Plus: Madonna name change, Reagan gets stamp, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
June 17, 2004 08:00 AM

DENIED: Responding to widespread reports and rumors that Jennifer Aniston, 35, and Brad Pitt, 40, are expecting their first baby, her publicist tells PEOPLE she is not pregnant. The chatter began earlier this week after an MSNBC gossip report claimed an announcement might be coming later this month.

CHANGED: Madonna, 45, is now calling herself Esther, an Old Testament name. The artist formerly known as Madonna, who studies the ancient Jewish Kabbalah, tells ABC News in an interview to air Thursday that her mother, also named Madonna “died when she was very young, of cancer, and I wanted to attach myself to another name. … This is no way a negation of who my mother was. I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name.”

PLANNED: A U.S. postage stamp honoring the late President Ronald Reagan will be issued next year, the postal service has announced. Policy is that Americans cannot be placed on a stamp until 10 years after their deaths have passed, but this dictum does not apply to chief executives, who may be honored on the next birthday following their passing. Reagan’s birthday was Feb. 6.

APPREHENDED: Eminem’s ex-wife Kimberly Mathers, who was wanted after skipping out on a court-ordered drug treatment program, was arrested in a Michigan hotel after a caller reported that she was staying there, police tell the Associated Press. Mathers, 28, had been sentenced Jan. 21 to two years’ probation after pleading guilty to charges of possessing 25 grams or less of cocaine and failing to give adequate space to an emergency vehicle.

ROAMED: Pat O’Brien is leaving Access Hollywood for a new gig as anchor of The Insider, a new Entertainment Tonight-style show to premiere Sept. 13, says the Hollywood Reporter. His new co-anchor will be former Good Morning America correspondent Lara Spencer. As for Access, Billy Bush will move to Los Angeles to share anchor duties with Nancy O’Dell, who has been with the show since its 1996 debut.

CAST: UPN has picked up 13 episodes of the comedy The Bad Girl’s Guide, starring Jenny McCarthy, for a midseason debut, says the Hollywood Reporter. The former Playboy Playmate, 31,who’s had a low profile of late, previously had her own short-lived NBC sitcom in 1997, Jenny. This new one’s about three women living life to the fullest. No word on the other two stars.

RAN: Tom Cruise, Ellen DeGeneres and Sylvester Stallone all carried the Olympic torch (to the “Rocky” theme, natch) through portions of L.A. Wednesday. So did Mayor James Hahn, who said: “This is a great day for Los Angeles and a great day for our world. The torch arrived in the land of the free.” It was flown in overnight from Mexico as it makes its way toward the Olympic Summer Games in Athens. The flame’s 46,800-mile journey began June 4.