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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.

66 COMMENTS

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16.

Lance K.    

She is the one who asked for the interview. She wanted it so she should have been prepared. There was no excuse for not being prepared. Also when does she ever accept responsibility for what her choices are instead of deflecting it by bring in Brad&Angelina, Julia Roberts, Jessica Simpson and Goldie Hawn.

She clearly is uneducated. She may be nice but she is dumb

3029 days ago
17.

Deloris    

I am definately not a Brittney Spears fan but, I think that everyone needs to lay off of her and give her a break....We have all made mistakes in our lives and some of us worse than hers. She is in the spotlight is why we all react the way we do and it is not right....Leave the girl alone and let her live her life with her family!!

3029 days ago
18.

Megan Marsh    

You guys are terrible. Stop being so hateful and critical. Are you perfect? I doubt it! Focus on more important things in life.

3029 days ago
19.

Lance K.    

Enough, she invited the public into her private life by bragging about her sex life and then selling it for money for her Chaotic show. Is she upset because she did not get money for the other stuff. Ridiculous.

She has lied numerous times. I don't wan the media in my life so I ask to do a primetime interview. Please

3029 days ago
20.

cindy    

Can we say "trailor trash?!" Don't get me wrong, I like Britney and I feel sorry for her most of the time. However, she was dressed horrible, make-up looked horrible, she was smacking her gum and chewing it with her mouth opened. If you ask me, she looked like she should have been on the Jerry Springer show! She did not give a great impression by any means. I feel bad about her being harrased all the time with cameras, etc...Esp now with having a child. But I do disagree with Sean riding on her lap. She said it was for only 5 minutes. Well HELLO, most accidents happen with-in 2-5 miles from your home! After it happened she brought up Princess Diana about how she was killed b/c of the paparazzi was chasing her. If Britney felt threatened (which I'm sure she did) and they were chasing after her and harrassing her, then she should not have used Princess Diana as an example. That made her look STUPID! Princess Diana was killed b/c of them and Sean could have been as well b/c she did not have him in a carseat. Why couldn't the body guard have been driving while she was in the backseat buckling him in??!!! I think they should leave her alone about Sean falling, she wasn't even there, and her tripping. She would not have tripped if she could have gotten to her car without the paparazzi all over her. Plus if you look at the street, it was all messed up. Easy to trip over. I am a Mom and stuff like that happens to us "un-famous" people too! Yes, leave her alone, but come on Britney, you betrayed yourself as white trailor trash with your bra and boobs hanging out, your make-up looked horrible. My 13 yr old does a better job than that, and you should NEVER do any interview while chewing gum. You weren't even chewing it, you were SMACKING it. I know you have style and class, but you didn't last night girl. Where was your stylist????

3029 days ago
21.

thevoiceofreason    

Unfortunately for her, and I am in no way a fan, she has subjected herself to even more bad press by doing that interview. How horrible she looked, she spoke like the English language was foreign to her and what is up with the gum chewing?? I was waiting for her to blow a big bubble and begin snapping her gum!!! Get some class girl! She needs an image overhaul, personal assistant or something. As a mother of 2 I'm sure everything I've done is not perfect. Having said that, I have never endangered the lives of my children, there is simply no excuse for not using a car seat for an infant or even using one improperly. This "woman" needs to accept responsibility for her actions and smarten up. Perhaps if she showed some common sense in her choices she may get the respect she so desperately wants. It seems as though when celebrities have something they want the public to buy they want all the press they can get, until they slip up then all of a sudden they want their privacy. Can't have it both ways Brit!! If you don't want the attention stop wearin a big red target on your ass!!

3029 days ago
22.

Sue Gardner    

That interview last night was just pathetic. Britney had the opportunity to go on national TV and try to make the public see her as a person, a new mom, wife. Instead, she spoke as though she had not graduated from grammar school! And she chewed gum, which is totally low-class. And she had on an outfit two sizes two small - so unflattering. She came off as total low-class, no-class. All she has is money. She should have stayed in school, gotten an education and a real job. She is zero credibility. I would never want my child using HER as a role model. What a shame.

3029 days ago
23.

Elena    

Brittany has made mistakes, but haven't we all. Being a mother is at times diifacult, but add in a young age and a less than supporting husband and you have a recipe for problems. I think we should back off and let brittany find herself and her way. I applaud Brittany for being who she is and being concerend about coming off as perfecr or "stepford" Leave her alone and find someone else to pick on.

3029 days ago
24.

Lance K.    

Ummm since Britney has been in the media for all of these years there is no way in the world you can have me believe that she did not play a part in the interview last night. She wanted to come off as pathetic and woe is me. She WANTED people to feel sorry for her.

Remember people, she set up this interview the way she does others.

3029 days ago
25.

Lance K.    

Britney is not some simple Media girl, she knows the media has used the media and is using it again. From her Rolling Stone Cover to this interview. It was done for a purpose. To actually portray her as a simpleton. She knows better. She knows how to dress, act and speak and has done so many times. This time she wanted to portray a certain image and did it. Her drawl is not that pronounced.

She has been and will always be about the image

3029 days ago
26.

Buster Van Buren    

It's been amazing to watch Britney's transformation from pop cultual icon to this blathering idiot of a woman over the past few years. How her true personality, style, and intelligence (or lack of) was kept hidden through most of her career is a testament to her previous publicist/manager (who undoubtedly left after the entry of her loser husband). Watching this interview was much like watching a Saturday Night Live skit, as the gum-smacking, K-mart make-up, and "I am Country!" comments were well suited to a parody. They should have set a laugh track to it.

3029 days ago
27.

mimi    

I dont believe anything britney says cuz she a two face . . . and a big phony!!!!!!!!!!!

3029 days ago
28.

Lance K.    

Remember when she had the cigarette and then swore up and down that she didn't smoke.

Remember when she was drinking at Federline's party and her rep swore up and down that she wasn't pregnant because she wouldn't drink if she was

Remember when she taped Chaotic and talked on tape about how sex was and that controversy sales.

This girl KNOWS the media and uses it to her advantage time and time again.

She was getting a lot of heat and knew that she needed to whip up some sympathy so VOILA- She sets up an interview with NBC. Notice she sets it up. SHe knew the date and teh time and was well prepared to get the image out that she wanted us to see

3029 days ago
29.

Melanie    

Needless to say, Britney's outfit didn't leave much to the imagination, but her point was well made. I can't imagine being hounded by the paparazzi 24/7 and felt that her emotional breakdown was genuine. Maybe there was more to her getting upset - like that money-sucking loser she married. Her life would/will be so much better if she gets rid of that loser. The longer she stays with him, the more $ she has to pay him.

3029 days ago
30.

Jen    

I totally agree about the whole image thing. She wants to be left alone, yet she dresses like a hooker and expects people not to comment! It is very hard to respect someone who is falling out of their shirt, preggers or not! I was a 22yo Mom and I think the transisition between mini skirts and more sophisticated above the knee skirts happened while I was pregnant with my first baby. If she wants to be treated like a human being, she needs to take a look at her actions, chewing gum, acting immature. This is her opportunity, just like Madonna, (even tho she said she wouldn't) grow up and into the next stage in her life and her career. The same would have to happen for Mr. too. The cleaned up version is an awesome example of Kevin, Britney do the same. You will be amazed at the different response you will get. Create a clothing line for the entire family (a respectful one)! That said, clothes do not make the person who they are, Britney is still in need of major behavior modifications. Her parenting....let's not go there....I am actually very upset about her attitude, very concerned. Last but not least...if Kevin was ACTUALLY there, as Matt said, why wasn't he sitting next to her? Supporting her? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm??????????

3029 days ago
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