Let's Get This Party Started: Top Stories for Friday 06/30/06

6/30/2006 9:01 AM PDT

Let's Get This Party Started: Top Stories for Friday 06/30/06

Star Jones continued her public self-defense tour Thursday night, revealing to Larry King that she was supposed to "make up a story" to tell the audience about her firing – and that her co-hosts on "The View" would just go along it.

In her first television interview since getting booted off "The View," Star said she decided to go ahead with her bombshell announcement a day early because "my viewers, our viewers, deserve the truth and I gave it to them."

And when King showed her clips from the show the day after she quit, full of Barbara Walters' barely concealed venom, Jones claimed that she hadn't seen them before and that she was "sad that the platform that I helped to build was used in a way to attack me professionally." She attempted to take the high road in her spat with Barbara Walters, saying that she would "not denigrate" her former boss, and added that she'd like to see another African-American professional, rather than an actress or comedian, take over her seat at the table. (Walters said on the air that she told Jones that she could say what she wanted to about her contract ending and that her co-hosts would "support her.")

Meanwhile, Star also apologized to her one-time friend Joy Behar through the New York Daily News, saying that she ruined their friendship by not confiding in her about her weight problems. "I can understand why she felt left out. I have to assume she was feeling, 'Why isn't Star, my friend, sharing this stuff with me?'"

Jacko Wacko Like Einstein, Says Lawyer

In the opening statements of the Michael Jackson civil trial yesterday, the lawyer for Jackson's former business partner, porn producer Marc Schaffel, who is suing the singer for nearly $4 million, said that the King of Pop was in dire financial straits in 2003 when the reputation-destroying documentary by Martin Bashir aired.

According to Howard King, the King of Pop had just a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank at the time the show aired, and he owed creditors "hundreds of millions of dollars." Jackson's lawyer, Thomas Mundell, introduced the "crazy old Mr. Jackson" defense, claiming that he was "just as forgetful as the famously forgetful Albert Einstein. Genius comes with eccentricity and quirkiness in other areas."

Hasselhoff Head-Butts Chandelier, Lands in Hospital

Actor-singer David Hasselhoff cut himself while shaving yesterday, but required more than a dab of toilet paper to staunch the bleeding.

According to Lloyd Grove
, the former Baywatch star was having a shave after his morning workout at the Sanderson Hotel in London, and was having trouble navigating his six-foot-four frame around all the fancy Philippe Starck fixtures in the darkly lit men's room, when he biffed his head against a chandelier above the sink. Shards of glass and chrome came cascading down and cut his right arm, severing a tendon, which required emergency surgery. Hasselhoff spent the night in the hospital but should be fine.

Rob Schneider Collapses On Set at Women's Prison

"Deuce Bigalow" star Rob Schneider was taken to the hospital Wednesday after he collapsed during the filming of a movie in Northern California.

The 42-year-old Schneider was filming the comedy "Big Stan" at a women's prison near Stockton, Calif., when he had to be taken to a nearby hospital. "The combination of bad food and the heat just him," said his rep. She added that she didn't know what the bad food was but that he was released from the hospital on Wednesday.

DMX Sent to Jail

Rap star DMX, known to his parents as Earl Simmons, was thrown in the slammer yesterday by a judge who had summoned him to her courtroom after he failed to show last week for a hearing to face speeding and other traffic charges. City Judge Barbara Leak was unsympathetic to DMX's claims of being ill for the last hearing. "We have granted him a number of courtesies. It ends now." DMX was led from the courtroom in handcuffs and held on $25,000 bail. As of yesterday afternoon, he was still being detained.

Lil' Kim To Leave Prison Monday

The rapper Lil' Kim will be finishing her ten-month sentence for lying about a shooting on Monday, just in time for Independence Day. She is getting out two months shy of the year-and-a-day sentence that she was given last year after she lied about a gun battle, saying that she hadn't seen two of her friends at the scene, a claim that was disproven by photos and witnesses. "I am thrilled to be coming home," said Kim in a statement. "I thank all my fans for all their letters."

Rather-Cronkite: Precursor to Barbara-Star?

Though perhaps not as catty as their distaff counterparts, Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite have a minor dust-up of their own going back many years, and as a result, Rather is refusing to be interviewed for a major documentary on his predecessor.

According to this morning's Page Six, Rather won't participate in a PBS "American Masters" profile of Cronkite, whom he succeeded in the CBS Evening News anchor chair, because he's still sulking over the way he was shown the door at the Tiffany Network. Plus, it can't help that his replacement as anchor, Katie Couric, is doing the narration for the 90-minute documentary, which airs July 26.

The blood has been pretty bad between the two newsmen over the years: Cronkite revealed in his 1997 memoir "A Reporter's Life" that Rather threatened to leave CBS unless Cronkite retired from the anchor job before his 65th birthday. "And once Rather had the job, he never let Cronkite on the air again," says a source. "Walter has never forgiven Rather for his brutal tactics."

A who's who of TV newspeople did agree to be on the PBS show, including Tom Brokaw, Mike Wallace, and Robert MacNeil.