How the Stars Rang in the New Year

01/03/2003 at 11:00 AM EST

While New York was pelted with rain on New Year's Day -- following a fairly mild New Year's Eve -- NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and Hawaiian Tropic model Deanne Merrymen both doffed their shirts on St. Jean beach on the hot Caribbean island of St. Bart's, as evidenced by a photo in Friday's New York Daily News.

Merrymen (for whom Gordon reportedly left his wife, Brooke) is shown in the picture wearing a fashionable top, but the story says she lost it to go swimming with Gordon.

Mariah Carey wasn't far way -- at least she was on the same island, as the songbird arrived from Aspen to celebrate New Year's with friends.

Meanwhile, USA Today reports that Britney Spears co-hosted a Brazilian carnival-themed New Year's Eve party with new pal Natalie Portman at Manhattan's Hudson Hotel. Guests included Denis Leary, Sam Rockwell and Keri Russell.

In Miami, says the paper, those ringing in '03 at the Delano Hotel included JC Chasez, Lenny Kravitz, Rosario Dawson, Shannon Elizabeth, Jamie Foxx, Tara Reid and Rashida Jones.

Meanwhile, the Daily News reports that Elizabeth Hurley and 8-month-old son Damian were in Switzerland's St. Moritz, and Mick Jagger, Tommy Hilfiger and Denzel Washington were at Basil's Bar in Mustique.

Jagger, however, reportedly remained in his villa. He had a cold.

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