Yesterday, (June 26) gossip columnist Liz Smith's goodbye to dear friend Nora Ephron may have been hours too soon. It was just moments after interviewing with WWD about the evolution of gossip news (Smith stated "Gossip writers can't make a living anymore unless they're willing to print anything, like the stuff that comes up on the Web. Nothing has time to develop."), that Smith herself released some unconfirmed news. She wrote a heartfelt yet vague statement about her filmmaker friend, Ephron, suggesting that she had died.
On wowOwow, the website she has been writing for since she left the New York Post in 2009, Smith wrote, "I won't say, 'Rest in peace, Nora' - I will just ask 'What the hell will we do without you?'"
Ephron's family was shocked by the story and the internet world (particularly the Twitterverse) went mad. Ephron was critically ill that Tuesday afternoon but she was still alive; she died late Tuesday evening.
Smith, 89, definitely beat the news cycle but she wishes she "hadn't broke this one." She said she was distraught that her friend was dying. The piece was a reaction to a call from Ephron's son, Jacob Bernstein, early Tuesday. Bernstein had been making calls and e-mails about a funeral service set for Thursday and Smith just assumed that Ephron had already died.
The wowOwow piece was quickly updated with a correction that Ephron was "on her deathbed"; the post has since been taken down all together.
Smith and Ephron had been friends for many years. Both ladies are a part of a regular luncheon group, the Harpies. Other members of the group include Barbara Walters, Cynthia McFadden and Peggy Siegal.
A memorial is planned for Wednesday. A luncheon for "Makers: Women who Make America," a documentary project from PBS, Gloria Steinem will deliver a tribute. The luncheon was previously scheduled and Ephron is one of the women featured.
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