Mark Schultz: Another week of crazy celebrity antics

BY MARK SCHULTZ
Gossip Columnist
Published February 11, 2009

Greetings, fellow gossip devotees … Ow! Ow! Sorry, my gossip-writing hand hasn’t been the same since Chris Brown attacked me a couple days ago. At least I’m not faring any worse than Rihanna, whose injuries from R&B star Brown include major contusions, a bloody lip and bite marks (!). (Regarding these bite marks: Is it now more appropriate to call Brown the Ike Turner of our generation, or the Marv Albert?) In fact, the “Disturbia” singer is so banged-up she recently had to cancel her 21st birthday party, which would’ve been carnival-themed and sponsored by Ciroc vodka. Ciroc, really? Get with it, Rihanna; even my 21st was sponsored by Grey Goose.

But Rihanna’s 21st birthday won’t be nearly as depressing as the 40th of everyone’s favorite officially over-the-hill “Friends” star, Jennifer Aniston. Not only is 40 a tough birthday for everyone — I believe Madonna celebrated hers by crying alone in a champagne Jacuzzi — but John “Ani’s boy-toy” Mayer isn’t even getting her an expensive gift. He’s singing.

Now, I could be wrong here, but I believe John Mayer sings for a living. This would be like Michael Jordan saying to his wife, “Happy birthday baby. Now watch me do 10 dunks in a row with my tongue sticking out … just for you, of course.” Johnny, let me just say you should never take your loved one for granted. Sure, today she’s healthy, writhing half-naked in a tie on the cover of GQ, but tomorrow she could be in intensive care after the most botched liposuction since Butters’s attempted “City Wok” commercial — like Usher’s wife, Tameka Foster. I suppose I understand Foster’s insecurity — I mean, she is married to Usher. But going to Brazil for lipo? Probably a mistake. The whole South American continent is not exactly known for its stringent medical regulations. Was Foster too ashamed to have her surgery in the states, or did she just want to be somewhere tropical to show off her newly thunder-less thighs?

I can’t say for sure, but I do know one thing — Jessica Simpson got fat. I mean, when the POTUS disses you in US Weekly, you know you’ve become a nationwide spectacle. Simpson apparently blames her ballooning weight on the holidays. Yeah right. What did you eat over Christmas, Jessica? The tree? All right, enough fat jokes. They’re too easy. What astonishes me is not so much Simpson’s weight gain but how she continues to perform in low-cut blouses and “Daisy Duke” cutoffs despite the fact that, sorry babe, you don’t look like Daisy anymore.

Speaking of the ’70s, I was watching “Network” the other day. It’s an old movie from 1976, back when “satire” and “comedy” weren’t mutually exclusive — thanks a lot, Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg — and actors whose names didn’t rhyme with “Wreath Hedger” won posthumous acting Oscars (R.I.P. Peter Finch). The most enthralling performance besides Finch’s was Faye Dunaway's as a caustic, nearly inhuman network executive named Diana Christensen. Today, in a sign-of-the-times sort of thing, Dunaway is being dissed by none other than Hilary Duff. To be fair, Dunaway started it when she said, in response to Duff’s latest role in the remake of “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Couldn’t they at least cast a real actress?” Damn, girl, gotta love that passive-aggressiveness — Christensen would be proud.

Dunaway, of course, starred in 1967's “Bonnie” with Warren Beatty. Beatty himself probably won’t be happy to see the role of Clyde go to Robert Pattinson or Chad Michael Murray or whoever happens to be featured in CosmoGirl the week of casting calls. Whether she deserved it or not (she probably did), Duff felt obliged to defend herself, saying: “I might be mad if I looked like that too.” Ouch. I won’t even bother to point out the fact that not only is Dunaway an Oscar winner while Hilary Duff is, well, Hilary Duff, but that Dunaway was actually pretty hot back in the day. (Just check out the original “Bonnie” if you don’t believe me.) I will point out that Duff, whose star has fallen at a fairly constant rate since leaving “Lizzie McGuire” (just check out the graphs I’ve made if you don’t believe me), might seem like an odd choice to play Bonnie, but to me it makes sense. After all, her Disney nest egg must be almost dried up and, after this movie fails, she’s only a step away from actually robbing banks to support that lavish lifestyle of hers. At least now she gets some practice.

Speaking of losing money, if you’re playing beer pong this weekend, be sure to keep the in-game betting to a minimum. Michael Phelps didn’t, and he lost $2,000 cwhile partying at the University of South Carolina last November. Wow, Mikey, what were you thinking — were you high or something?