Bo says no to Lugner’s ball bid

Movie icon Bo Derek “will be unable to attend” the Vienna Opera Ball, her spokeswoman has declared.The 54-year-old US film star was asked by Austrian businessman Richard Lugner, 78, to accompany him to the VIP event set to take place at the State Opera in Vienna on 3 March. The veteran playboy admitted earlier this week that Derek was only his third choice. Showbiz media however speculate that significantly more stars rejected Lugner’s invitations to go to the ball with him.Now Viennese newspaper Österreich has published Bo Derek’s press spokeswoman’s e-mail reply on an interview request. Rona Menashe told the daily newspaper that the announcement Derek will attend the event was “premature”. The spokeswoman added: “She will not be able to attend.”Asked for the latest on the case, Lugner told Österreich today (Thurs): “(My agent) Helmut (Werner) spoke to her in person, so I assume she’ll be there.”The entrepreneur, who owns and manages the Lugner City shopping mall in Vienna, added: “If she cancels, I’ll take Clooney or Goldie Hawn.”It would not be the first night at the Vienna State Opera for Derek who attended the extravagant ball in 1996. Lugner was accompanied by singer Grace Jones that year. He went to the ball with celebrities like Farrah Fawcett, Andie MacDowell and Dita Von Teese in the following years.Lugner shocked movie fans all across the globe last week by revealing that he rejected an agency’s offer to get Hollywood superstar George Clooney to attend the Opera Ball with him. He said: “I dismissed the proposal. There will be already two other men in my box with me and my girlfriend. I need a female star guest.”Lugner refused to reveal whether he already transferred any money to Derek to ensure she will turn up to the Opera Ball. The businessman is still entangled in a legal argument with the agents of troubled Hollywood starlet Lindsay Lohan. The 24-year-old was invited to last year’s Opera Ball but missed her flight. Lugner eventually persuaded former Modern Talking singer and TV casting show juror Dieter Bohlen to accompany him.Reports have it that Lugner’s chances to get Clooney to come with him were not bad since the actor has several appointments in Germany in early March. Clooney may regard a possible Opera Ball attendance as an opportunity to raise awareness for his charitable engagements in the impoverished African region of Darfur.