updated 05/29/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/29/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney spend time apart, fueling rumors of a rift

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney have a bad case of separation anxiety. Whenever they are separate, it makes folks anxious. First, the couple reportedly stayed in different houses for five days following Heather's April surgery to fit a new prosthetic leg. Then homebody McCartney, 63—who famously dreaded spending nights without late wife Linda—jetted to France for a solo business trip. "I think they had a row. He threw up his hands in desperation and went off by himself," a longtime friend says. Even after McCartney returned to the U.K. May 12, he and Heather, 38, reportedly bunked about 65 miles apart. "The relationship has been volatile from the beginning," says the friend. The ex-Beatle's spokesman declined comment, but reports of trouble are "complete speculation," says the former model's rep Anya Noakes. On May 23 Heather is set to debut her self-help book Life Balance in London. "We will be interested in seeing if Paul is there," says one insider. "It will speak volumes if he is not."

CaCee Moves On

It's only been six months since she split from Nick Lachey, but Jessica Simpson is facing yet another breakup. After two years, best friend CaCee Cobb recently resigned as the star's assistant to pursue behind-the-scenes work in the entertainment industry. "Her job was always intended as a stepping-stone," says a source, adding that the two are still in constant contact. "They support each other."

That hasn't stopped some publications from noting that Cobb's departure coincides with sightings of her partying with Lachey. The two chatted all night at Las Vegas's Pure on April 8 and ran into each other again May 1 at L.A.'s Shag. Is Cobb falling for her best friend's ex? (Calling Denise Richards?) No! "They are friends and that's it," says a source close to Lachey. His brother Drew also strongly denies the romance rumors. "It's ridiculous."

Britney's Driving Drama

Did Britney Spears make another baby blunder? On May 15—just three months after she was photographed driving with son Sean Preston on her lap—the pop star was snapped cruising in her convertible with the 8-month-old in a forward-facing car seat. As Spears's rep quickly (and accurately) pointed out, "There is no law in California requiring rear-facing car seats." Still, California Highway Patrol spokesman Tom Marshall tells Scoop the law still allows officers to ticket parents for violating federal guidelines that "strongly recommend" backwards seating for children under 1. That practice "protects kids better," he adds. "This is about saving lives."

Dad-to-be Damon makes time for AIDS victims in Africa

U2's Bono has been banging the gong for decades; along the way a small army of celebs has become involved in focusing attention on African problems (among them Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Don Cheadle). The latest: Matt Damon, 35, who embarked on a six-day "listening and learning trip" with his brother Kyle, 38, focusing on AIDS-ravaged Zambia. The Good Shepherd star, who is expecting a baby girl with wife Luciana next month, tells Scoop that he was eager to join the crusade. "The world I leave to my daughter is going to be affected by what I do, or what I don't do," he says of the trip (organized by and Bono's activist group DATA). "The best way to honor and love her is to do what I can, here and now." One highlight of his voyage? Spending an afternoon playing "London Bridge is Falling Down" with children who lost their parents to AIDS. "To [watch] these kids be kids and let them play was so cool. I came back with such hope and optimism," says Damon, adding that he has already spoken to Ben Affleck about joining the effort. "He and [Jennifer Garner] want to go," he says. In the meantime, has new dad Affleck offered up any parenting tips? "Not yet," says Damon. "But I'm sure I'll be asking him for plenty of diaper advice."

Lindsay's Liz Look

She may be scandal prone, but Lindsay Lohan's got nothing on Elizabeth Taylor. (By 19, Lohan's current age, the screen icon had already been married and divorced.) Still, the Just My Luck star does a remarkable impersonation in a Karl Lagerfeld-shot photo spread in next month's Interview. Any lessons learned from Taylor's tumultuous personal life? "No one is perfect," Lohan says. "It's not interesting to be perfect.... You have to do crazy things sometimes."


Paris Hilton, 25, just unveiled her new video game, "Diamond Quest," in which glam gamers must collect and categorize precious gems. Which left Scoop dreaming of the game that might have been ...

Level 1
With Tinkerbell in tow, race between L.A. clubs collecting Greek shipping heirs. Run into Lindsay Lohan? Start over!

Level 2
In Miami, PETA partisans kidnap your ferret. Using only available weapons (sidekick, stilettos) you must rescue your rodent and make it to Mansion before the paparazzi leave for the night.

Level 3
You jet to Vegas and encounter nemesis Nicole Richie at Pure Nightclub. Challenge her to a pout-off. First one to crack a smile loses.


Q + A

Wentworth's Big Break
After a season in the clink, Miller finally escaped on the May 15 finale of FOX's Prison Break. Now that he's out, what will he do next? Sleep!

From assassinations to amputations, FOX's Prison Break finale was bloody good fun. How will the newly escaped inmates top that? Wentworth Miller, 33, gives us the SCOOP.

Now that you're finally on the run, what do you have in store for us next season?

I hope it will be a radical reinterpretation of the show. The question becomes: Do you care enough about these characters to follow them outside the walls? I hope you do.

You've got some time off now. How are you spending it?

Right now we have five weeks off. I'm just catching up on my sleep.... I'm trying to enjoy a "normal life" before we have to go back to work.

Would you survive in prison?

Uh, no. I wouldn't last five minutes. I'm just not tough enough. I've met a lot of ex-inmates, people who were incarcerated at the prison in Joliet, Ill., where we shoot the show. They refer to prison as "gladiator school." ... I just don't have that blood thirst.

Your character [Michael Scofield, a crusading structural engineer] is pretty daring. What's the boldest thing you've ever done?

In college I was a part of a singing group, and we sang a benefit concert for the American Red Cross in Carnegie Hall. Stepping out on that stage, knowing the artists and musicians who performed there over the years, was intimidating as hell.

If you had a run-in with the law, who would you call first?

It's got to be the parents. Dad's a lawyer.... Mom's a fighter.

What's your ideal last meal?

I'm a big fan of spaghetti and meatballs. My grandmother's, specifically. Plenty of Parmesan cheese.

This show has won you quite a fan following. How does it feel to have your own harem?

No comment. [He laughs.] But when a fan comes up to you and says, "I never miss an episode," it means something. What they're telling you is that they have a place for you and your work in their lives.

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