Get ready for another controversy about a reality-based movie. Screenwriter Jon Maas, who worked on "America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story," is now researching a project about infamous New York Times reporter Jayson Blair and is hitting some walls. When he called Tom Kunkel, dean of the journalism school Blair attended, he got a "no comment." Said Kunkel, "I think it's deplorable that there is a movie about this that will just add further notoriety to this terrible situation. Look, I'm obligated to talk to journalists -- and I have -- but we're talking about a movie here. I feel no obligation to talk to a Hollywood producer about a situation that I find repugnant. I understand why he's upset, but I don't care." (Washington Post)
Gwyneth Paltrow has just been given a plot of land in Spain from generous friends (who hasn't?) and she plans to build a little casa there as a refuge. "I come here about four times a year because it's the farthest from Hollywood you can get," says Gwynnie. "The way the Spanish live is really healthy. Everybody eats a clean Mediterranean diet. They come home from work and have a leisurely lunch with their families, then take a nap. They go back and work til eight, then go out and dance all night." Sounds kinda like Hollywood! (Ananova)
Proving once again that death is a great career move -- but suggesting that speaking freely isn't -- Johnny Cash was given every prize in the book at last night's Country Music Awards. On hand to celebrate the dearly departed Man in Black was everyone from Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson to Shania Twain and Toby Keith. But guess who didn't show? Outspoken outcasts The Dixie Chicks. Oops, guess their invite got lost in the mail -- or maybe they just didn't feel welcome ... (MSNBC)
Headline of the week: "Pondering the mysterious Keanu Reeves." The article goes on the analyze why the star of such films as "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" and "My Own Private Idaho" is criticized for taking a big budget movie one year and doing an indie the next. And it quotes the mystery man's reactions to such critiques: "Yeah, I mean bad reviews suck, man. It's terrible. It's a drag. But it's still just a review. It sucks to have a bad review, but it's not like after I get a bad review, I run outside and start drinking and have a kind of catastrophic depression." Mystery man, indeed. Kind of like in "Being There."
Yasser, that's my baby: Suha Arafat, wife of PLO leader Yasser Arafat, is living large in Paris on an allowance of about $100,000 a month, most of which comes from Palestinian Authority coffers, "60 Minutes" will report this Sunday. She's said to have rented out a whole floor in an exclusive Paris hotel for herself and her staffers and to shop and dine at the best establishments. Asked why the couple's 8-year-old daughter, Zahwa, was born and is being raised abroad, Suha told Le Parisien, "Our child was conceived in Gaza, but sanitary conditions there are terrible." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)
The latest reality-TV series to focus on a celebrity is ESPN's "The Tour," to zero in on 21-year-old tennis stud Andy Roddick, teen heartthrob and winner of this year's U.S. Open. Oh, he's also dating actress-singer (and even bigger celeb) Mandy Moore. (Agence France-Presse)
Let them eat perfect cake: Martha Stewart on baked goods and her bad rep: "I don't know why people don't like me. I'm not perfect. The perception that I am perfect, I think got kind of mixed up with the idea that what we're trying to teach is the best possible standard out there. So if we're going to make a cake, Barbara, my cake can't be a flop." (Barbara Walters' upcoming "20/20" interview via N.Y. Daily News)
Sweet-natured is one way to put it, we guess: Paris Hilton's family on reports of the intended release of an amateur porn videotape Paris is said to have made with an ex-boyfriend: "The Hilton family is greatly saddened at how low human beings will stoop to exploit their daughter Paris, who is sweet-natured, for their own self-promotion as well as profit motives. Paris is working very hard on her career. The release of a private tape between a younger girl and her older boyfriend is more than upsetting ... Anyone in any way involved in this video is guilty of criminal activity, and will be ... vigorously prosecuted." (Page Six)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Denise Rich's daughter Daniella does stand-up comedy routine, says she calls her fiancé "my bitch"; Barbra Streisand said to have insisted that "Oprah" crew paint microphone to match her outfit; Famke Janssen said to have freaked out over lost purse, which was later found; Rachel Miner, ex-wife of Macaulay Culkin, getting back into acting, taking role alongside Orlando Bloom in "Haven"; Harvey Fierstein says the secret to ending homophobia is to "keep coming out and never let anyone ever assume that you're heterosexual."
Rush and Molloy: Tony Kushner says he's "appalled" that CBS pulled "The Reagans" under pressure from conservative groups and is not so delighted with the conservative groups either: "They can kick and scream all they want, but they can't erase his record. I had friends who died in really terrible circumstances because Ronald Reagan couldn't bring himself to say the word 'gay' in public till 1987"; Bryan Adams fails to deny rumor that he had an affair with Princess Di; "Matrix" co-creator Larry Wachowski accused of getting movie ideas from his estranged wife, Thea Bloom, and of asking new girlfriend, dominatrix Karin Winslow, to call him "Lara"; Ice Cube appeals to 50 Cent and Ja Rule to kiss and make up, saying, "Beef is good. It makes hip-hop interesting. But they shouldn't take it to the street, they should keep it on wax"; Sean "Puffy/P. Diddy" Combs buys Tribeca lofts, celebrates 33rd birthday but refuses to dance, saying his "toes are bleeding" after Sunday's marathon; Demi Moore goes home early during night out with Ashton Kutcher and pals, leaving Kutcher in clutches of "pretty blond."
Boldface Names: At HBO's "Angels in America" preview, Al Pacino dresses supersloppy, has dirt under fingernails and scraggly hair and beard, is said to look "more like someone you might see slumped over in a subway," and tells two big-haired admirers, "If I had to live my life over. I wouldn't live it as a blond."