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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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I am in no way a Britney fan, but I agree that she is getting picked on way too much about being a bad mother. Maybe she should be left alone. I have to say, however, that if you are giving an interview on national television, it would be better to run a brush through your hair, pull up your shirt, and please, oh please, get rid of the gum.

2987 days ago

elizabeth lowry    

I think that Britt has a lot of personal and emotional problems like every young first time mother has. I dont believe that she hurts her child or that she does not care about him. I just think that everyone is making a big deal out of it becasue she is Britteny Spears. If she was an ordinary joe riding with her baby on her lap there would have been no pictures of it. Just because she is worth millions of dollars does not mean that she is doing something that we have not heard about before. There was a case where I live, the woman was driving and breast feeding her baby at the same time, it was talked about for about 5 minutes and that is it. She is a good mother, and must learn from her own mistakes. There are a lot of girls out there now and even women that are putting her down, because of K-Fed, but most of them have probably had their own K-Fed in their past. Who are we to judge??

2987 days ago


Britney needs to stop whining about being in the public's eye...she knew being famous and losing privacy were synonymous and she needs to get used to it. I'm sure she'd LOVE having the public up her ass if it was praising her and not making her look like the fool she is, but fact is, she's a spoiled, stupid hick with more money than she deserves. She wants to say "we're just people and we deserve our privacy!"...yeah, maybe thats true if you were "JUST PEOPLE", but you're a frickin' pop-tartlet who fucked up her should-have-never-been-career for a man whore. She can't sing, she's an irresponsible mom and she's dumb to boot. The world would be a better place without her sorry a**.

2987 days ago


I am going to cancel my subscription to US Magazine after watching Britney on that show. I am a mom of three and read the magazine for fun! Now I see that these stories actually cause other mom's pain I am done with it!
Britney you are a wonderful mom and a beautiful southern woman!

2987 days ago


It's amazing that now Britney wants the press to back off but she has to understand that it's part of the deal she has made. She followed the Madonna course of creating controversy and buzz to sell records and keep her name in the news- in fact she even kissed Madonna on TV, had that reality show showing her "great" behind the scenes life with Kevin etc.. and now she wants sympathy because the media hounds her all the time...poor thing.
I am not going to attack her as a mother because I know mistakes will be made, its a learning process-but having her baby on her lap driving is just stupid and then justifying it by saying oh well we're just country-- Her father may have let Britney sit on his lap on some dirt road in Louisiana not on an LA highway. the fact that she dosen't even recognize it as a mistake just shows her immaturity...

2986 days ago


It bothers me when celebrities whine and bitch about not having any privacy ONLY when they're not profiting from it. Remember "Chaotic?" She wasn't bawling about her privacy when she sold her personal videos to UPN. Remember when she was talking about how great the sex was with her trashy boyfriend? How can she expect anyone to respect her then? She's a joke and she needs to pick a path and stay on it. She brought this all on herself, and has no reason at ALL to complain about it.

2986 days ago


I am not a Britney Spears fan. I did watch the interview, hosever, because I wanted to see how she justified the numerous "mistakes" she has made as far as the baby is concerned. I am a mother. My children were born 14 months apart. I (as well as all mothers) know what it is like to raise children. It is very hard. You certainly do make mistakes. There is no doubt about it. However, I don't feel that Britney explained herself very well. To say that she rode on her father's lap all the time because "we're country"! I am sure there were no airbags in her father's car at that time. When I was a baby I was on the back seat of the car in a carry cot with no seat belt! Times change. The law says a child must be in a car seat. Matt Lauer (sp?) should have called her on that when she gave that ridiculous response. If the incident with the paparazzi was as bad as she claimed it was, she should have gotten into the back seat with the baby, had the bodyguard drive and she could put the baby in his car seat. It would have taken an extra minute or two. As for her fall in NY. She should not have been carrying a glass (!). After she almost fell, she should have turned to her bodyguard and given him the glass (probably not a good idea to wear such long pants either). You need to protect your child at all times. Yes, we all make mistakes as parents but we don't all have the amenities available to us that Britney has. She has bodyguards and people to help her. I cannot imagine what it must be like to live with those photographers constantly hounding you, but that's no excuse really. As others have said on this post, you can't have it both ways. Don't expect people to watch a tv show about your most intimate moments and then get mad because you can't go out!

2986 days ago


Britney makes me smile and she's one smart women. The news is all about Britney and she came across sweet and a fox. But is is a strong woman and she like the life she has....I also loved the Julia Roberts snark because she is soooooooo right and everybody knows it. But because Julia has the sophistication, everybody overlooks her crap.

As a Angelina Jolie fan...I'm glad she put a so-call good girl out there too.

2986 days ago

Pixie Stix    

If Britney doesn't want attention, as she claimed in the interview with Matt Lauer, then I would suggest she stop exhibiting behaviors that garner attention: Baring her breasts in an interview that will be seen by millions of people, speaking like a 12 year old with no education, and failing to acknowledge her responsibility in the myriad of mistakes she's made over the last few years. The first sign of maturity is when one looks within, recognizes - and acknowledges - problems and mistakes, and then takes the steps to correct them. Show this, Britney, and I think you'll be on your way to having the life you want. Until then your immature antics and pathetic behavior just give the world something to gawk at.

2986 days ago
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