Spelling's face goes red. "It's cool," he says, "except for the fact that I've lost, like, 20 pounds since we taped." He's also stopped smoking cigarettes, and while he hasn't totally gone on the wagon (he was popped with a DUI in 2001), tonight he's drinking cranberry juice and coffee.
Since the fall of last year, Weintraub, now a talent manager and producer at The Coalition, a Beverly Hills-based management firm, has been dealing almost full-time with Sons of Hollywood. He's a 28-year-old Axl Rose freak and probably the only former Death Row Records employee to also be a 30-show Phish veteran, and he has what he calls a "Jewish-Rastafarian star" tattooed on the inside of his upper arm. In addition to producing and co-starring in Sons, Weintraub's been acting as Spelling's carnival barker; this involves doing things like making a remark in front of a New York Daily News reporter about how Spelling snatched Paris Hilton's virginity.
"I don't always agree with the stuff David does," Spelling will say after that story breaks. "I would never exploit someone else to benefit myself. But yeah, I was 17. [Paris] was 14 or 15. We had a special thing. But now people come up to me and they're like, 'You're a fucking rock star.' But that's not me. Not to be mean, but [Paris] is definitely known for being with a lot of men."
Spelling is not a reality-show producer's dream, like his mom and sister. He's a word-parser. A benefit-of-the-doubt giver. A mama's boy ("There's an episode of Sons where Sean [Rod's son] and I get in a fight, and he's like, 'I will beat your fucking ass, you fucking little mama's-boy bitch!'" Spelling recalls. "All three of us are mama's boys.") Which is probably why Weintraub is planting nuggets about his having been Paris' deflowerer.
"Here's the thingI'm not gonna be homeless or go hungry if I sit on my ass for the next month," Spelling says. "But I'm a creative person, I have to do something. And whatever I do is gonna be different from my dad." He says he's begun production work on a couple of different television shows. There's also a feature film, and a potential movie role as a comic-book character.
Outside Dominick's, Spelling waits for the valet to fetch his car so he can follow Weintraub to L'Hermitage for dinner, Weintraub calls his driver, who pulls to the curb in a silver SUV. Near our tight knot of conversation, a woman separates herself from her pack of friends and begins hovering nervously. It's the wide-eyed autograph dance. And after waiting for the right time to break in, she finally descends.
"Is one of you guys David Weintraub . . . ?"