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Filming over, Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn celebrate with a very cozy night on the town

If Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn want people to believe they’re nothing more than good friends, they’re going to have to stop acting like this: After mingling, dancing and scarfing down hors d’oeuvres with roughly 200 guests at the wrap party for their film The Break Up—held at Chicago’s hip Bella Lounge Aug. 24—the two made their way to a private booth and, in the words of one onlooker, “got very cozy with each other. Very friendly and very, very comfortable with each other. The hand on the leg, the arm on the shoulder.” They left at 10:30 p.m.—she in a black SUV, he in a cab—and hooked up with more than 30 guests at a Dwight Yoakam concert at the House of Blues. The New York Daily News reported that the pair “had their arms around each other. Then they were dancing. Then they were straight making out.” And then it was back to the Bella Lounge at about 1 a.m. with a smaller posse—about a dozen crew members and film execs—for a last round of drinks and a little more conversation. At 4 a.m. Aniston, 36, and Vaughn, 35, left in the same car. So…friends, or more than friends? “Do not read into this,” advises Aniston’s rep. “At the wrap party…everyone was enjoying themselves, cast and crew included, and they were all being very affectionate to each other.” Whatever their relationship, it will soon be long distance. Aniston flew home to L.A. the next day—missing by hours the Aug. 25 arrest of a 48-year-old man who allegedly broke into her Malibu pad and told an employee, “I’m looking for Jennifer.” (He remains in custody in lieu of $70,000 bail.) And Vaughn begins a nationwide comedy tour Sept. 12.


Yes, entrepreneur Rande Gerber (a.k.a. Mr. Cindy Crawford) admits that George Clooney “happens to be a celebrity. People know his name.” Which is why plans for their dream Vegas venture, an upscale casino, luxury hotel, open-air pedestrian promenade and condominium complex called Las Ramblas, made headlines. The 25-acre development—construction starts next year; the opening is set for ’08—may see other celebrities involved. Clooney and Gerber say they’re currently in talks with architecture buff Brad Pitt to design one building. “We’re investing financially and creatively to develop an idyllic environment,” said Clooney, “where we can relax with our friends.” Vegas seems to welcome the proposal. “George has a classy touch,” says comic George Wallace, who has been playing Las Vegas clubs since 1982. One example of that classiness: Clooney will donate 25 percent of his profits from the resort to the Make Poverty History campaign, which encourages world leaders to fight poverty.

Freed: Martha’s Right Ankle

And how exactly did Martha Stewart remove the ankle bracelet that monitored her until 12:01 a.m. Sept. 1? Most likely using scissors. “You can just cut it,” says Chris Stanton, U.S. probation officer for the Southern District of New York. Stanton’s agents were set to pick up the device at Stewart’s house that day. She’s still under supervised release for 18 months, though, and still has to ask permission to travel and cannot drink alcohol to excess. Stewart said the bracelet had “no impact whatsoever” on her ability to produce two new TV shows to debut this month.

Model Takes Diddy To Court

Model Tyson Beckford has slapped Sean “Diddy” Combs with a $5 million breach-of-contract suit after the hip-hop impresario allegedly broke Beckford’s two-year contract to be the face of the Sean John clothing line. According to Beckford’s attorney Kenneth Montgomery, the agreement was good until the end of ’05, but at the beginning of this year, “things went south.” Beckford, 34, was informed that his image wasn’t needed anymore, but he continued to see it in magazines and department stores. A statement from Sean John calls the suit “without merit.” The trial is set for February 2006.

Split: Chelsea and Ian

Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Not when it comes to Chelsea Clinton, 25, and boyfriend Ian Klaus, 26, who recently split after the two spent several months apart—she in London, working for McKinsey & Company consultants on a public health care project, he in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he e-mailed PEOPLE in July, “I’m currently embedded in the Kandahar region and writing about our soldiers here.” Though a source close to Clinton confirmed they were still together as late as July, “they just grew apart,” says a friend of Clinton’s, adding that the distance didn’t help. “I used to ask how Ian was and Chelsea would say, ‘He’s doing good.’ Then it became just a shoulder-shrug kind of answer,” indicating uncertainty. Clinton spent a week on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in late August with her parents—sailing, hiking and, one evening, dining on coconut curry shrimp with Pierce Brosnan and his wife, Keely.

Nick: Team Owner?

Nick Lachey may be taking a swing at professional baseball. The pop star and husband of Jessica Simpson is looking into getting involved with a team, possibly the Cincinnati Reds, according to his father-in-law, Joe Simpson. “That would be a dream for him, to be a part owner,” says Simpson. Reps for Lachey, 31, and the Reds won’t comment. Lachey, who once lived in Cincinnati, wrote two sports columns for the Cincinnati Enquirer this summer.


After two second-place debuts on the Billboard album chart, Hilary Duff‘s greatest-hits compilation Most Wanted came out on top—thanks perhaps to the power of love. Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden, the singer’s boyfriend, coproduced and cowrote three tracks on her album. The previously low-key couple—they only recently acknowledged their status—now sing one another’s praises. “He’s a really good boyfriend,” Duff told Scoop. And while Madden reportedly proclaimed her “the greatest singer today,” Duff says, “he probably said ‘one of the best.’ I know I’m not the best singer around.”

Russell Pays Out

Three months after a frustrated Russell Crowe hurled a phone at hotel worker. Nestor Estrada, hitting him in the head, the actor is shelling out a settlement, reportedly in the low six figures. “Both sides expressed satisfaction at the resolution,” says Crowe’s rep. (Estrada’s lawyer Eric Franz wouldn’t comment.) Crowe, 41, due back in Manhattan Criminal Court Sept. 14, still faces assault and weapon-possession charges—but a source close to the case says jail time is “very unlikely” and that Crowe will likely strike a plea bargain. Though Estrada’s bank account will be fuller, as of press time he was still working at the Mercer Hotel in Manhattan, where the incident occurred.

Ashton, Demi Move

The new home of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore may be only two minutes away from their old one, but it’s worlds apart. Kutcher’s house, where Moore lived for two years with her daughters Rumer, 17, Scout, 14, and Tallulah, 11, was “wonderful…but more of a bachelor space, temporary,” she told September’s Harper’s Bazaar. The crew moved into her newly remodeled Hollywood Hills estate last month.


Hall of Fame

Natalie Portman‘s new look—the aftermath of shaving her head to play a terrorist in the upcoming thriller V for Vendetta—has earned her a spot on an elite list of stars who’ve sported the daring do. But the buzz-worthy cut owes a lot to its wearer: When rocked by Mr. T, the look was tough, while soccer star David Beckham made it sporty. Diddy did it stylishly, of course, but on young hawker Jolie, it’s just plain cute.



Ice Cube

Could there be a cooler summer chat than a conversation with singer-actor-showbiz mogul Ice Cube? Now serving as executive producer of Showtime’s Barbershop, the TV version of his films, he’s also planning new shows for his production company Cube Vision. Scoop spoke with Cube, 46, at the Los Angeles home he shares with his wife and four children.

Okay, Mr. Barbershop. What’s the worst haircut you ever had?

Probably a shag, before I got my first curl at 12. An Afro-shag.

How would you react if your kids came home with some weird cut, or totally shaved?

I would laugh, but I wouldn’t make them change it. I’m going to encourage them to be themselves.

We wonder: When you attend parent-teacher conferences at your kids’ school, do the teachers call you Ice? Or Mr. Cube?

They call me Mr. Jackson. [His given name is O’Shea Jackson.]

You’ve been married for 16 years. What keeps it going for you and Kim?

We both got swagger. She’s the girl version of me. We’re always on the same page, we keep everybody out of our business.

How’s the music business going these days?

I’m almost finished with my new CD [Laugh Now, Cry Later], It’s about the state of hip-hop, everything that’s going on in the black community.

Is it weird seeing someone else [Omar Gooding] on TV playing the role you created in the movie Barbershop?

I think Omar is a perfect choice. Our styles of acting are similar, and he has a real natural approach.

Have you caught any of that crazy Being Bobby Brown show?

It’s funny. I don’t trip on it, I don’t look at it as a bad thing. Somebody’s gotta be Bobby Brown. If he wants to put his business out on TV, then I’ll watch.

Thoughts on the implications of P. Diddy changing his name to Diddy?

(Laughs) Whatever gets them. I would never change my name, though you can call me Cube, you can shorten it.



PRICE: $2,495 million

PLACE: San Fernando Valley, Calif.

Clay Aiken might be a little homesick. The American Idol finalist, 26, is selling the 7,800-sq.-ft. house he bought in California last year (for $2.3 million) and reportedly plans to move back home to North Carolina. The Mediterranean-style residence features six bedrooms, a pool and grounds zoned for horses, says real estate agent Jerry Keller.