January 16, 2006 12:00 PM

TORI MEETS THE FAMILY

Seven days after their Christmas Eve engagement, Tori Spelling and her man, Dean McDermott, ring in the New Year—and toast their love—at a surprise party

Tori Spelling and fiancé Dean McDermott were expecting a small family get-together while visiting his sister in Toronto on New Year’s Eve. Surprise! “It was a big engagement party for the two of us,” Spelling tells PEOPLE. “We were completely shocked. And then just overwhelmed with the love surrounding us.” The actress and McDermott, 39, an actor, mingled with 40 guests, including his three sisters Dale, Dawn and Dana, many of his Canadian pals and two of Spelling’s best friends, flown in from L.A. “I was in complete tears,” says Spelling, 32. “To be welcomed so whole-heartedly into this close, warm, loving family means the world to me.” The former 90210 star—who accepted her beau’s Christmas Eve proposal just months after they both separated from their spouses—shared a midnight kiss with McDermott. “He said, ‘I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life loving you and making you happy,’” Spelling recalls. “I responded, ‘I’m going to love you forever.’” The two plan to wed by this summer. Says Spelling: “All my dreams have come true.”

JEN & VINCE: VIVA LAS VEGAS

How do you dial back after a year that included a divorce and filming three movies? Jennifer Aniston took a break between Christmas and New Year, first relaxing in style with Vince Vaughn at the luxurious Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, Calif. On Dec. 30 the couple indulged in a yoga and Pilates class, followed by cocktails on the patio of the resort’s ocean-view restaurant. Vaughn, 35, then headed to Bakersfield, Calif., where he rang in the New Year by performing his Wild West Comedy Show (at $250 a ticket) to a sold-out crowd. On Jan. 1, after Vaughn performed at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the duo gambled and partied into the wee hours. Shortly after 2 a.m., Aniston, 36, even jumped up on the catwalk-style stage at Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce and danced to Prince’s classic “Raspberry Beret” while Vaughn watched. “Everyone was excited,” said a witness.

Jessica’s Napa Trip

Their breakup was one of the biggest stories of 2005. So how did Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey welcome 2006? Lachey, 32, had dinner with pals in L.A. Simpson, 25, cruised with friends around the Napa Valley in an R.V.—stopping in small towns and belting out tunes from The Sound of Music. “No one knew who she was,” says a source close to her. And New Year’s Eve? The gang celebrated at a “little hole in the wall” restaurant in the town of Napa.

KATE’S NEW MAN

Kate Moss seems to be rebounding smoothly since emerging from rehab last fall. She ditched troublesome boyfriend Pete Doherty, signed on to be the face of Virgin Mobile and bid goodbye to 2005 on the slopes of Colorado with a new young beau, Jamie Burke, in tow. Moss, 32, and Burke, 20, an aspiring singer from England, reportedly hit it off during a pre-Christmas vacation on Necker Island in the Caribbean.

A Trial Awaits

Lost’s Michelle Rodriguez had good reason to fight drunk-driving charges lodged against her in Hawaii Dec. 29, after police say she failed a sobriety test. “She’s now potentially facing 18 months in county jail” for violating probation stemming from three previous driving-related misdemeanors in California, says an L.A. city attorney spokesman. Rodriguez, 27, goes on trial in Hawaii March 30. Her rep had no comment.

Previously stopped for speeding in Hawaii: Lost cast members Josh Holloway, Dominic Monaghan, Naveen Andrews and Ian Somerhalder.

Conaway’s Curious Ways

The latest reality-TV villain? Some fans would nominate Jeff Conaway, the former Taxi castmate (below right, with Tony Danza) who’s now on VH1’s third run of Celebrity Fit Club, where the famous and sort-of-famous compete to lose weight. He kicked off the Jan. 1 premiere by mooning his costars at their initial weigh-in. Later he took a break to go to the bathroom in the middle of the show. Sources say his behavior gets even more bizarre in later episodes, with sporadic temper tantrums and meltdowns—to the point where he may jeopardize his place on the series. Among his detractors: fellow contestant (and Cher’s daughter) Chastity Bono, who openly questions his behavior. He eventually apologizes.

That’s Sir Pussycat

In a nation where Elton John, Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney can lay claim to the title “Sir,” perhaps it’s not unusual that Queen Elizabeth announced knighthood for ’60s sex symbol Tom Jones on Dec. 31. Still, standards seem to have changed over the centuries.

•Sir Walter Scott – 19th century – Wrote the classic Ivanhoe

•Sir Winston Churchill – 20th century – Rallied Britain in World War II

•Sir Tom Jones – 21st century – Sang “What’s New Pussycat?” with panache

Lohan’s Scare

Five nights in a row, Lindsay Lohan was all smiles as she partied her way through Miami Beach. (For details, see page 12.) The fun stopped on Jan. 2 as Lohan, 19, was rushed from her bungalow at the Delano Hotel in South Beach to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for a severe asthma attack. At press time she was “resting comfortably,” says her rep, and was planning on staying in Florida an extra day to recuperate.

The Rap on Kevin

Family first? Kevin Federline skipped a New Year’s Eve release party in Las Vegas for his debut single “Popozao” to spend a little quality time with the missus (Britney Spears) and her friends at the swank WHotel in L.A. (Baby Sean Preston Federline was with a nanny.) Which is not to say he is above promoting the tune. The singer recently launched his own Web site, http://www.kevinfederline.com, to tout his musical efforts.

ON THE BLOCK

PERRY’S PLACE

PRICE: About $6.1 million

PLACE: Beverly Hills

Now that Matthew Perry has sold this 7,000-sq.-ft. house, he can live in the city or by the sea. The actor moved into a 2.3-acre Malibu estate; he also has a two-bedroom condo overlooking the Sunset Strip. This five-bedroom home, purchased in 1999 while he starred in Friends, features a screening room, gym, wine cellar and pool.

PAULA ABDUL
With the fifth season of American Idol beginning Jan. 17, the sweetheart judge gives Scoop a preview of what’s to come.

How does the new crop of contestants look to you?

It’s the first season we’ve had strong males and strong females together, so it’s kind of exciting for us. Early on in the auditions, the females were standing out, but then the males started picking up. We’re also seeing younger contestants as the ones who are standing out, with the exception of a few guys who are, like, 25 or 26 and who are awesome. And gorgeous.

Like who?

The one girls are gonna fall in love with is Ace. Man, oh, man, girls are gonna fall in love with him. And a guy named Patrick too. They both have great voices.

Are you tired of being the nice judge yet?

Not yet. I love my job. It amazes me that I can sit on a plane and watch seasons one to four, and I end up welling up with tears when I see Kelly [Clarkson] win or Fantasia [Barrino] win or Ruben [Studdard]. I get chills when I hear Clay [Aiken] sing.

How about the fighting between you and Simon Cowell?

It’s right back where it started.

Any songs you can’t stand hearing anymore after the auditions?

We heard a lot of Kelly Clarkson not sung very well, which to me is bizarre. Why would you want to put yourself up against that? And a lot of Joss Stone. A lot of Sheryl Crow‘s version of “The First Cut is the Deepest.” Those who sing it well give us chills.

Any update on your album?

Stuff is going to be happening, but I don’t want to elaborate on that now.

Anyone special in your life now?

No, but I’m having fun.

You May Like

EDIT POST