August 30, 2004 12:00 PM

Goodbye, L.A.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen bid farewell to the West Coast and head for New York City—and a new life as college students

Halfway through Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen‘s Aug. 13 farewell bash at the Hollywood hot spot Spider Club, the twins stood up on the club’s black leather couches to dance and sing. Their inspiration? The old Clash rocker, “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” The musical question was moot: The two planned to leave the West Coast celeb scene behind and fly to New York City this week to begin their new life as New York University students.

All signs point to a smooth transition to college life for the sisters. An aftercare team for Mary-Kate, who recently completed a stint in rehab for an eating disorder, is in place; so is private security, which will be kept as discreet as possible so fellow students aren’t disturbed. And forget any freshman jitters. “They’re really well-adjusted kids,” says Dave Coulier, who costarred as Joey on Full House. Coulier says the cast of the sitcom, including Bob Saget and John Stamos, still hopes to throw “some little shindig” for the twins. Also parting company: Mary-Kate and her boyfriend David Katzenberg, but only because he’ll be attending school in Boston. They’re still an item.

The twins face one minor snag—the Olsens had expected to move into a new $7.3 million pad near campus, a four-bedroom, 5,725-sq.-ft. penthouse with a screening room and separate studies. It’s not quite finished, so they’ll rent quarters nearby. (Back in L.A. they recently paid nearly $4 million for a home in Bel Air.) All in all, Coulier thinks they’ll do fine. “To be under the microscope like they have been is tough,” he says. “But I look at them and think, I’m so proud of you girls because you’ve handled it so gracefully.’ ”

East/West

The Olsens reunited with their Full House costars in L.A. this May. “We do get along, we still care about each other, we still call and e-mail each other,” says Coulier (third from left). Shuttle squeeze: Mary-Kate’s boyfriend David Katzenberg won’t be too far away. The son of Dreamworks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg attends Boston University, some 200 miles north of New York City. At New York University the Olsens will attend the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, a college with about 900 undergraduates.

A Family Reunion for Marc and Dayanara

On Aug. 14 Marc Anthony reunited with his ex-wife Dayanara Torres. Fear not for J.Lo, however: Anthony and his former spouse simply got together for the baptism of their 1-year-old son Ryan. The estranged couple, who divorced five days before Anthony wed Jennifer Lopez on June 5, sat near their other son, Cristian, 3, as the Catholic priest who renewed their marriage vows in 2002 performed the ceremony. (Lopez was not present.) Though relations have been strained, sources close to Anthony and Torres say they are working together for their children, and the couple even posed for family portraits before parting ways.

And speaking of family conflicts…two days after the baptism, Anthony’s lawyer released a statement saying that a second DNA test has proven that a paternity suit filed by Miami waitress Elizabeth Leyva is unfounded. Leyva’s lawyer said she would not comment until a third DNA test’s results are made public on Aug. 20.

Oprah‘s Civic Duty

Among those wondering why Oprah Winfrey was picked to judge a man charged with first-degree murder is…Oprah Winfrey. “I would not have me on a jury,” the talk show host told reporters outside the courtroom in Chicago on Aug. 16. “I’m too opinionated.” No matter. She’ll help decide the fate of Dion Coleman, who faces up to 60 years in prison for a 2002 killing. Winfrey isn’t alone wondering if there might be better jurors. “She’s one of the most influential people in the United States,” says bestselling author and former prosecutor Scott Turow. “How is she not going to influence everybody?”

THE ROCK’S ROOTS

A Rock, moved to tears? The wrestler turned actor, a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson, paid an emotional visit last week to Samoa, where his mother was born. “I’ve never cried so much,” says Johnson, 32. In addition to touring a village, he was crowned a high chief by the island’s head of state. “You will no longer be known as Dwayne but will carry the title of son of Malietoa,” said His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II. “It was a life-changing moment,” says Johnson. “It’s way deeper than an honorary title—its blood.” Johnson, who has donated $50,000 to Samoan causes, hopes to return. “This trip,” he says, “made me extremely proud of my heritage and culture.”

RealityCheck

SURVIVOR: VANUATU—ISLANDS OF FIRE

MEET THE NEW SURVIVORS

Survivor returns Sept. 16 with a new crew, ready to battle nature and each other on the Vanuatu Islands in the South Pacific. A few telling facts about the cast:

•Mechanical bull operator/model John Kenney, 22, is dating actress Katherine Bailess, who appeared with American Idol stars in the film From Justin to Kelly.

•Travis “Bubba” Sampson, 33, was a professional wrestler who competed in the ring under the alias Romeo Bliss.

•While she admits that she is easily annoyed, research assistant Leann Slaby, 35, has a heart: In 1998 she donated a kidney to her diabetic dad.

•Already touted as the hottest of the Survivor contestants, Brady Finta, 33, may also be the show’s authority figure. He’s an FBI agent.

•Rah! Rah! Rah! Lisa Keiffer, 44, was a cheerleader at Louisiana State University. Her squad participated in a national cheerleading championship in the ’80s.

LAST COMIC STANDING

Last Laugh

The downside to success: Viewers voted John Heffron as the funniest comedian on the Aug. 12 finale of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, which means Heffron, 34, will have to postpone his honeymoon to work on an upcoming TV special and a seven-month national tour. How did his wife, Rie, take the news? “She’s crying, she’s so happy,” says Heffron. She knows about the tour? “Could you not mention that to her right away?”

Tinkerbell: Where Are You?

Nothing is simple for Paris Hilton, not even the mystery of her missing Chihuahua. Signs were posted in Los Angeles this month offering a $1,000 reward for the return of a lost dog that looked suspiciously like Hilton’s famed Tinkerbell. But when Scoop inquired about the pampered pooch, a Hilton family assistant, Wendy White, said the dog was actually her Chihuahua Napoleon. The ruse unraveled four days later. “Napoleon doesn’t exist,” admitted White. “It was really Tinkerbell.” Hilton may have feared her dog might not be returned if its famous owner were identified. “Paris is devastated,” says White. “Whatever was needed to get Tinkerbell back, I was willing to do.” As of press time, there were no leads.

POP QUIZ

Bob Costas

The veteran sportscaster helps host the Summer Games of the 28th Olympiad from Athens this month. Scoop caught up with Costas to ask him about the local cuisine, the sports the Olympics forgot and his less-than-stellar acting career.

Are you a big fan of Greek food?

My father’s side of the family is entirely Greek. I have had my share of souvlaki and baklava over the years.

What sport should be added to the Olympics?

Billiards.

Is that really a sport?

You have to wonder. Is poker a sport? It is on ESPN. With billiards, sedentary people [could] have a chance to win a gold medal.

What about spelling bees? Could that be an Olympic sport?

Sure. And why not have the Jeopardy! champion too? He could kick [sprinter] Maurice Green’s butt on “Ancient Capitals for $100.”

What sports do you play well?

I can really shoot a basketball, which is distinct from being guarded by somebody who is a foot taller than me. But shooting unguarded three pointers—I have always been very good at that. I was a pretty good baseball player. But I can’t play hockey because I can’t skate.

Is it true that you carry a 1958 Mickey Mantle baseball card with you everywhere you go?

Yeah. I didn’t use to carry it everywhere, but I do now because I feel obliged. I don’t want to disappoint [fans] if they ask.

What’s the difference between interviewing entertainment celebrities and athletes?

With sports figures, there is usually a specific topic. With pop culture people, you feel your way looking for something interesting.

You’ve appeared in movies such as BASEketball and Pootie Tang. Any greater acting aspirations?

I’m thinking as soon as I get back from Athens…King Lear. I need to do some summer stock.

ON THE BLOCK

A FAB FIVER’S PAD

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SPECS Ted Allen, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy‘s food and wine expert, is ready for a home makeover. Allen recently sold his three-story redbrick house so that he can move to New York City. The four-bedroom residence includes a remodeled kitchen, arched doorways and a garden with a built-in irrigation system.

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