By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 24, 2003 10:00 AM

POETIC JUSTICE: A Michigan judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit against Eminem filed by a former schoolmate of the rapper. But Judge Deborah Servitto also included her own rap in the ruling. In it, she said: “The lyrics are stories no one would take as fact/ They’re an exaggeration of a childish act … Any reasonable person could clearly see/that the lyrics could only be hyperbole.” In conclusion, the verse stated: “It is therefore this Court’s ultimate position, that Eminem is entitled to summary disposition.”

DE NIRO DIAGNOSIS: Robert De Niro has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, his publicist announced Monday. Prognosis for the “Raging Bull” and “The Godfather, Part II” Oscar winner’s recovery are good, the rep added. “Doctors say the condition was detected at an early stage because of regular checkups,” publicist Stan Rosenfield said in a statement. “Because of the early detection and his excellent physical condition, doctors project a full recovery.”

KOBE’S COURT: Kobe Bryant must stand trial on a charge that he sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman last June, a judge ruled Monday, adding that the evidence against the Los Angeles Lakers star, 25, though sufficient, was minimal and conflicting, The New York Times reported. The judge was careful to avoid making any suggestion of Bryant’s guilt or innocence.

GARNER GUSHES: Jennifer Garner says the media were remarkably kind to her and Scott Foley when they announced their split last spring. “I think people understood that we were just two normal people who really loved each other,” the star of ABC’s “Alias” told W magazine. Garner, 31, also dismissed the theory, promoted by Foley in an interview, that her rise to fame is to blame for the marriage’s wreckage. “Honestly, I just don’t have enough perspective on it yet,” she said. “I think there are a million reasons why things don’t work.”

‘N SYNC IN SYNC: Just because Justin Timberlake’s solo career continues to generate heat doesn’t mean that ‘N Sync is a thing of the past, the 22-year-old “Cry Me a River” star assured True, the members of the boy band have spent the past 18 months doing their own thing, including Joey Fatone‘s turn on Broadway in “Rent.” But Timberlake insists that ‘N Sync will regroup and record a new album next year — just as soon as JC Chasez releases his own solo album.