The more things change ...

Vanilla Ice may have landed in the cooler and Courtney Love may have a new stalker, but Melanie Griffith's singing the same old painkiller blues; Bush's niece instigates a steamy correspondence with Prince William. Plus: The Jackson 5 want us to want them back.

Published January 9, 2001 5:42PM (EST)

You go away for a couple of weeks and what happens? Not as much as you might expect.

Sure, Madonna finally got married (with Stella McCartney, not Gwyneth Paltrow, as the maid of honor). And yes, Vanilla Ice (an ex-Madonna flame) landed briefly in the clink for domestic battery. (He claims he and his wife were arguing over a cellphone bill, that she was "emotional" because it was "that time of month" and that he only covered her mouth and yanked on her hair "to prevent her from jumping out the window" of their car.) And true, true, Courtney Love did go public with accusations that she's being stalked by her lover's ex-wife, who allegedly called Love "a bitch" and drove her car over Love's foot.

But for Melanie Griffith the new year has not, apparently, provided a new topic of conversation. Yep, the poor dear is still talking about her addiction to painkillers.

"My disease was raging and running my life," Griffith tells the February issue of Redbook. "It takes over your thinking."

In fact, she says, she couldn't drive past a pharmacy without getting hit with a major jones.

She blames her doctor. "They don't tell you they're addictive," she says, adding that "when you're an alcoholic and drug addict, like I am, it's just really dangerous. I got caught up in it again."

Now that she has, as she puts it, "detoxed like a junkie," however, she can attend to life's larger issues, such as maintaining a high booty, which she considers the key a happy marriage.

"I try to work out if I possibly can so I can keep my ass high enough so it still looks good, because I'm married to Antonio Banderas," she says. "I don't know for sure that I'm going to be able to keep Antonio. I try my best."

On second thought, maybe she should stick to talking about that drug addiction after all.

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Roth eyes Aguilera's shag

"Is Christina Aguilera honestly Latina, or is her name one of those Geraldo Rivera things? And does the carpet match the drapes? In fact, is the room even carpeted yet?"

-- Former Van Halen rocker David Lee Roth sharing his deep thoughts on Christina Aguilera in Spin.

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Princess Bush?

Move over, Britney. The London tabs are reporting that Prince William has a new e-mail penpal: Lauren Bush, president-elect Bush's 16-year-old model niece.

The flirty virtual friendship allegedly began after Lauren, daughter of Neil Bush, left her photo and a note for Prince William on a yacht she knew he was due to cruise on. After he sent her a reply, "they became very close pals, and it was clear they had a serious crush on each other," a "royal source" told London's News of the World. "He and Lauren felt they could be very open with each other."

Although a spokesman for Prince Charles refused to comment about "private correspondence," the tabloid quotes a Texas friend of Lauren's as saying, "The e-mails were very flirty and quite sexy and the letters quite intimate. It would be fair to say they got a bit carried away with the fun of it all."

Well now, that sounds very Texan and not at all British, doesn't it?

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Where's Deep Throat when you need him?

"I was like Nixon secretary Rosemary Woods, erasing tapes everywhere!"

-- George Clooney on what he did with the tapes of him singing on "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (The songs were later dubbed by a professional singer.)

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Juicy bits

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Britney Spears and Madonna are planning to record a duet, according to MTV News online. The new Mrs. Ritchie recently expressed her deep regard for her young rival in Elle magazine, saying that the Britney T-shirt she wore during her recent concert in New York was just the tip of the baby-T iceberg. "I became obsessed with wearing Britney T-shirts," she shares. "I slept in them as well. It was like I felt it would bring me luck. And it did. Britney became my talisman." She claims she's not a bit threatened by the next generation of pop stars. "I'm like a cockroach," she says. "You can't get rid of me." Couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Be even more afraid. Jermaine Jackson says the return of the Jackson 5 is imminent. The group, he said in a radio interview, will record and tour this year. Yes, Michael, too. "We're in the studio working very hard on a new J-5 album that will be released this summer," Jackson said. "We're going to do a new tour. We're very, very excited." What was that about cockroaches again?

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By Amy Reiter

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Britney Spears Celebrity Courtney Love George Clooney