February 25, 2008 12:00 PM


Kirsten Dunst

After years on the nightlife scene, Dunst checks in for treatment

A familiar smiling face at L.A. hotspots, 25-year-old Kirsten Dunst appeared to be a carefree party girl. Not anymore. Just weeks after she missed her own Jan. 20 Glamour magazine Sundance party following a late night of drinking at the film festival (“She wasn’t feeling well,” a source explained at the time), Dunst checked into rehab. “She’s not doing well,” says a source close to the actress (Spider-Man, Elizabethtown). “She’s been crying a lot lately, a lot built up. She’s very scared.” What made Dunst—a fixture on the L.A. nightlife scene—decide to slow down? “I’m sure the Heath Ledger thing put people over the edge,” says the source. “People were pushing her to go in there…. She’s been partying hard for a while.” Too hard, according to some. During her roughly two-year relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, Dunst “was not going out as much,” says a source. But her nightlife amped up again after their ’04 breakup (hitting London pubs while dating rocker Johnny Borrell in ’07), though she told Jane magazine in May, “I’d rather be with someone I love, at home making dinner, than be single, for sure.” Friends say some of Dunst’s struggle stems from being in the spotlight since age 12, when she starred in Interview with the Vampire. “Everyone has problems,” says a friend. “But not everyone has to deal with them in a fishbowl.” Now, says the friend, Dunst is getting the help she needs: “She’s trying to take a break. It’s a great thing.” A rep for Dunst had no statement.


In recent weeks, a slew of other celebs have turned to the pros for help. A rundown:

PAT O’BRIEN: On Feb. 8 CBS announced that The Insider cohost, 60, had entered rehab for a second time.

SEAN YOUNG: After heckling at the Directors Guild Awards, the actress, 48, sought treatment in rehab.

SCOTT WEILAND: The rocker, 40—a recovering addict—returned to rehab after a Feb. 6 concert.

Hello, Students, I’m Ms. Spears


Singer. Dancer. Tabloid Princess. Teacher? Taking a break from her much-publicized personal troubles, Britney Spears commandeered children’s classes on Feb. 11 and 12 at the Millennium Dance Complex (below) in North Hollywood. “Britney asked me if she could teach a class, and we scheduled it,” said Robert Baker, director of the studio. “Everyone ended up having a blast. All the kids hugged Britney, and she seemed very happy.” Spears taught the children, aged 4 to 7, choreographed routines to Madonna songs like “True Blue” and “Holiday.” “She even played age-appropriate games in a circle, pretending to be a choo-choo train,” Baker added. Though one parent thought teaching was inappropriate for Spears, who has lost custody of her children, most took pictures of Spears with their kids. After class, Spears, who often practices routines at Millennium, stayed another 90 minutes to work on her moves.

Heart Monitor’s



An onlooker says the Stop-Loss costars kissed at Goa for a Fuse TV party on Feb. 7. Her rep denies the smooch or a romance. Phillippe recently told W magazine Cornish had nothing to do with his breakup with Reese Witherspoon. “I had difficulties … in my marriage long before I ever met her.”

The duo had a summer romance in New York City and appear to be having a winter sequel in Los Angeles. Over Grammy weekend Diaz’s car was spotted outside Mayer’s home, and while a Mayer pal insists the two are not dating, a source admits, “they’ve been hanging out more lately.”


Continuing her streak of rocking Romeos, Barton is kicking off the year with a new musical man. She was on hand as guitarist Locke performed with his band Rooney before a packed crowd at the Gibson Amphitheatre in L.A. on Feb 2. After the set they held hands backstage.

Paris Hilton

A really bad week for Paris. First, her film The Hottie & The Nottie opened to just $27,696 in 111 theaters (that’s an embarrassing 31 moviegoers per theater). Then, brother Barron was arrested on suspicion of DUI (see Passages, page 84). And now, an animal rescue group that allowed Paris to adopt one of their cats last May took the critter back. They said Paris failed to neuter her kitten Prada within six months, and—worse!—she never picked Prada up after having her maid drop him off at the veterinarian’s on Jan. 30. “We have Prada in a foster home and have no intention of giving him back,” said Kris Kelly of the rescue group. “She has proved to be a negligent pet owner.” Hilton’s rep had no comment about the kitty.

Joel Madden talks about


Six-week-old Harlow Madden definitely prefers her mother, Nicole Richie, proud papa Joel Madden tells PEOPLE. “Right now she needs Mom, ’cause all she does is eat.” That may change. “I have a feeling that when she starts talking she’s going to be a daddy’s girl,” he says. During a DJ stint at Privé Las Vegas Feb. 8 to raise funds for the Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation, the Good Charlotte singer shared more thoughts on being a dad.

So, what’s it like?

I have my own little bond with her. I read to her in the mornings and then when I come back home at night I spend time with her.

Is she getting big?

She’s doubled in size! Everyone says that it goes too fast and I know why they say it now. You’re already thinking about her going to school.

How’s Nicole?

She’s a wonderful mother and she looks really hot already. There’s something so attractive about her now. I see her and I’m just floored. It’s a motherly glow.

Thinking of more kids?

We’re going to do this for now, but I would definitely love to have another kid in the future.



“A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client,” goes the old adage—a saying Heather Mills chooses to ignore in divorce proceedings against Paul McCartney. Claiming she could not afford her former attorneys, Mills is presenting her own case. The trial got under way in London Feb. 11, nearly two years after the couple separated. Mills, 40, is seeking what many believe could be the biggest divorce settlement in English history—anywhere from $20 to $100 million, says one legal expert. And despite the couple’s marital ups and downs—leaked court documents had Heather claiming Paul, 65, physically abused her—major factors in the size of the settlement are expected to be the welfare and security of the couple’s 4-year-old daughter Beatrice and the length of their marriage (they wed in 2002).


Look who are best friends! It’s Grey’s Anatomy’s Ellen Pompeo and Sean Combs. She attended his Fashion Week show in New York, and later, with husband Chris Ivery in tow, dined with Diddy at the Waverly Inn.

Madonna‘s Girl


When Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon attended a benefit at the United Nations Feb. 6, Mom (Madonna) and Pop (Carlos Leon) in tow, one couldn’t help but think: My, how she’s grown! The 11-year-old, who attends the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle school in London, had onlookers buzzing about her smile and her sense of style. “She’s going through a phase of wearing jeans so tight she can’t bend her knee,” Madonna told Britain’s Daily Mirror. “I have a go at her and say, ‘Can’t you wear something else?'” Talk about karma!

Hayden Christensen

The Star Wars star on giant leaps, dating and Bob Dylan


If you could teleport like your Jumper character, where would you go?

“Probably back to my family’s farm north of Toronto. I try to go back there as much as possible. If I could teleport, it would make that a lot easier.”

Rachel Bilson plays your girlfriend in the film. Was that art imitating life?

“I don’t like to talk about my personal life, but she is a sweetheart and I enjoyed getting to work with her. She’s interesting to watch onscreen. She’s naturally a very kindhearted person, and that translates on film.”

Was filming a love scene with her difficult?

“It was just awkward. You’ve got tons of people standing around looking at you. You’re half-dressed at best. You’re very self-aware in a situation where you’re not supposed to be so self-aware.”

What did you do on-set?

“[Costar] Jamie Bell and Rachel and I would go to our trailers, hang out and listen to music together. A lot of [Bob] Dylan and Neil Young.”

You played Dylan in Factory Girl, but they edited out the identifying details for legal reasons.

“I did the film because I was such a Dylan fan; then the part got pared back. I did full-on Dylan voice and mannerisms, and I had to go in and change every word that came out of my mouth to make it sound different. It was [so] disappointing, I didn’t actually see the film.”

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