November 22, 2002 01:00 AM

TENDERFOOT TIMBERLAKE: ‘N Sync heartthrob and former Britney beau Justin Timberlake was sidelined for two weeks after the singer broke his foot while rehearsing a dance routine. Timberlake canceled an appearance at Sunday’s Smash Hits T4 Poll Winners Party, which he had been slated to cohost with Kelly Osbourne, reported British network ITV. “I am sorely disappointed that I must miss any scheduled events,” said Timberlake, 21, in a statement. “However, I must adhere to my physician’s recommendations and rest. I look forward to being able to perform again and hope to see all my fans soon.” Timberlake is still planning to perform in Las Vegas Dec. 9 at the Billboard Music Awards.

LEO’S INSIGHT: Leonardo DiCaprio got right to the point during a Barbara Walters interview on “20/20.” When pressed by the TV talker to explain what his early rise to stardom had taught him about success, DiCaprio, 28, first told Walters “not much,” noted columnist Liz Smith. He then explained: “I think ultimately success is good. Failure not so good …” DiCaprio, who has two new films for the holiday season — Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can,” and Martin Scorsese‘s long-anticipated “Gangs of New York” — shared the Walters interview with Spielberg and “Catch Me” costar Tom Hanks. The actor also just signed on to star in “The Good Shepherd,” an epic spy drama to be directed by Robert De Niro, according to Variety.

DRIVING THEM CRAZY: It’s been a bad week for R&B stars and their cars. First hitmaker D’Angelo was arrested Monday by Virginia police, after he allegedly assaulted and verbally abused a woman at a gas station — an incident apparently triggered by her criticism of the way he was allegedly driving his black BMW SUV. Then soulful hip-hop star Queen Latifah, 32, was arrested on a DUI charge, the Associated Press reports. The actress-rapper was driving a 2003 Cadillac Escalade SUV early Wednesday morning when she was pulled over for making an unsafe lane change, California Highway Patrol spokesman Alex Delgadillo told the wire service.

RETREATING CROWE: “Gladiator” Oscar winner Russell Crowe beat a retreat to Australia just days after a reported slugfest in a London restaurant with businessman Eric Watson, a fellow New Zealander. Citing “an undeniably massive level of stress,” the 38-year-old actor announced on his band’s Web site that he was heading back to his Coffs Harbour farm in Australia to be with his father and girlfriend, singer Danielle Spencer. Crowe’s announcement also broke the news that his band, 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts, would cancel its U.S. tour to allow band members and crew to spend “the Australian summer with their family and loved ones.”

LING’S NEW VIEW: Daytime personality Lisa Ling announced on Monday morning’s edition of “The View” that she’s leaving co-hosts Joy Behar, Star Jones, Barbara Walters and Meredith Vieira for the greener pastures of “National Geographic Explorer.” Ling, who started her career as an international reporter for Channel One News, has been with ABC show for three years. “If I don’t do it now, I may never want to do it,” said the chatty 29-year-old, whose last day with “The View” is Dec. 5. “Two years from now, I may be thinking about settling down and may not want to travel.”

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