Best Local Girl Made Good - 2000
Readers' Choice: Tamarie Cooper
The settlement of the mega-nasty divorce suit between Christopher and Valerie Sarofim in June suited more than just the parties themselves. Former mayor Bob Lanier's adopted daughter Courtney, who had paired off with Chris when he moved out on Val, would likely have gotten a ski ride through the mud. Val's attorney, Earle Lilly, had Courtney fitted out for the role of home-busting paramour, had the drug- and sex-spiced saga gone forward. The Sarofims apparently decided to settle their differences after the Houston Chronicle jumped in, threatening daily dispatches from the courtroom by Clifford Pugh. Instead, Courtney, the daughter of former first lady Elyse Lanier by a previous marriage, now has the son of billionaire Fayez all to herself, and a December wedding is on the drawing board. "He's a professor kind of geek who loves to sit and talk about economics," reports Courtney, head of the acquisitions section of her dad's Landar Corporation. The Laniers and Sarofim also make a chummy foursome. "They get along great," explains Courtney of the bond between Sarofim and her parents. "Christopher and my dad spend four hours talking about business. And what mother doesn't like a man who's nice to her daughter?" Particularly one with a credit line like Sarofim's.