No Valentine for Mrs. Jimmy Kimmel
One of the worst kept "open secrets" in Hollywood these days is the relationship status of Jimmy Kimmel. The host of ABC's newest late night show left his wife of 14 years, Gina, last September for tough-as-nuts comedienne Sarah Silverman. The pair had worked together for years on the stand-up circuit and Comedy Central shows. Howard Stern made the announcement in September, as did the Daily News.
But wait: Kimmel was still on Comedy Central then hosting Win Ben Stein's Money. He wasn't with ABC yet. Back then his bio listed Gina and their two kids, ages 9 and 7. Since he's come to the network, there's been nary a whisper about Silverman, Gina, or the kids.
Last week I ran into a close friend of Silverman's. He said, "She's always talking about her boyfriend, but she says she's really not supposed to be talking about her boyfriend."
Silverman and Kimmel must have a pretty lively romance. At the Friars Club roast in September 2001, she cracked about him: "Jimmy Kimmel everyone, he's fat and has no charisma. Watch your back, Danny Aiello!"
Well, that's Hollywood, isn't it? When Stern announced that Kimmel and Silverman were a pair he also said that Kimmel had been separated for about six months. But in September, the Kimmels were involved in a big Italian festival in their neighborhood. They were also featured on one of those "home" shows on HGTV. The latter may have been the kiss of death since recently former Time Warner chairman Gerald Levin and his wife Barbara were featured in a shelter magazine with their new home. They, too, have split.
Jacko: A Valentine From The District Attorney
The intrepid Diane Dimond snared a rare interview yesterday live on Court TV with Thomas Sneddon, the District Attorney in Santa Barbara County. Sneddon has been investigating Michael Jackson for the last decade and knows more about his peccadilloes than even the National Enquirer.
All of the interview was interesting, but Dimond got one very important answer to a question. Sneddon responded that if a new child -- other than the boy from 1993 -- came forward with information about Jackson from that time, it would "jeopardize the civil settlements from the cases."
In other words, cagey Mr. Sneddon may have implied there has been more than one child who filed some kind of case against Jackson. This puts a new light on things since the boy's case in 1993 is the only one that's received publicity.
It's clear that Sneddon is doing everything he can without painting an actual picture, as they used to say. Last week, he issued a press release regarding Jacko's BBC interview -- this was before the release of the 1993 court papers to www.thesmokinggun.com. As kind of a non sequitur, Sneddon made sure to list the California law which states that it's a "child/victim's right not to testify or cooperate in investigations."
It was almost an answer to a question that was never asked, but now -- based on last night's comment that there may have been more than one settlement -- Sneddon's release bears more inspection. By adding that point to the release, it would seem that Sneddon may have been indicating why he couldn't prosecute Jackson in the past; like the boy from 1993, the other children wouldn't testify because they'd been bought off by Jackson.
So what now? It's going to take some brave soul to come forward and tell his story. Until then, Michael Jackson can continue to do whatever he wants.
Some friends and associates of murdered actress Lana Clarkson are saying she got used last week on ABC's Prime Time Live. Record producer Phil Spector is out on $1 million bail after being arrested for the murder.
The show interviewed Hollywood personality Rhonda Shear last Thursday, who appeared as an expert on the subject of Clarkson. Shear, who is best known for hosting Up All Night on cable TV, held herself out as a close friend of Clarkson.
Trouble is: she wasn't. Clarkson's actual close friends are all upset because they think Shear is exploiting Clarkson's death to get some publicity. "All the friends are mad since they know the real story," a source close to Clarkson's circle told me.
I spoke to Shear yesterday. She said, "I was a friend of Lana's. I hired her to do her comedy. But her family and attorney have asked me to stop talking about her, so I will."
Meantime, Clarkson's family only took receipt of their tragically killed daughter and sister yesterday. They are planning a quiet, private burial and a memorial service.
Supreme Celebration Next Thursday
While we're waiting for the Grammy's next Sunday (Feb. 23) the other big music event of the month is shaping up for Thursday, February 20th. That's the annual Pioneer Awards, given by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. The festivities, which are not broadcast, start at 6 p.m. at the Hammerstein Ballroom. You can get tickets by calling 202-588-5566.
Among this year's honorees: Dionne Warwick, the Supremes, the Del Vikings. Jackie Wilson will get the posthumous award from his old friend, "Soul Man" Sam Moore, who will perform some of his songs. The Pioneer Awards is always the best music night of the year. If you like soul music (yeah yeah) then get yourself a ticket. A few are still available.
The organization was formed 12 years ago when R&B legend Ruth Brown sued Atlantic Records for back monies owed. The resulting settlement became the Foundation's endowment. Now they help out indigent musicians, the same stars who have entertained the world but were never paid properly for it.