HollywoodLife.com has all the "exclusive" details. Seacrest was dining at Osteria Mozza at the same time as Mrs. Obama and daughters Malia, 11, and Sasha, 9, and her mother, Marian Robinson. When the Obama girls spotted him, they asked for a meeting, the website reports:
Michelle was at the restaurant having dinner with four other adults, including her handlers, and her daughters. They were left alone and in privacy. People who had pre-existing reservations were allowed to keep them, but anyone coming in off the street was asked to go to an adjoining pizza joint,” an insider tells HollywoodLife.com.
Cue Seacrest. “Word got out that Ryan was in the building, and the daughters wanted to meet him. They noticed him right away,” says our source. “Which was arranged. Ryan invited the whole family to a future taping of American Idol, which they were over the moon about. “Sasha was the most excited to see Ryan. He was joking with the girls that they should be judges on the show. They loved every minute of it – he was so charming!”
Mrs. Obama, the site reveals, sipped red wine during dinner, while the girls enjoyed soda; the party was seated in the private Jack Warner dining room. Most likely with Mrs. Obama and the girls for dinner: Deputy Chief of Staff, Melissa Winter, who also joined Mrs. Obama and the girls when they watched Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the Staples Center from a sky box on Tuesday, as well as Chicagoan Eleanor Kaye Wilson, who is Godmother to both Obama girls, and known by the family as "Mama Kaye." (Above: Mrs. Obama at the Lakers game; Winter is at left of Mrs. Obama in photo, and Wilson is beside Robinson)
Other LA outings...
On Thursday afternoon, according to E! News, Mrs. Obama and the first daughters visited the set of the Disney show "The Suite Life On Deck," and chatted with stars Cole and Dylan Sprouse, Brenda Song and other cast members. The Obamas "watched some scenes and then took off," the site reports. Disney has signed on as one of the major media entities that supports Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! campaign.
During their trip to Los Angeles, the Obama party also had lunch at legendary hotdoggery Pink's (read an interview about the visit with co-owner Gloria Pink here) as well as dined at Lucques on Sunday night; your intrepid blogger's post about the visit is what broke the news of the LA vacation. The Southern California trip has been a mix of business and pleasure: Before dinner on Sunday, Mrs. Obama visited Camp Pendleton in San Diego, where she met with troops and their families. Read about her speech, and the visit, here. While in So Cal, Mrs. Obama's other notable outing was to Malibu, for a Wednesday trip to the beach with daughter Sasha, at billionaire financier Howard Marks' house, which Radar reported. Marks was a big donor to the Obama presidential campaign.
Bashing the vacation...
At the same time that HollywoodLife.com is gushily reporting on the Seacrest invite, editor Bonnie Fuller is also bashing Mrs. Obama for being in Los Angeles while the Gulf Coast suffers, and President Obama was speaking to the nation from the Oval Office about the BP oil spill. Noting that "People devastated by this disaster are getting poorer by the days; it doesn’t seem to me to be appropriate for a public display of luxury lifestyle by the First Family," Fuller continues:
"Is it just me, or does this seem more than a little insensitive? I’m not saying that Michelle needed to be sitting by her husband’s side while he gave his address to a worried nation, but was it really a good idea for her to be sitting in highly priced $5000-per-ticket LA Laker seats, at the very same time?"
Noting the vacay schedule, and the use of the motorcade while zipping around Los Angeles, Fuller adds:
"Listen, I know that Michelle and her handlers have wisely made a decision to avoid politicizing her role or image. But, at this particular time for many Americans, the LA road trip strikes me as a disappointing display of ostentation."
Fuller would probably have found the vacation far less "ostentatious" if Mrs. Obama had chatted with her online publication about the So Cal visit. Then it would've been a nice way for Mrs. Obama to call attention to the need for tourist dollars in a state that's been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy for two years....
*Lakers photo via Reuters