updated 05/10/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/10/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Giddyup, partner! Spears's day at the beach with a dancer stirs up a new controversy
Is there a new man in Britney Spears's life? On April 23 the pop star left the Beverly Hills Hotel accompanied by Kevin Federline, a dancer who has worked with Justin Timberlake, Pink and Michael Jackson. Spears, 22, and Federline, 26, got into her white Mercedes and drove to the beach in Santa Monica (stopping for Subway sandwiches en route), where they strolled in the sand, acted affectionately with each other and posed for the paparazzi. The two then returned to her bungalow at the hotel and did not emerge until the next afternoon. A source close to Spears denies there's a romance, saying, "Britney's just having fun." Repeated attempts to reach Federline were unsuccessful. Actress Shar Jackson, who says she is Federline's girlfriend of four years, believes there's more than just friendship between the two. Jackson, 27, who has a 21-month-old daughter and is seven months pregnant with a second child, says, "This is a big thing. It isn't like breaking up a relationship, it's like breaking up a family." Jackson says that she's not sure what the status of her relationship with Federline is. "He can come home and we'll talk," she says. As for Spears, the day after her beach romp she flew to London to begin a European tour.
Idol's Winning Loser
Bad news has been very, very good to Jennifer Hudson, the American Idol diva voted off the show in a shocking upset on April 21. Since then, she says, "I've learned that America loves me. It feels good to be stopped by people telling me, 'You should still be on the show.' " Just as important, her career has gotten a boost from being a high-profile loser. Hudson, 22, spent time making media appearances after her dismissal, dropping by David Letterman's Late Show to deliver a Top Ten List of "Things I Can Say Now That I Lost American Idol" (No. 1: "I have one thing to say to the voters: What in the hell is wrong with you people?") and chatting with Regis and Kelly. On the horizon? "Hopefully, working with the legends, like Barry Manilow and Elton John," she says, naming the two Idol celebrity judges who sang her praises. Though no deals have yet been announced, Hudson thinks that "three months from now, I see myself working on my own album, shooting a movie, doing Broadway."
Her Idol fans remain faithful. When host Ryan Seacrest mentioned Hudson's dismissal the following week on the April 27 broadcast, he was met with a chorus of boos. Earlier John said at a press conference that he blamed racism for the low-vote total that Hudson and two fellow African-American contestants received—a theory dismissed by judge Randy Jackson as "ridiculous." Hudson holds no grudges, noting, "We're having a Jennifer week instead of a Jennifer moment."
Timed for Romance
For months Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have been arriving at restaurants, premieres and parties just minutes apart, apparently trying to keep their relationship under wraps. "Jennifer wants to avoid the circus that was Bennifer," explains a source close to both. "This isn't about hiding her relationship. The people that matter the most in her life know the truth." Which is? "They're together," confirms the insider. "I think they're happy." Lopez. 34, and Anthony, 35, had a chance to come clean to the world at the Costume Institute Gala in New York City on April 26 but chose not to—arriving separately and sitting back-to-back at separate tables inside. "After the whirlwind that she went through [with Ben Affleck], I think she's finding comfort in simpler times," says the source. "She's really happy, and he's really happy. I don't think they're hiding anything."
Martha Stewart, who will be sentenced on June 17 for obstruction of justice, conspiracy and lying, may be bound for a prison cell. Some of the items from her childhood home, however, could be bound for your home: Her estranged brother Frank Kostyra, 59, hopes to auction off nearly 60 Martha-related relics—many of which could otherwise pass for junk—on eBay. "I have these things, why not share them with the world?" self-described pack rat Kostyra told the New York Post (he has kept these items from his family's Nutley, N.J., home in storage since 1987). Kostyra doesn't have Stewart's blessing, but he does have their mother's, who told the paper that the objects "belong to him."
Trish: The New Omarosa?
Reality TV's new favorite villain? The Bachelor's Trish Schneider. The model, 28, who has done print ads for Carnival Cruise Lines and Hyatt, has stunned viewers and fellow contestants by saying she dislikes messy kids, has had affairs with a married man and women and sees nothing wrong with marrying rich. "Trish is totally honest," says her sister Susan, 32, which makes her different from The Apprentice's evil woman because, "Omarosa lies." Besides, says Susan, "when females say negative things about another female, it's them being insecure about themselves." Also, "Ninety percent of America has done it," says Susan of her sister's alleged affair with a married man. "I read that in a magazine."
Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth isn't ready to relinquish her title of TV's top bad girl yet. Minutes before a visit on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live April 22, she huffed out of the studio after learning a lie-detector machine was on the set for another segment. "The audience booed her [when she was announced], so maybe that had something to do with it," says Kimmel. Meanwhile Manigault-Stallworth, 30, says she's working on a new secret business deal. "I have an interesting offer from a prominent businessman," she says, without offering details. "It could be quite lucrative."
Lindsay Lohan stars in the new film Mean Girls, based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes, a study of teenage social hierarchy. Lohan, 17, spoke with Scoop about her own experiences dealing with the high school caste system—as well as with fellow teen queens.
Were you a queen bee or a wannabe in high school?
I was kind of a floater. In the book, they described a floater as someone who got along with everyone, and that's kind of what I did.
How's that rivalry with Hilary Duff?
It's over. There's nothing more to say. We're friends. We're cool.
We read on your Web site that you're a big Beanie Babies fan. Do you still collect them?
I used to. Oh my God, I have, like, almost every one made. I don't even know where they are. I have them somewhere.
Which one of the Beanies is your favorite?
The Princess [Diana] one. I was such a big fan. I was filming The Parent Trap when she passed away. I started crying when I saw it on the news. I was, like, 12 years old.
Any thoughts on college?
It's something I'm definitely interested in, but I'm not fully established yet as an actress, so I want to focus on this. People go to college if they don't know what they want their career to be. I'm kind of set in my ways in what I want to do.
Are you dating anyone?
No. There are people I'll like here and there, but I don't like anyone specific.
Who's the hottest guy on the teen scene at the moment?
Orlando Bloom. He's gorgeous and he's not, like, all over the place. He does really great films and he sets himself aside from all the other actors.
You seem to enjoy nightlife. Any worries about gaining a party-girl image?
People say what they're going to say. But I'm not going to change who I am. I'm 17. I'm learning and I'd rather make my own mistakes and learn from them than have to be sheltered my whole life.
ON THE BLOCK
PRICE: $2.6 million
PLACE: Toluca Lake, Calif.
SPECS: The memories of two famous Ritters come attached to this Colonial-style estate. John Ritter, the late star of Three's Company and Eight Simple Rules, grew up here with his cowboy-actor father, Tex Ritter, from 1954 to 1968. The 5,200-sq.-ft. house was recently restored and features five bedrooms, a granite fireplace, gardens and a pool with a spa and waterfall.