Lizzie Grubman and her fellow female flacks wrap up the first season of "PoweR Girls" Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. EDT on MTV.
Splitsville for Paris and Nicole? Fox is reportedly looking for a replacement for Nicole Richie to star alongside Paris Hilton in future editions of "The Simple Life." Reports of Richie and Hilton drifting apart have been rampant for some time. And now, Richie may be striking out on her own, sort of. Word is she may allow Fox's cameras to follow her and fiancé Adam Goldstein (aka DJ AM) around as they plan their wedding. ("The Insider" via Page Six)
Trumpage: Attention, Chris Shelton. Donald Trump has your back, but that doesn't mean he doesn't think you need serious help. "I will be there for Chris if he needs help," Trump said of the fiery "Apprentice" contestant who was recently arrested for causing a disturbance over a $20 bar cover charge at a Tampa casino. "He's a good guy, [but] he's got an anger-management problem. We talk about it in the show -- he truly is an angry guy." Trump discussed Shelton's arrest at a New York press conference, in which he announced that this year's "Apprentice" finale will be a trim one-hour affair, rather than the drawn-out three-hour snoozer it was last year. "We ended up with a reunion and all of this nonsense. Nobody wants that," Trump said. "What they want is a finale where somebody gets fired." Trump also announced that he'll extend first "Apprentice" winner Bill Rancic's contract for another year, allowing Rancic to continue to appear on the show as needed. (UPI, E! Online)
Don't peek under the robe: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is perfectly content to discuss his views on sodomy, but don't ask him about what he does with his wife. A source who attended a Scalia speech at NYU the other night told Page Six: "The room was packed with some 300 students and there were many protesters outside because of Scalia's vitriolic dissent last year in the case that overturned the Texas law against gay sex ... One gay student asked whether government had any business enacting and enforcing laws against consensual sodomy. Following Scalia's answer, the student asked a follow-up: 'Do you sodomize your wife?' The audience was shocked, especially since Mrs. Scalia [Maureen] was in attendance. The justice replied that the question was unworthy of an answer."(Page Six)
Jackson trial update: The mother of Michael Jackson's young accuser took the stand on Wednesday, broke down in tears in odd places (like when she was describing her one-room apartment), snapped her fingers to punctuate her testimony, directly addressed the jury and even, at one point, lashed out at Jackson himself. Her testimony was so meandering that Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., who has frequently expressed his objections during the testimony of other witnesses, objected nary a single time during the four hours this woman was on the stand, preferring, it seems, to let the jury draw its own conclusions. Highlights include the moment the woman turned to the jury and pleaded, "Please don't judge me. Please don't judge me," before launching into her recollection of the time she says she saw Jackson lick her son's head during a flight from Miami to California. "Everyone was asleep. I had not slept for so long," she said. "I got up. I figured this was my chance to figure out what was going on back there. And that's when I saw Michael licking [my son's] head." Sobbing and pounding her chest, she added, "I thought I was seeing things. I thought it was me." She is expected to resume testimony on Thursday, and may explain why she allowed her son to sleep in Jackson's bed after the alleged head-licking incident took place. (Associated Press, Fox News, N.Y. Daily News)
In other Jackson news ... Fox News gossip Roger Friedman reports that Michael Jackson is mulling a deal in which he'd sell off some or all of his rights to the Beatles catalog in order to pay off his mountainous debts and bank a little cash to boot. Should he accept the deal, Jackson would probably also trim upkeep costs at Neverland by getting rid of the zoo and downsizing the carnival. (Fox 411)
Also: Michael Imperioli says David Chase is considering extending "The Sopranos" for yet another season: "Nothing official has been said [about this being the final season]," Imperioli told the press. "I heard a month ago that we were doing a seventh season, and then I heard we're not doing a seventh season. The last time I saw David, he was on the fence [about it]." (N.Y. Post) ... Bruce Willis was given France's Order of Arts and Letters in Paris on Wednesday, hailed by France's culture minister as "an actor who represents the force of American cinema and the power of emotions." (Associated Press) ... Martha Stewart spent a few of the precious hours she's allowed out of the house accepting the National Magazine award for general excellence awarded to Martha Stewart Weddings on Wednesday. (Reuters) ... As part of a wide-ranging sex survey, Esquire asked women to rate the sexiness of President Bush on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest. And? American women rated him a wimpy 2.1. (N.Y. Post) ... "Project Runway" winner Jay McCarroll ripped into New York Daily News gossip Hudson Morgan at the launch party for the "R. Crumb Handbook" at the Stella McCartney boutique in the New York's Meatpacking District on Tuesday night, but later called the scribe to explain "I had about 900 drinks and I'm really, really sorry." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) ... One of a handful of gingham dresses Judy Garland wore as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" will be auctioned off by Bonhams in London on April 27. (BBC News)
Boy George, revealing that he feels Camilla Parker Bowles' pain: "I can't believe the vicious, sexist things people say about her looks." (Rush and Molloy)
Scandal-plagued former Homeland Security chief nominee, New York top cop and Rudy Giuliani buddy Bernard Kerik on whether all the mess surrounding him may affect a Giuliani run for president: "I think it has. I think it could." (ABC News)
"Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria on her upcoming role opposite Michael Douglas and Kim Basinger in the political thriller "The Sentinel": "I'm excited to not have to wear [just] bras and panties." (USA Today)
And the money-est quote of all:
Rush Limbaugh, on his radio show on April 12, on Al Gore's new cable TV venture:
"When does he start up this stupid little network? August? Yip yip yip yahoo. You know what Gore said about this? It's going to be liberal. It's going to reflect the point of view of young people.
"What the hell is that, Al? What the hell is the point of view of young people? Blow jobs, that's what they're doing out there. They're out there getting oral sex all day long, that's what they're talking about."
Note: Limbaugh later apologized for using the term "blow job," saying, "I meant to say 'oral sex' throughout, but the guttural term escaped my pouty lips in a moment of pure, unbridled passion. The staff was so stunned and so scared today they didn't dare hit the delete button, the deedle button, and so it got out there. My reaction is, somebody go ahead and turn me in to the FCC. I'll be honored to be fined." (Billboard Radio Monitor)
-- Amy Reiter