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Beyonce, Jay-Z spent big to keep their baby under wraps

Jay-Z Beyonce (pictured September) reportedly reserved full wing New York hospital for birth Blue Ivy. | Al Bello~Getty Images

Jay-Z and Beyonce (pictured in September) reportedly reserved a full wing of a New York hospital for the birth of Blue Ivy. | Al Bello~Getty Images

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Updated: February 10, 2012 8:59AM

There was no lack of security Saturday at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York as Beyonce and Jay-Z’s first child — Blue Ivy Carter — entered the world.

Sources at the hospital compared the preparations for the birth to something the Secret Service would plan. “You’d think it was first lady Michelle Obama in there having a baby,” laughed a longtime hospital staffer, alluding to the enormous amount of protection brought in for the big birth.

† Along with shelling out a reported $1.3 million to reserve one whole wing of the hospital, the superstar musical couple spent nearly $200,000 for additional private guards to seal off all access, another source claimed.

The experience left numerous Lenox Hill employees feeling a bit miffed as all security cameras were blocked with tape, and all staffers — including doctors, nurses and top administrators — had to turn in their cell phones to prevent any photos of the little girl leaking to the media.

“They were like Nazis,” said one hospital nurse, referring to the rude treatment she observed by the security guards.

Reportedly, both Beyonce and Jay-Z are obsessed with keeping all images of their new baby private — until that time they decide they want to release any photos.

TV TALK: Congrats to Oak Park’s own Kathy Griffin. The hilarious comedian, expanding her relationship with Bravo, has snared a weekly talk show on the cable network, planned to launch this spring. … Rockford native Shawn Ryan, who created “The Shield” and the recently canceled, Chicago-made “Chicago Code,” has a new show in the works for ABC. “Last Resort” will be a futuristic thriller about a nuclear submarine crew that refuses orders to fire missiles. The seamen escape to a NATO “listening post” island and declare themselves the world’s smallest nuclear nation. … A local audition for Univision’s national reality beauty competition, “Nuestra Belleza Latina” will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday at Medieval Times, 2001 N. Roselle Rd. in Schaumburg.

FUN IN SUN: A number of Chicagoans were in California for the Palm Springs Film Festival’s big gala Saturday — a free-wheeling party where the stars frequently made lots of edgy comments.

Brad Pitt, hobbling on a cane after a skiing mishap, quipped that he’s so busy, “I’m going to have as many films as a porn star coming out this year and next.”

Pitt was honored for both “Moneyball” and “Tree of Life.” After his “Moneyball” co-star Jonah Hill introduced him — claiming “I’ve seen ‘Tree of Life’ three times, and I still don’t know what it’s about’’ — Pitt joked, “I haven’t seen it either, but I hear it’s very good.”

† As stars including Glenn Close, Olivia Wilde, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, George Clooney, Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh hit the stage, an ongoing joke was repeated about going home to smoke something out of the bong-shaped festival awards, created by famous glass designer Dale Chihuly.

† Among the local lights on hand for the fun were Chaz Ebert, Brenda Sexton, Linda Johnson Rice, Vicki and Bill Hood, Lynn McMahon, Mamie Walton, Irene Michaels, Arny Granat, Nancy Kelley and Deborah Chapman.

SAD TIME: It was standing-room-only Saturday at St. Chrysostom’s Church on Dearborn as Frances Elliott’s legion of friends gathered — still in shock over the well-known Chicago Realtor’s sudden death in Venice on Dec. 29, only at age 51.

Elliott’s cousin, renowned author, lecturer and commentator Julia Reed, had the packed church both laughing and crying as she poignantly shared witty anecdotes about the multi-faceted woman “who was my cousin, but whom I always considered my sister.” Among Frances’ pals — from the worlds of real estate, Joffrey Ballet and the Alliance Francaise — spied toasting her memory were rocker Billy Corgan, John Fornengo, Bill Hargrave, Richard Sauer, Alicia and Marc Ziegler, Mellani Beattie, Tom Gorman, Tom Krupp, Todd Schwebel, Mary Ellen Christy, Candace Jordan and Helen Melchoir.

SEEN ON THE SCENE: While back home the other day, John Cusack slipped into Bar Toma — checking out the new eatery opened in the old Bistro 110 space by Cusack’s buddy, chef Tony Mantuano of Café Spiaggia. … Jason Segel, before being honored by the Chicago Film Critics Association on Saturday, hung out late Friday at Mother’s Too on Division — sipping a few Guinnesses and happily signing autographs and posing for photos with fans.

Bill Zwecker reports regularly on “Good Day Chicago” and “Fox Chicago News at 9” on WFLD-Channel 32.

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