More Di of boredom

This just in! Di was way moody! Also, Tori Amos has friends in dark places; Bono burdens child with slew of names; Cybill Shepherd eyes White House -- likes what she sees.

Topics: Celebrity, Al Gore, Bono,

Now that the second anniversary of her death has underwhelmingly come and gone and the investigation into her fatal accident is all wrapped up, is Princess Diana — as many maintain and others merely hope — yesterday’s news?

Sally Bedell Smith, whose just-released Di bio, “Diana in Search of Herself,” diagnoses the princess as a borderline personality, says no way. “Everyone still wants to talk about her,” Smith tells Nothing Personal. “Newspapers keep filling their pages with her pictures. She’s an icon, right up there with Marilyn Monroe.

Smith, who deliberately avoided the “threadbare term” icon in her 368-page analysis of the princess, says part of what moved her to write a book about such a well-trodden topic was the sadness she discovered in a chance meeting with Diana years ago on Martha’s Vineyard.

“She was bummed that day,” says Smith, who later learned that Diana, having been told of James Hewitt’s plan to publish his tell-all bodice ripper about their brief fling, “Princess in Love,” had spent the previous day crying and refusing to eat. (Of Hewitt’s more recent publication of Diana’s love letters, Smith quips, “The love rat strikes again.” The author declined to interview “the cad” for her own book because, says she, “he always had his hand outstretched for a payment.”)

But despite Diana’s nearly constant state of emotional distress — which, Smith claims, led to her remarkably poor taste in men as well as her flunking out of a boarding school that placed “very little emphasis on academic performance” at age 16 — she did have a pretty good sense of humor. For instance, one Diana intimate told Smith that when asked why she’d chosen to include leprosy on her list of causes, the princess replied, “The travel, stupid.”

Hey, it may not be a royal knee-slapper, but it’s something …

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Understatement of the week

Al Gore is by no means a hippie.”

Al Bates, commune-dwelling buddy of the robotic veep, dismissing rumors that Gore is a psychedelic flower child (What, you haven’t heard those?) as just so much mechanical bull.

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Big baby head to the rescue!

Tori Amos owes a big thank you to Phil Collins. The former Genesis member recently saved the sassy singer-songwriter from getting her stomach pumped. Unfortunately, though, Phil couldn’t do much about the anal probe.

In the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, Amos recalls being held in a solitary room for hours by German guards at the Belgian border after her friend got caught with a pocketful of pot.

“When they asked me what I did, I took a shot in the dark,” she says. “This guy looked like he would be into Phil Collins, so I said, ‘I’m a musician, and I’m actually on a recording with Phil Collins.’”

After shining a flashlight in her eyes, the guard apparently decided Amos was telling the truth, but, she says, his more intrusive colleague did “look at my … my … I can’t say the word … [whispers] my … my …” — spit it out, Tori — “my bum.”

“She did check me. Oh, yes.”

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And almost as modest

“I decided that I’d finally seen an actor who has as much charm as I do.”

– Perpetual playboy Hugh Hefner, explaining why he wants Rupert Everett to play him in his upcoming bunny-riddled biopic.

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Juicy bits

So now it’s Moon Unit and Dweezil Zappa‘s turn to laugh. U2 front man Bono has named his new baby boy Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q Hewson. “That’s a big name for a little guy!” observed jazz man Quincy Jones, longtime Bono buddy and “Q” namesake, at a NetAid press conference this week. “Guggi” reportedly honors a member of the band Virgin Prunes and “Bob” is for Bob Dylan. As for “Patricius” … the answer, I suppose, is blowin’ in the wind.

Coming soon to a theater near you: “I shot Andy Warhol’s Friend”? At the recent premiere party for Shooting Gallery’s “Minus Man,” which stars Janeane Garofalo, superannuated New York actress Sylvia Miles boasted to friends that she planned to watch Channel 9 at 9 o’clock on her birthday, 9/9/99. Miles was none too pleased when a Warhol clique pal quipped, “And you sort of look 99, too, now that you mention it.” The actress actually turned 67 on Thursday — and, a witness tells Nothing Personal, a vivid shade of purplish-red at the party.

Cybill Shepherd, moonlighting at the White House? Taking a cue from presidential flirt Warren Beatty, the actress is apparently giving the Oval Office the old once-over. Shepherd’s lawyer Gloria Allred announced her client’s prospective candidacy — either on a Democratic or third-party ticket — on Tuesday, and later told the Washington Post, “The No. 1 issue for her is choice. She wants to protect the right to have a legal and safe abortion.” Who’s taking bets that her campaign slogan will be, “Because I’m worth it”?

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