Fame, gossip and milking it

Making the best of being "a jerk from 'Survivor'"; Uma Thurman on love and flushing; Yo, Britney, where's the money? Plus: The Anna Nicole Smith workout -- ouch!

By Amy Reiter

Published October 19, 2000 4:22PM (EDT)

Call Sean from "Survivor" foolish or greedy, if you must. Call him a fame ho. (I wanted to.) But don't call him a flash in the pan. It upsets him.

When eYada.com's Lori Kramer introduced Dr. Sean Kenniff to the assembled throngs at Tuesday's Gossip Summit as "a classic example of 15 minutes," the doctor flushed. "Sixteen minutes," he corrected her, adding humbly, "I hope."

Kenniff, now a medical correspondent on "Extra" who was, at one point, shopping around a novel and is hoping to get a regular gig on "Live! With Regis," admits he's milking his post-island moment for all it's worth.

"When I became a doctor, I thought that was pretty prestigious," he told the assembled gossip luminaries (Page Six's Richard Johnson, the New York Daily News' George Rush and Joanna Molloy, and MSNBC's Jeannette Walls), below-B-list stars (Richard Belzer, some guy from the first season of "The Real World") and various bar-crowding hangers-on. "But I've got to tell you, you get a lot better treatment as a jerk from 'Survivor.'"

But Sean's not just in it for the fame; he's in it for the love. "Before, I could go away for a weekend and not get any calls," he shares. "Now I'll get, like, 30 or 40 phone calls."

And I'm betting only, like, 29 of them are crank calls.

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And you thought she was addicted to trouble

"I'm actually a workaholic."

-- Jaid Barrymore, Drew's trouble-plagued, estranged mom, on her dedication to her work, whatever her work is.

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Just a mom with a book deal

Next time Ellen DeGeneres breaks up with a woman, she might want to warn her mother. Especially if it's going to screw up her book deal.

Betty DeGeneres says she was shocked -- shocked! -- by her daughter's split with Anne Heche. "It came just like that," she tells TV Guide Online. "I certainly wasn't in on any decision-making. I found out when it happened, and not before."

And while she says she's standing by Ellen and refraining from speaking to Anne, whom she refers to as "my other daughter," she's still reeling a bit.

"The breakup couldn't have come at a worse time," says DeGeneres, whose book, "Just a Mom," prominently featuring her daughter's then seemingly healthy relationship with Heche, was just about to be published when the couple split. "But what's in the book about Anne is history. It's too important to delay until the furor dies down. I did change the cover, which was a picture of Anne and Ellen, and a few captions on the photos."

Now, eight out of 10 of them probably read "Anne and Ellen, in happier times."

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Uma talks terlet

"When you're in a relationship, it's better to be with somebody who has an affair than with somebody who doesn't flush the toilet."

-- Uma Thurman's No. 1 (and No. 2) rule of dating, in the November Harper's Bazaar.

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Juicy bits

You'd think by now Anna Nicole Smith would be a pro at keeping up large, heavy objects. But, according to Entertainment Tonight, the ultra-zaftig model and heiress checked into a Houston hospital Tuesday after she dropped a barbell on her arm during a workout.

And speaking of shaping up. Dr. Laura Schlessinger is getting one last chance to rescue her ratings-challenged TV show. The show's producers are hoping to snag more viewers by getting Dr. Laura to sew her claws back on and hold forth on morality on a regular basis. "We want to put more of the Dr. Laura in Dr. Laura," said the show's executive producer, Velma Cato. Were scarier words ever spoken?

Going once, going twice, gone to George Michael: John Lennon's piano. The ex-Wham!ster outbid fellow British pop musicians Robbie Williams and Liam and Noel Gallagher to snag the upright piano on which Lennon composed "Imagine." It is suspected that Michael, who has agreed to fork over more than $2 million for the historic Steinway, will donate it to the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool.

Oops! Britney Spears has been slapped with a lawsuit. Chicago Internet firm DNA Visual Business Solutions claims that Britney and her marketing company neglected to pay for the redesign of her Web site, britneyspears.com. DNA contends it had been trying to get Britney's people to pay up for months before resorting to litigation. "We wish we didn't have to take such a drastic step to conclude what otherwise was a successful partnership," says the company's president and CEO, David Wallinga. He's probably not the only one who wants to seize Britney's assets.

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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