MARY-KATE STEPS OUT
With help from her sister Ashley, Mary-Kate Olsen shops, tans, dines and spends a brief night out at a Hollywood club
As reentries into Hollywood nightlife go, they were the tiniest of baby steps. At about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 3, Ashley Olsen tightly gripped the hand of her twin sister, Mary-Kate Olsen—who had emerged from a rehab center for treatment of an eating disorder 10 days prior—and led her to the dance floor of the trendy Fenix at the Argyle hotel on Sunset Boulevard. Dressed in jeans, an off-the-shoulder shirt and white scarf, Mary-Kate, 18, danced with her sister to Oingo Boingo’s “Weird Science” and chatted with boyfriend David Katzenberg, 21, before leaving around 1 a.m. “They look like they’re out having fun,” observed one clubgoer. Not that it’s easy for Mary-Kate, who has gained about 10 lbs. since her release, says a source. She attends weekly weigh-ins and group therapy and works with a nutritionist. Still, there’s time for shopping (the twins were spotted at Barneys and Fred Segal), catching a movie (Napoleon Dynamite), dining at local hot spots or tanning poolside at the Hotel Bel-Air. Says the family rep: “She couldn’t be happier to be back.”
After the Whirlwind: Affleck’s Gal Reflects
Just two months after Ben Affleck stepped out with Enza Sambataro, their romance appears to be over. “I found out what it feels like to be in the shoes of a celebrity, and it is not fun,” says Sambataro, a TV ad sales exec. The two Boston-area natives met at a charity event in May. “I might have spoken to him five minutes. He took my business card,” says Sambataro. And then they talked. “He’s a persistent human being. I would tell him he should be in sales if he gets out of acting.” Soon they were snuggling at Fenway Park. But Sambataro, 26, Affleck’s first girlfriend since splitting with former fiancée Jennifer Lopez, 35, learned that dating the star came with a price and paparazzi. Reporters dug into her past and called her friends and family. “It wasn’t the most pleasant experience,” says Sambataro. Affleck, 31, “tried to keep it very private,” she says. “[But] living that life is not me. I’d rather have my own sanity and private life.” Affleck agrees. “Who wants that?” he said last month. For now, the actor is focusing on supporting presidential candidate John Kerry’s campaign.
Haunted by a Stalker
Hate mail left Catherine Zeta-Jones “hysterical” over the past year, her husband, Michael Douglas, testified in pretrial hearings for a Beverly Hills woman accused of harassing the actress. So did terrifying phone calls. Zeta-Jones read from letters (many written to Douglas’s parents), including one that said, “We are going to slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs.” The threats had her on the verge of a nervous breakdown. “This will affect me for the rest of my life,” Zeta-Jones testified. The hearing, which began July 26, was postponed until Aug. 16 after the defendant, Dawnette Knight, 33, allegedly took barbiturates, affecting her court appearance. Knight, held on $1 million bail, is charged with one felony count of stalking and 24 felony counts of making criminal threats, and has been ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation, according to the L.A. district attorney’s office. Knight’s attorney says, “It was just a foolish prank.” Knight wrote an apology in June, saying she was infatuated with Douglas.
HALLE SLAMS NIPS, TUCKS
“I do think we’ve become obsessed with beauty and that fountain of youth and, frankly, personally I’m really saddened by the way women start to just really mutilate their faces today in search of that. I see women in their thirties getting plastic surgery, pulling this up and tucking that back. It’s like a slippery slope—you pull one thing one way, then you go, ‘Oh, now I’ve got to do the other side.’ Then you have this plastic, copycat sort of face that’s evolving, and that’s frightening to me. It’s really insane, and I feel sad that’s what society is doing to women.” HALLE BERRY
HEARING SUMMER’S HIGHWAY SONG, DRIVEN STARS TAKE TO THE ROAD (AND THE MONGOLIAN GRAVEL)
The actor bought a $65,000, 28-ft. Airstream International trailer earlier this year and has spent the summer driving in Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana. “He had an Internet, wireless and satellite system installed so he can do all his business on the road,” says Jerry Handley, who sold McConaughey the big silver rig. After camping with Penélope Cruz in Texas in June, McConaughey spent part of July in Zachary, La., where he spoke with reporters for the Louisiana State University school paper, The Reveille, about his trip. “I don’t know when it’s going to end,” he said. “It might just go on forever with me working in between.”
DREA DE MATTEO
The former Sopranos moll hit the open road in an RV in mid-July for her move from New York to her new home in Los Angeles, where she’s working on the upcoming sitcom Joey. Along for the ride were De Matteo’s boyfriend, musician Shooter Jennings; her parents, Al and Donna; and her two dogs, Charlie, a bulldog, and Cyrus, a Great Dane. Two bumps in the road: Graceland was closed when they stopped for a visit, and the RV broke down in Amarillo, Texas. De Matteo and crew ordered a Domino’s pizza while waiting for repairs.
And this year’s Mother-of-All-Road-Trips award goes to: McGregor’s 20,000-mile, 3½-month motorcycle tour with friend and fellow actor Charley Boorman. The two set out from London on April 14 and—with a little help from planes and boats along the way—trekked through 13 countries, ending up in New York City on July 29. Toughest stop? Mongolia. “There were no roads there, just gravel,” said McGregor. “One day we rode 14 hours and went 30 miles. But we ploughed on and I’m glad we did.” A documentary of the journey, Long Way Round, is set to air on Bravo this October.
Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth has disappeared; nowadays she is simply Omarosa. The Apprentice alum has trademarked her first name and wishes to be known solely by that moniker in future showbiz endeavors. “In Hollywood a name with 26 characters just doesn’t work,” she says. “I’m a part of pop culture now.” She says she’ll retain her full name for any political work she may pursue. Meanwhile, co-contestant Ereka Vetrini (below) finally heard those two little words—you’re hired—on August 2, though not from Donald Trump. Tony Danza, who begins a syndicated talk show Sept. 13, chose Vetrini as his sidekick over several contenders, including fellow Apprentice star Amy Henry. Any hard feelings? Says Vetrini: “I don’t want to bad-talk her because I think she’s a great girl, but I think I wanted it more.”
Cedric the Entertainer
The comic, who last starred in Johnson Family Vacation (out this month on DVD), isn’t taking it slow this summer. Cedric, 40, recently completed shooting Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Be Cool, the Get Shorty sequel. Next up: playing Ralph Kramden in the film version of The Honeymooners.
Have you taken a vacation this year?
We’ve been sneaking small ones in. [My wife and I] went to New York with the kids when I was hosting some charity events.
Why did you name your baby daughter Lucky?
Her daddy’s rich and her mama’s good looking, so she is Lucky.
Tell us about your worst vacation ever.
I went on a cruise in the early ’90s with a girl I was dating. We were kind of breaking up, but we had bought the tickets and the cruise cost a lot of money. It was just horrible.
How’s your golf game?
Let’s not talk about that on the record. At least I’ve got my health.
You start filming The Honeymooners this month. Are you a fan of the show?
I’m a big fan of Jackie Gleason. My grandmother really loved him. It still stands up. It’s a funny, funny show, mainly because it was so character driven.
How will the movie compare to the TV series?
I’ll take the nuances and the attitude that [Honeymooners character Ralph Kramden] had. He always wanted to do the right thing, but he had this gruff outer shell that always put him in bad situations. He’ll still be a bus driver. We won’t say, “To the moon, Alice,” in the context that I’m about to knock her out. You can’t do that nowadays.
Jesse Jackson didn’t like your rants in Barbershop. Are things cool now?
We worked it out. Jesse actually called me after the controversy had calmed down. He called me on a number I don’t give out, and I was like, “Jesse, how’d you get this number?” He said, “I’m Jesse Jackson.”
Ever think of doing a reality TV series?
I want to do America’s Greatest Models so I can look at hot chicks. I’ve got a better eye than Tyra Banks.
ON THE BLOCK
PRICE About $5.8 million
PLACE St. Tropez, France
SPECS Looking for a little something in the South of France? How about a big something? George Michael’s villa features a recording studio, six bedrooms and a pool surrounded by trees—all yours for about 4.8 million Euros. (George won’t be roofless: He has three more homes in England.)