Vanessa Hudgens: THE NAKED TRUTH
The High School Musical star apologizes after racy pictures of her surface on the Web
Here’s a lesson to teach in every high school: If you are going to take revealing pictures of yourself, don’t ever, ever send them to anyone. Eventually, they’ll end up on the Web—it’s only a matter of time—and you’ll be forced to issue a statement like this: “I want to apologize to my fans, whose support and trust means the world to me. I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos.”
Which, of course, is what High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens said after a nude picture of her popped up on the Web last week. Sources tell PEOPLE that Hudgens, now 18, sent some photos to Nickelodeon star Drake Bell a while ago, after she taped an episode of Drake & Josh. Bell’s rep says, “Drake says he never received those photos,” referring to the nude shot circulating on the Web. Several others contacted PEOPLE and said they, too, received risqué pictures of Hudgens a couple of years ago—something akin to a naughty chain letter. So what are the repercussions for Hudgens, who earned an estimated $2 million in movie and endorsement deals last year? Apparently, embarrassment will suffice. “Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she’s learned a valuable lesson,” said her bosses at Disney, who are in negotiations to feature her in High School Musical 3. Neutrogena and the Got Milk? campaign had no comment. But Ecko Red founder Marc Ecko, which features the teen star in an upcoming campaign, struck this sympathetic note: “I’m just glad no one’s leaked the pictures of me in all of my naked glory.”
IF YOUR KIDS ASK ABOUT VANESSA
Dr. Gail Saltz, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at N.Y.-Presbyterian Hospital, says Hudgens’s mistake “doesn’t have to be a terribly sexual discussion. It can be more of a ‘sometimes people do dumb things because they feel pressure to be liked, and, in the end, your body is private.’ It’s valuable for kids to [know] nobody’s perfect. She’s not Gabriella, she’s an actress.”
“It was heartbreaking to hear,” says Blythe Danner of Owen Wilson‘s Aug. 26 suicide attempt. Danner costarred with Wilson in Meet the Parents, and daughter Gwyneth Paltrow once dated Luke Wilson. “I’ve met [his parents] and Luke and they’ve been so wonderful to us. Your heart goes out to them.” Meanwhile, a source tells Scoop that, prior to the incident, “Owen has taken antidepression drugs that have taken a toll on him.”
While still in rehab, Lindsay Lohan met up with her father, Michael, for the first time in three years, on Sept. 6. (The elder Lohan had been in prison for DUI and assault; he’s now on parole.) The two embraced in the parking lot of the Cirque Lodge, where Lindsay is undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, and attended a therapy session and a church service together. They also took smoking breaks, and the elder Lohan made Starbucks runs. A source close to Lindsay confirms that her treatment is “going well” and is scheduled to end around Sept. 20, and that her mom, Dina, intends to fly to Utah to pick her up.
GOES TO SCHOOL
It’s official: Maddox Jolie-Pitt, 6, is growing up. The eldest of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt‘s brood started first grade at the Lycée Français in New York City. The 1,050 pupils are taught in French from first grade through grade 12 at the school, which attracts parents with an international flavor. (Madonna‘s daughter Lourdes attends a London lycée.) Will the presence of famous parents mean it will be hard to find a seat at the next PTA meeting? Not a chance, says the source. “You know the French—they don’t care.”
NOT JUST MARRIED
Charlize Theron has been with actor Stuart Townsend for almost seven years, which is reason enough for him to now sport a ring on his finger. “There’s no big official story on a wedding,” he said at a dinner party for his directorial debut, Battle in Seattle, “but I consider her my wife and she considers me her husband. I don’t need a certificate or the state or the church to say otherwise.”
FIT FOR A QUEEN
Technically it’s not a castle, but a 16th-century villa in Teggiano, Italy, now belongs to Oscar Queen Helen Mirren. Abandoned for decades, the fixer-upper cost just under 1 million euros. It first caught the actress’s eye at the Salento Film Festival, where she fell in love with the olive groves of the Adriatic coast.
WHY IT’S OVER
That was Kim Porter, estranged ex of Sean “Diddy” Combs, putting in an appearance at his Labor Day weekend White Party. But the hip-hop and fashion mogul’s ex puts to rest any notion of reconciliation in a devastating account of the couple’s breakup in the October issue of Essence. “He told me he may have gotten himself into a situation, and he may have fathered another child. Well, I already knew. I’m glad you decided to be a man,” recalls Porter, 36, who exited the relationship in dramatic fashion by packing up the nursery furniture, the cars, even the kitchen table after he left on a business trip in July. According to Essence, an Atlanta fashion worker who knew Combs for years gave birth to a daughter five months before Porter’s twin daughters were born. “It’s not an original script,” Porter says. “He’s not the first man who’s cheated. He still calls me every day, and we talk. We have children together. We’re committed to our children even if we couldn’t commit to each other.” A spokesman for Combs had no comment.
On Sept. 9, Chris Evert attended a U.S. Open tennis match with love Greg Norman. It was their first major public outing since the golf legend, 52, reached a Sept. 6 divorce agreement on how to split his estimated $400 million fortune. “We’re very happy,” says Evert, 52. “We’re in a good place.” His ex-wife Laura’s not bad either: she reportedly just bought a $4.35 million home in New York’s Hamptons.
“I own it. I was born with it. Nothing’s changed. I really don’t know if it was broken or fractured. How do you ever really know other than the fact that it does look different to me?”
—JESSICA SIMPSON, who, at a W magazine party, confirmed that she banged her beak on the set of Major Movie Star but has not had a nose job
This just in: Women still love him when he’s 65. While spending time in the Hamptons and New York City, eternally youthful Beatle Paul McCartney had the girls aflutter. Last month he was spotted chatting up Christie Brinkley at a concert and going to dinner and a play with Renée Zellweger. And just last week he and Elle Macpherson got cozy at a London GQ party. Is Paul no longer a member of the lonely hearts club? A spokesperson for the cute Beatle had no comment.
Did the Food Network burn one of its top chefs? It is cancelling Ciao America, featuring chef Mario Batali, but sources say there’s no food fight. Although Batali did just sign on with American Public Television to costar with Gwyneth Paltrow in a series about Spain, his show Ciao had been in reruns since 2004, the network still runs his other series, Molto Mario, and he is now filming a new season of Iron Chef America. Life could be worse. Hell’s Kitchen chef Gordon Ramsay was quoted in British tabloids as saying he accidentally burned his genitals while cooking. Ramsay’s wife, Tana, told Scoop he was just kidding about a trip to the doctor’s. “Gordon had an ache, and I made him have an appointment.” And now? “He got the all clear. He just has to admit it’s old age,” says the missus.
The View‘s newest host, Sherri Shepherd, 40, gives us her take on three celeb trends.
1. Ankle Monitors: “It’s like fashion—the new pair of pants.”
2. Britney’s comeback: “First, me and Britney Spears got the same stomach. But I just want her to get it together.”
3. Liposuction: “A flat stomach is nice. Let me get my first View paycheck.”
STAR MIX UP
Do all celebrities kind of look alike? The Web site freakingnews.com creates eye-catching evidence by merging two celebrity faces using Photoshop. See if you can unravel the DNA and name the stars used to create these images.
1 Putting these two together was almost an impossible mission.
2 One wore Prada, the other an orange jumpsuit.
3 Rock and roll royalty meets old fashioned royalty in this mixture.
4 Arrgh, mateys! These two combine to make one handsome pirate.
5 The USA’s most powerful woman meets the Secretary of State.
6 Combine one pretty woman with another and you’re in heaven.
7 One fought on the high seas and the other in galaxies far far away.
8 Mix one part Potter, and one part Spider, and you get . . . Spotter!
9 Oops! She did it with love in this musical mélange.
1. Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise 2. Meryl Streep & Paris Hilton 3. Elton John & Queen Elizabeth II 4. Johnny Depp & Orlando Bloom 5. Oprah Winfrey & Condoleezza Rice 6. Jessica Biel & Julia Roberts 7. Natalie Portman & Keira Knightley 8. Daniel Radcliffe & Tobey Maguire 9. Courtney Love & Britney Spears
The actor feels no pressure playing an acupuncturist on Grey’s Anatomy‘s spin-off Private Practice
With an Emmy nomination for his role on The Sopranos, and his debut as television’s sexiest (and only) acupuncturist on ABC’s Private Practice, premiering Sept. 26, former Wings star Tim Daly, 51, talks about landing a McNickname to PEOPLE’s Lisa Ingrassia.
You play an acupuncturist. Ever tried it? I’ve had a lot of acupuncture. I had a sinus infection that hung on and [it] cleared it in minutes.
What’s it like working with Kate Walsh? Kate’s a gamer. She wants to have a good time. She’s funny. She’s talented. She played my surprise ex-wife on a series I did called The Eye. She has cornered the market on surprise ex-wife.
A surprising thing about you: You have a working farm in Vermont. What do you grow? You name it. When I came back [to L.A. after] Labor Day, I had my carry-on stuffed with vegetables. They X-rayed my tomatoes and beans. They’re probably bombarded with radiation, but I’m going to eat them anyways.
So are you hoping to land a McNickname?
If people want to give McNicknames, it shows devotion to the show. There’s also an opportunity to expand. Those nicknames are of Irish decent. We could do a shout-out to our Jewish brethren, like “Steamberg” and “Dreamberg.”