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WEEK IN REVIEW: A Simmons Smackdown

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SLAPPIN’ TO THE OLDIES: Don’t even think about stepping into the ring with exercise guru Richard Simmons. On Wednesday the “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” king went head-to-head with an ultimate cage fighter at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport after the man made a crack about Simmons’s classic fitness videos. The 6’2″, 250-lb. fighter, whose name was not released, pointed out Simmons and suggested that people in line start exercising. At that point, Simmons allegedly approached the man and slapped him. According to reports, Simmons told him, “You shouldn’t make fun of people who have issues.” Simmons was cited by police and then allowed to leave on his flight.

BOBBY’S JAIL PING-PONG: It was a week of musical jail cells and courtrooms for R&B singer Bobby Brown. On Tuesday, the husband of Whitney Houston was freed from the remaining days of a two-month sentence in Georgia so that he could face a separate charge in Massachusetts regarding child-support money for two children Brown has from a previous relationship. When Brown’s lawyer argued that he could not pay the more than $60,000 in back support, a judge sentenced Brown to 90 days in jail, where he spent Wednesday night. By Thursday, the money was paid and Brown was released, leading him to characterize the whole situation as a “misunderstanding.” Meanwhile, Houston, who had checked herself into a month-long drug-treatment facility, left the program after five days.

BUCK STOPS HERE: Life seems to be one wild ride for Paris Hilton. On March 19 while filming a segment for the second season of the FOX reality show “The Simple Life” in Florida, Hilton was reportedly thrown from a horse. The hotel heiress, 23, was flown to a hospital where it was determined that she did not have any major injuries. Nonetheless, a spokesman for the network said they wanted to make certain the rising star was not hurt at all. “Whenever you’re dealing with talent, you always want to be extra careful,” he said.

BILLY BOB SPEAKS: It seems the split between Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie in 2003 is as much a mystery to them as it is to the rest of the world. Despite rumors of infidelity on the part of Thornton, the 47-year-old actor tells GQ magazine that he never cheated on Jolie. “That was the rumor but that was never it,” he said. Thornton said he thought the marriage broke down when the two apparently were headed in different personal directions. When Jolie was previously asked what happened with Thornton, she replied, “I’d love to know.”

BACK TO THE ’70s: “Newlyweds” Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson are busy cribbing for their next television venture, a variety show called “The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour.” The one-hour show, due to air April 11 on ABC, will feature such entertainment staples from bygone eras as Mr. T, baseballer Johnny Bench, Kermit the Frog and Kenny Rogers.