Let's Get This Party Started: Top Stories for Thursday 06/29/06

6/29/2006 9:41 AM PDT
Could Louisiana be the new Namibia for Britney?

The pop starlet, assaulted by the brutal Malibu lifestyle, might be looking to leave California and get back to her rural roots to give birth to her second child.

A report in In Touch Weekly (via MSNBC's Jeannette Walls) speculates that Britney may want to spend more time in Kentwood, La. because living in Malibu is "hurting her battered marriage" (a charge she flatly denied on her appearance on "Dateline"). Moreover, she's spending $200,000 on improvements to her mother Lynne's home so she can stay there, after she has her second child, which she would reportedly like to do down South as well. Brit also might buy another house just for K-Fed just in case he can't deal with the mother-in-law, according to the magazine. The mayor of Kentwood seems to know what Britney's going to do: "She wants to come home," says Harold Smith, as quoted by In Touch. "She's building more rooms for her growing family. She wants a nursery and some kids' rooms."

Meanwhile, just two weeks after baring her soul to Matt Lauer, Britney is baring her very pregnant body on the cover of Harper's Bazaar.

On the August cover, and in pictures within that were leaked (without permission, says the magazine) yesterday to several Internet sites, Spears does her best Demi Moore impression, unveiling the quite advanced state of her pregnancy in a way highly reminiscent of Moore's famous 1991 Vanity Fair cover. Us Weekly reports that Harper's editors were "horrified" when a newly-black-dyed Britney showed up for a June 23 photo shoot, and had to use brunette hair extensions to fix the problem. Husband Kevin Federline, meanwhile, "loves" the new 'do, according to a source.

Jordanian Embezzler Tries to Steal Brad Pitt's Identity While Stolen Baby Shower Pics Returned

Perhaps Brad Pitt should go to Dubai if he wants to go unrecognized: A Jordanian salesman tried to get more than
$23,000 from a money exchanger in Dubai by using a fake ID with Pitt's picture on it, then claimed he didn't know whose face was on the ID.

A report in the Gulf News today says that the salesman/con man was given a tip that the money had been sitting unclaimed at the Dubai money exchange, and that he tried to pick it up using a fake ID belonging to a client who just happened to look exactly like Brad Pitt. After his arrest, the Jordanian actually told police that he didn't know who Pitt was when he downloaded the pictures from the Internet.

Meanwhile, Rush & Molloy report that the pictures that were stolen on a digital memory card as reported by TMZ on Sunday, containing pictures of the Jolie-Pitt's baby shower in Namibia, are back in safe hands after the perpetrator was arrested. Pitt's rep Cindy Guagenti didn't give any further details about the arrest, and nothing was forthcoming from the LA, Beverly Hills, or Malibu Police Departments. The law firm of Lavely and Singer sent an email to various outlets, including TMZ, threatening legal action against anyone publishing the photos.

Josh Duhamel and Tommy Lee's Dust-Up

That famously pugnacious rocker Tommy Lee got into it on Tuesday night at LA's Bella nightclub with that famously pretty television star Josh Duhamel, and it seems that Duhamel got the short end of things.

The fracas unfurled when Duhamel, who was a guest at Janice Dickinson's weekly party, wanted to use the boys' room, which was occupied by the Motley Crue drummer, and pounded on the door, even after learning that Lee was inside. "Tommy who? Tommy Lee, who cares?" said Duhamel, according to Page Six, whereupon Lee came out and, depending on the account, put Duhamel on the floor with either a punch or a shove. Lee's publicist said that he didn't hit anyone.

Either way, the fight ended when Duhamel was asked to leave and, says Lee's rep, Tommy "remained and finished his dinner." Duhamel's flack said she couldn't imagine Josh getting into a fight.

Nicholson and Freeman Set to Star in Reiner Buddy Pic

Oscar winners Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are teaming up for "The Bucket List," an upcoming film to be directed by Rob Reiner, according to Variety this morning.

In the script, two terminally ill men, to be played by the heavyweight actors, try to fulfill a list of wishes before they kick the bucket, hence the name. They break out of a cancer ward and then go on the road to live it up, driving race cars, eating caviar by the plate, and playing poker in Monte Carlo. The picture will start shooting in October.

Keith Richards to Play Johnny Depp's Dad in "Pirates" 3?

In what may be one of the most brilliant casting decisions ever made, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has been cast in the next sequel to "Pirates of the Caribbean" – and possibly as Captain Jack Sparrow's dad, though he could quite easily do any one of the ghoulish, otherworldly villains as well.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer says he tried to get Richards on board for the "Pirates" sequel that hits theatres later this month, but that the rocker's tour schedule wouldn't allow it. "I think we have worked out some dates," Bruckheimer said, "as long as he doesn't fall out of any more trees."

Music Biz Giants EMI and Warner Music in Bidding War -- Over Each Other

Two of the big four music companies are engaged in what one analyst called "a staring match" as each side tries to buy the other. EMI and Warner Music are pushing their bids for one another up and up: Yesterday, EMI offered $4.6 billion to buy Warner, and then Warner turned around and offered, according to the New York Times, exactly the same amount, which EMI rejected as "wholly unacceptable."

According to the Times, the negotiations are getting increasingly contentious over the management of the new company, and the price is getting cripplingly high for whoever wins the bidding war. If the deal ends up going through, the combined company would be the world's largest music conglomerate with a staggering 25% of global music sales, and boasting artists including Norah Jones, Coldplay, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Mariska Hargitay Delivers a Boy

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" star Mariska Hargitay had a baby yesterday in Los Angeles, her first with husband Peter Hermann, according to Us Weekly. The baby boy was delivered by C-section and weighed in at 10 pounds, 9 ounces, according to a hospital spokesperson. Hargitay, 42, is herself the daughter of late screen siren Jayne Mansfield.