Peter Cook's Private Payoff Is Pretty Public Now
  • The messy divorce case between Peter Cook and Christie Brinkley has just gotten messier. Days after a judge ruled that the trial would be kept open, it was revealed that Cook handed over $300,000 to Diana Bianchi, the 20-year-old girl he cheated on Brinkley with, in exchange for a promise that she wouldn't sue him for sexual harassment or discuss the affair. Of course, the cash won't prevent her from speaking out in court if she's called to testify. [NYP]
  • Two months in and the honeymoon is definitely over for Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon. Nick apparently spends more time with Mariah's money than with the diva herself. Also, Mariah's assistants call him "Whipped Nick" behind his back because he never stands up for himself. [MSNBC]
  • Ashley Dupre is back online. She updated her MySpace page yesterday to say she's been touched by all her supporters (although, hopefully, not literally) and listed her current mood as "thankful," with a smiley face. [NYDN]
  • Don Imus is trouble yet again for racial remarks he made on the air. Predicably, Imus says he was joking; nearly everyone else thinks he wasn't. Can we please put him out to pasture already? [R&M]
  • Michelle Williams is furious with Heath Ledger's family because they're not handing over Ledger's estate to Matilda, the daughter they had together. In retaliation, Michelle may boycott the Dark Knight premiere. [Page Six]
  • Naomi Campbell was supposed to show up at a Sao Paolo fashion show last weekend but since she was stuck in British court and couldn't make it, event organizers replaced her with a male model who got naked on stage and scandalized the socialites in attendance. [Page Six]
  • Amy Winehouse is bouncing back quickly. Over the weekend, Amy's dad told reporters she was suffering from emphysema and might even die. Now he says she only has traces of emphysema, and as long as she stops smoking she'll be fine. [E!]
  • Except, uh, she's already been photographed smoking since then. [Us Weekly]
  • Helena Christensen was rude to her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend at a party the other night. Luckily, her new boyfriend, Interpol's Paul Banks, apologized for her by saying she just acts that way because she's a "cougar." [Page Six]
  • Socialite Sandy Hill, who famously climbed Mount Everest and was once married to Bob Pittman, is splitting from her husband Tom Dittmer, the former CEO of the failed brokerage Refco. [Page Six]
  • Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck's relationship might be on the rocks, which is why they're rarely photographed together anymore. [E!]
  • Larry King's wife, Shawn Southwick King, has gone into rehab because she's addicted to painkillers. Maybe that explains why Larry slurs his speech on TV on most nights? [Page Six]
  • A former member of the Cash Money Brothers gang said his group was set to kill Mike Tyson in 2000, until they found out he was a fellow Muslim and called off the hit. [NYP]
  • Tom Hanks continues to battle the contractor who built his Sun Valley, Calif. mansion back in 2000. Tom wants $2.5 million back because of the shoddy construction job. [Page Six]
  • Blind item: "Which billion-heir celebrated his 27th birthday at Nobu 57 the other night by canoodling with a woman about 15 years older than himself who used to be his babysitter?" [Page Six]
  • Blind item: "Which Italian designer told a woman he was groping on a dance floor that he likes "slutty girls who dress badly"? She pointed out she was wearing one of his dresses." [R&M]