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Inside Casey Wasserman’s Birthday Bash: Iger, Clinton, Imagine Dragons

Inside Casey Wasserman’s Birthday Bash: Iger, Clinton, Imagine Dragons

In recent years, L.A. entertainment and sports mogul Casey Wasserman has successfully striven to be perceived as his own man. A power player in his own right — not firstly the well-connected grandson of late Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman, the MCA/Universal head and political fixer. Along with recent industry acquisitions, including Paradigm’s music business and management firm Brillstein Partners, he led L.A.’s successful bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics and now leads the games’ organizing committee.

But at his 50th birthday blowout on June 28, Wasserman reminded everyone of the relationship. (He took the surname as an adult; Lew is his maternal grandfather.)

Guests were photographed in a recreation of industry-favored deli Nate’n Al’s — he and his grandfather’s weekend bonding spot where generations of dealmakers first met Casey. The setup included a sign reading “Lew’n Casey,” in the restaurant’s iconic retro orange typography, which hovered above snapshots of the pair along a wall in front of a vintage-style booth. To add authenticity, the beloved Nate’n Al’s waitress Gloria Leon, who’s reminisced about serving the two, came out of retirement for tableau vivant purposes, pouring coffee into a mug in a vintage uniform.

Go-to Hollywood event planner Ben Bourgeois, who once recreated New York City restaurant Rao’s for a LACMA fundraiser in producer Steve Tisch’s Beverly Hills backyard, was behind the installation. Wasserman, through a representative, declined to comment about the event.

The party, which featured a performance by rockers Imagine Dragons and catering from Nobu and Jon & Vinny’s, was held at the cavernous Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport. Some on and off the approximately 500-person invite list found the venue inopportune as it invited jokes about how Wasserman’s longtime marriage to Laura Ziffren Wasserman — the music supervisor and son of Hollywood heavyweight attorney Ken Ziffren — ended after he took up with a flight attendant, Jenny Chandler, who’d worked on his private jet. (The Wassermans are in the midst of a divorce.)

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The new paramour, now professionally identifying as a visual artist — she hosted a luncheon at Basel in Miami this past December — was on hand at the event, along with notables in both the sports world (Bob Kraft, Lance Armstrong) and the entertainment realm (Bob Iger, Jim Gianopulos). Also present for Wasserman’s bash: National Democratic political figures who attested to his pull as a major party donor: Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom and Doug Emhoff.

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