Pitt Stop for Jackass
With its creator quitting, MTV's hit show ends with a controversial prank
Freaked parents can breathe easier: MTV's Jackass is no longer in production. Said a rep for creator Johnny Knoxville, 30: "As of right now, he is not planning on doing any further episodes." The show premiered last October, featuring outlandish pranks and dangerous stunts. It made headlines last January when a 13-year-old Connecticut boy, in an attempt to reenact a human-barbeque skit, lit himself on fire and suffered second-and third-degree burns. After being contacted by the boy's family, Sen. Joseph Lieberman wrote a letter to MTV. "He wanted them to take the show off the air," says Lieberman's press rep Dan Gerstein. "Or at a minimum tone down some of the more dangerous stunts. He was worried there were other kids at risk." In the show's final episode, there appears to be a big kid at risk: Brad Pitt
. Staging a violent faux kidnapping of the star, the Jackass crew scared clueless onlookers into phoning the police. "It's a dangerous and irresponsible act in the name of entertainment," says L.A.P.D. Sgt. John Pasquariello, in charge of media relations. "Something terrible could happen—what, in the name of ratings?" Pitt's the culprit, says an MTV spokesperson: "It was Brad's idea. He's a fan of the show. He thought it would be fun and there [would be] no repercussions." There weren't. Unfortunately, says Pasquariello, "it's not against the law to do a practical joke. There is no law against stupidity." Still, kids, don't try this at home.
None for Me, Please
Jamie Lee Curtis has gone public about her 1999 decision to overcome substance abuse. So why is she the star of an ad campaign in magazines and on billboards in Spain for Dewar's White Label Scotch Whiskey? Her intentions were honorable. "All the [endorsement] money went to organizations involving drugs and alcohol," says the actress. "In retrospect, I can see that it might have been a mistake." Dewar's, which is owned by Bacardi-Martini, says it was not aware of Curtis's past troubles.
Allen: Come Fly with Me
While Bill Gates has been studying the byte-size details of his XML Web Services program—yawn—Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, who left the company in 1983 but is worth a not-so-shabby $36 billion, has been planning one heck of a party. Even the invites—Fabergé-egg replicas in wooden boxes—are extravagant. Some 350 invitees, reportedly including Paul McCartney, Tom Hanks, Mick Jagger and Meg Ryan, will be flown in on one of his private jets to Helsinki, then cruise on a luxury liner to St. Petersburg, Russia. A helicopter ride to Estonia, a private tour of the State Hermitage museum and a visit to a shooting range—where Allen's guests can blast away using former KGB weapons—will follow. The long weekend, which begins Aug. 17, will culminate in a five-course dinner and black-tie ball at Catherine Palace, the lavish summer residence once used by czars, outside of St. Petersburg. How big the celebrity contingent will be has yet to be determined, but judging from Allen's past bashes—Robin Williams, Geena Davis and Quincy Jones couldn't say no to his 1997 fete in Venice—one of the world's richest bachelors will not be partying alone.
Dining au Naturel
Not that her clothes cover much anyway, but if it's mealtime when Jennifer Lopez
is getting made up for a photo shoot, she has been known to save time by dining in the buff, according to an interview the actress gave British Glamour. To prove the point: As her team of hairdressers, makeup artists and stylists fussed over her during a recent morning shoot for her new clothing line at L.A.'s Century Plaza Hotel, Lopez modeled none of her designs while eating breakfast (her favorite: egg whites, fruit and granola). "It always happens at big fashion shoots," says a friend. "She's not naked at home."
Boys Will Be Boys
At last week's open audition for an upcoming Boy George musical—based in part on his life and set to open in London in October—it looked like the '80s never ended. Curious George wannabes with enough eye shadow to make up Duran Duran and Tammy Faye warbled their way through "Karma Chameleon," George's 1983 hit single with Culture Club. Less talented hopefuls also showed. And why not? As George told the British Press Association, he was once a long shot too.
Ben Thanks the Teens
For all the frivolity of the Third Annual Teen Choice awards—a made-for-TV competition in which teenagers select their favorite stars—a touching moment took center stage. Ben Affleck
, in rehab for alcohol problems, walked to the podium to accept a surfboard, his prize for winning the Choice Actor award for his role in Pearl Harbor. "It is really good to be here," the actor said. "It was important to me." Avoiding the press—and the afterparty, also held on the Universal Studios lot—Affleck spent most of the evening backstage, where Adam Sandler and David Spade also kept a low profile. Elsewhere, the likes of Sandra Bullock
(who greeted Affleck with a warm hug and a kiss), Julia Stiles, Britney Spears
, Reese Witherspoon
, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jessica Alba
enjoyed the evening out. Affleck's attendance was in accordance with the rules of Promises, the Malibu rehab facility where he is currently in residence. Program director Richard Rogg says that patients are permitted to leave the facility as long as they are accompanied by a staff member.
Combs: Blade Ruiner
Last September Sean "P. Diddy
" Combs's gardeners removed blueberry bushes, beach grass and other shrubbery from an easement of his East Hampton, N.Y., waterfront estate. One neighbor, citing a law protecting the vegetation (which helps prevent erosion), lodged a complaint. Now Combs has agreed to replace the greenery and will most likely pay a fine of $700. Says town attorney John Jilnicki: "The cutting was severe."
Miss America Gets Real
There was a time when Miss America Pageant questions focused on the "kind" in "womankind." Then the ratings slipped. This year it looks like they're taking a tip from Survivor and other "reality" shows. Not that Miss Oklahoma will be eating insects or anything. But contestants who did not make it to the final 10 will be allowed to vote for the winner, as show participants did on Survivor. They'll also lose points for failing to answer tough questions about current events, history and government. Your final answer? Probably still, "I'd like to see world peace."
with Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Those who remember Mark-Paul Gosselaar as the smooth-talking Zack Morris in the sitcom Saved by the Bell may be surprised to see him working the mean streets of New York City as John Clark, the newest cop on the beat at NYPD Blue
. Scoop caught up with Gosselaar, 27, during a break from filming the upcoming season's episodes.
How did you prepare for the role?
Bill Clark, one of the executive producers, is a retired 25-year veteran cop. He took me around New York for a week. We went to different crime scenes, went with a warrant squad, went with a narcotics squad, and did police activity.
Were you nervous?
Oh yeah. A couple of times we were wearing bulletproof vests and making drug raids at 12:30 at night. We went to some of the toughest precincts in New York. It was a good way to get into it, and it was a little intimidating.
You don't know what to do, you don't know where to stand, you don't know what's gonna happen. There's that uncertainty. It was exciting. I would love to be a part of it if I wasn't an actor. It's such an adrenaline rush.
Any pistol practice?
Actually I've had guns my whole life, from BB guns to rifles to handguns. I like to target shoot. My father used to take me out to do it as a sort of bonding thing.
This role is certainly different from playing Zack on Saved by the Bell.
It's completely different. My character now would probably kick the stuffing out of Zack Morris.
How will you differ from Rick Schroder, who just left the series?
I don't need the father figure that Rick's character Danny Sorenson needed in Sipowicz. I think my character is more stable than Sorenson was, but we'll see. I'm along for the ride.
ON THE BLOCK
Interested in purchasing a piece of television history? Consider this 1936 Holmby Hills, Calif., house owned by Aaron Spelling and his wife, Candy. He produced such classic TV series as Love Boat, Melrose Place
, The Mod Squad and Dynasty. But what really makes this 11,500-sq.-ft., six-bedroom mansion special is its 1976 cameo appearance as the home of the Townsend Associates detective agency in the pilot episode of Charlie's Angels
. Spelling is asking $9.95 million for the estate, which includes a tennis court, swimming pool, landscaped gardens and a screening room. He moved out in 1991, upgrading to a 56,000-sq.-ft. chateau called the Manor, near Beverly Hills, 90210.