It was just last month that the five members of 'N Sync—Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone—sang the national anthem at a charity event in Miami. There was even talk that the guys would gather in the studio soon to begin work on their long-awaited new album. That was then. "The meeting in Miami was to set a target date [to start recording]," says a source close to the group, "and then [Justin] drops the bomb on them."
The bomb: According to the insider, Timberlake told his bandmates that he wasn't interested in being a part of the next 'N Sync album. "Justin said he's not in the mood and doesn't think it will work," says the source. "He doesn't want any part of it." Meanwhile, according to one source, Timberlake has already started writing for a future album, a follow-up to his solo debut, Justified, which sold an impressive 3 million copies. And the future of 'N Sync? "[The others] are undecided right now," says the source. "They aren't really talking to [Justin]. They haven't taken it so well." Another insider says the boys feel that Justin "strung them along until he was sure his solo career would work."
A rep for Timberlake says the singer will not comment on reports from unnamed sources. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Jive, 'N Sync's label, simply says, "There's no album scheduled for this year from either 'N Sync, Justin Timberlake or JC Chasez. The group is still together."
Love Down Under
OUTBACK JACK FINALE
It's official: Outback Jack has chosen his Outback Jill. On the Aug. 10 finale of TBS's reality romance show, Aussie adventurer Jack—real name: Vadim Dale—selected perky Natalie Franzman over confident Marissa Clark. "It was my gut," says Dale of his choice, which capped a series of increasingly emotional eliminations. "She makes me laugh. I feel really relaxed around her."
Both Dale and Franzman admit she was a dark horse in the 12-woman competition. "I [initially] put her down for elimination, but something told me it was not right," says Dale. Adds Franzman: "At first I wasn't that into him." But after their first private date, "I just realized how much I was falling in love." Franzman, 21, a hair salon manager in Kentucky, beat out the more aggressive Clark because, she says, "I wasn't trying all the time to impress him. And I wasn't trying to ram my tongue down his throat." (Clark, a 23-year-old actress-singer, says Dale was "confused, when it came right down to it.")
Putting alligators and insects behind them, Dale and Franzman, who took a recent trip to Mexico after taping ended three months ago, plan to move in together in L.A. City life won't be that much of an adjustment for Dale. Franzman teases, "He is not as outback as he was portrayed." Although Dale denies it, she claims that "he has a bag full of Versace and Gucci clothes."
Rachel's Love Lesson: Million Dollar Mistake
FOR LOVE OR MONEY FINALE
Love? Money? How about neither? On the Aug. 9 finale of For Love or Money, Rachel Veltri chose suitor Caleb Janus and gave up a $1 million check. A storybook ending, right? Not quite. "We dated less than a month," says Veltri, 26, who filmed the final episode in May. "The moral of the story is take the money!" Veltri, who is now dating an executive recruiter from Chicago, says she and Janus, a Phoenix real estate agent, initially tried to make it work, but that true romance was never in the cards. An aspiring actress, she is now auditioning for the soap Passions, appearing in a VH1 special and deciding whether to pose for Playboy.
Still in Harmony
Recent reports that the 3½-year marriage between actress Kate Hudson and rocker Chris Robinson is on the rocks are just talk, say sources close to the couple. "They are very happy," says a family friend. "They are not going anywhere." As if to prove the point, Hudson, 25, and Robinson, 37, stepped out on Aug. 5 at Woo Lae Oak, an upscale Korean restaurant in Manhattan. "They were nothing but smiles," says one onlooker. "They seem like a very content couple." Throughout the meal the couple kissed and seemed "lovey dovey," according to the onlooker. Five days later they were spotted again dining together, this time with their 7-month-old son Ryder, at Manhattan's Pastis restaurant. "When you are true friends with your mate," says the family insider," [your relationship] will withstand everything."
More controversy for Naomi Campbell, who pleaded guilty in 2000 to assaulting a former assistant. On Aug. 7 New York City police were called to Campbell's Park Avenue apartment after she had a spat with her housekeeper Millicent Burton, 44. Burton filed a harassment complaint alleging that she was pushed by the model. Campbell, 34, "categorically disputes [that] version of events," says the model's lawyer John Rosenberg. Stay tuned.
Would Donald Trump, star of The Apprentice, make it out of the show's boardroom alive? On Aug. 9 Trump announced that he will file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for one of his companies, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc., to help pay down $1.8 billion in debt. The Donald, whose worth is estimated at $2.5 billion, will remain chairman of the board but will lose his CEO title and see his company share cut from 56 percent to 25 percent. Still, Trump remains as unflappable as his hair. "[The restructuring] is really going well," he says. "By the way, that company is less than 2 percent of my net worth."
He's an inspiration for—and the executive producer of—the HBO series Entourage, about a young celeb and his posse. But these days actor Mark Wahlberg, 33, says he's not so much party guy as playmate to 11-month-old daughter Ella Rae (her mother is model Rhea Durham). He spoke with Scoop about his abrupt lifestyle shift.
Who's in your entourage?
The most important person is my nanny.
So you're not partying with the boys? Who's out?
Most of the guys. No more parties at the house. Nothing. But that's a good thing. I needed that in life. I was lucky to get out alive.
Sounds like fatherhood changed you.
It changed everything. I went from the nightclubs to the country clubs. It's a good change of pace. I go out there and golf for three or four hours a day.
I'm good. I'm an eight handicap.
Do you play with any celebs?
I play with Joe Pesci a lot and Jack Nicholson sometimes. Dennis Hopper.
Any comparisons between being a father and leading an entourage?
Lots of responsibility.
Who was the scariest person in your entourage?
Probably my mother. She's a tough one. Gave birth to nine kids, raised us all.
Does she give you advice on raising your baby?
She tells me I have to learn to say no. [But] anything my daughter wants or anything she does is fine with me.
Doesn't the idea of an entourage seem silly?
If you have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with people you really care about, it's a beautiful thing.
Planning more babies?
That's going to take a while. I love being a dad. It's amazing. But it also reminds me of the enormous responsibility in raising this little girl the right way into a God-loving person.
Ever had any women in your entourage?
What were their jobs?
Well...[huge smile] you know.
How will you feel when Ella Rae starts dating?
That's not going to happen. I'm going to teach her golf early on.
ON THE BLOCK
PRICE: About $2.5 million
PLACE: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
SPECS: Richard Dreyfuss is selling his 3,700-sq.-ft. house, where you can find the early work (a separate building used as a gym) of a once-unknown carpenter named Harrison Ford. The dwelling, which also has been rented by Maria Maples and Brian Dennehy, includes five bedrooms, veranda and pool.
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