OMAROSA: The White House Weeks
Years later, coworkers still can’t forget their (brief) time with The Apprentice‘s diva
Donald Trump wasn’t the first person to fire Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, the combative Apprentice contestant who made a heralded return to the NBC reality show April 8. The former political appointee—who spoke glowingly of her White House days—was banished from four jobs in two years with the Clinton Administration. At her last one, “she was asked to leave as quickly as possible, she was so disruptive,” says Cheryl Shavers, the former Under Secretary for Technology at the Commerce Department, where Omarosa worked several weeks in 2000. “One woman wanted to slug her.” Manigault-Stallworth, 30, was also bounced from a previous position at Commerce, says another former administration official, “because she couldn’t get along with people.” At her first White House gig, answering invitations received by Vice President Al Gore, “she didn’t do her job, and it got everybody in trouble,” says a former Gore staffer. She was transferred to the White House personnel office, which later sent her to Commerce. When asked about her employment history, the former Apprentice at first told PEOPLE, “I left when I got married,” but later said she left “to go out on the campaign for Al Gore.” Manigault-Stallworth, who claims she’s inundated with new job offers, said recently, “I’m a moving target. As soon as they think they’ve figured Omarosa out, I’ve already moved on to a whole different industry.”
Survivor‘s Steamy Affair
Forget Trista and Ryan. Meredith and Ian? Yesterday. The hottest romance in reality TV is the one percolating in the Pearl Islands between Rob Mariano—better known as Boston Rob—and Amber Brkich on Survivor: All-Stars. What started out as a strategic alliance has turned into what host Jeff Probst calls Survivor‘s first “full-on relationship.” After sharing a passionate kiss on the March 17 episode—the first onscreen clinch in series history—Mariano showed the depth of his feeling for Brkich by tearing up when she was reassigned to another tribe on April 1. He also flexed his political muscle to save her from elimination, the ultimate sign of devotion in the backstabbing, every-man-and-woman-for-themselves world of Survivor.
But has the romance cooled away from the steamy tropical setting? According to Survivor: The Australian Outback star Mitchell Olson, a close friend of both Mariano’s and Brkich’s, the duo have remained committed since returning from taping the show in December. “They’re so much in love,” says Olson. “They’re perfect for each other.” Olson says Mariano flies to Brkich’s home near Pittsburgh every few weekends, and she visits him in Canton, Mass., as much as she can. Olson says marriage talks have even come up: “I’ve discussed it with them. If you ask me, they’re in this together until the end.”
Olson denies reports that sparks flew between Brkich and Mariano even before the show began: “They knew each other, but there was never any interest. The funny thing is, I had a feeling they would come back as either complete enemies or as an item.” Brkich had previously been involved with another Survivor star—former champ Ethan Zohn—but that short fling ended well before All-Stars. Mariano, however, is the real deal, says Olson. “I’ve known Amber a long time and I’ve never seen her like this.”
KELLY GOES TO REHAB
Kelly Osbourne was to celebrate the release of her DVD Kelly Osbourne: Live at the Electric Ballroom on April 5. Instead she spent the day in rehab. Three days earlier Osbourne, 19, checked herself into Promises, a Malibu treatment center, for addiction to painkillers. “I’m not surprised,” says a friend who had hit the clubs with Osbourne. On April 2 a British tabloid sent Kelly’s family a photo in which she appeared to be buying drugs. “She admitted [to taking drugs] after a lot of twisting,” her mother, Sharon, told Larry King on CNN. Within hours—and after finding a bag of pills stashed under her bed—brother Jack drove Kelly to Promises.
THE OTHER WOMAN?
SOCCER STAR SCANDAL
Britain’s other royal family—soccer stud David Beckham and his wife, Victoria (a.k.a. Posh Spice)—are making headlines not seen in the empire since the days when Charles and Diana split. According to press reports, Beckham has been cheating on his wife with his former personal assistant Rebecca Loos. Britain’s News of the World dedicated several pages to the story, printing steamy text messages (“RL: U should see me, naked with only white cotton G-string”) it alleges were sent between Beckham, 28, and Loos, the daughter of a Dutch diplomat and English mother who still lives with her parents. Beckham called the allegations “ludicrous” (“The simple truth is that I am very happily married, have a wonderful wife and two very special kids”), while Victoria, 30, was on her way to a family getaway in Switzerland with the couple’s sons, Brooklyn, 5, and Romeo, 19 months. Becks joined them there after Real Madrid, his soccer team, granted him a “compassionate leave,” and was photographed frolicking in the snow with his wife. But behind the smiles, the Beckhams may be preparing for more damaging claims: According to Britain’s Daily Mail, Loos is considering a lucrative tell-all.
WILL & GRACE & LUCK & LOPEZ
Jennifer Lopez won’t define, exactly, her relationship with Marc Anthony, but they sure do seem to enjoy each other’s company. On April 2, Anthony, 35, accompanied Lopez, 34, to the set of NBC’s Will & Grace, where she taped a guest appearance for the series’ April 29 season finale. (Lopez plays herself and is asked to sing at Megan Mullally’s character’s wedding.) Anthony stood in the wings watching Lopez work and took photos of her and the show’s cast.
In the meantime, Lopez’s mom was taking care of business at the slot machines. Guadalupe, 58, hit a $2.4 million jackpot on a $3 wager at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City April 3. “I have a great devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe,” said the retired kindergarten teacher. “I had just looked up at the $2 million and said a little prayer to her when I hit the jackpot. Our Lady really looks out for me.” When her daughter and poker enthusiast Ben Affleck were engaged, Guadalupe traveled with them to Vegas on a gambling trip—but Atlantic City proved luckier. “She toasted the winnings with a nice cold bottle of water,” says Michael J. Facenda, the casino’s director of marketing services, and “retired to her room.”
Madonna‘s done it. So has Jerry Seinfeld. Why not Jay Leno? The late-night host recently joined the ever-growing list of celebrity children’s-book authors with If Roast Beef Could Fly, a whimsical tale based on a real incident from his childhood. Leno, 53, spoke to Scoop about following in Dr. Seuss’s footsteps.
Do we really need another children’s book?
I would pick up a lot of kids books and they weren’t fun. They seemed to be little morality tales, saying “Don’t steal.” There’s nothing wrong with that. But I wanted one that was light and silly and that both a parent and child could get a kick out of.
When was it that you realized that you could make people laugh?
My mom came here [from Scotland] by herself, and as a kid I sensed a certain sadness in her. There was nothing more fun than trying to get a smile out of my mother. I think that’s why she married my father. My dad was a funny guy.
What was humorous about him?
My dad [Angelo] was very loud and very Italian. My mom [Catherine] was Scotch and very quiet. And it was just funny to watch the two sides handle the same problem. There was always a lot of love there, but it was funny to watch how puzzled the Scottish side was toward the Italian side, and how confused.
So overall, you enjoyed your childhood?
When I came home from school, there would always be meatballs or something my mother made, something hot before dinner, some snack. It makes me laugh when I see these ads for “quality time.” I don’t want my mom playing video games with me. Be a mom!
Your humor plays off the differences between men and women. Name one.
Men make a project out of everything. Women tend to do the job. Men will clean the kitchen from top to bottom once—”Okay, it’s all clean, Honey”—but they wouldn’t do it on a week-to-week basis. They will bring in a sandblaster and clean the thing perfectly once and think it will last forever.
ON THE BLOCK
PRICE: $4.9 million
PLACE: Los Angeles
SPECS: Reese Witherspoon is selling the 5,500-sq.-ft. Bel Air home she shares with husband Ryan Phillippe and their two children to move closer to the sea. The gated, four-bedroom, five-bath, Country-English-style home has a master suite with fireplace, cathedral ceilings and a pool with waterfalls.