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Let's Get This Party Started: Top Stories for Friday 06/16/06

6/16/2006 9:37 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Britney SpearsA defiant Britney Spears hit back last night at her critics and the tabloid press as she demonstrated on NBC's "Dateline," both in word and manner, the kind of emotional rollercoaster she's been on during the past two years.

In her wide-ranging hour-long interview with Matt Lauer on "Dateline," the pop princess elaborated further on her life as a mother and a homemaker and did her best to portray her existence now as a fundamentally domestic one. "I like to cook, try to cook, and I like to clean," she told Lauer. "I'm obsessive like that."

Plus Jacko, Dan Rather, and other top stories.

Britney Takes The Initiative

A defiant Britney Spears hit back last night at her critics and the tabloid press as she demonstrated on NBC's "Dateline," both in word and manner, the kind of emotional rollercoaster she's been on during the past two years.

In her wide-ranging hour-long interview with Matt Lauer on "Dateline," the pop princess elaborated further on her life as a mother and a homemaker and did her best to portray her existence now as a fundamentally domestic one. "I like to cook, try to cook, and I like to clean," she told Lauer. "I'm obsessive like that."

Whether seated in armchairs inside the house or strolling a small portion of the grounds outside, the six-months-pregnant Spears' demeanor seemed to veer between a girlish disbelief of her success and its rewards, an anguished helplessness at its consequences, and a determination to overcome it all.

"I love where I'm at right now," she said, "and the reason why maybe this is happening is I won't take BS from anyone."

Spears also gave Madonna a definitive brush-off, as she responded to Lauer's question about whether they had "a relationship" with an unambiguous no. "I respect her work and I think she's a very smart lady," said Spears. "But I don't live that [referring to Kabbalah, the religious theodicy to which she was introduced by Madonna] like those people do." Spears also got in a dig at Madonna's well-known penchant for re-invention when Lauer asked her about the change in the public's perception of her, suggesting that she couldn't - or wouldn't - put herself through personal "transformation."

By contrast, Spears twice expressed her admiration for Goldie Hawn, who she cited as an example of a celebrity whose early going was rough and then had a makeover, in Hawn's case with the film "Private Benjamin." And she even told Lauer that she loved rival pop diva Pink, who once sang the lyric "Tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears" in her hit "Don't Let Me Get Me."

As for her actual career, she said she would consider going back in to the studio in "a year or to" but didn't know what kind of music she would be recording. For the moment she's focusing on a baby fashion line with the slightly unfortunate name "Babies are Rock and Roll."

Britney's husband Kevin Federline was conspicuous for his absence during the entire show, though a clip from a recent interview he did on "Access Hollywood" was shown, wherein he told Maria Menounos that, despite his wife's reported $100 million fortune, "I have been paying for everything out of my pocket. Everything."

Lauer, for his part, did what he could to radiate sympathy - suggesting at the very outset that the idea for the talk was all Spears, and decrying the actions of the paparazzi. But the sad impression that registered as "Dateline" flashed back and forth between clips of Britney in her halcyon days and in her reduced state today, was ultimately of the distance between the two Britneys in just a few short years.

Rather Finished At CBS News; Bradley Stays On

The Dan Rather Era will soon be over at CBS News, as the veteran newsman told TelevisionWeek yesterday that he would be leaving the network, though he didn't specify when.

"Finishing details are being worked out for me to leave CBS News after 44 years," said Rather, who stepped down as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" last March and has only contributed a handful of stories to "60 Minutes" since then. A Washington Post report yesterday said that the arrival of Katie Couric as the anchor of the evening newscast and her and Anderson Cooper's impending involvement on "60 Minutes" created a logjam that forced CBS' and Rather's hand.

Rather, whose alternately feisty and folksy manner was often polarizing for viewers, told TVWeek that he has other "opportunities I can't discuss today" to consider.

Meanwhile, Lloyd Grove reports in his column today that Rather's colleague Ed Bradley is staying at "60 Minutes" after a reportedly difficult negotiation. "I just signed for three years," Bradley told Grove, "I'm a happy camper.

Jacko Nanny Wants to Marry Him

Michael Jackson may be getting married again, if only to keep his children's mother Debbie Rowe from gaining partial custody of them.

Fox News' Roger Friedman reports that Grace Rwarmba, the nanny of Jackson's kids Prince, Paris, and Blanket, has openly lobbied for a wedding to the erstwhile King of Pop, and now such a union may actually happen. Jackson is reportedly concerned that Rowe may fight for custody of the children in court, and thinks that marrying Rwarmba might help his cause.

However, Rwarmba has had an affair with Michael's brother Jermaine, according to Friedman, which would scuttle her chances to be his wife, and is disliked by the rest of the Jackson clan, who once believed that Rwarmba was poisoning him. Ironically enough, a Los Angeles woman is now suing Jackson, as TMZ reported yesterday, claiming that he harassed her and tampered with her food and water.

Ruben Gets $2 Million in Lawsuit

Former "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard has been awarded $2 million in a suit against his former manager after the latter misappropriated his money and credit cards.

An Alabama judge sided with Studdard against his ex-manager Ronald W. Edwards, awarding him $500,000 for his actual losses and another $1.5 million in punitive damages, according to the Associated Press.

According to the judge's ruling, even though Studdard has sold more than 2.2 million records, the damage done to his credit by Edwards' mismanagement has made it difficult for the Idol to buy a home.

Vince Vaughn's Mother Duped By Multi-Million-Dollar Scam

Forbes magazine reports that Vince Vaughn's hedge-fund manager mom lost $25 million of her own –- and her investors' – money after she invested the money with alleged scam artists who promised her a 10% return.

According to Forbes, Sharon Vaughn wore a wire and helped the Secret Service track down the alleged perpetrators of the scam, which led to arrests. However, Mrs. Vaughn had to give up her license, pay more than $800,000 and agree to a ban from the industry, even though she ended up being the victim.


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Britney needs to go about her life as she had before and not let the nonsense of the public eye deter her from what she knows is the proper thing for her family. The interview did seem fake at some points but so alive and in the moment in others. LEAVE HER ALONE! We all make mistakes and like she said we are all human. Be you and do you Britney!

3022 days ago


If Britney wants to be taken seriously, perhaps she should get some etiquette lessons and stop using the "I am a country girl" excuse for some of her actions. She looked like a complete slob last looked like Courtney Love dressed her. If you are going to be on national television, being interviewed by Matt Lauer...dress nicely. She use to be so beautiful, now she is just a complete slob. And please, someone, hit her in the head and make her spit out that gum. Once again, you are being interviewed, not going to the beach...cripes. And I like Britney Spears, but, seriously, don't "cry me a river" when your actions bring alot of this upon yourself. You are a celebrity, and unfortunately, the papparazzi comes with the territory. I was embarassed for her last nite...I don't think it helped her image at all. Sorry folks, but, you cannot have a "normal" life when you are a celebrity. That's the reality of it.

3022 days ago


Britney is so dumb. She sat there chewing gum during Lauer interview had on a hoochie outift and he pregnant as a cow. Telling the world she didnt know Kevin hadnt knocked up Shar ...yea right like me and oh millions believe that. Love those hundred in the air "quotes" she used to stress her uneduacated points.

Britney learn how to wear clothes that fit and learn how to speak articulate.

3022 days ago


Oh Britney... Britney Britney Britney. When she was talking about Kevin she kept staring at the floor! What the heck? Was it not obvious to everyone watching that she was lying... In next week's issues: A body language expert in people, us, star, and OK! Guarantee...

3022 days ago


I think Britney did a good job of expressing herself. I mean she is a person with feelings too and i know that she has to be overwhelmed with emotions from the tabloids and all so i feel really bad for her. but this is the life she chose but really everyone should back off and let her and her family live in private for a little while!!!

3022 days ago


While I think Britney harmed her image by chewing gum, wearing that outfit and talking more like a teenager than an adult, I don't feel that people should be ragging on her being a bad mother. Has she made some mistakes sure (holding her son in her lap while driving - BIG mistake) but then again, you ask 1,000 first time mothers if they have ever made a mistake and I'm sure a high percentage will admit that they have. Babies are not born with instructions and as a mom, you just do the best you can do and hope that your children grow up to be happy, well adjusted adults.

3022 days ago


Britney did not have all her ducks in a row commenting on Julia Roberts and her husband Danny Moder. His ex-wife did not have children. And she is not a good speaker at all. She seems very uneducated indeed.

3022 days ago


Britney is horrible representation of the south. She looked like Trailer park trash last night on Dateline. I don't understand how someone like her, who has tons of money, couldn't have dressed more appropriately and had her hair and make up done so that she did not look like a younger version of Dolly Parton. I am embarassed that she is from the south. Her mother obviously never taught her not to chew gum with her mouth open, especially not when you are on national television. What an embarassment. She will never come back from this. She just needs to go ahead and make some wise investments with the money that she has before her thug husband spends it all, so that she will be able to provide for her children in the future. I can not see her making anymore hits. What a waste.

3022 days ago


She is an absolute idiot in my books.
She can cry, sniffle and throw snot across the room about people up her ass....
As humans, when people tell us NOT TO DO THINGS, dont we do it?
She just opened up another can of worms.

She is trying to make us look stupid. Good Luck you back wood filled with stupidity!

3022 days ago


She has to disappear for a long time from public's eye. She is sooo disturbing!

I am not from the south, I am not even American but if I was, I wouldn't be sooo happy after listening her anyway.

She is so stupid, so uneducated, so tasteless. She doesn't know how to dress up properly, wear make-up, behave, sit, talk. She is soo cheap.

For the ones who want her divorce her husband, do you think that she could find better than him with this stupidity? My answer is big NO! She is capable to find much worse than him actually, if there is one around.

About the chewing gum, there is no "the worst" with her, always there is "worse". She is definitely going down and down.

As a mom, she should take it seriously, otherwise, something serious might happen to this innocent baby and the one on the way. Good luck to these kids and I wish God will protect them, firstly from their useless parents!

3022 days ago


Britney is clearly hurting and the media needs to back off her. I felt horrible seeing her fall apart on TV, she's a young woman and she's pregnant. The pooperazzi need to give it a rest. Watching someone meltdown is... not. that. interesting.

3022 days ago


I don't feel sorry for Brittney Spears, she has made mistakes with the baby, but to comment that mistakes happen when she almost dropped the child in New York and to blame this on the papparazzi because there were so many drop the drink not the child. Driving a car with child on your lap because the media is rushing you give the child to the passenger or get on your cell and call the police.

I just feel that she did this so that people could feel sorry for her stupidity not the mistakes as a matter of fact when I first heard of the incident I felt sorry for her until last nights interview.

Also if you did not know that Kevin had a girlfriend and family until a couple months after they started dating then you find out drop him, we all know even her that this man is around for the money and she forgets that she let the media know that she was taking his expensive cars back and she does these things so that he has to come back. I know that if Kevin had his own money he would be gone and then she too is going to say it was all the media and he just could not take it.

The only people in this I feel sorry for at this time are going to be the children and to think before she had Kevin and these children I think she was sweet and sexy looking now she looks like she should have a cig and a bottle of beer in her hand and she would have been right at home . good luck Brit I hope you find your way out so that we can all forget you

3022 days ago

jeanne schinkel    

I agree totally with #2. comments above. If Brittney wants respect, she needs to hire someone to help her dress like a lady and not some trailer trash woman with too much makeup and the gum!!! How can she be so stupid to not know that in this case "more" (clothes) would be better, especially in view of her pregnancy. She did look like a complete slob and this interview only enhanced the bad publicity she is getting. Comparing the baby's various accidents to her grownup brother's motorcycle accident was like comparing apples and oranges and was not relevant nor was the comment about Julia Roberts. I am seriously wondering just what she is on and what has happened to the sweet young girl she used to be. I would bet serious money that she and Federline will soon be in the tabloids announcing their breakup. She is almost a Courtney Love Clone at this point. She needs help. I am very worried about that poor little baby.

3022 days ago

Ms. X    

Cry me a damn river ... I have zero sympathy for someone who acts like they were homeschooled in the backwoods by her mother's brother who's also her father.

Doesn't she have a well she should be chased around?

You all know this is a reflection of the US when this crap is seen overseas. No wonder they all think we're dumb as posts.

3022 days ago


Where to start...? So, where was Britney's publicist and why isn't she fired? Who lets their client go out looking like that? Britney you are a mother, put Sean P's juice boxes in a bigger shirt. I wasn't sure if I was seeing nipple or if her chest was turning blue from the lack of oxygen. Cover up Brit!! I believe she was trying to let America know that she is a good mother, a happy wife and a victim of the tabloids, but I was distracted by the gum chewing, bad weave, barely there outfit, clumpy eye lashes, bad posture, and inabiity to answer questions with sense *how many times must we see the sad face Brit*? If Britney wanted to make the right statement, she should have presented herself like a stepford wife rather than a mini-anna nicole. Rather than making excuses about "that's how we do it in the south," admit that u messed up Brit and plan to do better.
I'm thinking Justin must be on his knees thanking the dear Lord *and possibly Wade Robson* for helping him to see the light early on.

3022 days ago
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