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Let's Get This Party Started: Top Stories for Monday 07/17/06

7/17/2006 9:13 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Please, Paris: Why don't you tell us what you really think?

She says she's the "iconic blonde" of this decade, like Marilyn Monroe and Princess Di before her, that she plays dumb "like Jessica Simpson plays dumb," and that she believes, apparently without a shred of irony, that "there's nobody in the world like me."



In an interview in the Sunday Times of London yesterday, the lodging heiress tells former flatmate and Times scribe Giles Hattersley that "there are a lot of heiresses out there, and I don't see any of them doing what I've done." And she claims that despite reports of ladies-room slapfights to the contrary, "I'm non-confrontational. Certain girls just use me to get media attention...because a feud with Paris Hilton always gets press."

Like Lindsay Lohan, for instance, whom Paris supposedly barked at in a New York nightclub for cavorting with her ex-boyfriend Stavros Niarchos? "That was crap. She's never even hung out with Stavros. He thinks she's pathetic." (Sounds like a feud to us.)

And to think that, as Hattersley recalls, Paris was once just "a warm witty girl who always made a point of emptying the dishwasher."

Jessica's Dad Reportedly Tried to Get Dirt on Nick, While Vanessa Disappoints Doormen

Before his daughter's divorce from Nick Lachey was final, Jessica Simpson's manager-father Joe Simpson allegedly tried to strong-arm a club into giving him security footage of a night Nick Lachey was visiting with squeeze Vanessa Minnillo. According to a source cited by the New York Daily News' Ben Widdicombe, "Joe was looking to incriminate Nick. He told the club, 'If you ever want to see my daughter there, you'll give me what I want.'" A Simpson rep calls the story "preposterous."

Meanwhile, the doormen in Minnillo's apartment complex on the East Side of Manhattan aren't exactly the biggest fans of Nick's, either. Page Six says that they miss Minnillo's old guy Derek Jeter "because he was much nicer and a lot more fun – and he didn't mind signing things for the boys." Indeed, a TMZ spy says that Minillo and Lachey have entered the building trailed by an entourage, trying to elude the paparazzi chasing them outside, and that the usually sunny Minnillo has to make a run for the elevators without chatting up the staff.

Even More B.O. Booty for "Pirates"


"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" continued its jolly plundering of summer box office treasure, scoring the biggest ever 10-day gross and leaving journalists at a loss for fresh pirate-related metaphors.

The Disney picture made $62.2 million in its second weekend, which fell short of the Biggest Second Weekend Ever title, trailing "Shrek 2" and "Spider-Man," but still managed to take its overall tally to $258.2 million, which makes it already 2006's biggest film. Given its current rate of decline (about 50% from the weekend before), Variety suggests that the film will pass the $300 million mark next weekend and finish in the US with a final total of around $400 million.

Two new comedies, "Little Man" and "You, Me, and Dupree," ended up in a near-tie after "Pirates," with $21.7 million and $21.3 million, respectively.

Opposite Ends of the Perky Spectrum: Katie and Rachael in Pasadena

Suggesting a different and perhaps more substantive direction for her CBS newscast, Katie Couric says that what's she's learned during her six-city "listening tour" is that people think the "the news is just too depressing," that they want "more perspective" and "greater context," and that they "want us to go a little big deeper" into the stories. At the Television Critics Association in Pasadena, Couric told reporters, as observed by the Washington Post, that the news media "get a little bit sucked into this world where we think everybody's living and breathing what we're doing." And she tactfully declined to answer questions about the departure of her predecessor, Dan Rather.

Meanwhile, in a completely different universe, high-energy TV chef Rachael Ray has a fairly simple objective for her upcoming syndicated talk-show series: "I want to laugh and eat something in every show." She told the assembled critics in Pasadena that she's "really tired of seeing makeovers and date things and everyone is 20" on TV, and that viewers who try to make her signature 30-minute meals in exactly 30 minutes are "kind of creepy." In fact, says Ray, "If I open the wine before I start cooking, it takes me a good 47 (minutes)."

Briefly: Foxy's Calls Accuser a Liar, Holly Hunter Moves to TV

Rapper Foxy Brown, responding to allegation by a former assistant that she was harassed by Brown, said that her accuser Rasheeda Ellis is "a disgruntled young girl that I wouldn't let into my personal life, and she took offense to it." Brown also alleges that Ellis tried to leak personal emails to the gossip pages and that she had faked references to get the job. Ellis did not comment to Page Six...Holly Hunter will be starring in a new TNT series, "Grace," in which she plays a jaded Oklahoma City police detective who is visited by an angel and tries to redeem her life thereafter, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It's the four-time Oscar-nominated Hunter's first foray into series television.

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