Where's Cindy Crawford?
Crawford and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were purportedly headlining the event, which was arranged to unveil the automaker's latest vehicle. Email alerts and press releases were sent out touting the celebrity guests, and the story was picked up by NBCChicago.com and several other media outlets in the days leading up to the event.
Party goers paid between $30-$40 to attend the event for a chance to sample food and cocktails from area restaurants, view a Bloomingdale's fashion show, and hopefully get up close and personal with the supermodel.
Problem was, she never showed up -- and she says she never planned to go.
Crawford sent a tweet to NBCChicago's twitter account Wednesday morning saying she would be out of the country, and that a story on the web site promoting her appearance was incorrect. Her reps later confirmed that the supermodel was not in the United States during the time of the event.
"Cindy is and has been out of the country on vacation with her family. We have no idea why they thought she was in Chicago or attending this party," said Nicole Caruso, VP of the LA public relations firm that represents Crawford.
Joel Johnson, president of LPYP, seemed as miffed as anyone that Crawford didn't materialize.
He said Manny Bencomo, owner of Manny B Custom Jewelry, had arranged for Crawford's appearance. Bencomo, reached by phone late Wednesday night, said she was there.
"She walked in and walked around, kissed me on the cheek and walked out," Bencomo said. "Her hair was down, she had on jeans and grey boots and a men's dress shirt. I'm not sure why she didn't stay long, but it's not my job to manage her. We're having lunch tomorrow."
After confirming with Crawford's reps and numerous party goers, NBC again reached out to Bencomo for comment. He did not answer, nor did he return calls about the contradictory reports.
Bencomo also claimed that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended the party for a short time, but the Mayor's press secretary Tarrah Cooper said that report is a fabrication.
LPYP's Johnson expressed regret that Crawford wasn't at the event, but downplayed the effect that her appearance had on ticket sales.
"We had 172 people who bought tickets and we comped 450, so in essence this was a free event," Johnson said. "The event wasn't about Cindy Crawford, it was about Evoque (Land Rover)."