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COMEBACK IN TURMOIL?
Her aptly named Circus tour kicks off in New Orleans on March 3, but as the date draws near, Britney Spears’ world has turned topsy-turvy again. On Jan. 30 an L.A. court granted her father, JAMIE SPEARS, a restraining order against Britney’s former friend and onetime manager SAM LUTFI and her paparazzo ex-beau ADNAN GHALIB, alleging they were “working in concert to disrupt the conservatorship with utter disregard for Ms. Spears’ health and well-being.” A source also says that Spears, 27, has been “fragile” and “uninterested in work” in the months since launching her comeback. But another source says that her attitude has improved: “She seems excited and is even working longer hours than planned,” the source tells Scoop. Meanwhile, on Feb. 2 Spears’ Web site posted a message denying a report that she would cancel her tour if ex-husband KEVIN FEDERLINE prevented her from bringing their kids along: “Both Sean Preston and Jayden James will, in fact, be joining Britney throughout the duration of her tour.”
Madonna & Guy Ritchie
THEIR KIDS TO LIVE IN N.Y.C.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie, whose divorce was finalized last month, have reached an agreement allowing their sons Rocco, 8, and David, 3, to live with their mom in New York City, a source tells Scoop. “Madonna and Guy are happy with the results,” says the source (reps had no comment). At brunch Feb. 1, it showed, as the singer, 50 (joined by daughter Lourdes, 12, David, and rumored beau, model Jesus Luz, among others), was “radiant,” said an eyewitness at Italian steakhouse Macelleria.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
IS SHE DATING HER COSTAR?
Since her surprise split from fiancé Ross McCall over the holidays, Jennifer Love Hewitt has been keeping the company of her Ghost Whisperer costar Jamie Kennedy, 38. But a source maintains that the pair are just friends, despite a recent report that they shared a romantic dinner at L.A.’s Pace restaurant. “She’s been doing a lot of stuff with the cast and crew—she always has.” Case in point: On Jan. 19 Hewitt, 29, partied at West Hollywood’s Apple Lounge with Kennedy and another costar, Camryn Manheim. Reps had no comment.
“As long as I maintain this sense of denial I’ve been in for months, I think I’ve got a job”
—Lipstick Jungle star BROOKE SHIELDS at the Godiva Decadence Suite in N.Y.C. Jan. 28, on coping with the show’s uncertain future.
Taking the pulse of celebrity love lives
PINK & CAREY HART
Does separation make the heart grow fonder? Well, nearly a year after splitting, Pink, 29, and Hart, 33, are rekindling their flame. On Jan. 21 the two locked lips before she hit a trapeze in Santa Monica. “They’re back together, but they’re realistic,” says a source. “They’ve always loved each other.”
ANNA FARIS & CHRIS PRATT
Faris, 32, is taking a second trip down the aisle, this time with Bride Wars actor Pratt, 29. “They got engaged last year,” her rep told Scoop. In August, Faris gushed, “He’s awesome. I feel lucky.”
JOANNA GARCIA & ROBERT BUCKLEY
With her engagement to Justin Timberlake‘s BFF-business partner Trace Ayala called off, Garcia, 29, has moved on to the Privileged guest star. On Feb. 1 she and Buckley, 27, had a cozy Sunday brunch at Jack n’ Jill’s of Beverly Hills. Reps had no comment.
Michael Phelps IN HOT WATER
On Feb. 1, after a British newspaper ran a photo of him with what appeared to be a marijuana pipe, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, 23, apologized: “I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment.” Still, Ashton Kutcher defended his friend on Twitter: “God forbid he hit a bong,” wrote the actor. “I’m not saying it was a smart move. But he doesn’t need to be publicly outed for it…. He’s a good kid.”
EXCLUSIVE THE BACHELOR BLOG
The Bachelor‘s Jason Mesnick, 32, is blogging at people.com/bachelor about the latest episode. This week’s excerpt: “I had to cancel my date with Melissa. I felt bad, but [my son] Ty was sad at the thought of me going out for the night…. Kissing the girls in front of each other was really awkward. Each girl is so different from one another…. The rose ceremony was the toughest one yet because I sent Steph [inset] home—it was heartbreaking.”
Lauren Conrad rang in her big day in Las Vegas Jan. 31 with her boyfriend, actor Kyle Howard, and—gasp!—without The Hills TV cameras. The festivities started at the Palazzo’s Lavo for dinner. Donning Venetian masks Lo Bosworth brought as a surprise, the crew later zipped through the casino to Tao in a mini Escalade (Lauren sat on Kyle’s lap), where they danced in a skybox.
SUPER BOWL PARTIES
• 1/30, Tampa: Sam Ronson, Lindsay Lohan and Joel and Benji Madden hit ESPN The Magazine’s NEXT party. • 1/29, Tampa: Kim and Kourtney Kardashian had a popcorn fight in the Pepsi Max Super Bowl Lounge. • 1/31, L.A.: Jessica Biel threw Justin Timberlake a surprise Super Bowl-themed 28th b-day party for 100 friends and relatives at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. “Justin was totally blown away when he walked in,” says a source.
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi celebrated their birthdays with a backyard bash at their Beverly Hills home Jan. 31—Portia’s actual b-day (Ellen’s is Jan. 26). Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett (right) partied while “Ellen tried to get everyone to dance” to deejay Samantha Ronson’s mix of tunes says a source.
5 Questions for… CHRIS EVANS
The hunky star of new sci-fi thriller Push talks about costar Dakota Fanning, his thoughts on mind power—and being single on Valentine’s Day
1 Push is an action-heavy movie. Did you have to train for it?
I have chicken legs! There’s a big fight at the end of the movie, so I did a week and a half of fight training and choreography with a professional boxer.
2 Your character is telekinetic. Do you believe in telekinesis?
I’m certainly not skeptical anymore. If you don’t believe in it, you can’t act it.
3 How was working with Dakota Fanning?
My maturity level is somewhere around 12; hers is in her 30s, so we hit it off. She got everyone wrap gifts. She got me these dice cuff links I’m wearing, since my character plays dice.
4 You recently became an uncle. How’s that going?
It’s all the fun of having a baby without the responsibility! It’s scary, though: By the time he’s old enough to go out and get drunk with me, I’ll be an old man!
5 Valentine’s Day is coming up. Who’s your valentine?
My dog East. He’s an American bulldog. I’m single this year, which is nice. The pressure is off!