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Apr 29, 2006, 10:48:39 AM4/29/06
--THE trailer-trash legend of Lindsay Lohan's family keeps growing.
Yesterday, her uncle, Paul Sullivan, 48, pleaded guilty to ripping off
a 9/11 victims' relief fund. Sullivan, brother of Lindsay's mom, Dina,
admitted stealing $646,900 intended to help struggling downtown
businesses by forging U.S. Treasury checks and cooking the books of his
Ropa Group company. He faces 37-46 months in the Federal pen. Lindsay's
estranged dad, Michael Lohan, is currently in the slammer on a
drunk-driving rap.

--DAVID Blaine passed out in the pool at Equinox on East 63rd Street
yesterday afternoon while training for his "Drowned Alive" stunt.
Blaine - who blacked out while holding his breath underwater in
preparation for his plan to spend seven days submerged in a
fishbowl-like sphere - blamed the incident on his intensive regimen.
"I've been working too hard and I'm already dieting, so missing one
meal can really mess me up," he told The Post. Blaine's watery
wackiness begins Monday at Lincoln Center Square.

--GARY Sinise at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Awards Gala at
the Pierre before jetting off to Afghanistan to meet with the troops.

--CYNDI Lauper, Alan Cumming and trannie Daniela Sea dancing at Stanton
Social during a party celebrating Cumming's return to Broadway in "The
Threepenny Opera."

--ASHLEE Simpson is going for her own look right now - at least that's
supposedly why she's no longer working with stylist to the stars
Jessica Pastor. Pastor is still styling big sister Jessica Simpson, but
we hear Ashlee's mom, Tina, is not a Pastor fan, and put the kibosh on
any future work for Ashlee. "Tina has no control over Jessica, who is
asserting her independence," a spy said. A family rep said, "The
Simpsons love Jessica Pastor. Tina and [Pastor] worked together twice
this week at Jessica's cover shoot, and at a Jessica Hair collection

--Ex-"Baywatch" hunk David Hasselhoff will swap his swim trunks for
pirate gear to play Captain Hook in a London production of "Peter Pan"
later this year.

--MICKY Dolenz was once a Monkee, but when it comes to grudges, he has
a memory like an elephant. The target of his ire is People magazine,
which caught him in the audience at "American Idol" and asked him to
compare "AI" and "The Monkees." "I said, 'They're both phenomena, but
"American Idol" is a talent show and "The Monkees" was a sitcom,' "
Dolenz, 61, told The Post's Barbara Hoffman the other day at the
Central Park Zoo. "But the way [the People reporter] put it, I said,
'AI was about talent, and the Monkees wasn't.' Irresponsible
journalism!" And yes, he said, he really did play the drums on his
records - when they let him.

--And so on Wednesday night to Vanity Fair's fancy Tribeca Film
Festival kickoff dinner, hosted by editor Graydon Carter (pictured,
with Nicole Kidman) and festival co-founder Robert De Niro. Police
Commissioner Ray Kelly put his stamp of approval on "United 93," the
9/11 movie that most of us in New York can't decide whether we're ready
to see. "It was very powerful, very moving, very well done," he told
me. "I was very impressed with it. I can understand why some people
wouldn't want to see it, but I thought it was important for me to see."
The commissioner added that he remained dry-eyed, although the film's
premiere reduced many to tears. Also at the party were Diane von
Furstenberg, Maureen Dowd, David Duchovny, Dominick Dunne, Regis and
Joy Philbin, Julian Schnabel, Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld, Russell
Simmons, John McEnroe and Patty Smyth, Trudie Styler, Harvey Weinstein,
Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, plus Gina Gershon, who seemed at one
point to be auditioning for the role of the fifth Mrs. Ron Perelman.
And it wasn't just the lamb chops that got chewed over. Edie Falco of
"The Sopranos" raised eyebrows during dinner when she bit a chunk off
one gossip columnist (thankfully not me) over a story that met with her

--Katie Couric has given the thumbs-up to her replacement on the
"Today" show. "I love her," she told us of Meredith Vieira, who will
slide over to NBC from her current perch on ABC's "The View." "She's
absolutely fantastic, and I couldn't have made a better choice myself."
We ambushed her at the We Are Family Foundation benefit, where Couric
dodged the red carpet but signed autographs for a few lucky fans.
Honoree Qunicy Jones tripped while walking up the stairs to accept his
award, but had the audience in stitches with his speech. "One of my
daughters was engaged to Tupac," the bald music-producing legend
quipped. "That's what happened to my Afro."

--I will admit that I took a couple of caffeine tablets with me to this
week's launch of the book "Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman,"
because really, how interesting was that going to be? But it turns out
author Jim (Built By Bonds) Lebenthal is a hoot, full of gossipy
stories from his earlier career as the Hollywood correspondent for Life
magazine. "My discovery was Kim Novak," he told me. "She had already
been signed to Columbia, but on the night of the Academy Awards or some
premiere, her elastic broke in her panties, and as she entered the
Pantages Theater, she stepped out of this perfect little figure eight
on the ground, and the New York office said, 'Find out who this girl
is.'" So what would you take if you had to choose, Kim in her prime or
$10 million worth of municipal bonds? "Kim Novak any day." It's nice to
meet a gazillionaire who has his priorities straight.

--Howard Stern and his crew turned out for his self-named festival of
short films at the Hudson Theater on Thursday. Stern quipped to
Gatecrasher's Laura Schreffler that he might be willing to grease the
wheels of the city's gossip columns himself. "If anyone would like a
payoff, I'd like a little positive press for once," he joked. His
sidekick Artie Lange added that not all of Wilmer Valderrama's infamous
sexual confessions on a recent Stern show were made on-air. "During a
commercial, he told me that the only person he ever had [gay] sex with
was Ashton Kutcher," said Lange. Another jest, we're sure.

--Marilyn Monroe, Sharon Stone, Kate Moss, Chloe Sevigny, Stephanie
Seymour and Naomi Campbell bared all (in photos, anyway) at Allure
magazine and Lancome's "Most Alluring Bodies" exhibit this week, which
raised more than $50,000 for the Skin Cancer Research Foundation.

--Jay-Z's Rocawear outfitted top draft prospect Vince Young and N.Y.
Jet Jonathan Vilma at their NFL suite party yesterday and has tapped
Kansas City Chief Larry Johnson to appear in the label's fall campaign.

3 A.M. GIRLS/Kiki King, Eva Simpson & Caroline Hedley
--EVA Longoria claims to be a big fan of Catherine Zeta-Jones - but
when the Desperate Housewives star first met the Welsh actress she
thought she was a fellow Latina. "I always looked up to her," says Eva,
31, who met CZJ on the set of action movie The Sentinel. "I was sitting
in my trailer watching basketball with Michael Douglas and when
Catherine came on the set I was so excited. "We talked a lot and went
out for dinner. I always thought she was Latina because of Zorro, but
then I heard her speak and I was like, 'Hey, she doesn't sound very

--DAVID Walliams swimming lengths at Wycombe Sports Centre, Bucks.

--Sienna Miller going to see 'Billy Elliot' at Victoria Palace Theatre,

--Freestyle motocross star Mike "The Godfather" Metzger is attempting a
first on Thursday: a backflip over the fountains at Caesars Palace.
More than 30 million viewers are expected to watch the jump, which will
air live on ESPN and ESPN HD at 5:30 p.m. PST. Metzger, a three-time X
Games gold medalist, is taking the leap to promote the May release of
"Mission Impossible III" and the 40th anniversary of Caesars Palace.
Daredevil motorcyclist Evel Knievel was the first to jump the
fountains, but he paid a heavy price: He was in a coma for 29 days
after his 1968 crash landing.

--Nevada Democrats are grooming former Miss Nevada Teresa
Benitez-Thompson, one of the five finalists in the Miss America pageant
in 2002. She was elected first vice chair of the State Democratic Party
on Saturday. Her "talent" in 2002 was re-enacting the courtroom
testimony of Dennis Shepherd, whose gay son Matthew was murdered in a
1998 hate crime in Wyoming.

--New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and poker star David
Williams, partying at Tao (The Venetian) on Thursday night amid a sea
of "Wig Night" revelers.

--Tiger Woods, at The Drive, a General Motors performance driving park
at the Sahara.

L.A. DAILY NEWS/By Pauline Adamek
--Wide eyes and mouths shaped like O's: Those were the awe-struck
little girls clutching dollies at the grand opening of L.A.'s first
American Girl Place last Friday. And what a store! The luxurious
location at The Grove boasts two levels of virtually everything that
could possibly delight the preteen set, including a doll hair salon and
a cafe with European-style balcony, as well as a theater presenting
"The American Girls Revue." AnnaSophia Robb, the young star of "Charlie
& the Chocolate Factory" and "Samantha: An American Girl Holiday," was
spotted chatting with pint-size fans, as was "Malcolm in the Middle's"
Jane Kaczmarek, with daughters Frances, 8, and Mary Louisa, 3. George
Lopez brought his daughter Mayan; Joely Fisher came with her two girls;
and Leslie Mann was there with Maude, her 8-year-old. A silent auction
raised funds for the Los Angeles Public Library. Boasting a bookstore
and clothing boutique as well as the theater and cafe, this place is a
miracle of marketing: Parent company Mattel has exhausted all avenues
for parents with a sizable disposable income to part with a lot of

L.A. DAILY NEWS/By Jenny Peters
--No one really knows what makes Brandon Davis, grandson of oil magnate
Marvin Davis and son of jewelry designer Nancy Davis, qualified to
become a clothing designer, but since everyone else is doing it these
days, why shouldn't he? Thus the launch party for the Brandon Davis
Jean by Replay, held Monday night at Falcon restaurant in Hollywood,
feting his new addition to that Italian line of clothes for men, women
and children as well as the company's new just-opened shop in the
Beverly Center. No sign of Brandon's ex (who helped him to become
famous enough to market his name), "O.C." star Mischa Barton, but the
rest of the usual L.A. night life posse was out in force. Paris Hilton
and her sister, Nicky - who is also cashing in on her tabloid
notoriety with a clothing line of her own - rolled in late, along
with model Caroline D'Amore, actress Dominique Swain and Brandon's more
zaftig brother Jason.Mom and Grandma Barbara turned up too, along with
an eclectic group of other famous faces, including Mimi Rogers, Lance
Bass, Laura Elena Harring and Tom Arnold. All nibbled on an assortment
of ill-conceived appetizers (the breaded chicken puffs were
particularly inedible) and sipped champagne and cosmos while checking
out the jeans mounted on the walls in strange positions. Most of the
celeb partygoers actually sported Brandon's new jeans, a distressed
style with beaded embellishments. Not exactly groundbreaking style
news, but when it comes to paying top dollar for denim (these go for
$398), it's all about the name, isn't it?

--LONDON (AP) - London's Metropolitan Police force said it was
investigating tabloid newspaper photos that allegedly show troubled
rocker Pete Doherty injecting himself and a woman with drugs. The Sun
ran a photo Friday that appears to show Doherty holding a syringe to
the arm of a woman lying on the floor. Another shows him with a needle
to his arm. The newspaper said the pictures were taken at Doherty's
London home within the past five weeks. Officers from the Specialist
Crime Directorate were investigating the newspaper's allegations,
police said. Doherty spokesman Tony Linkin said he could not comment.
The 27-year-old singer has a well-documented history of drug use. He
was most recently arrested for suspected drug possession on April 20,
hours after a judge placed him on probation over separate drug charges.
Police found marijuana, heroin and crack cocaine in Doherty's car and
clothing when he was arrested Dec. 18, one of a long line of run-ins
with the law. Doherty's drug problems gained international attention
last year after a newspaper published pictures of then-girlfriend Kate
Moss allegedly taking cocaine at a music studio where Doherty and his
band, Babyshambles, were recording.

--Marlee Matlin is joining the cast of "The L Word," Showtime's drama
about a circle of gay friends and lovers who move in the trendiest of
L.A. circles. The 40-year-old actress will play "a fiery artist who
catches the attention of Jennifer Beals' character, Bette Porter," the
cable network announced Friday. Matlin won an Oscar for her portrayal
of a deaf student in 1986's "Children of a Lesser God." Her TV credits
include a recurring role on NBC's "The West Wing." Showtime said the
fourth season of the series will premiere early next year. The ensemble
cast also includes Pam Grier, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Katherine
Moennig, Leisha Hailey, Rachel Shelley and Daniela Sea.

--Some commuters hoping to ease into their day with National Public
Radio or Christian broadcasts are hearing shock jock Howard Stern
instead. Their favorite stations aren't broadcasting Stern's show,
which has moved to satellite radio provider Sirius. Instead, poorly
installed or defective satellite radio units, which act as mini-FM
transmitters, are being blamed. "Usually they're upset, because they
don't know what's going on. This isn't what they tuned in to (hear),"
Charles W. Loughery, president of the Word FM Radio Network, a group of
contemporary Christian stations in eastern Pennsylvania, told The
(Baltimore) Sun. Some of the units use FM signals to broadcast the
satellite signal to the car's audio system, using frequencies low on
the FM band such as 88.1, often reserved for non-commercial, religious
or educational stations. The signal from the satellite system can
sometimes override broadcasts from those stations for listeners in
nearby cars. Anthony Brandon, president and general manager at 88.1
WYPR, a National Public Radio affiliate in Baltimore, said he has sent
60 complaint letters to the Federal Communications Commission, which
says it is investigating. Neil Hever, program director for 88.1 WDIY,
an NPR affiliate in Bethlehem, Pa., said he has forwarded 38 letters to
the FCC. "Back in December, a gentleman called from Warren County,
N.J.," Hever said. "He said, 'I'm not going to turn you in, but I take
offense to the rap music you're playing.' We said, 'We don't program
gangsta rap.'" "We're upset because we know it's aggravating our
listeners, and we know (interference with a licensed broadcaster) is
against the law."

--Reese Witherspoon's film Legally Blonde is being turned into a
Broadway musical! No casting has been announced (Reese - sign on, we
know you can sing!), but Jerry Mitchell, the choreographer for
Hairspray, will direct. "I love the story," Mitchell said Tuesday of
his new project. "It's so positive, especially for young girls to
believe in themselves. And it's fun to root for a leading character you
care about," said Mitchell. San Francisco will see the musical first,
with a New York debut scheduled for April 2007.

--Is Lance Armstrong returning to competitive cycling? Although he
retired from cycling last year after winning an unprecedented seventh
straight Tour de France, Sheryl Crowe's ex-beau was overheard telling
Donald Trump's ex-wife Marla Maples on April 25 at a party at director
Brett Ratner's house that he was training in Texas for an upcoming
race! See you on the circuit, Lance!

--Domestic diva Martha Stewart has been accused of a lot of things. So
what's the latest charge? Nepotism! Four of Martha's relatives snagged
jobs last year at her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia,
according to recently released financial documents: Her daughter,
Alexis, earned $131,000 as radio talent and as a merchandising and
publishing adviser; her sister-in-law, Margaret Christiansen, snagged
$160,000 as business manager of the company; her brother-in- law, Randy
Plimpton, earned $146,000 as property manager; and Martha's sister,
Laura Plimpton, was paid a $70,000 consulting fee for "editorial
services." The family payout totaled just over $500,000 - about the
same amount Martha earned for hosting her reality TV failure, The
Apprentice: Martha Stewart!

--Basic Instinct 2 was a box office disaster, but that's not keeping
Sharon Stone from treating herself to a lavish new home. Sharon, 48,
who was paid $14 million for the movie, has reportedly bought a 9,000-
square-foot home with five bedrooms in Beverly Hills for just under $11

--The whirlwind affair between Ellen DeGeneres and a stray pit bull has
come to a sad end. Ellen, 48, found the 2-year-old pup named Red
wandering around her L.A. neighborhood, and "it was love at first
sight," an insider tells Star People. "Ellen called the phone number on
the collar and invited Red's owner over, but then she asked if she
could keep him." The starstruck neighbor declined, but did agree to let
Red sleep over now and then. But Ellen ended it. "I don't think she
could handle seeing Red unless they had a full-time commitment," the
source says, laughing.

--It appears that Hilary Swank, 31, and Chad Lowe, 38, may have given
up on patching up their marriage. Hilary was spotted - without her
wedding ring - with her agent John Campisi on March 9, having lunch
at NYC's Tartine restaurant. Then on April 1, the pair ate brunch at
Morgan's Cafe in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The next day, the pair -
who her lawyer says are just friends - were seen jogging in nearby
Will Rogers State Historic Park. And the sightings continue: On April
14, the duo was spotted exercising at a park in Malibu, Calif.

--Relations between co-working exes Chad Michael Murray, 24, and Sophia
Bush, 23, are especially awkward now that he's engaged to 18-year-old
One Tree Hill castmate Kenzie Dalton. "Chad and Sophia don't speak to
each other unless they're forced to," a source tells Star People. "When
the cameras stop rolling, it's a freeze between them. It's 'Do your
job, do your scene, then don't bother me.' Sophia thinks he's a dog."

--Network sources say that the ABC pilot Brothers & Sisters, starring
Calista Flockhart, 41, is certain to be included on the network's slate
of new series this fall. But the former Ally McBeal star is hesitant
about her long-awaited comeback. "Calista said that, for her, it was
basically now or never," a friend of the actress tells Star People.
"She told me she really has to push herself to be motivated about
acting again - it's amazing how life has changed for her with [5-
year-old son] Liam and Harrison [Ford]." As for Ford, the source says,
"He thinks it's great she wants to get back to work."

--Troubled Lost beauties Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros will go
from DUI to DOA as their TV characters are sensationally killed off in
a bombshell episode just before the hit show's season finale. The
futures of Rodriguez and Watros have been in doubt since the pair
attracted a storm of publicity with their drunk-driving arrests in
December. Now The ENQUIRER can exclusively reveal that ex-cop Ana Lucia
(Rodriguez) and therapist Libby (Watros) will wind up goners on the
series. A graveside scene in which the pair is laid to rest, with the
survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 gathered around to pay their respects,
has already been filmed. "It's a done deal - Michelle and Cynthia's
characters will die by the season's end," a set insider admitted.

--JUDAS PRIEST! An excited MEL GIBSON all but shouted Hallelujah! when
the National Geographic Society unveiled its astounding, 1,700-year-old
papyrus document called the Gospel of Judas - then yelled, "Get
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. on the phone!" Gibson thinks the shocking story told
in the newly-discovered Gospel - which suggests that Judas wasn't a
traitor, but staged his "betrayal" under orders from Jesus - will be
a heaven-sent follow-up to his smashhit The Passion of the Christ.
After discussions with Downey, Mel told him: You're my Judas!

--Fairy tales really DO come true, children! American Idol winner
FANTASIA BARRINO lost out on a co-starring role in the movie version of
the Broadway hit Dreamgirls - but she's just signed on as THE star of
the TV movie based on her autobiography, Life Is Not a Fairytale, for

--When BARBRA STREISAND unexpectedly showed up at L.A.'s chi-chi
Pacific Design Center with her interior designer in tow, a young sales
rep practically floating out of his loafers fluttered up and gushed:
"Omigod! You're my favorite all-time star. I have every movie you've
ever made - and every recording!" Flattered, Diva agreed to the guy's
autograph request, but froze when his tongue outran his brain and he
blurted: "But, honey... those stretch-pants of yours are an absolute
no-no!" Outraged at the not-so-subtle dissing of la derriere, La
Streisand snapped, "How dare you! Who are you to comment about what I
wear?" The jerk turned bright red. "J-j-ust trying to be honest," he
stammered - but Diva and designer were flouncing out the door.

--Knockout British beauty KATE BECKINSALE's making sure her little Lily
knows a girl needs to be more than a pretty face! Mummy and her
seven-year-old spent several hours reading together in the children's
section of Chapters bookstore in Vancouver, then got several
sales-people to help carry their purchases up to the cashier. Lily's
book bill totaled a whopping $2,000-plus!

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