Today's News: Our Take


A Tennessee trucker responsible for transporting crew and equipment for Britney Spears' concert tour led cops on a high-speed chase through New Hampshire Monday after he was clocked going 78 mph in a 65-mph zone. After a 10-mile pursuit, Rusty Nail, er, David Raines was pulled over, arrested and ordered to appear in court later that day for an arraignment — an order he apparently ignored. He was probably out looking for his beloved Candy Cane. read more


Diana Ross will not have to return to Arizona to complete a two-day jail sentence for DUI. Last month, a judge ordered the 60-year-old diva to return to jail after it was discovered that she had been released 90 minutes early during her initial stint behind bars. But the judge reconsidered his ruling at the request of both prosecutors and Ross's attorneys. read more


Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito filed a countersuit Monday against investors of Rocco's, the Italian eatery at the center of NBC's The Restaurant. DiSpirito accuses China Grill Management of cooking the books. In February, China Grill sued DiSpirito, claiming he mismanaged the joint and lost in excess of $600,000. And there was that whole fly drama, too. read more


Miss USA Susie Castillo — who is no relation to Santa Barbara's Cruz Castillo — became engaged to longtime boyfriend Matthew Leslie on Monday's On-Air with Ryan Seacrest. Leslie shocked Castillo when he got down on bended knee during the show and presented her with a diamond-and-pink-sapphire ring. "Everybody started screaming," Castillo told The Associated Press. "All the 51 Miss USA delegates were right behind us. They were crying. I was shaking." read more


Once & Again grad Shane West will join the cast of ER next season as a medical intern. In other casting news, Scottish thesp Alec Newman (Children of Dune) has been tapped to play Barnabas Collins in the WB's Dark Shadows remake. read more


Spike TV has enlisted Mark McGrath and his cronies from Sugar Ray to star in On the Road, a reality show that is being billed as The Apprentice meets The Real World. Basically, the show will follow eight contestants who go on tour with the band this summer and compete for a job with a music label and a new Kia car. At the end of each episode, one groupie will get fired and sent home in a new Hyundai. read more

Survivor's Jerri Sounds Off

Survivor's Most Valuable Villainess, Jerri Manthey, entered All-Stars a changed woman — and it showed. Save for a few anti-Colby outbursts, the 33-year-old Surreal Life grad was a shockingly low-key version of the cunning predator she "played" on Australian Outback. But in the end, the good-girl routine brought her no closer to landing the $1-million grand prize. (There's a lesson in there somewhere... ) Anyway, TV Guide Online caught up with Jerri following her ouster Thursday night and grilled her about Colby, that startling 'tude makeover and her new role as musician.

TV Guide Online: Was the softer Jerri just a game plan?
Jerri Manthey:
It definitely was part of my strategy to keep my mouth shut. Basically, it was coming from the way I was perceived [on Outback] and the harsh feedback I got from the public. But because of that experience, a lot of things in my life changed. I was kind of a controlling person an read more


Reese Witherspoon has signed on to star in and produce Sports Widow, a romantic comedy about a woman who one-ups her football-obsessed husband by becoming an expert on the sport, according to The Hollywood Reporter... Paramount is developing a remake to Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief. read more

Jessica's Sis Gets Real

Brace yourselves: Another Simpson is about to get the MTV-reality treatment. As previously reported, Jessica's 19-year-old actress sis, Ashlee — who plays Cecilia on WB's 7th Heaven — has landed a six-episode series that will chronicle the writing and recording of her as-yet-untitled debut rock album.

Premiering in June, Ashlee was pitched to MTV by manager dad Joe Simpson, who saw it as an opportunity for the actress-singer to break out of her famous older sister's shadow. "I knew people were going to say she got her record deal just because she's Jessica's sister," he says. "I wanted people to see Ashlee's the real deal."

While the cable network bit, Ashlee herself proved a tougher sell. "I was sort of anti-reality because my sister has her show," the younger Simpson admits. "But it's cool because it's the first time people will really get to see the real me."

read more


Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) is insisting that her marriage to soccer stud David Beckham will survive despite allegations that he had an affair with his personal assistant. Over the weekend, a British tabloid published sexually explicit text messages allegedly sent between Beckham and Rebecca Loos. "We have been through a lot worse than this," Victoria told The Sun, apparently referring to 1997's Spice World, "and we're definitely going to get through this." read more

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