June 04, 2001 12:00 PM

Halle Berry may still be trying to shake the embarrassment caused by leaving the scene of that L.A. car accident last year, but she is breezing through her 200 hours of community service. Even before she was required to put in her time, the actress began cleaning walls and floors at the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program in Los Angeles. She has also been answering calls on the center’s hotline and teaching residents to make their own crystal-topped toe rings in an arts-and-crafts class. And she has done so quietly, without looking for publicity.

Anywhere else, murder might be bad for business. But in L.A., Vitello’s restaurant has actually seen a marked increase in traffic since the fatal shooting of Robert Blake’s wife, Bonny Bakley, about a block away. Not only are customers flocking to the Italian joint and asking to sit in Blake’s favorite booth, they’re ordering the Fusilli e Minestra alla Robert Blake: corkscrew pasta in garlic, olive oil, spinach and fresh tomatoes for $12.95.

Not content to slam down the rebounds as he tries to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a second straight NBA title, Shaquille O’Neal is trying to lay down some slammin’ tracks. He has been working on a new CD, Shaquille O’Neal Presents His Super friends, due in September, which showcases various musical styles and features collaborations with a different artist on every song, including members of Korn, Boyz II Men and 311. He has also been trying to make up with some super ladies: Since a recent interview on an L.A. radio station in which he jokingly claimed to have bedded Cindy Crawford, tennis ace Venus Williams and R&B singer Aaliyah, he has been busy apologizing. The leading Laker sent personal notes and flowers but so far hasn’t heard back from any of the women.

Despite a whirlwind promotional tour for Moulin Rouge, newly-on-her-own mom Nicole Kidman made time to enjoy Mother’s Day with her kids Isabella, 8, and Connor, 6. In the morning the youngsters gave Nicole candles they had made themselves; later they made dinner for her. But in between, while Mommy held a press conference at the L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, Connor and Isabella had burgers and fries and took a dip in the pool. “They loved that,” says Kidman. “They were like, ‘It was the best Mother’s Day, Mom!’ ”

Fast Takes: Some other Hollywood moms also took time to make it a special Mother’s Day for their kids. It was a holiday times two for the children of Melissa Etheridge and her ex-partner, Julie Cypher: Bailey Jean, 4, and Beckett, 2, enjoyed a quiet dinner with Mama and Mamo, as the kids have always called Etheridge and Cypher, respectively….

Meanwhile Janine Turner spent her Mother’s Day with her mother, Janice, 64, and daughter Juliette, 3, not to mention a few beautiful memories: Janice brought over some vintage photos of Turner’s grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother to share.

You May Like