Let's Get This Party Started: Top Stories for 07/05/06

7/5/2006 9:22 AM PDT
Surely Britney's public image hasn't fallen to that of a convicted felon?

At least one high-profile publicist thinks so, and as a result she's trying to lure Britney away from her current flack and rehabilitate her image.


In an e-mail sent to Britney's manager and leaked to Lloyd Grove, Tracey Nguyen of 5WPR writes that Britney is "in the same position" as her client Lil' Kim was two years ago and offers an image rehab on the same order -- though, of course, Kim just got out of prison two days ago after a ten-month stint in the slammer for lying to a jury so this might not be exactly what Spears has in mind.

But Nguyen echoes the sentiments of many celeb watchers when she attacked Spears' current rep Zelnick, writing, "I would NEVER allow any of my clients to do an interview, let alone such an important one, without being there..." Zelnick, for her part, says of Nguyen, "She must not have take PR 101, where they teach you: When you're trying to steal other people's clents, don't diss your own."

Regardless, Spears isn't taking her PR business anywhere, according to Grove.

Shiloh and Kingston's First Playdate

Could this be celebdom's next star couple? Kingston Rossdale and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt had their first playdate over the July 4 weekend, as their parents got together for a little R-&-R at Shiloh's folks' place in Santa Barbara.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie welcomed Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani to their home, with Brad and Gavin enjoying a spin on the jet-skis and the ladies comparing baby slings. Security was exceedingly tight, with dune buggies surrounding the compound and patrol boats scanning the seas for intruders.

No word on whether the two kids discussed their recent modeling gigs and other vagaries of fame.

Keira's Not Anorexic, She Says, But Family's Had Struggles

Keira Knightley wants everyone to know that she's not anorexic, even though her family has a history of it.

The Brit actress spurred a rash of questions about her weight (or her lack thereof) when she appeared at a premiere for her new film "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" wearing a ribcage-baring Gucci gown. "I've got a lot of experience with anorexia – my grandmother and great-grandmother suffered from it," says Knightley. "I know it's not something to be taken lightly and I don't."

She adds that, despite her preternaturally slender frame, she was surprised that people would even suggest that she had an eating disorder.

Constantine and Kellie Making Sweet Music No More

With a refrain something along the lines of "You don't call me any more," Constantine Maroulis tells PEOPLE magazine that he and Kellie Pickler – an American Idol power couple if ever there was one – are no longer an item.

"We were hanging out and talking all the time and I haven't spoken to her in a while, so I'm not really sure what that's all about," says Maroulis. "I don't know if it's her being too busy or thinking that she's a big star now or something. I'm not really sure what the whole situation is."

Pickler isn't talking, but perhaps she'll address the issue while she's on tour with the rest of the season five Idols, who start their Live! tour today in New Hampshire.

Dallas Austin Pardoned in Dubai, On His Way Home

R&B producer Dallas Austin was given a pardon by the ruler of Dubai after Austin was sentenced to four years in prison for possession of cocaine, according to two of the producers' lawyers, and is on the way back to the US. "He is on the plane and safely out of the country," says his lawyer, Joel A. Katz, by email.

Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued the pardon after the producer, who has produced huge hits for Pink and TLC, was found with more than gram of cocaine at Dubai's airport, and eventually plead guilty to the charge of drug possession. The pardon does not overturn the conviction but does suspend the punishment

Streisand Tickets Selling Slowly

The seats for Barbra Streisand's "farewell" tour aren't exactly selling like hotcakes, much less buttah. According to this morning's Page Six, the tickets, which are being listed for as much as $800 and have been on sale for a few weeks, are said to be going very slowly, which is of concern to the promoters, who paid nearly $80 million for the diva's 20 shows with opening act Il Divo.

"Some cities, [like] Detroit, where they wanted to do two days, are less than 3,000 sold," according to "a top music industry source." Ken Sunshine, Barbra's rep, says that the claim isn't true, and that tickets are "going through the moon."

"Sopranos" Casting Complete

For everyone who was worried that Silvio Dante and Paulie Walnuts would either get whacked or would have to be digitally inserted a la Nancy Marchand in the final eight episodes of "The Sopranos" because of a contract dispure, the fretting's over.

The Hollywood Reporter says this morning that Steven Van Zandt and Tony Sirico have finally signed their deals, compromising with HBO on $150,000 per episode though they'd been seeking $200,000 per. The latter figure was more than anyone else on the show, save James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, would have been paid.