Thursday night, debate night. Watch President Bush face off against presidential hopeful John Kerry in their first debate, which will take place at 9 p.m. at the University of Miami and be broadcast on pretty much all the networks and cable news channels.
The simply offensive life? The most shocking thing on the recently revealed Paris Hilton tapes might not be the sex (though there's rumored to be plenty of it), or the nudity (some of which involves pore strips), or even the drugs (Hilton is said to give some pointers on joint rolling). Nope, a British reporter who has seen the tape says that Hilton uses the "n-word" -- "dumb n---," in fact -- to describe two African-American men who politely approach her in hopes that she will model their clothing line. "Two ... guys begin talking to her," reporter Carole Aye Maung told the New York Daily News. "She's being very, very sweet to them. [But] she definitely uses the n-word. It's so cruel, because they were so lovely, and she was being so lovely to them." Hilton's reps aren't commenting. (Rush and Molloy)
All bets are off? Does someone know the outcome of this season's "The Apprentice"? One offshore bookie thinks someone from New Hampshire who placed a maximum bet on Jennifer Massey (not the serial interrupting Jennifer who was canned last night in what someone in the boardroom called a "no-brainer," the other -- blonder -- Jennifer) -- and also placed a maximum bet on contestant Kelly Perdew, might have had some inside knowledge. "We don't know if this is some kind of link to the contestants or some way involved with the production," BestWWTS.com wagering director Stuart Doyle said, noting that the dual maximum wagers indicated an "unusual betting pattern." "When this has happened before, it's because someone has known the outcome." (London Free Press)
Titanically good news for Leo: A judge has thrown out an assault case brought against Leonardo DiCaprio by actor and screenwriter Roger Wilson, who claims that DiCaprio encouraged his friend Todd Healy to beat up Wilson outside a New York restaurant in a contretemps over Elizabeth Berkley. But the judge has ruled that if DiCaprio did comment to his buddies that someone should "go out there and kick [Wilson's] ass," Healy didn't hear him. DiCaprio says he's "grateful" for the resolution of the case, which has been brewing since the incident took place in 1998. (BBC News)
Also: Dawnette Knight, the woman accused of harassing Catherine Zeta-Jones, pleaded not guilty in an L.A. court to one charge of stalking and 24 of making criminal threats, though she has allegedly admitted to being "infatuated" with Michael Douglas (Guardian) ... No more meatballs: Not only is Rocco DiSpirito leaving the Gramercy Park restaurant Union Pacific, where he first made a name for himself as a chef and which will close by the end of the year, but he says he plans to leave the restaurant business altogether to focus on other opportunities (London Free Press) ... Martha Stewart is said to be preparing for the lack of privacy in federal prison by learning to meditate (Rush and Molloy) ... Speculation is mounting that Sean Connery, 74, is on the verge of announcing his retirement from the big screen in order to work on his memoirs (The Scotsman)
-- Amy Reiter