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Katz on Christie

A regular blog that keeps tabs on the activities and fortunes of our renowned Governor, Chris Christie.
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Complete List of All The Famous People Chris Christie Hangs Out With

Matt Katz | February 5, 2015

Cowboys games with team owner Jerry Jones, and parties in the Middle East with the King of Jordan and Bono. Governor Chris Christie has drawn some tough press in recent weeks for associations with America's rich and famous. But these guys are only a handful of celebrity friends that Christie has accumulated since becoming governor in 2010. Here's the most complete list ever compiled about famous people who Christie has hung out with. Know of others? Contact me at or @mattkatz00.

Roger Ailes, FOX Chairman: Ailes runs the most powerful media outlet in conservative politics. In 2011, the men dined together. A year later Ailes tried to convince Christie to run against President Obama -- a fact that the Christie administration only acknowledged under threat of a lawsuit from Gawker and the ACLU over release of his calendar. 

Jon Bon Jovi, rock star: The Jersey rocker known for liking Democrats became friendly with Christie after Bon Jovi's daughter nearly died from a drug overdose. When Christie signed a Good Samaritan bill providing legal protection to those who call 911 for drug overdoses, Bon Jovi came to the bill signing. He later gave $1 million to the Sandy Relief Fund started by Christie's wife and toured his Sandy-ravaged hometown, Sayreville, with the governor. They warmly embraced when they saw each other that day.

Bono, rock star: During a trip to Jordan in 2011 at the end of an official gubernatorial trade mission to Israel, Jordanian King Abdullah hosted the Christies and his entourage, even picking up the $30,000 tab for hotels. He also threw parties in the desert for Christie and his other guest that week -- Bono. The rock icon would later join the board of a Sandy relief fund run by First Lady Mary Pat Christie. The governor has said that Bono has Mary Pat's cell phone number and once left this voicemail: "Hello, beautiful, just checking in on you, this is Bono." 

Bill Clinton, former president: They first bonded over a shared interest in college basketball. Their evident fondness for each other was cemented in 2013 when Clinton invited Christie for a fireside-like chat to close a Clinton Global Initiative conference. The chat was notable for the softball questions lobbed by the Democrat to a Republican governor who at the time was in the middle of reelection campaign.

George Clooney, actor: Clooney called Christie his "favorite Republican," at least according to Christie. They hung out at the White House Correspondents Club event in 2012, where Clooney stroked First Lady Mary Pat's forearm when he met her. 

Steve Cohen, hedge fund manager: On Nov. 4, 2013, Cohen paid the largest federal fine in insider-trading history, $1.2 billion. The next night, he attended Christie's re-election victory party in Asbury Park. Previously, while under federal investigation, Cohen had dined with Christie, who is a former federal prosecutor.

Prince Harry, British royal: Christie took Harry on a tour of the Jersey Shore in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Christie gave Harry his own Sandy fleece. They played boardwalk games. Both wore sunglasses. At one point, Harry was pictured with his arm around Christie's shoulders.

Jimmy Fallon, TV host: Christie is a regular guest -- both surprise and announced -- on Fallon's late-night show. Fallon is given leeway to make fun of Christie's weight without repercussions. They've dueted "Thunder Road," have "slow-jammed the news" and Dad-danced (that one has 7.7 million YouTube views). 

Jaime Foxx, actor: At a benefit concert in the Hamptons in 2014, Foxx invited Christie on stage. As The New York Post put it at the time: "Gyrating Gov. Christie wowed a power crowd with his energetic dance with Jamie Foxx at the starry Apollo in the Hamptons benefit Saturday night. The New Jersey gov proved he’s more than just a political animal as he strutted onstage with Foxx in front of an audience that included Barbra Streisand and James Brolin, Sir Paul McCartney, Jack Nicholson, Anjelica Huston and Robert De Niro."

Jerry Jones, Cowboys owner: Christie met Jones in either 2009 or 2013, depending on which story Christie tells. Jones funded Christie's tickets to several Cowboys games this past season -- and paid for a private jet to one -- which caused controversy when it was revealed that Christie had backed a plan to give another of Jones' companies a major contract at the Port Authority.

David Koch, GOP fundraiser: The younger of the Koch Brothers, industrialists who are raising nearly $900 million to support Republicans in 2016, called Christie "a true political hero" at a meeting in 2011. They have dined together in Manhattan, and as recently as a couple of months ago Koch and his wife went to a Giants-Cowboys game with Christie and First Lady Mary Pat.

Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner: Christie has several friends who own sports franchises. One weekend last summer at Bon Jovi's house in the Hamptons, Christie and Kraft dumped a bucket of ice cold water on Bon Jovi's head as part of the ALS Challenge.  

Matt Lauer, TV host: Although Lauer once asked a remarkbaly tough series of questions about gun control in an interview with Christie, the men and their spouses have dined together in Texas and the Hamptons.

Shaquille O'Neal, retired basketball player: They first met at the governor's office to discuss a gun buyback program. They then appeared together to announce an after-school initiative. And in October 2013, Shaq filmed a re-election ad for Christie.

Rex Ryan, former New York Jets coach: Before getting secret lap-band surgery, Christie called Ryan, who had previously had similar surgery, for advice. Later, after a reporter asked Ryan questions about his starting quarterback at a news conference, Christie came to his defense, calling the New York Daily News reporter an "idiot." 

Bruce Springsteen, rock star: The famously liberal rocker once wrote a letter to his local paper to complain about Christie's policies related to the poor, despite the fact that Christie has attended more than 130 of his concerts. After Sandy, President Obama put Springsteen on the phone with Christie, and the men later hugged backstage at a benefit concert. "It's official," Springsteen told Christie, "we're friends." After Bridgegate, Springsteen did a parody of "Born To Run" alongside Jimmy Fallon -- 5.6 million hits and counting -- that tore into Christie. They have since spoken, though, and there are no hard feelings.

Howard Stern, radio host: Introduced to Christie by mutual friend Matt Lauer, Stern and his wife dined with Christie at least twice at the end of 2013 -- in the Hamptons and on the Upper East Side. Stern has talked about their budding friendship on his radio show.

Donald Trump, businessman: The Donald may be toying with running against Christie in a presidential GOP primary, but he called Christie a "friend" as recently as last month when they spoke at the same candidates' forum in Iowa (and stayed at the same Marriott hotel). In 2011, Mr. and Mrs. Trump went on a double date with the Christies at pricey Jean Georges on Central Park West.

Sophia Vergara, actress: The unlikely pair sat next to each other at the 2012 White House Correspondents Club, which Christie said helped to ease the sting of host Jimmy Kimmel's fat jokes: "When you have [Vergara] next to you to console you, let me tell you, you don't care what the heck Jimmy Kimmel is saying about you." Vergara has since appeared at a Christie fundraiser in Los Angeles.

Fred Wilpon, Mets owner: A lifelong, diehard Mets fan who had season tickets before he became governor, Christie is regularly seen at CitiField or the team's spring training camp in Florida alongside Wilpon. Christie's son Andrew had an internship with the Mets in 2013.

Mark Zuckerberg: The first-ever political fundraiser that Zuckerberg ever held was for Christie -- and it was at Zuckerberg's house. The Christies have even slept over at the Zuckerbergs'. The men met at the annual Sun Valley, Idaho, conference for moguls, and then became fast friends after Zuckerberg pledged $100 million for the Newark schools during a joint appearance on "Oprah."

Matt Katz, New Jersey Public Radio/WNYC
Political reporter Matt Katz is The Christie Tracker at NJ Spotlight is hosting his blog and running his stories, which can also be heard on WNYC 93.9 FM and 820 AM, as well as New Jersey Public Radio: Trenton 88.1, Sussex 88.5, Netcong 89.3, and Toms River 90.3.
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