In response to the global media attention surrounding the death of Pop Icon Michael Jackson, the actress Sharon Stone has postponed her suicide. "She's pushed it back to the third week of July," said a source close to Stone. "Her team was relatively untroubled by the passing of Ed McMahon, but after Farrah they had to consider the possibility that June had become overcrowded. When the Jacko story broke, rescheduling became a no-brainer."
In late January of this year, the actress hired Bert Levine, the media savvy suicide consultant to the stars, who is rumored to have handled a number of high-profile clients, including Hunter S. Thompson and Vince Foster. He is also widely credited with turning Kurt Cobain into a legend. Ms. Stone, who in recent years has been reduced to making guest appearances on television shows such as “Huff” and “Higglytown Heroes,” came to the conclusion that a dramatic suicide would instantly upgrade her place in the celebrity hierarchy.
For several months, Ms. Stone has been preparing for her suicide with Mr. Levine and her team, which is made up of hair stylists, personal trainers, fashion designers and the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. In March, the temperamental actress fired the designer Isaac Mizrahi due to creative differences and replaced him with Tom Ford, who reportedly left the team three days later, unable to cope with Ms. Stone’s verbal abuse and relentless perfectionism. The actress has gone through a number of feature film directors and only recently settled on Andrew Lloyd Webber to helm the production. There are unconfirmed reports that Annie Liebowitz and Dominick Dunne have been brought on to document the event.
The 51-year-old actress is adhering to a strict training regimen, committing herself to a macrobiotic diet, weekly collagen injections and rehearsals that often last 12 to 14 hours a day. "This is her big chance to revive her career," said another source familiar with Ms. Stone's thinking. "Sharon is leaving nothing to chance."
Stone’s team had settled on June 26th as the date that her suicide would get maximum attention, knowing they could easily upstage coverage of the potential revolution in Iran, the debate about universal healthcare and the continuing coverage of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The team was pleased to see the New York Times devote several front page stories to Mr. Jackson's death, including an interactive feature on their website titled "Your Favorite Michael Jackson Song."
The project has gone through a number of changes. Initially, Ms. Stone planned to disrobe atop the Eiffel Tower and sing "Wind Beneath My Wings" before swan diving to her death. The director Quentin Tarantino, who was briefly attached to the project, wanted the actress to dress as a Geisha and squeeze herself into a laundry dryer, where Ms. Stone would tumble for 40 minutes on a low dry cycle before expiring. The actress also considered leaping from a ferris wheel or being eaten by an alpaca -- or combining the two, with Ms. Stone leaping from a ferris wheel and then being eaten by an alpaca. The team eventually settled on creating a reality show around the suicide, which is to be called "Stoned To Death."
Bravo, Fox and NBC are quietly negotiating with Mr. Levine for the rights to "Stoned To Death." Reps from all three networks refused to comment.