Ben Affleck, teabagger? Kevin Smith has told the following story to Maxim U.K. about his buddy Ben Affleck: "I'd be sitting in the director's chair and I'd be watching a playback, and he'd stand behind me. Every once in a while I'd feel something on my neck. I'd be like, 'What the [bleep] was that?' And I'd turn around and he'd have his [scrotum] out and resting on my neck. I was like, 'What the [bleep] is wrong with you, dude?' What if it got out in the press that that's the kind of thing you do?' He's like, 'No one would ever [bleeping] believe you, sir.' " He's right, Kevin. No one would. (Page Six)
Katie's turn: Thursday night it was Katie Holmes' turn to go on late-night TV to gush about her relationship with Tom Cruise. And while she didn't jump up on the couch during her appearance on "Late Night With David Letterman," she did work herself up into a Cruise-like lather. "It's hot!" she said of her six-week-old romance. "You know the wonderful thing is that when we met, it was just like, you know, 'Hi,' you know. It was just like instant, instant." Asked by Letterman if the couple was really considering marriage so soon, she responded, "I'm smiling, aren't I?" Holmes also told Letterman that, rather than being alarmed by Cruise's "Oprah" couch jump the other week, "I was completely touched. I was, like, overwhelmed and he invited me to come out and I was -- I had just taken this huge wad of gum and put it in my mouth and I'm like, you know, 'Spit it out!'" And if that "wad of gum" image isn't enough for you to chew on, here's a bite from Holmes on Cruise via the Boston Herald: "I feel like he's made my life. He's amazing. He's kind, he's generous, he's smart, he's Tom Cruise. He's the most artistic man I've ever met, he's a joy, he makes me laugh like I've never laughed. He's the most wonderful being." Meanwhile, a Web site peddling "Free Katie" T-shirts, hats and coffee mugs -- part of a "movement to liberate Katie, a young, gifted, actress held captive by forces we may never understand" -- is reportedly doing big, big business beyond its founders' wildest dreams. (N.Y. Post, FreeKatie.Net, E! Online)
Jackson trial update: As the jury heads into yet another day of deliberations, the Jackson fans are getting restless as they await a verdict -- so restless, in fact, that Court TV's Diane Dimond has felt compelled to take out a restraining order against the 20-year-old leader of a Jackson fan club who has reportedly been threatening her for weeks as she's filed reports outside the courthouse. Court TV has also reportedly hired private security guards to protect Dimond as she works. (N.Y. Post, Drudge)
Also: Treasure trove of gossip nuggets? A judge has ruled that prosecutors can look through transcripts of wiretaps found in a November 2002 search of the Hollywood office of Anthony Pellicano, private detective to stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, Kevin Costner, Farrah Fawcett and -- most notoriously -- Steven Seagal. (Reuters) ... Speaking of Seagal, the action star has been socked with a $14 million lawsuit for allegedly delaying the production of two movies -- "Today You Die" and "Mercenary" -- by showing up to the set late and leaving early and refusing to perform the scripts as written. (Associated Press) ... A new book alleges that Marlon Brando lived his last days in squalor and a drug-induced haze. Shortly before his death, the actor's longtime business manager wrote to his lawyer, describing Brando's home as "a pigpen. ... I went around the house picking up dead rats. [Marlon] stays in his room, oblivious to life in the outside world other than his television." (Rush & Molloy) ... Two women Ed Klein suggests had lesbian affairs with Hillary Clinton in his new biography of the first lady turned senator are both denying any such relationship with Clinton. Both contend that Klein never contacted them to comment on the rumors and one, Clinton college friend Nancy Pietrafesa, points out that Klein failed even to spell her name correctly throughout his book. Oops. (Page Six)
Bobby Brown, explaining to a gift-shop worker that he was smearing Preparation H hemorrhoid cream under his eyes for the sake of his wife, Whitney Houston: "See, I haven't seen my wife in 30 days, and it was a late night." (Bravo's upcoming "Being Bobby Brown" via Page Six)
Former New York Times reporter and serial fabricator Jayson Blair, emceeing a minority student awards event last weekend: "People tell you all your life to work hard, get good grades and go to a good school because thats how you really get ahead. Thats a lie." (Fairfax News via Gawker.com)
On Friday night, TNT offers the first part of a big, six-part miniseries about two American families goin' West in the 1800s, "Into the West" (8 p.m. EDT). And A&E looks toward Father's Day (don't worry; it's not until June 19) with "Biography: Fathers and Sons in Hollywood" (8 p.m. EDT).
-- Amy Reiter