Round Two: Pat Kingsley vs. Leslee Dart

kingsley.pat.031504.jpgThe kind people sprinkling the dry, flaky fishfood on the surface of our aquarium tell us that the ongoing deathmatch between the certainly uncharitable – and, most likely, also boneheaded – Queen of the Flacks Pat Kingsley and her erstwhile business partner and heir (un)apparent Leslee Dart has already heated up again. And Sundance isn’t even over, ladies!

In a business where the assets are chauffeured home at night, none of PMK’s clients – among them Max Bialystock’s understated re-incarnation Scott Rudin and boy genius Wes Anderson – understood Kingsley’s purge of her loyal second back in November. And now our snowbound jungle telegraph tells us that more clients from the formerly so solid roster are fleeing the shop to join Leslee Dart at her as-yet unnamed outfit faster than a Hollywood talent agent can say “he’s always been my client!” No firm names yet, but watch for people like Nicole Kidman to be Dart’s first official scalp in her belt now that Oscar season is in full swing. And, hey, her ex Tom Cruise fired PMK before the dictatorial signs became evident to others.

Advantage: Dart, because in our old town and Hollywood alike, sympathy trumps Napoleonic ambition in the PR game.