
Torres, at 41, has not only qualified to become the first American swimmer to compete in five Olympics but she will make history as the oldest female swimmer in the Summer Games.
Her ex-husband, West Palm Beach surgeon Itzhak Shasha, won’t be among her well-wishers when she competes in the Beijing Olympics next month.
“Believe me, I’ve achieved many significant things in my life,” Shasha told Palm Beach Post gossip columnist Jose Lambiet, “and none of them was being married to her. I don’t want to talk about that marriage, and I don’t want to talk about her.”
Torres, whose father, the late Ed Torres, owned the Aladdin with Wayne Newton for almost two years, divorced Shasha, now in his 60s, in December 2004.
Two years ago, she had a baby daughter with David Hoffman, a reproductive endocrinologist, who was the fertility doctor who treated Shasha and Torres.
“I did treat them, but they were separated when we started dating,” Hoffman said. “I didn’t cause that divorce. That relationship was collapsing way before we started dating.
“It started when my secretary tells me one day I should call Dara because she heard she and Ike (Shasha) were separated.”
Torres and Hoffman have not married but are raising Tessa Grace together in Florida.
“There’s no animosity between Ike and I,” Torres told the Post during a break at training camp. “It just didn’t work out. And I’m very good friends with his wife. We both go out with our babies.”
She grew up in Beverly Hills while her father was running Las Vegas casinos during the mob years.
She was 14 in 1982 when she broke the first of three world records and won the first of her nine Olympic medals in 1984. She medaled in the ’88 and ’92 Games before retiring from competitive swimming the first time.
Four of her medals are gold, and she won a total of five medals in Sydney in 2000, when, at age 33, she was the eldest member on the team.
She retired again, but found the fountain of youth and won two races at the U.S. Olympic trials. When the 600 U.S. Olympians march into the stadium during opening ceremonies Aug. 8, there are rumblings that Torres will probably be out front as the flag bearer.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Donald Trump‘s Miss USA pageant will return to Las Vegas for the second year in a row next April. The announcement was made during the Miss Universe telecast from Nha Trang, Vietnam, where Miss Venezuela Dayana Mendoza was crowned today. Planet Hollywood Resort will again be one of the hosts. …
Tao Las Vegas will be honoring George Clooney‘s ex, Sarah Larson, on July 25. She will be partying across the street from Christian Audigier the nightclub at Treasure Island. She’s the new face of Audigier’s clothing line.
Baseball icon Pete Rose, dining in the club level restaurant at Cashman Field on Saturday during the Pacific Coast League game between the Tacoma Rainiers and the Las Vegas 51s on Saturday. Rose was banned from baseball in 1989 for gambling. … Cameron Diaz, midnight snacking at Fix Restaurant & Bar at Bellagio on Saturday night with two gal pals. Diaz was spotted at a Bellagio craps table, celebrating the 60th birthday of a family member. … At Drai’s (Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall) on Saturday: NFL standout wide receiver Wes Welker of the New England Patriots, injured Arizona Diamondbacks star Eric Byrnes, and NFL All-Pros Dwight Freeney (Indianapolis Colts) and Terrell Suggs (Baltimore Ravens). … Carmen Electra, with her fiancé, former Korn guitarist Rob Patterson, at Privé (Planet Hollywood Resort) on Saturday. … Professional dancer Kym Johnson of “Dancing with the Stars,” partying at CatHouse (Luxor) with 12 Australian friends on Saturday. … At Poetry (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Saturday: Marcus Banks of the Miami Heat, arriving in an orange Lamborghini with matching orange rims; former UNLV star Stacey Augmon, rapper Rick Ross, the Toronto Raptors’ 7-foot-1 center Primoz Brezec, and Sacramento Kings point guard Beno Udrih. … At LAX Nightclub (Luxor) on Saturday: Dave Navarro and Perry Ferrell of the rock band Jane’s Addiction, Godsmack lead vocalist Sully Erna, Jermaine O’Neal of the Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Bobcats power forward Sean May, and New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who joined poker pros Nenad Medic, David Williams and Theo Tran.
THE PUNCH LINE
“With gas prices approaching $5 a gallon, a lot people are starting to use bicycles. In fact, coming in today, I saw Jesse Jackson backpedaling all the way.” — Jay Leno
Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.