What about accessories?

Puffy fires off a line of menswear; Eminem's derelict dad crawls back for money, er, love; Boteach says the Jacko's great with kids; and more.

By Amy Reiter

Published February 12, 2001 5:32PM (EST)

Trial? What trial?

Puffy himself may be under the gun in Manhattan Supreme Court these days, but that apparently hasn't kept him from launching the fall collection of his menswear line, Sean John. (Before he became the Puff Daddy we know and ... know, Puffy was simply Sean John Combs.)

"This is not a celebrity line. It comes from my heart, my crew's heart," Puffy told the Associated Press last week. "It's not just slapping my name on it."

The rapper/defendant/stingy tipper says that, despite being on trial for gun possession and bribery, he's taken an active role in the launch of his new collection, working on it as soon as court adjourns each evening.

"I'm in this game to be with Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford, Donatella [Versace] at the top," he insists. "I'm not in it for just hip-hop fashion."

Is that the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

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A granny's plea

"I want to stop this war between us because life's too short -- I want him to hang in there, because everything's going to be OK."

-- Eminem's estranged grandmother Betty Kresin, expressing a slim, shady hope that she and little Marshall will one day be reunited.

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And now a word from Eminem's father

I suppose, what with Eminem's mom and grandma becoming media darlings, it was only a matter of time before the father he never knew piped up.

So what if the man walked out when little Marshall was still in diapers and never returned his son's letters? Now, he says, he really wants junior to know how much he cares.

Those lyrics of Marshall's about slitting his dad's throat? Not a problem.

"I desperately want to meet my son and tell him that I love him," Marshall Mathers II told the U.K. Mirror from his home in San Diego. "I want him to know that I'm here for him if he lets me back into his life."

And don't go thinking he's just rushing for gold now that his son's a big star. Why, that couldn't be further from the truth. "I'm not interested in his money," says the rapper's pops. "I just want to talk to him. I want him to know that I'm here for him if he lets me back into my life."

Heartwarming, no?

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Speaking of model fathers ...

I don't know what he'd say about Eminem's dad, but Shmuley Boteach -- the "Kosher Sex" rabbi -- says Michael Jackson's one heckuva papa.

"He's an incredible father," Boteach, who founded the charity Heal the Kids with Jackson, tells the London Daily Telegraph. "Being around him made me into a better parent."

It's the whiff of need he smelled around Jackson when the two first took their kids to a movie together that so impressed him.

"We always see the sacrificial nature of parenting, but in Michael I was beginning to be re-sensitized as to how badly adults need to be around children, to regain that feeling of hope, innocence, imagination, creativity," he says. "All those things that adults are beginning to lose."

What does he mean by "adult"?

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Absence doesn't make the heart grow Fonda

"I mean, it's like, no movie part would ever be as interesting as my life. So why go back?"

-- Jane Fonda on why she's through with movies (and writing a book instead), on "20/20."

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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