March 26, 2001 12:00 PM

When Matthew Perry left the Dallas set of his romantic comedy Servicing Sara for a rehab facility in L.A., he boarded a private jet that may still need some airing out. I hear the Friends star was instructed to chain-smoke and drink lots of coffee on the trip home to help keep him from doing any drugs. (Perry reportedly had been taking a combination of the painkiller Vicodin, methadone, speed and alcohol.) The smoke became so thick in the small aircraft that the pilots had to don oxygen masks and all the passengers, who included others involved in the film, reeked of cigarettes when they deplaned.

Marcia Clark has returned to a camera-ready courtroom for the first time since she prosecuted O.J. Simpson more than six years ago. The former L.A. Deputy D.A. just taped her first six episodes of Power of Attorney, a syndicated courtroom show where high-profile lawyers battle one another on behalf of non-celebrity litigants. One person Clark won’t face off against, though, is her former partner Christopher Darden, who has been with the show since its start last August. I hear that there is still bad blood between the two over the Simpson trial as well as their personal relationship and that they are to be kept apart at all times. Even passing each other in the hallways is verboten, so they’ve been given dressing rooms at opposite ends of the studio and are scheduled for makeup at different times.

Ashley Judd’s latest movie, Someone Like You, opens March 30 with some familiar faces. In the romantic comedy that costars Greg Kinnear and Hugh Jackman, Judd plays a lovelorn New York City TV exec. Mom Naomi Judd has a cameo as a makeup artist, while sister Wynonna wrote and sings the end-credits song, “You Are.” It’s the first time she’s written a song for one of her little sister’s movies.

One of Lily Tomlin’s beloved characters is the caustic, nasal telephone operator Ernestine, who debuted on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In in 1969. Over the years, Tomlin has hung up on at least one six-figure commercial offer from a company wanting to use Ernestine. But she did the character for free on a taped radio spot and hotline recording (888-FUR-AWAY) for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In the ad, she encourages people to donate fur coats to be used in PETA protests and antifur fashion shows. Mary Tyler Moore is among the celebs who have donated coats in the past. Her offering: a $112,000 Russian sable.

The line for the ladies’ room was so long at the SAG Awards in L.A. that Calista Flockhart and her Ally McBeal costar Portia de Rossi just couldn’t wait. So they headed straight for the men’s room where The Sopranos’ James Gandolfini was answering nature’s call. “There are girls in the boys’ room,” he teased. Flockhart kept her eyes averted as she passed through the bathroom, but not de Rossi, who cheerily greeted the guys before sharing the handicapped stall with her Ally cohort. After all, they’re used to this kind of thing: They have a unisex bathroom on their show.

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