Britney's heavies sue: Britney Spears -- or rather, Britney Brands Inc. -- is being sued by three of her former bodyguards. Lonnie Jones, Randy Jones and Silas Dukes (all great bodyguard names) are claiming they were often on call for Spears 24 hours a day, but never received overtime pay and have still not received their final paycheck, from November. (TMZ)
Whitney on crack? One refreshing thing about British tabloids is their avoidance of modifiers like "allegedly" and "reportedly" when writing about the seamy side of celebrities' lives. For instance, the Sun's big piece on a photo of Whitney Houston's bathroom, taken by her sister-in-law Tina Brown, that apparently looks like a drug den. "She was one of the biggest female artists of her generation -- with a string of '80s and '90s hit singles like 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' and more than 100 million albums sold," the paper writes. "Now she is a paranoid wreck hopelessly hooked on crack." Brown goes on to dish heavily on Houston, describing how Houston bites and punches herself while high, how she put a hole in the bathroom wall to see if anyone was watching her, how there's a stream of dealers flowing into the house and how Houston smokes eight balls of crack in a cigar. But at least her motives are pure: "I understand what she's going through. Addiction is a disease," says Brown. "Maybe this interview will save her life." (The Sun)
This week in Star: The oh-so-exciting stuff promised by this week's issue of Star magazine: Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are getting back together, while Martha Stewart is fighting to lose an excess 30 pounds. The big cover story, though: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are fighting, just like a married couple. It seems Pitt really wants to pick a date for a wedding, and Jolie really doesn't. A source tells Star the couple had a big fight in Paris over the date, ending with Jolie scooping up the kids and storming out of the apartment. "Brad worries -- and the more worried he gets, the angrier Angelina gets," says Star's spy. "He said she's so passionate, she explodes and then disappears until she calms down -- and they can never discuss things rationally or calmly." (Popbytes, Star)
A bizarre love triangle, brought to you by Johnson & Johnson: A brewing feud between two Johnson & Johnson heiresses -- Libet Johnson, 55, and her niece, Casey Johnson, 26 -- is a cautionary tale about the connection between wealth and happiness, or something. It seems that after a recent trip to Cambodia with John Dee, Lara Flynn Boyle's ex, the two Johnsons both developed a crush on Dee, who is 38. "The spit hit the fan when we got back," Casey told Page Six. "When I asked her to stop seeing him, she said, 'No!' I thought that was a clear indication they were more than just friends." The gossip column then cites a series of very weird e-mails -- "I'm sure u r sleeping with him," "I really don't know why you want to lash out at me, when I have done NOTHING to hurt you" -- between the two women fighting over Dee, who meanwhile denies ever being with either one: "I was never Casey's boyfriend," he said. "It's absolutely crazy and incredibly sad." (Page Six)
"My album is sure to set the dance floors across the world on fire!" says Kevin Federline in a statement designed to elicit some excitement over his debut record, which he now says will be out in August. "The inspiration and meaning behind the title, 'Playing with Fire,' is self-explanatory." (E! Online) ... Her publicist confirms that Jessica Simpson is indeed interested in following the Angelina Jolie path to motherhood and wants to adopt a child. "Nothing has been finalized yet," her publicist, Rob Shuter, said. "It is true that she's exploring options." (Associated Press) ... Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham are now parents to a second child, a baby boy. Durham gave birth last week in Los Angeles. (Yahoo! News) ... The New York Times is being criticized for rewarding chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and president and CEO Janet Robinson heavily with stock grants last year while stock prices for the company slumped and an employee stock-buying incentive plan was canceled. (N.Y. Post) ... The three former members of Destiny's Child -- Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams -- reunited briefly yesterday to accept a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the band's name. (Yahoo! News) ... Jennifer Aniston -- acting as though it's the first time she's heard it -- tells Extra! that no, there is no sort of contest between her and Brad Pitt to get married first: "That's a pretty funny one, that there's a race," she says. "That's pretty good." (People) ... James Gandolfini has reportedly started drinking again after two sober years, and was recently spotted acting crazy with a blonde outside of his costar Steve Van Zandt's performance at the Buddy Guy Legends club in Chicago. "He went up to the blonde and started licking her face and her head -- it was as if he was licking a lollipop!" said a bystander. "When someone told him not to do it, he called security over. He was drinking up a storm." (Gatecrasher)
-- Scott Lamb
Tonight, ABC's "George Lopez" (8 p.m. EST) has its hundredth episode, while the WB's "The Bedford Diaries" (9 p.m. EST) premieres, as does Sci-Fi's "Psychic at Large" (10 p.m. EST).
-- Joe DiMento