WEEK IN REVIEW: JFK Jr. Recalled
HONEST OPRAH: As was reported early in the week by PEOPLE.com and other news outlets, Oprah Winfrey, 46, passed on an invitation by the Bush administration to join an official U.S. delegation to tour Afghanistan's schools. On Tuesday, via a call to her friend on ABC's "The View," Star Jones, Winfrey addressed the issue, saying she felt "extremely used" by the administration for implying that she was too busy to join the junket. (She had some charitable benefits to which she was committed at home.) Jones, 40, said on Tuesday's "The View": "The White House knew she wasn't going to be able to go, but (Bush adviser) Karen Hughes told her they were going anyway. So Oprah says for the last couple of weeks she thought, 'Oh, they had gone.' She said, 'So imagine my surprise, I wake up and read in the newspaper that I'm being cavalier, I'm too busy.' She said it didn't happen that way and it really wasn't fair."
GUMBEL GOES: CBS on-air personality Bryant Gumbel on Thursday said he plans to resign as host of his network's morning program, "The Early Show," and will be leaving CBS altogether, reports the Associated Press. Gumbel has been with CBS for five years, the past 2 1/2 of which were spent on the third-ranked morning show, for which the network invested $30 million to build a sidewalk studio in Manhattan's Grand Army Plaza, near Central Park. Gumbel, 53, never repeated the success he enjoyed on competitor NBC's "Today" show on "The Early Show," which continues to trail his former program as well as ABC's "Good Morning America" in the ratings.
UNCLE MILTIE: Like the focal point of the gathering himself, the tribute to Milton Berle at L.A.'s Hillside Memorial Park on Monday was larger than life -- and funny. Berle, also known as "Mr. Television" because of his enormous influence on the fledgling medium in the late '40s, died March 27 at the age of 93. As reported by the Associated Press, comedian Don Rickles, 75, set the tone for Monday's eulogies, standing over the flower-draped coffin and declaring to the 300 guests, including Berle's grieving fourth wife, Lorna Adams: "I would like to be paid for this." The service resembled a celebrity roast. Red Buttons, 83, said: "Lorna, Milton would have been alive today if it wasn't for you. All that sex."
ACTOR'S ROLL: The trial of "Sopranos" actor Robert Iler, who faces robbery and marijuana-possession charges, was supposed to begin in New York on Monday but has been postponed until May 6, reports Court TV's Web site. Iler, 17, who plays the troubled adolescent Tony Jr. on the TV mob hit, and two others -- Michael Cournede, 19, and Alban Selimaj, 16 -- pleaded innocent at their arraignment last August to charges related to an incident in which two teens were allegedly shaken down for $40 on Manhattan's Upper East Side over the July 4 weekend. All three have been charged with second-degree robbery; Cournede was also charged with possession of a box cutter in public. The robbery charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years behind bars; the pot-possession charge, a fine of $100.