We believe you

Nothing suspicious at all about a rumor that Britney Spears stripped to her skivvies with Ben Affleck; the kids are all right, a friend of Melissa Etheridge says of the singer's now-broken home. Plus: Graham Chapman's ashes get prime seating at his own play.



Amy Reiter
September 25, 2000 8:18PM (UTC)

And you thought Britney Spears' strip show at the MTV Music Video Awards was shocking ...

Now the Scottish Daily Record, that bastion of credibility, is reporting that the pop princess stripped down to her bra and undies in a game of strip poker at Ben Affleck's house.

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According to the tabloid, the body-proud popster joined Affleck and his buddies for a few hands after she ran into him in a club in L.A. -- and being a bit of a novice, she lost her duds. The paper claims she wasn't the only one to show a little skin -- Affleck himself, it contends, ended up in nothing but his jungle-print boxers.

"It got a bit naughty at one stage with everyone playing strip poker, but nobody ended up nude," one alleged attendee with a curiously British accent told the paper.

Now let's all count to 10 and wait for the denial.

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Exciting might not be quite the right word

"Just the sight of Orrin Hatch in the mosh pit ... it's exciting."

-- Bono on his new best friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has backed the U2 singer's Drop the Debt campaign.

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The kids are all right

If you've been worried sick about how Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher's children will survive with only one mommy, relax.

The couple's close buddy Kathy Najimy tells People magazine that 3-year-old Bailey and 23-month-old Beckett "will be with their mommies seven days a week, 24 hours a day." Cypher and Etheridge, she says, have sprung for two houses right next door to each other just down the road a piece from the house they've long shared in L.A. The new homes have one, big shared backyard.

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"They'll be able to have breakfast with Momo [Cypher], play in the mutual yard and lunch with Mama [Etheridge]," Najimy tells the magazine in an upcoming issue. "They really do love each other dearly. It's a separation. It's not forever."

Who knows? Maybe David Crosby will move in next door.

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Many Riveras to cross

"Fans constantly ask me if I am related to Geraldo Rivera, but I have to admit that not only am I not related but I have never even met the man, although I would love to."

-- Broadway mainstay Chita Rivera to New York dish digger Baird Jones at the opening of the play "4 Guys Named Jose."

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Juicy bits

You'd think the indignity of starring in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical would be bad enough, but injury was added to insult Thursday night for actress Josie Walker. According the BBC, Walker was shot in the face with a stage gun during a preview performance of "The Beautiful Game," the West End show Lloyd Webber cowrote with Ben Elton. The gun went off halfway through the second act and nailed Walker square in the face, but after a five-minute break the "slightly hurt" actress continued with the performance. Now don't go blaming the Phantom ...

Could Anne Heche's post-split freakout have been a great big publicity stunt? It's certainly bound to increase interest in the autobiography Variety reports she's just sold to Scribner. Rumor has it she'll be scraping in six figures for the deal. It's enough to make you stagger around under the Fresno, Calif., sun.

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Graham Chapman (11 years dead) wasn't around to see the world premiere of his play "Oh Happy Day," but his ashes were. The Monty Python star's longtime partner, David Sherlock, sent a vial of Chapman's ashes to the Dad's Garage Theatre in Atlanta for the production's auditions and then again for opening night on Friday night. (Insert your own "nailed to his perch" joke here.)"Graham would have just been tickled to know that a bunch of American boys were doing his British farce," noted John Cleese, who, with Michael Palin, consulted on the production. "Then again, Graham had a very tenuous relationship with reality."

That was fast. Dr. Laura's TV show seems to have hit a little snag. Production on the syndicated talk show will halt for a week, during which time Paramount will reportedly do a little tinkering. However, Linda Lipman, a spokeswoman for the show, insists that the hiatus was planned way in advance -- despite the fact that the show premiered only last week. Then again, the hiatus may be followed by a brief hiatus, which might result in a much-needed vacation.

Michael Bolton, romantic lead? But the formerly hairy singer says he's shopping around for the right script in which to make his cinematic debut. It could take a while, though. Bolton insists he's leading man material and is not interested in playing a serial killer or a singer. He says he wants his first role to be something no one expects. Like, good?

Meg Ryan better watch her back. Fashion Wire Daily reports that Dennis Quaid is shopping around a movie script called "Shame On You" -- about a TV star who kills his wife because he suspects that she's cheating on him. Sounds like a great role for Michael Bolton.

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Amy Reiter

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