January 15, 2004
AVERAGE SOAP STARS
Daytime TV will get a dose of reality later this month when Average Joe sweeties Melana Scantlin and Jason Peoples play themselves on an episode of Days of Our Lives. “It is a setup in a circus tent, and Jason and I are in the kissing booth raising money for charity,” says Scantlin, a former beauty queen and new host of the Game Show Network’s World Series of Blackjack. She confides that their future as a couple is still very much in question. “We haven’t really been able to see each other in several months,” Scantlin tells PEOPLE.com. “So we are just casually dating … and dating other people.”
DIDDY TALKS BACK
You heard it here first that Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs and former flame Jennifer Lopez were spotted in the same Miami club last Sunday. Now we’ve got his side of the story: Their showing up at Prive on the same night was “just a coincidence,” Combs told PEOPLE. “We were both at the same place at the same time, and it’s like the hottest club on Sunday. That was it. There ain’t no reunitin’. She’s in a relationship, I’m in a relationship, and we’re friends. People like to make something out of – for there to be a story just because we’re in the same place. I didn’t know she was going to be there, she didn’t know I was gonna be there.” As for the nature of their relationship these days, he added, “We’re friendly. She spoke to me, I spoke to her, and then I proceeded to party with my friends, she proceeded to party with hers. It’s all good.”
WHO’S THE NEW GIRL?
Eight months after his marriage to Jennifer Garner ended, Scott Foley arrived to a WB Network party in Los Angeles with a new woman on his arm. “But it’s not what it looks like,” the 31-year-old actor confided. His date was Polish actress Marika Dominczyk, 23, one of the stars of the network’s new prime-time sitcom The Help. Although the pair held hands and occasionally exchanged pecks on the cheek, Foley insists, “We are really just friends.” The connection? Foley just returned from a two-month engagement in the Broadway show The Violet Hour, where he starred opposite Marika’s older sister, Dagmara.
Can’t get enough of Ellen DeGeneres? Now you can sleep with her … sort of. The comedian and talk-show host is auctioning off a bedding set – fitted sheet, flat sheet and one pillowcase – bearing a silkscreen of her face. Proceeds from the auction, being held on eBay until Jan. 18, will go to the ASPCA. The idea came up last week when amateur designer Joy Harley of Clarkston, Mich., received bids of up to $80,000 (though most were later retracted) for a pillowcase featuring The Practice star James Spader’s face. “I decided if she can get $1,500 for (the Spader) pillowcase, I should probably get in on this, too,” says DeGeneres. Be prepared to ante up – bids are already running up to $9,000.
CAUGHT IN THE ACT
• Uma Thurman, serving as the maid of honor at a friend’s wedding on the island of St. Bart’s.
• Denzel Washington, Donald Trump, Queen Latifah and Will Ferrell, all seated courtside for the Los Angeles Lakers contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The only star closer to the action: Jack Nicholson, of course.
• Jude Law, nuzzling the fingers of actress Sienna Miller as the couple shared a romantic dinner in London’s Notting Hill district.
• Katie Couric, celebrating her 47th birthday with an afternoon massage and dinner with her daughters, Carrie and Ellie.
• Lionel Richie, signing an autograph for a fan that read “Endless Love,” while having a dinner date at the Viceroy hotel in Santa Monica.
Written by: SEAN DALY
Reported by: MARK DAGOSTINO, SEAN DALY, TOM CUNNEFF and KWALA MANDEL