Scoop

updated 11/21/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/21/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

GENTLEMAN GEORGE

George Clooney steps in to defend the honor of damsels who've been dissed

For George Clooney, it began as a fine evening—cocktails after the London premiere of Good Night, and Good Luck on Nov. 3, a little dancing with former girlfriend Lisa Snowdon at the afterparty, held at the Cuban restaurant Floridita. And then...boom! Clooney and one of the film's producers, Simon Franks, were suddenly arguing so heatedly in an alley behind the restaurant that the next day's British tabloids blared words like "Brawl" in their headlines. The cause of the dustup? It had "to do with someone being unkind to a woman...[and] while no punches were thrown, George told the person to knock it off," said Clooney's rep. (British papers reported that he was responding to an unflattering remark he heard about a female employee.) Added the actor: "I won't stand by while someone is being insulted and maligned."

Turns out that his chivalry also extends to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. "I saw all these reports on CNN where people would [say], 'Oh, she looks like a horse' and be really mean-spirited," said Clooney at a press roundtable. "We're long past the points in our lives where we need to be firing off on people like that."

Kate, Weight & the Law
Kate Hudson was lauded for getting back in shape quickly after the birth of son Ryder last year. But now she says some media have wrongly accused her of taking her diet too far. Her lawyers issued a complaint in London Nov. 7 against five publications. "She was portrayed as being dangerously thin, with an eating disorder," said her lawyers, "which is contrary to the true position of her weight and diet...." The case may go to court next year.

PHOENIX AND THE FROG

Joaquin Phoenix had something on his mind on a recent Thursday evening: frogs. At the Nov. 3 L.A. premiere of his movie Walk the Line, he had this exchange with an Associated Press reporter.

Phoenix: "Do I have a large frog in my hair?"

Reporter: "No, no."

Phoenix: "Something's crawling out of my scalp."

Reporter: "No, you look great."

Phoenix: "No, but I feel it. I'm not worried about the looks. I'm worried about the sensation of my brain being eaten....What did you ask me?"

Days earlier, Phoenix, 31, abruptly ended a roundtable interview session. Asked what was behind his behavior, his rep said: "He is incredibly sober, which
is to be applauded...He also happens to be a great interview. Ask anyone who has spoken with him. If he has disappointed a few journalists along the way—so be it."

FASHION CALCULUS
What in the world inspired rocker Lenny Kravitz's outfit as he stood outside the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan on Nov. 7? Scoop added it all up.

WARREN AND ANNETTE: ARNOLD'S PARTY CRASHERS

Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had some unexpected—and unwelcome—visitors at a Nov. 5 political rally: Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, who showed up to oppose ballot measures Schwarzenegger had endorsed. Could this be a harbinger of a future Beatty-Schwarzenegger race? "I don't want to run for governor," Beatty told Scoop, "but I don't think anyone should say never. It would be evidence of poor citizenship." Arnold on Beatty's appearance: "There's the main event, then there is the sideshow. I don't care about the sideshow."

Moss Returns

It was (supermodel) business as usual for Kate Moss last week, as she got back to work for the first time since her stint in rehab following reports of cocaine abuse. The model spent two days in Ibiza, Spain, shooting Roberto Cavalli's spring-summer ad campaign. "Kate is back working and doing what she does best," said the designer.

HOUSEWIVES' HEAVE-HO

The latest mystery on Wisteria Lane? The sudden firing of Page Kennedy (right), who played the fugitive Caleb, held captive in new neighbor Betty Applewhite's basement on Desperate Housewives. A series rep said Page was axed for "improper conduct" but declined to say what that was. "Nobody knew this was coming," says a source on the set. Calls to Kennedy's cell phone were not returned; his rep Lana Walker said, "I no longer represent him" and declined further comment. Series creator Marc Cherry said only, "We recast the part today. I'm not at liberty to say more at this point." How will this absence affect the plot of the show? Kennedy, 28, will briefly appear on the Nov. 13 episode, says the source, and a replacement will take on the role of Caleb thereafter.

CHRIS KLEIN: LIFE AFTER KATIE
We all know what his former fiancée is up to, but how is life for Chris Klein in the post-Katie Holmes era? "I'm dating. I'm out and about," Klein tells Scoop. "I do a lot of surfing, some weight work, yoga." But his main joy, he says, is work. "I find myself really inspired to continue pushing myself." No kidding—he has five movies due out in the next year, including the comedy Just Friends, opening Nov. 23. Of his five-year relationship with the future Mrs. Tom Cruise, he says, "I look back on Katie and my time with her with a great fondness. It's something I will always cherish, and I know she will too." He does express concern about her recent foray into Scientology. "I hope that she's making decisions that are making her happy," he told Access Hollywood, "and that she doesn't have people in her life leading her astray." So does Klein, 26, long for marriage and parenthood himself? "I think I do. Is it something I see in the near future? Not even close."

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE WORK
Lindsay Lohan has been seen with Jared Leto at various New York and Hollywood hot spots, fueling speculation that the two are an item. And a friend of the actress says Lohan is "completely and totally into" him. So what does Lohan say? That she has no time for romance. "I focus on my career, not boys," she tells Scoop. (She'll still run into Leto there too: The pair will costar in Chapter 27, a film about John Lennon's killer.) Lohan, who turned heads at the opening of the new Fendi store in Manhattan Nov. 3, does admit that she's very into fashion. "I love Chanel—timeless. Fendi, Gucci, Balenciaga. They're all very chic in their own ways." And she's happy to be a brunette. "It's a nice change," she says. "I feel a little bit classier with this hair."

ASHLEE ON CAMERA
With all the videocams and camera phones saturating the world, little a celeb does in public is likely to go unrecorded. Ashlee Simpson, 21, learned that on Nov. 2, when she goofed around at a burger joint in Toronto at 1:30 a.m. Within hours a video of her climbing on a counter and refusing an autograph to a fan who wouldn't kiss her feet popped up on the Internet. "The whole situation is silly," says a Simpson friend. "She was just there to buy a burger."

Q+A

Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley stars in the new screen version of the classic romance Pride & Prejudice (opening Nov. 11). So what better time for Knightley, 20, to chat with Scoop about love and its complications?

In the movie, Mr. Darcy rejects your character, Elizabeth, when she asks him to dance. Have you ever been rejected?

I didn't have any boyfriends at all when I was in school. Like, none. Really. So I must have been rejected an awful lot.

Do you go for the mysterious Mr. Darcy types or the charming, good-natured Mr. Bingleys?

Come on, everybody wants a Mr. Darcy. He's brooding, which is always really sexy. It's all about the Darcys. We all want a bit of that fire.

Any romance in your life?

Not going to talk about that.

Weren't you supposedly dating an Australian musician...Bodyrockers' Kaz James?

You know what? I've never met him. Never!

Really?

I only know about him because I've become rather obsessed with it, and I keep on looking on the Internet. Apparently he has dumped me now. It's the easiest breakup I've ever been through.

Okay, Australians aside, whom do you prefer—American men or British?

They're both charming. Equal opportunities. As long as they've got a sense of humor, I don't care where they're from.

And what turns you off?

I don't like being called cute. If anyone calls me cute then they can piss off.

MORE ON: George Clooney

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