Don't vote for Midler

New York -- A twist of fate has Bette Midler wishing she'd never received a Grammy nomination for her album "Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook." That's because it's up against Clooney's own album, "The Last Concert." Clooney, who was nominated for eight Grammys, died in June 2002 at age 74 from complications of lung cancer.

"I'm mortified. I'd really like Rosemary to win that Grammy. I can't believe I'm up against her," Midler said. "I'm going to look into withdrawing. I just think it's bad form if I won. You know, she never won a Grammy."

The other nominees for best traditional pop vocal album at the Feb. 8 Grammys are Barbra Streisand, Rod Stewart, Tony Bennett and k.d. lang.

Hot topic, worthy cause

Pittsburgh -- Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill will discuss the controversial new book about him to raise funds to open a Gilda's Club cancer support center.

The centers are named for comedian Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989.

At the Feb. 18 appearance, O'Neill will discuss "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill," by Paul Suskind.

The book attracted wide attention for, among other things, quoting O'Neill as saying that President Bush was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people." O'Neill was fired by Bush in December 2002.

O'Neill's wife, Nancy, is on the Gilda's Club board.

Who's telling the truth?

New York -- According to the New York Post, the folks at PETA were none too pleased that a Manhattan furrier created a mink coat for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

So they checked with Clinton's office to get an official statement. "They told us the article was completely false," PETA spokesman Michael McGraw said. "I can't imagine Hillary wearing a fur, considering Chelsea's such an animal lover. Fur-wearing first ladies are a thing of the past." According to the Post, the furrier did make a sheared mink for Clinton, but the senator is telling PETA that the coat is velvet.

Stay away from me

Los Angeles -- Oscar winner Nicole Kidman has ditched her lover Lenny Kravitz amid reports of his infidelity, reports

The "Cold Mountain" beauty, 36, had been dating the retro rocker for the past eight months but was horrified to hear that he had been spotted romancing Brazilian artist Isis Arruda and actress Michelle Rodriguez behind her back.

And despite her hopes of marrying Kravitz, 39, friends say Kidman didn't think twice about ending their relationship, as she felt that she could no longer trust the "American Woman" singer.

"When Nicole found out he was flirting with other women, she had to end things," said a source. "She was very much in love with him, and still is, but she has her pride."


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