Brittany Murphy is in the spirit of giving this holiday season. “I’m either going on the USO tour during the holidays or home to New Jersey,” the actress told us at the recent Just Cavalli/Flaunt magazine party in Beverly Hills. “I’ve been on two USO tours already. One was in the States and another was in Iraq, and I can’t say where we are going if I go.” As for her experience with the nonprofit organization, which aims to boost the morale of U.S. troops, Murphy says, “I will always be involved in the USO. Once you go over it’s a part of you forever. It’s nice being a friendly face from home.” In fact, she has a personal connection to the USO: “I come from a military family – the Marine Corps,” she says. “I have a bunch of family members in the Marines.” Also at the party: Paris and Nicky Hilton, Mischa Barton, Brandon Davis, Leelee Sobieski, Jared Leto, Evan Rachel Wood and Kevin Connelly.
Speaking of the holidays, it looks like JC Chasez will be spending them without his Desperate Housewife squeeze, Eva Longoria. “She’s gonna be with her family, I’m gonna be with mine,” he tells us. The former ‘NSync-er recently returned from London, where he was recording a follow-up album to his solo debut, Schizophrenic. “I gotta say, the guys over there just work differently than the people here,” he says. “The studios are a lot smaller, so it’s a lot more ghetto fabulous – but I feel like that’s good in a way, because it makes you get dirty and grimy and put your heart and soul into things. Not being comfortable is good in a way. When you get too comfortable, you get complacent.”
Being a member of Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal’s 26-member staff this holiday season proved to be, well, sweet: O’Neal and his wife, Shaunie, doled out decadent Godiva holiday edition truffles to everyone.
Caught in the Act
• Leonardo DiCaprio, hitting the town the night before the London premiere of his movie The Aviator. DiCaprio started off at Cipriani restaurant, then headed to nightspot Pangaea, and then finally went on to private members’ club Kabaret’s Prophecy, where he stayed until 4 a.m.
• Luke and Owen Wilson, hanging out with a group of friends at Aspen pool hall Erik’s. “They looked like they were having a great time,” says a spy.
• Jennifer Love Hewitt, at L.A. piano bar Howl at the Moon with friends.
• Mandy Moore, heading into L.A.’s Ona Spa.
• By MARGI BLASH, KIMBERLY LANSING, MARISA LAUDADIO, COURTNEY RUBIN, KC BAKER and PRIYA MOHAN