PONDERED: Following news of the split between Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston after four and a half years together, Jessica Simpson, whose two-year-old marriage to Nick Lachey has been the subject of considerable media speculation, told Access Hollywood: “Any marriage is tough. You go through struggles and it’s work. You have to make it happen.” In November, Simpson denied rumors that she and Lachey were on the rocks, telling PEOPLE, “Our relationship is better than it’s ever been. We are absolutely not breaking up.”
DECLINED: Paris Hilton won’t be going to school in New Jersey, after the J.P. Cleary Middle School in Buena Vista Township told producers of her FOX reality series The Simple Life they weren’t prepared to have Hilton and costar Nicole Richie work there, the Associated Press reports. The idea was to have Hilton and Richie serve as substitute teachers and cafeteria monitors, and school district officials initially were amenable to the idea. Then came time to seek parental permission. Some responded angrily, saying that Hilton, whose celebrity was fueled by an amateur sex video, was not a fit role model for students. As the protests grew, both producers and the school board agreed to withdraw the offer.
WED: Rapper Nas and his fiancée, “Milkshake” singer Kelis, quietly got married in a small ceremony in Atlanta on Saturday, reports Launch.com. Guests included Nas’s father, jazz musician Olu Dara and family and friends. Nas’s brother, rapper Jungle of the Bravehearts, served as the best man. The bride and groom met at an afterparty for the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, and Nas reportedly proposed to Kelis at her mother’s home that Christmas Eve.
BORN: Arrested Development dad Jeffrey Tambor welcomed a new son and grandson within four days of each other, says his spokeswoman. Tambor, 60, and wife Kasia, 35, welcomed son Gabriel Kasper on Dec. 10. On Dec. 14, Tambor became a grandparent when his daughter, Molly, gave birth to son Mason Jay Moore.
NOMINATED: The late Christopher Reeve was among five nominees named Monday for the Directors Guild of America’s annual award recognizing made-for-TV films, says the Hollywood Reporter. Reeve, who died Oct. 10, received the nod for the A&E movie The Brooke Ellison Story. The other nominees were Joe Sargent for HBO’s Something the Lord Made, Robert Altman for the Sundance Channel’s Tanner on Tanner, Parts 1-4, Stephen Hopkins for HBO’s The Life and Death of Peter Sellers and Lloyd Kramer for ABC’s Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven. The winner will be announced Jan. 29.
REMEMBERED: Theater composer Cy Coleman, who died at 75 in November, was remembered Monday at a New York tribute that united the remaining members of Broadway’s Golden Age, with a few descendants. Performers included Lucie Arnaz, Bea Arthur and Chita Rivera, who with Ann Reinking delivered “Hey, Big Spender” from Sweet Charity, which as Neil Simon noted, will be revived on Broadway for the fourth time next spring (with Christina Applegate). Brian Stokes Mitchell closed the two-hour tribute by subbing for a laryngitis-stricken Tony Bennett, with Coleman’s pop hit “The Best Is Yet to Come.”
REVERSED: A decision by library officials in two southern Mississippi counties to ban Jon Stewart’s No. 1 bestselling America (The Book) was lifted Monday. The original objections were to the satirical textbook’s nude depictions of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices. “I’ve been a librarian for 40 years and this is the only book I’ve objected to so strongly that I wouldn’t allow it to circulate,” Robert Willits, director of the Jackson-George Regional Library System of eight libraries in Jackson and George counties, told AP. “We’re not an adult bookstore. Our entire collection is open to the entire public. ” Despite the criticism, the library board voted 5-2 Monday to lift the ban, and the book was returned to circulation in the system’s eight libraries Tuesday.