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Top Stories for 07/31/06

7/31/2006 2:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

If you're a beleaguered starlet – like Lindsay Lohan – who just got bawled out by your big, mean boss, who's got your back? Why, your mom, of course.

Dina Lohan – mother of the freckled phenom – is lashing out in public at her daughter's unhappy employer, saying that the letter he wrote chiding Lindsay for "heavy partying" is "too much" and that Lindsay is "a wonderful child."


Mrs. Lohan's maternal instincts were sparked by a letter sent Thursday (and revealed Friday to all on The Smoking Gun) by James G. Robinson, CEO of Morgan Creek Productions, which is producing Lindsay's next film "Georgia Rule." In it, Robinson sternly reprimands Lohan for her on-set (and off-set) behavior, and threatens "action" if she doesn't shape up. (Lindsay has since, according to our sources and Robinson himself, been on time for work and has fulfilled all obligations.)

Dina Lohan explains to People that the overheating and dehydration that resulted in her daughter's hospitalization on Wednesday was due in part to Lindsay's "bronchial asthma – so any extreme heat or cold, she can't breathe," and that she wasn't given enough water though she was wearing winter clothes in the oppressive L.A. heat.

Perhaps Mrs. L is setting a peculiar example for her daughter, as she was spotted by Page Six partying until the wee hours at a Hamptons nightspot – though she says she was just helping a friend celebrate a birthday and that her galpals were all "married with kids." And despite Robinson's admonition, Lindsay was out and about all weekend both in LA and in Las Vegas with boyfriend Harry Morton.

Cruise Production Deal Gets Slashed, Big-Time

Tom Cruise has one of the sweetest production deals of any A-list star with Paramount Pictures at a reported $10 million-plus a year, but a story in today's Los Angeles Times suggests that the studio may be looking to cut that funding by a significant amount as the star grapples with his waning popularity.

Cruise and production partner Paula Wagner's deal with Paramount expires today, and studio chief Brad Grey, according to the Times' sources, will be offering the pair $2 million plus a $500,000 "discretionary fund" per year over two years, a far cry from their old deal. Wagner tells the paper that their current deal isn't nearly as much as $10 million per, which would make it at least four times as rich as those of Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt, and Cruise's lawyer, Bertram Fields, says that they are "digesting" the studio's offer.

"Pirates" Cedes Top Spot, While "Vice" Rules


Movie audiences finally went to see something other than "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" this weekend, and many of them apparently saw "Miami Vice." The Michael Mann-directed picture took the top spot at the box office with a $25.2 million debut, in line with expectations.

Of course, "Pirates" didn't exactly walk the plank, pulling in $20.5 million its total domestic haul to $358.4 million, a domestic record for Disney; Variety says that the $400 million mark is a virtual certainty. The high-school comedy "John Tucker Must Die" also opened well with a sold $14.1 million, and Sundance darling "Little Miss Sunshine" debuted with a strong $356,863 from just eight theaters.

Woody Allen's latest, "Scoop," did one of Allen's best openings in wide release with (this is not a misprint) just over $3 million.

Boy George's Karma: Cleaning Steets of Chinatown

Androgynous pop singer Boy George will be completing his court-ordered public service by doing a very dirty job – cleaning the streets of Manhattan under the brutal August sun.

The New York Daily News reports that George will report for community service for a false report of a break-in on August 14 most likely in Chinatown, one of New York's filthiest neighborhoods, home not just to scores of tourists but also to plenty of rotting fish carcasses and other detritus.

"This is the epitome of community service," said Sanitation Department spokesman Vito Turso, who added that George will be issued a shovel, broom, plastic bags, and gloves when he reports for duty. "It's not like he's going to be working in an air-conditioned office."

Kidman to Play Mrs. Coulter


Newlywed Nicole Kidman' next role will be as "the villainous and glamorous Mrs. Coulter" – but not the one you're thinking of.

Variety reports that the Aussie actress will be taking on a leading role in "The Golden Compass," a film based on the first part of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Phillip Pullman, to be directed by Chris Weitz. Young actress Dakota Blue Richards has been cast as Lyra Belacqua, who "travels to a parallel universe to battle the forces of evil and rescue her best friend" in the story.

Goodie Bag: Nicky Out With Brandon Again, and Matthew Perry Not Friendly To Oldsters


Nicky Hilton was spotted over the weekend with her sister's friend Brandon Davis, and the two looked pretty cozy at Miami's Forge restaurant, according to Page Six. "They were...tickling each other and being all giggly. They left together around midnight," says a spy. . .Matthew Perry's older neighbors at his Beverly Hills apartment building don't like his sometimes aloof manner. "He never responds when we say hello! Every time one of us walks into the elevator and he is there, we always say 'hi' because it is nice and neighborly, and he always looks away and ignores us," says one resident of tony Sierra Towers.

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