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Spelling gives birth. Jeni's family says it was suicide. Plus: March Madness takes a toll on the office.

Published March 14, 2007 1:30PM (EDT)

First Word

Jeni's family says it was suicide: In a long, eloquent post on Richard Jeni's Web site, the late comedian's family says that while the coroner's official findings on the cause of death may still take some time, there is no doubt in their mind it was suicide. Denying that his state of mind was the result of depression over his career or a physical illness, the family writes: "Earlier this year Richard Jeni was diagnosed with severe clinical depression coupled with bouts of psychotic paranoia. One only needs to have a family member or friend with a mental illness to understand that there is nothing rational, predictable, or fair about these diseases. Mental illness is as serious as any physical affliction and can be just as devastating." (Associated Press,

O.J. book may see light of day: In an ironic twist, Fred Goldman's suit to collect profits from O.J. Simpson's unpublished book, "If I Did It," may end up allowing the book to actually show up on the shelves. A Los Angeles judge Tuesday ruled that the rights to Simpson's theoretical telling of how he might have murdered his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, must go up for auction; and the money from any sale is to go toward paying a civil settlement against Simpson by the Goldman family. "The Goldmans were horrified as to the content, but the real horror was that Simpson was profiting," Goldman's lawyer, David Cook, told reporters. "O.J. is now on the block. On the right hand we get to sell the book, and on the left we get the money." (Reuters)

White noise ... Tori Spelling gave birth to her first child with husband Dean McDermott on Tuesday, a son named Liam Aaron McDermott. As People reports, the birth was also the occasion for a reunion with Spelling's estranged mom, Candy. (People) ... On the same day her father, Michael, was released from prison, Lindsay Lohan (right) spent an evening club-hopping and being chased by paparazzi in New York, which ended when she reportedly hit one photographer with her car. (Access Hollywood) ... Has Britney Spears found love in rehab? The National Enquirer reports she's seeing Jason Filyaw, a 33-year-old rock guitarist she met at a recent Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. (The Scoop) ... Anand Jon, a celebrity designer who has appeared on "America's Next Top Model" and is often spotted out with Paris Hilton, Paula Abdul and Michelle Rodriguez, was arrested last week for two counts of rape and charges of "sexual battery by restraint, attempted forcible oral copulation and two counts of committing a lewd act upon a child." (TMZ) ... Scarlett Johansson -- whom Woody Allen has just cast in the lead role of the untitled movie he's filming over the summer in Spain -- is also reportedly in the running to star in a stage revival of "South Pacific" at Lincoln Center. (N.Y. Post)


March Madness office games: CBS will be streaming NCAA men's basketball tournament games online for free again this year, and a Chicago consulting firm figures employers will lose $1.2 billion in productivity as their workers watch games on the job. (The tournament begins Thursday.) The broadband service March Madness on Demand will also be bringing back a popular feature from last year, the "boss button," which replaces the game with a premade spreadsheet when pressed. ("It's Also March Madness at the Office," Los Angeles Times)

Friends don't let friends text and drive: The Wall Street Journal reports today on the new electronic menace on the roads, which the paper calls driving while texting, or DWT. After a wave of laws passed in recent years against talking on one's cellphone while driving, Washington, Oregon and Arizona are all considering legislation to curb the texting phenomenon. As the Journal writes, "DWT is an extreme version of a whole new class of modern 'distracted driving' issues lawmakers are wrestling with around the country, as electronic devices become an ever more important part of people's lives, in and out of their automobiles." ("Legislators Aim at a New Misdeed on the Road: DWT," Wall Street Journal)

Moon eyed: NASA has released this short video of a lunar transit of the sun, shot with ultraviolet cameras (from Video Dog):

Buzz Index

; )

"Man Tells Cops Unicorn Caused Crash" (Associated Press)


The new room service: New York Times food critic Frank Bruni recently set out on a grueling journey to test out the latest vogue among high-end hotels: gourmet room service. He describes it as "Seven nights. Seven hotels. Seven dinners. Seven breakfasts." From Gordon Ramsay overseeing the food at the London NYC hotel to Geoffrey Zakarian at the Carlton Hotel near Madison Square Park, Bruni writes, "room service has moved up in the world, reflecting hotels' belief that superior bedside dining can be a perk as appreciated and alluring as a gleaming fitness room or a full-service spa." You can see a guide to what he found here, but he says, "All in all I was impressed more often than not, but I was also reminded of the subset of Murphy's Laws that govern room service: The food will arrive at the most inopportune moment, e.g., when you've just decided to try on the odd leopard-print robe hanging in the bathroom." ("Meals by Elevator, With the Touch of a Chef," Frank Bruni)

"The next chapter in my life, I think, will be about parenthood. Waking up and doing movies isn't quite enough anymore."

-- Halle Berry, considering motherhood. (ContactMusic)


Last week's top TV:
1. "American Idol," Wednesday (Fox), 28.55 million viewers
2. "American Idol," Tuesday (Fox), 27.94 million viewers
3. "American Idol," Thursday (Fox), 27.52 million viewers
4. "House" (Fox), 24.40 million viewers
5. "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" Thursday (Fox), 20.65 million viewers

Turn On

On Wednesday, "Bones" (Fox, 8 p.m. EDT) returns from a break, "Halfway Home" (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m. EDT) -- a comedy with lots of kooky criminals and the occasional bit of improvised brilliance -- debuts, and "Lost" (ABC, 10 p.m. EDT) and "America's Next Top Model" (the CW, 8 p.m. EDT) bring you new episodes.


Regis and Kelly (ABC, 9 a.m. EDT) Zbigniew Brzezinski
The View (ABC, 11 a.m. EDT) Delta Burke, guest co-host Susie Essman
Ellen (Syndicated, check local listings) Delta Burke, guest co-host Susie Essman
Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings) Childhood interrupted
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings) TBA
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT) Chris Hansen
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT) Zbigniew Brzezinski
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT) Ed Viesturs
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT) Richard Gere, Aqualung
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT) Michael Clarke Duncan, Finger Eleven
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT) Tori Spelling, Jensen Ackles, Evanescence
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT) Andy Richter, the Shins
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT) Virginia Madsen, David Steinberg, Unwritten Law (repeat)


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