Plus: Jesse and Jessica endure, Carson hits the big screen and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 21, 2004 08:00 AM

CRASHED: Mary-Kate Olsen was involved in a Los Angeles freeway accident Wednesday while being followed by paparazzi, reports Extra. Olsen, who turns 18 on June 13, was driving on the 101 Freeway and entered a construction zone when her black Range Rover was struck from behind by a black GMC Yukon driven by her bodyguard. Olsen appeared to be startled by the accident and calmed her nerves afterward by downing a Diet Dr. Pepper. Although several paparazzi were in the area, Olsen’s rep says he does not believe they were the cause of the accident but that the accident could have been caused by an obstruction in the road. No injuries were reported.

ENDURING: The Bachelor couple Jesse Palmer, 25, and Jessica Bowlin, 22, who two months shot the ABC show’s finale (that was finally aired Wednesday night), are still a couple, though they are not engaged and their relationship is bicoastal (he’s in New York, she’s in California). Jessica tells New York’s Daily News she’s considering moving east, though, “I don’t think either of us thinks it’s a good idea to live together before you get married.”

CAST: As his show’s ratings sag, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy mouthpiece Carson Kressley, 35, has snagged his first studio movie role, joining the comedy The Perfect Man, directed by Mark Rosman and starring Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear, reports Variety. The fashion expert is the first Queer Guy to hit the big screen, in a role that will see him as the confidante and uncle of the Duff character’s suitor. Meanwhile, Queer Eye culture vulture Jai Rodriguez, 26, will return to the role of Angel in Broadway’s Rent July 5-17, a part he last played in February 2003. Melanie ‘Scary Spice’ Brown, 28, and American Idol alum Frenchie Davis, 25, will be among his costars.

DIAGNOSED: Mandy Patinkin, 51, had his prostate removed May 14 after the actor-singer (Broadway’s Evita and the screen’s Yentl) was diagnosed with cancer, reports PEOPLE. His prognosis is good, however, and he will return to Showtime’s Dead Like Me after a short break to recuperate.

READIED: Vermont jam band Phish will hold its first-ever home state festival Aug. 14-15 on the grounds of the Newport State Airport and adjacent fields in the rural town of Coventry, the group said on its Web site. Locals are already preparing. “I plan on opening for 24 hours a day during that period, and I know other businesses in the area are going to do the same thing,” select board Chairman Mike Marcotte, who owns the Jimmy Kwik store in town, tells the Associated Press.