February 02, 2004 12:00 PM


Mary J. Bilge’s 33rd birthday was a night to remember. First her husband, music producer Kendu Isaacs, closed down Manhattan’s Butter restaurant Jan. 13 to throw the R&B goddess a party for about 60 friends that drew actors John Leguizamo and Kim Cattrall and a who’s who of hip-hop: Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Russell Simmons and Jay-Z were among the revel rousers. Then, after a sit-down dinner, everyone hit the dance floor until Isaacs took Blige outside the restaurant to give her his present: a 2004 Bentley convertible that retails for a cool $400,000. Did the big white bow Isaacs placed on its front bumper cost extra?


When a movie passes the $100 million mark, it’s cause for celebration. Nancy Meyers, the writer-director of Something’s Gotta Give, threw a party at her L.A. home on Jan. 17 to mark the milestone. Jack Nicholson was in high spirits, holding court the entire night, while Keanu Reeves, his costar in the romantic comedy, was the first to arrive and the last to leave. Goldie Hawn also dropped by to boast about her latest role: grandma.


The Simple Life‘s Paris Hilton doesn’t strike us as the bookish type, but she’s shopping a book to publishers that’s expected to fetch about $1 million, according to her agent. “She’s Barbie come to life!” heralds a proposal for Tongue in Chic: Confessions of an Heiress, an autobiography that the 22-year-old plans to pen (with a little help from fashion writer Merle Ginsberg). With chapters like “How to Be an Heiress” (“Only sleep on Egyptian cotton sheets with a 400 to 600 thread count”), the book will include personal photos plus new shots of Hilton taken by favorite photographer Jeff Vespa. Life may not be so simple for the busy hotel heiress: Negotiations are under way for a second season of her FOX reality show, a clothing line is in development, and she’s working on an album, a mixture of hip-hop, pop and rock. And you thought she was famous for being famous.


Disney-owned ABC doesn’t scrimp when it comes to keeping its talent happy—and getting in some cross-promotion while they’re at it. The company hooked up According to Jim star Jim Belushi with prime seats to the network’s Sugar and Rose Bowls, and now he’s on a Disney ship for a 10-day cruise to the Bahamas and Key West with his wife, Jennifer, and his two kids. The entire cast and crew from the show (as well as their families) are also along for the ride. It’s not all play, though: They’re shooting two scenes a day to complete an hour-long episode that takes place aboard the ship. Now that’s synergy!


On The Bachelorette‘s Jan. 21 episode, MEREDITH PHILLIPS took RICK ENRICO on their first individual date, to a Beverly Hills mansion with its own bowling alley. Turns out it’s the home that MICHAEL JACKSON is now renting….

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS—without ANNA KOURNIKOVA—tried to slip unnoticed into the Playboy Mansion for one of the magazine’s 50th-anniversary parties Jan. 15. Confronted by photogs, he refused to pose. “I’m not supposed to be here,” he said. “I’m going to get in a lot of trouble.”…

SPOTTED: JULIA ROBERTS, shopping for groceries in London before beginning production on her next film, Closer, a drama with JUDE LAW.

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