No swimsuit? No lawsuit

Celine Dion decides suing over skinny-dipping claim is no longer important; Oasis' Noel Gallagher gets nasty. Plus: Joan Rivers won't sing -- so what's the bad news?

Topics: Celebrity, Joan Rivers,

Celebrity responses to the attacks on the U.S. are getting a little stranger.

Celine Dion and her husband Rene Angelil, for instance, are showing their respect for the victims by dropping their $5 million lawsuit against the Quebec tabloid magazine that claimed that the couple was big into nudity.

Angelil has told the Canadian press that he and his wife (who emerged from retirement to sing “God Bless America” on Friday’s telethon) have reexamined their priorities in light of the terrorist attacks. And after much thought, the couple apparently has decided going to court to refute Allo-Vedette’s report that they have a proclivity for nude sunbathing and skinny-dipping — allegations they strenuously deny — is not high on their list.

Then again, if they’d won the suit, they could have donated the money to the victims of the attack and their families …

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Still dealing with her own stuff

“In light of recent personal events I feel that, for the sake of myself and my family, a short time out of the spotlight would be beneficial.”

Kate Winslet, who’s in the process of divorcing her husband, on why she decided not to attend the U.K. premiere of her film “Enigma” on Monday night.

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Jitney jitters

Does she know something we don’t know?

Linda Powell, Colin Powell’s actress daughter, has decided to pull out of the National Theatre production of the August Wilson play “Jitney” in London.

“She was due to arrive here in October, but has withdrawn from the show for obvious security reasons,” a National Theatre spokeswoman told the BBC.

According to the London Daily Mirror, the secretary of state has asked his children not to travel by air for the time being.

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Speaking of letting it fly …

One person apparently unaffected by the embrace-your-fellow-man British/American-unity impulse: Oasis nastyman Noel Gallagher.

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Gallagher recently told British music magazine NME that Eminem is totally overrated. “People set their standards too low in their idols these days,” he said.

And as for the Backstreet Boys, Gallagher says their music is “rubbish” and adds that they “should be shot.”

Just the sort of peace, love and understanding uplift we’re looking for these days.

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Beneficial bits

Paul McCartney, who was on a plane on a New York City runway during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, says he’s going to do a benefit concert in New York within the next month and donate the proceeds to New York’s Bravest. “I also have a connection there,” the former Beatle said during an interview on New York radio station WPLJ, “because my father was a fireman in Liverpool during World War II.”

Julia Roberts, meanwhile, is digging into her own deep pockets to donate $2 million to help the victims of the attacks. She has designated $1 million for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and $1 million to the Sept. 11 Telethon Fund she and so many others were promoting on TV on Friday. Hers is the largest personal celebrity donation aiding victims of the attack reported thus far. Pretty generous woman.

Which brings us to Joan Rivers. Remember how last week I reported that Rivers was among the entertainers lending their voices to a benefit recording of the Sister Sledge hit “We Are Family”? Well, scratch that. According to the New York Post, Rivers backed out of the recording after learning that the project’s proceeds would be used to educate Americans about racial intolerance rather than going directly to victims of the terrorist attacks. “I’m just in shock. It’s a bait and switch, and no one knows it,” Rivers told the New York tabloid. “I’m not intolerant toward Arabs or Muslims, but now is not the time for that. I’m boycotting.” Um, Joan … can we talk?

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Miss something? Read yesterday’s Nothing Personal.

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