Boy George joins the club: Boy George, real name George O'Dowd, has just hopped on the cocaine-scandal media train express, going through the arrest/denial/flee the country process faster than you can say "Kate Moss." The '80s singer and current New York DJ was arrested on drug charges in Manhattan on Saturday after the following bizarre series of events: Police responded to a 911 call George made about a burglary in his Little Italy apartment, but when officers arrived they found him acting dazed and discovered cocaine sitting out in plain view. Speaking to the New York Post, his lawyer said, "He doesn't know where it came from. He's had a lot of people in his house. A man who has something to hide does not call police." By Monday, the man with nothing to hide had flown back to his native England. Human rights lawyer Mark Stephens didn't want to rush to judgment, but said things would go badly for George if the charges stick: "Boy George is innocent until proved guilty, but if he's found guilty it could have major implications for him to be allowed into the U.S. He would effectively be excluded. (N.Y. Post, Reuters, the Independent)
Who snaps the snappers?: The backlash against paparazzi is reaching a fever pitch. First, the photographer who hassled Reese Witherspoon and pals at Disneyland last month was charged with child endangerment and battery for apparently hitting one 5-year-old kid with his camera and shoving another out of the way to get a good shot. Now, Page Six says that Brad Pitt is instructing his bodyguards to take pictures of any picture-takers following him or Angelina Jolie for use in future harassment cases. The idea is actually part of a cutting-edge "paparazzi abatement" service being offered by Sunset Protective Services. If nothing else, it proves paparazzi hate having their pictures taken. (AP, Page Six, Sunset Protection)
Who's fleeing who?:Despite the fact that he was the one who copped to cheating with the nanny a few months ago, British tabloids are saying that Jude Law has just performed a dump-and-run on Sienna Miller, disappearing to a "secret location in Europe" to recover. Or is Sienna on the run? The Sun reported on Sunday that Miller has been carrying on with Law's best friend Daniel Craig behind his back, and now the actress has fled to Morocco. Someone close to the couple told the Sunday Daily Mirror: "Jude has decided he and Sienna have no future and the relationship has become destructive." (Sunday Mirror, the Sun)
Madonna is in hot water with rabbis over the song on her new album all about Yitzhak Luria, the 16th century Jewish mystic seen as the founder of Kabbalah. "Jewish law forbids the use of the name of the holy rabbi for profit. Her act is just simply unacceptable and I can only sympathize for her because of the punishment that she is going to receive from the heavens," Rabbi Rafael Cohen told the Israeli Maariv newspaper. Rabbi Israel Deri said, "Such a woman brings great sin on kabbalah" ... Michael Jackson is still able to make news by doing something as simple as tripping: He made headlines by stumbling in the crowd outside the Victoria Palace theater in London after watching a stage version of "Billy Elliot." Nevertheless, he liked the show so well he invited the entire cast back to his place for a drink ... No sooner was the new Wallace and Gromit movie "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" crowned the king of this weekend's box office than a fire torched the Bristol warehouse storing the props and sets for the film. "It couldn't have come on a worse day," said a spokesman for Aardman Animations, the company behind the animated duo. "We were supposed to be celebrating, but instead our history has disappeared in a couple of hours" ... Ashlee Simpson's appearance on "Saturday Night Live" went off without a hitch, meaning simply that she actually sang her songs live, into a microphone.
Patty Hearst, on how America needs to keep its chin up amid terrorist threats: "I was kidnapped by terrorists. It's not like I'm numb to this and think it can't happen. But get real! There's so much weeping and wailing and memorializing, my feeling is it'd be a lot healthier if people didn't externalize so much and kind of bucked up a little bit." (N.Y. Daily News)
Katie Holmes, in an unpublished part of an interview given last spring, on child-rearing: "My sisters are raising children and when I think Ive had a hard day and they tell me about potty training, I'm like 'Oh my God, if I had to do that I would freak out!'" (The Scoop)
It's the season finale of "Weeds" (Showtime, 10 p.m. EDT) and there's a new episode of "Surface" (NBC, 8 p.m. EDT).
-- Scott Lamb