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Bling, Bang, Boom

It’s hard to believe that anything could have been more embarrassing to the celebrities at this year’s VMAs than the show itself. Among the low-lights: Diddy, the divathon’s host, dancing with a baton in his hand in front of a live orchestra; Mariah Carey sloshing around in the National Hotel pool; Jeremy Piven’s cracking wise about co-presenter Lil’ Kim’s impending jail time. (Not to mention the much publicized who-shot-Suge-Knight drama at Kanye West’s pre-party.) But sources close to the show say that the most wince-inducing pratfalls occurred behind the scenes.

According to an attendee at the Miami bash, of all the stars who walked the red carpet at the awards show, “the only one who completely—and I mean completely—ignored her screaming fans was Paris Hilton.” Gratifyingly, it turns out that even in the amateur-porn/reality-TV ambit, pride goeth before a fall. The sultry socialite’s hauteur apparently pissed off a handful of conscientious PAs who were guiding the celebs to the show. When Hilton reached a flight of stairs that better-mannered starlets had been warned to mount carefully, the network helpers held their tongues, allowing the Simple Life “actress” to take a tumble—much to the delight of laughing onlookers.

But sources say the biggest drama queen at the fame-fest was, to no one’s surprise, the newly named master of ceremonies. “Diddy showed everyone involved with the show a diva type of attitude—crass and profane,” says our insider. “Producers already knew what they were getting into with this guy, but he made their lives miserable.” At one point during the proceedings, we’re told, Diddy went so far as to refuse to return onstage and “say another word” until he got a piece of cheesecake.

Now MTV execs may be wishing they had withheld the treat. Our source says Diddy’s hosting brought in such poor ratings that advertisers are clamoring for approximately $12 million in bonus ads to make up the difference.

Reps for MTV did not return calls for comment. Diddy’s publicist Rob Shuter said of the cheesecake request, “Funny, but not true.”

BLIPS… Rumor has it that the White House is already packed with queens, but soon it may be hosting a real-life prince. Sources say Prince Charles and his new bride Camilla are quietly planning a rare stateside visit in the next few weeks that is scheduled to culminate in an official Bush banquet. According to our palace sources, the happy newlyweds plan to spend a few days with friends in New York before jetting off to dinner in DC.… We hear that, after ending their decades-long feud last Christmas, Penthouse creator Bob Guccione and his son Bob Jr., the editor who founded Spin and Gear, are planning to go into business together. A source close to the family reports that the duo is raising funds to relaunch the now shuttered science magazine Omni, which was launched by Guccione Sr. in 1978 and folded 10 years later.

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