The Fix

Drugged-out Nicole Richie arrested for freeway antics. Britney snapped smooching new man. Plus: Paris on Spears' "partying ethics."

By Scott Lamb
Published December 12, 2006 2:30PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Life not so simple: After two 911 calls reporting her SUV headed the wrong way down the 134 freeway in Glendale, Calif., police pulled over and arrested Nicole Richie on Monday -- though by the time they caught up with her, she'd managed to get pointed in the right direction. She was booked on DUI charges, had her charming mug shot (right) taken and was released on $15,000 bail. Police later said she admitted she was on Vicodin and had also been smoking pot. (People)

Britney's new boy: Wasting no time getting back into the singles scene, Britney Spears was snapped by paparazzi (pictures in the link above) with a new guy over the weekend in Los Angeles, sharing a table, a cigarette and then a kiss with the dark-haired mystery man. On Tuesday, Page Six confirms the mystery man is music producer Jonathan "J.R." Rotem, whose list of past clients includes Rihanna, 50 Cent, Paris Hilton and some joker named Kevin Federline. (Perez Hilton, Page Six)

Behind the votes: Awards season rolls on. The New York Film Critics Circle has made its selection for the year's best films and performances, choosing the 9/11 movie "United 93" as the best film of the year and giving the best-director award to Martin Scorsese for "The Departed." But as Nerve's film blog, ScreenGrab, reports, "United 93" got the nod after an unusual five rounds of voting: For four straight rounds, it was tied with eventual runner-up "The Queen." When "United 93" finally won in a tense 12-10 vote, New York Observer critic Rex Reed announced the results to the room. ScreenGrab writes:

A brief silence. Then, the voice of Rex Reed.
"So that's it."
"The best film of 2006."
"According to the New York Film Critics Circle."
"Is 'United 93.'"
Long, uncomfortable pause, plus some tittering.
"A film that no one in America wanted to see."

(ScreenGrab, BBC News)

A judge in Los Angeles has rejected the request by the two frat brothers suing the makers of "Borat" to block the DVD release of the movie and remove the scenes in which they appear. (Associated Press) ... Courtney Love is off probation -- following her drug rehab, a judge in Los Angeles has dismissed all drug and assault charges against the rocker/actor/author and agreed to expunge her record. (Us Online) ... George's journey: Fox 411 reports on Clooney's current "secret" mission to visit officials in Beijing and Cairo, Egypt, to talk about the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. (Fox 411) ... Royal offspring Princes William and Harry have announced some of the lineup for their planned "Concert for Diana," which will take place on what would have been the princess's 46th birthday next year, and it includes Elton John and Diana's favorite band, Duran Duran. (Daily Snack) ... Tori Spelling and hubby Dean McDermott have announced they're expecting -- the baby boy will be Spelling's first kid. (People)

Money Quote:
Paris Hilton defends her new best friend: "Lately, you've been seeing pics of me and Britney partying (blah blah) and she knows that some of her fans are very upset about what they call her 'behavior' and sadly they're blaming the issue on her being friends with me. For people to call out her parenting skills on behalf of her partying ethics is appalling. Britney loves her kids to death, and I know for a fact that it truly hurts her when she sees these cruel things being written about her ... For the sake of Britney and her kids, be kind." (MySpace via the Scoop)

Turn On:
It's the season-four finale of "Nip/Tuck" (F/X, 10 p.m. EST), ABC presents a 40th anniversary special edition of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (8 p.m. EST), and Barbara Walters holds her annual chatfest, "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006" (ABC, 10 p.m. EST).

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EST): Laci Peterson's mother, Sharon Rocha
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Lisa Randall, Edward O. Wilson
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST): Howard Stern, Gwen Stefani
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST): Jamie Foxx, Brad Paisley
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST): Ricky Gervais, the Matt Savage Trio
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST): Camryn Manheim, Stephen Fry
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST): Jessica Biel, Mario Batali, Fantasia
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST): Fareed Zakaria
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST): Dan Savage

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Scott Lamb

Scott Lamb is a senior editor at

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Britney Spears Paris Hilton