Love thy neighbor? Now that Brangelina are officially shacking up, will Jen be able to bear having her nemesis as a neighbor? Aniston has settled just a short 20-minute ride away from Pitt’s mansion, in a rented apartment beside the home of her best bud Courteney Cox. Though Aniston is in Chicago at the moment — on the set of her upcoming film “The Breakup,” ironically enough — sources report that she is “dreading seeing the couple together in Malibu,” adding, “she [knew] it was only a matter of time before she came face to face with Angelina … but she wasn’t prepared for it to be so close to home — it’s a bit too close for comfort.” (Talk Entertainment)
Rocket Man: British billionaire and space cadet Richard Branson has joined forces with aerospace designer Burt Rutan to start the Spaceship Co., a firm dedicated to building a fleet of commercial spacecrafts. Quoted in Space Magazine, Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic — the space tourism venture that is a subsidiary of Branson’s Virgin Group — says, “They’re developing technology [that will] give thousands of people the chance to experience the majesty of space.” While the U.S.’s national space program is plagued by problems, Branson is optimistic that his private venture will be a success. “We hope that we can get those spacecraft built roughly two and a half to three years from now,” he says. At present, seats onboard Virgin Galactic spaceships run $200,000 each, but Branson expects that figure will drop as the technology is refined. (Space, via the Drudge Report)
Lindsay loses it: Lindsay Lohan apparently reprised her role as one of the “Mean Girls” while at a party this week in London. The bash, hosted by the South Kensington club Boujis, was put together for Lohan’s friends and family in celebration of the European release of her movie “Herbie: Fully Loaded.” But witnesses reported, “Lindsay was in a foul mood [the entire time] … nestled in the corner of the VIP section, and sulked into her vodka and lemonade.” Her demeanor only devolved further when she ordered “her guests to line up to speak to her as she was sending out text messages on her mobile phone.” What was behind her bitchy behavior? In his morning’s New York Post a friend of Lohan’s comes to her defense, claiming Lindsay is “overwhelmed by her parents’ impending divorce trial.” Subsequently, Lohan has canceled the rest of her European press tour and “come home to New York to be with her mother, Dina, and siblings.” The Lohan divorce proceedings begin today. (Mirror, New York Post: Page Six)
Presidential punch line: Just a day after thousands of “Doonesbury” comics were pulled from newspapers for using “potty humor” at the president’s expense, Penn Jillette, producer of a documentary celebrating the world’s filthiest joke, reports that Dubya often passes raunchy punch lines to him via their mutual pal, mystery novelist and musician Kinky Friedman. Jillette says, “There’s nothing more American than a dirty joke … [and yes,] George W. Bush tells dirty jokes. They’re never any good, but they’re dirty.” Apparently, Dubya’s current favorite centers on golf, and goes something like this: “The only time I ever hit two good balls is when I step on a rake.” Yeah. Never thought I’d say it, but Mr. Bush, stick to politics. (N.Y. Post, Page Six)
Scarlett’s “Brontosaurus boobs”: Scarlett Johansson almost swerved off the road after spotting a huge, “digitally-enhanced” photo of herself on a Hollywood billboard. She reports, “I was driving through Los Angeles and I look up and see the biggest photo of me I have ever seen in my life … I screamed and slammed on the brakes. I couldn’t believe it … It’s very strange to see my [breasts] the size of a brontosaurus.” The image, which was promoting her new action flick, “The Island,” also depicted her with long hair, though that was hardly as shocking. “My goodness,” she said, “I couldn’t get past the cleavage.” (Talk Entertainment) . . . and she’s also quick to shrug off her success, saying that while she may be a Hollywood’s A-lister, she “is not proud of her films and thinks acting is a relatively pointless profession.” The star told the German daily Financial Times Deutschland recently, “As actors, we make movies, we don’t save lives. What I do, it’s actually not that important.” She claims she sets out to make movies she would like to see, and would even consider doing a commercial, “as long as it wasn’t for tampons or something embarrassing.” (Ananova)
Also: Nerd alert! The twolight sabers from the original “Star Wars” trilogy come on the auction block this Friday and are expected to sell for $60,000 each, though according to spokeswoman Lorna Hart, “[the auctioneers] know already that there are going to be bids over the estimate” … Melanie Griffith got in a huff on the set of her new WB sitcom “Twins” after staffers scolding her for incessantly puffing cigarettes. The addled actress reportedly griped, “Everyone knows I smoke … I’m a [bleep]ing movie star, you’re going to ruin my day over this!” … Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal just can’t get no satisfaction. A source close to the couple tells Star magazine, “Kirsten says she’s never felt the kind of sexual chemistry she has with Jake … They spent the entire Fourth of July weekend making passionate love. [She] said she was totally exhausted, but she enjoyed every minute of it!” … Nicole Kidman admits in a London interview that growing up, her mother never hugged her. Kidman remembers, “[Mom would] say, ‘Listen, I’m just not the kind of mother who’s going to hug you. It’s just not me, so don’t expect it. I’m never going to say I love you. We don’t say that in our family’” … Dennis Rodman just can’t escape his bad-boy image. During a charity rally race in Denver, Rodman was twice pulled over by the Colorado State Patrol. Along the way he sustained a minor crash and was accused of stealing a hat from a gas station. “It’s been that kind of day for me,” Rodman remarked … It seems Paris Hilton’s engagement has been weighing on her. Despite being plagued by rumors of premarital strife, the Paris and Paris wedding tour is proceeding, with a few minor adjustments. “[Paris] started complaining about how heavy her 24-carat ring [is] and that her finger hurts,” says an Us Weekly source. Her doting fiancé, Paris Latsis, heir to a Greek shipping fortune, has responded by buying her “a more manageable diamond-less platinum Cartier band for everyday wear.”
Can’t get enough courtroom drama? This one’s for real: NBC premieres “The Law Firm,” a reality TV competition produced by David E. Kelley, of “L.A. Law,” “Ally McBeal” and “The Practice” fame, Thursday night at 9 p.m. EDT.
– Sarah Karnasiewicz
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