Scoop

updated 08/09/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/09/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NICK SPEAKS Why Paris and I Split

Backstreet Boy Nick Carter opens up about fidelity, his busted romance and an untimely tattoo

After seven months together, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, 24, and The Simple Life's Paris Hilton, 23, called it quits on July 22. Paris preferred to have her rep confirm the split. Carter, however, briefed Scoop about the relationship's ups and downs.

HOW THEY MET: We met through her bodyguard, who was a friend of mine. He called me up and was like, "Hey, she wants to meet you."

WHAT LED TO THE BREAKUP: Our relationship totally was based on distrust. She didn't trust me. I didn't trust her.

WHAT HAPPENED JULY 22: We both got on the phone, had a discussion and agreed we couldn't do this anymore.

HILTON'S REP'S ASSERTION THAT THE HEIRESS BROKE IT OFF: Obviously, that's the way they're going to try to make it look. [The breakup] is mutual.

REPORTS THEY CHEATED ON EACH OTHER: The only comment I'm going to have to that is that I'm loyal to those who are loyal to me.

GETTING LINKED BY INK: We got tattoos together three weeks ago (Carter got "Paris" imprinted on his wrist. He won't divulge Hilton's tattoo).

REGRETS ABOUT TATTOOING: No, [I don't regret it] because I love her. She'll have a place in my heart, always.

GETTING OVER IT: I've got a lot of work to do. I just want everybody to know that I'm single and ready to have fun again. I'm a wild and crazy guy.

Ben Does Boston
He's denouncing Republican tax proposals in a cozy huddle with the Massachusetts delegates! He's playing the political pundit with Larry King on CNN! He's caucusing with Hillary Clinton! Considering the face time he received at the recent Democratic National Convention, you'd think Ben Affleck was the one running for office. The Democratic poster boy—a fixture throughout John Kerry's presidential campaign—made the most of the gathering in his hometown. "So nice to talk to you all, and not about movies or dating," he told reporters before scurrying off to a pool hall for a fund-raiser with retired general and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark. Then it was off to interview Sen. Ted Kennedy for an ABC segment. Will the 31-year-old actor make a run for office some day? "That's a nice idea, and I'm very flattered that you said it. But it's a tough life, you know. I think if the entertainment press is tough on me now, I can't imagine what it would be like if I had a political agenda."

The Web's Political Hit
This Land, an animated short created by brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, spoofs George Bush and John Kerry equally. It's a hot ticket on the Internet at www.JibJab.com. "I thought it was funny," says Chris Heinz, Kerry's stepson. "Hysterically funny," says Terry Holt, Bush-Cheney campaign spokesman.

JUSTIN'S NEW SUIT
THIS JUST IN: JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE has set in motion a suit against the British tabloid News of the World for running a story in which model Lucy Clarkson, 22, claimed she had intimate relations with him. (The paper stands by its story.) Timberlake may be on a roll: In L.A. on July 27 he was granted a restraining order against a paparazzi whose aggressive pursuit, the singer alleged, could have caused him injury. (For more on Timberlake, see page 52.)

Roy's Recovery Report
On July 21, a calm and collected Roy Horn was wheeled out of a Las Vegas rehab center, where he spends up to eight hours a day, six days a week, building back the strength he lost after he was mauled by a tiger last October. Though Horn appears to be wearing a splint on his arm, his manager says, "He has no broken arm; he has had no procedure done." Horn, 59, sat last week for a series of interviews with NBC's Maria Shriver, set to air on the first anniversary of the attack.

Wake Up and Feel Like Britney
You too can sleep in Britney Spears's bed. At the Onyx Hotel in Boston, Spears's mother, Lynne, has designed a replica of the singer's bedroom in Kentwood, La. The suite, which runs from $259-$359 a night depending on the season (10 percent of the revenue goes to the Britney Spears Foundation, a charity), features country-style whitewash furniture, silver wallpaper and cream-colored carpeting. Guests can munch on Britney's favorite snacks—including Cheetos and Pop Tarts—while watching her movie Crossroads. Britney has yet to visit, but "she said it was exactly the way she pictured it," says Mark Fischer, general manager of the Onyx.

POP QUIZ

Peter Krause

Peter Krause is an emotional wreck. Or rather, he plays one on TV (Nate, a despondent funeral home owner in HBO's Six Feet Under). And in movies (Hank, a cheating husband in the upcoming We Don't Live Here Anymore). And now ... on Broadway, where he'll debut playing Quentin in a revival of Arthur Miller's After the Fall, assumed to be based on Miller's marriage to Marilyn Monroe. Krause, 38, spoke with Scoop.

Actually, you've been on Broadway before, have you not, Mr. Krause?

I sold candy bars, poured drinks...at Cats, Les Mis, Phantom.

Didn't you first audition for the role of David, the gay brother, on Six Feet Under?

True. But they were having a really difficult time finding someone to play Nate. When I read the script again, I realized there were great similarities between that character and myself.

And those similarities would be...?

He's someone who wanted to avoid suffering and responsibility at all costs because he experienced that growing up. Then life grabbed Nate by the proverbial tail and started to swing him right dab into a world of suffering and responsibility.

What draws you to these tortured roles?

I have always been curious about human behavior and why we do the things we do. I'm drawn to the material because it makes me think about my own life and hopefully makes other people think about theirs.

Why choose After the Fall for your Broadway debut?

It was a dragon I couldn't resist attempting to slay. I thought, I will regret this for the rest of my life if I don't attempt this.

Have you spoken with Arthur Miller?

At length, many times. He was in my dressing room last night for 45 minutes after the show.

Do you get stage fright?

I was very nervous the first show. I felt nauseous. Now it comes and goes.

Any theater superstitions?

I like to try and adhere to the same schedule. I like to lie down on my back and focus for about half an hour. Sort of visualize what I'm about to do.

Any other preparations?

Per my voice teacher Beverly Wideman at NYU, I always eat an apple before I go onstage. It's good for your throat.

ON THE BLOCK

TIFFANI'S TOWN
PRICE $2.8 million
PLACE Studio City, Calif.

SPECS Tiffani Thiessen, who starred in Beverly Hills, 90210, may be changing her zip code. The actress has listed her 5,000-sq.-ft. house and plans to find a new place in the Los Angeles area, says her rep. Surrounded by 1.27 acres, the property features five bedrooms, media room, pool and guest suite.

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