Stephen M. Silverman
March 17, 2005 08:00 AM

CAST: Jennifer Aniston, 35, is adding to her already busy movie schedule with the ironically titled The Break Up, starring Vince Vaughn. (Earlier this year, in case you were hiding under a rock, the former Friends star separated from her husband, Brad Pitt.) The comedy will be directed by Peyton Reed (Down With Love) and is due to start shooting this June for release next February, says the Hollywood Reporter. Aniston’s other screen projects include the upcoming Rumor Has It, Friends With Money and Derailed.

VISITED: Shopping ready and curious about the pyramids, Paris Hilton arrived in Mexico to promote her perfume and upcoming movie, reports the Associated Press. “I love Mexico,” the Simple Life star, 24, told reporters in Mexico City. “The people are so nice.” Hilton, who partied in Cancun last week, said her namesake fragrance “smells like flowers.” Her movie, House of Wax, opens May 6. In Mexico, Hilton is expected to participate in a 1960s-themed celebrity fashion show.

TESTIFIED: Jay Leno, 53, said he took “one or two” phone calls from Michael Jackson’s accuser and the boy’s mother, who made a pitch for money that sounded like a “very rehearsed,” according to a transcript of the Tonight Show host’s interview with Santa Barbara County sheriff’s officers that was obtained by ABC News. Leno’s statements contradict the 15-year-old accuser’s sworn testimony on Monday, when he said: “I never spoke to Jay Leno.” “You deny you’ve ever spoken to him?” asked Jackson lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr. “Yeah,” said the boy.

DIED: Mary Elizabeth Cronkite, known as Betsy, the wife of former CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite, died of complications from cancer at the couple’s Manhattan apartment Tuesday night, a spokesperson for the newsman announced. She was 89. (Walter is 88.) The two met while they were working at Kansas City radio station KCMO and married in 1940. They had three children and four grandsons.

CANCELED: The Apprentice runner-up Kwame Jackson’s business show for CNN has been yanked from the cable news network’s schedule even before it had gained a slot, reports New York’s Daily News. Jackson was set to launch an interview show modeled after Bravo’s Inside the Actors Studio, featuring his talks with business leaders and celebrities who have done well in the money realm. But the show idea is now dead, CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson tells the paper.

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