Michael Phelps is dating Barbara Walters' assistant "Marina," with whom he went to college. Wait, that's a fake name right?? Is someone playing a trick on poor old Cindy Adams? [Cindy Adams]
What pairs well with xenophobia and shouting? Jay McInerney knows! At Benoit, "McInerney and his wife, Anne Hearst, had to calm down political commentator Robert Zimmerman, who'd just had a fierce on-air tangle with Lou Dobbs. Jay prescribed Zimmerman a bottle of 1991 Côte-Rôtie La Turque Domaine Guigal." Frog-loving traitors, all of them. [R&M, second-to-last item]
Good Morning America defeated Today to score a live Britney Spears performance, leaving NBC suits "fuming," according to the NBC News-haters at the Post. Meanwhile, the singer is sane and cognizant enough to be terrified she's bungled one court case so badly she may go to jail. Her handlers take this as a positive sign!
Alec Baldwin loved (second item) Sarah Palin's behavior off camera at Saturday Night Live, but Chevy Chase was less charitable about what she did on-camera: "She cannot improvise herself out of a paper bag."
Elizabeth Taylor, 76, likes to be wheeled into a West Hollywood gay bar, where she drinks tequila shots and Apple martinis. They call them the golden years for a reason, people. [P6]
Sean Penn is Venezuela, just hanging out, committing some light treason. [P6]
Tom Cruise is a huge Tina Turner fan. In a very straight way, of course. [P6]
Breaking: David Geffen still hates the Clintons. "They are vindictive, and people were afraid of being excluded." [R&M, third item]
Sting's wife said she totally called the Madonna-Guy Ritchie divorce. She also allowed it to happen, by introducing the couple. So, uh, nice work, detective. Gwyneth Paltrow, meanwhile, is behaving like a real well-publicized celebrity friend.
No one, and I mean no one, pisses in Shannon Doherty's bathroom unless her name is freaking Shannon Doherty. And don't ever forget it! [Daily Star]