Let's Get This Party Started: Top Stories for Monday 07/03/06

7/3/2006 10:04 AM PDT
It happened to Brangelina, and now Britney says it's happened to her too: Stolen vacation snaps.

Britney Spears is claiming that pictures of her family on vacation that appeared in a celebrity glossy last week were "stolen by an unknown perpetrator," according to a statement released by her record label.

Jive Records released a statement on Saturday saying that "personal vacation photos" belonging to the Spears-Federlines were stolen, and that the couple is "outraged and saddened" about the theft and are having the matter investigated.

The snaps, which appeared in Us Weekly and on various Internet gossip sites, show the happy family – Brit, K-Fed, and young Sean Preston – mugging for a camera on a private jet and playing in a hotel room, as well as a somewhat startled-looking Sean sitting in a stroller with his parents flanking him.

The Spears' allegation comes not a week after police recovered photos of the Namibian baby shower of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie from a home in Westfield, Mass., as TMZ first reported last week.

As of this morning, Us Weekly couldn't be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Britney has managed to derail the career of one of the co-stars of her sister Jamie Lynn's show "Zoey 101." According to Page Six, Britney told Alexa Nikolas she would "never work in this town again" back in November after she and Jamie Lynn, the show's star, got into a spat on the set of the Nickelodeon series.

It now seems that Nikolas' character meets with a "bad accident," according to a Page Six source who's seen the script for the show's new season, and that because the character, named Nicole, is popular with the show's kids' audience, the sisters Spears are trying to keep the incident on the down-low. Reps for the show and for the Spears didn't return phone calls for comment.

Jess' Toughs Allegedly Rough Up Photographer

Jessica Simpson's bodyguards had an alleged run-in with a newspaper photographer at a club in the Hamptons over the weekend.

John Roca, a lensman for the New York Daily News, claims that four of Jessica's bodyguards "jumped on me like a chicken on a June bug" when he tried to take pictures of her at the Pink Elephant nightclub in Southampton. Roca said that he asked to photograph Simpson, who was wearing a "plunging bustier, miniskirt, and iridescent heels" while lounging on a divan, perhaps celebrating her first weekend as an officially single woman.

The bodyguards then grabbed his camera and ripped the memory card from Roca's pants. Simpson spokesman Rob Shuter says that the security was from the club, but Pink Elephant sources disagree, claiming that the heavies were employees of Jessica.


Is Brandy the Next Star?

Singer-acress Brandy is filling in for the fired Star Jones on "The View" this coming week, fuelling speculation that she could be on the short list to be a permanent co-host.

The starlet is currently occupying a judge's chair on the NBC show "America's Got Talent" next to David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan but will be appearing on the ABC morning show Wednesday and Friday, according to PEOPLE magazine. "These tryouts are for consideration for the permanent gig," says the magazine's source.

Last week, "One Life To Live" star Renee Goldsberry filled in at the last minute, and veteran soap actress Susan Lucci will be at the table with Barbara, Joy, and Elisabeth on Thursday.

Ebert Has Emergency Operation, Thumbs Up for Recovery

Film critic Roger Ebert was "doing well" this morning after emergency surgery to correct complications from previous surgery for cancer, and was in serious but stable condition at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

A blood vessel near a cancerous growth on Ebert's salivary gland burst on Saturday and he was rushed to the hospital to repair the rupture. The condition is not considered life-threatening and the Chicago Sun-Times critic is expected to make a full recovery. Ebert has had cancer surgery three times previously.

Matthew Perry and Darren Star in Seat-Saving Row

Sitcom star Matthew Perry and sitcom creator extraordinaire Darren Star had a little tiff over the weekend over some saved seats at a movie theater.

Page Six reports that Star went with a friend and the friend's niece and nephew to the Century City multiplex to watch "Superman Returns" and found four seats blocked off with tape, as is the custom at a film's premiere-except that this wasn't a premiere.

When Star asked why the seats were reserved, cinema employees said it was for Matthew Perry, who Star subsequently confronted in the theater's lobby about the seat-saving. Perry wouldn't budge, so Star had to move his group.

Perry, through his rep, replied cheekily: "I really enjoyed the movie, although it is slightly implausible that a man can fly."