It's all about the Brits today ...
Princess Diana may be in heaven, but they're still arguing about her on earth. Last week her butler revealed a letter from Di predicting her own death. This week it's Bryan Adams' ex-girlfriend saying he had an affair with the princess after the divorce from Prince Charles. The butler, of course, figures into this story too. Even though Adams denies the story, Paul Burrell has claimed that, after her divorce, Diana had nine suitors -- including "a Hollywood actor, a novelist, a sportsman, a politician, a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a billionaire, a surgeon -- and a musician." What, no Indian chief? (IMDB)
And, speaking of Chuck, the whole of his empire are on the edge of their seats awaiting word of what he supposedly didn't do. For weeks now, British newspapers have been saying they have a story that could "bring the monarchy down" but they're bunkered with their lawyers on what they can and can't print, due to tough libel laws. The Daily Mail was going to go to press this week with a story based on testimony from an ex-servant and was stopped by a lawsuit by another former servant. Last night, Charles sent his private secretary out to deliver a denial: "I just want to make it entirely clear, even though I can't refer to the specifics of the allegation, that it's totally untrue and without a shred of substance" -- anticipating a Sunday story in the Mail. Could this be more "Upstairs, Downstairs"? (MSNBC)
I don't care if the new movie "Love, Actually" is good or not. I want a holiday bonbon! The cast is so charming, I just want to see them move and talk. When you've got Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in the lineup, what more do you need? Grant -- who plays the prime minister -- PR'd it thusly: "The reason it succeeds rather than being puke-making is that it is funny as well." (BBC)
And in British magazine news, Hello! was just ordered to pay rival OK! more than £1 million for taking unauthorized shots of the Michael Douglas-Catherine Zeta-Jones wedding because the couple had an exclusivity agreement with OK! The couple also got £14,600 for their pain and suffering, which they'll donate to charity. Hooray! (Ananova)
Hot U.S.-British literary news: The BBC2 show "Big Read" ran a program last week that included film of dramatized scenes from "The Catcher in the Rye." This is a big no-no for author J.D. Salinger, who has denied everyone -- including Elia Kazan in 1961 -- permission to dramatize his work. The BBC says it's fair use, the U.K.'s Society of Authors says it could be an infringement of copyright. Meanwhile, the program caused sales of the book to jump. Maybe J.D. is more of a marketing genius than he gets credit for. (Publishing News) via (Moby Lives)
Hot architecture news: It looks like Jet Blue and the Port Authority are headed toward doing the right thing -- saving the spectacular Eero Saarinen-designed international terminal at JFK airport in New York. That space is one of the few in the world that can make a weary traveler excited about getting on an airplane. (Manhattan Users Guide)
The Dirrty Girl does her thing in Europe: Christina Aguilera, who took the stage in a nun's habit in Edinburgh last night as she hosted the 10th annual MTV Europe Music Awards and then proceeded to strip down, on the 10 racy costumes she wore throughout the night: "This is my show and if anyone's going to be getting the award for showing the most skin, it's me." (BBC Online)
Surprisingly sweet: Rescued soldier Jessica Lynch on her time in an Iraqi hospital: "No one beat me, no one slapped me, no one, nothing ... I mean, I actually had one nurse, that she would sing to me." (Upcoming "Primetime" interview via ABCNews.com)
Rosie's heroes: Rosie O'Donnell testifying to having given Gruner+Jahr CEO Daniel Brewster fair warning that she intended to be hands-on in a big way in the running of the magazine "Rosie": "He said am I going to be a controlling bitch like Martha and Oprah. I said, 'Martha and Oprah are pretty successful controlling bitches, don't you think?'" (N.Y. Daily News
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Jessica Simpson up for the lead in big-screen version of "I Dream of Jeannie" and signed with ABC to star in her own prime-time sitcom, also to be planning own lines of clothing, perfume and makeup, also to release book of "journal entries"; new documentary, "Brothers in Arms," portrays John Kerry as big-time war hero; Tracy Chapman "wants it to be understood that she has never agreed to perform in Angola," despite promoter's claim to the contrary; source says Paris Hilton was nearly comatose during making of sex tape with ex-boyfriend Rick Solomon: "Rick is having sex with Paris and she is so out of it, you can only see the whites of her eyes. She is so far gone she is drooling. It is the most disturbing video I have ever seen." A rep for Hilton says, Solomon is "vile and disgusting" and that Paris "is the victim here."
Rush and Molloy: Pink and Christina Aguilera still feuding, clash over sharing show-hosting honors and hotel-room primacy in Edinburgh, Scotland, where they were both attending MTV Europe Music Awards, exchange barbs in the press. Says Pink of M.C. Aguilera: "I think it's surprising they are having someone like that in charge." Says Aguilera of Pink: "When has Pink not been copying me? In her fashion, it's always, like, 'Gosh, I just wore that last week'"; Salma Hayek says her mother has given up on seeing her married: "[She] used to bring me antique nightgowns from Europe -- a couple of which she kept for my honeymoon. She got tired of waiting and said, 'Honey, here you go! This is falling apart. It's already antique'"; Paris Hilton's parents said to "have suggested she stay Down Under [she was in Australia for a movie premiere] till this blows over"; Rod Stewart's ex-girlfriends tell British documentary filmmaker that Stewart liked to wear their undies; Ben Affleck tells Entertainment Weekly that he felt his friendship with Matt Damon was "exploited" to promote "Good Will Hunting," claims that Matt got more attention from that film, says he's a little threatened by Mayor Bloomberg's flirtation with Jennifer Lopez: "It's funny, but sometimes I think this dude may be serious"; Susan Sarandon says she's disappointed in Sen. Hillary Clinton, who she says "turned out to be just another politician ... The only thing she's going to be remembered for is standing by her man, and that is really sad"; Boy George says it was clear from a young age that "I was going to be the pink sheep of the family."
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