The Super Bowl incident now behind him, Justin Timberlake has a new project: his first movie role.
I can tell you exclusively that Justin has taken a small but pivotal role in an independent movie called "Edison," directed by David Burke. Filming commences March 1st in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Justin's co-stars are Oscar-caliber actors Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman and fellow pop star/actor LL Cool J.
"Edison" is a drama about a cop, a criminal and the reporter who keeps the lines of communication between them open.
I'm told that Justin picked the project with his film agents after they were impressed with the script, written by director Burke.
As for the Super Bowl scandal, I am also told that Justin and Janet Jackson have finally talked about the fallout from the episode and that they are "repairing" their friendship.
Timberlake did not make a lot of friends this last week when he appeared to add to the scapegoating of Jackson by not defending her against massive, unrelenting, and, this reporter would say, unnecessary criticism. Justin seemed to choke out an apology on the Grammy show, while Janet declined to grovel one more time.
"Justin felt that his original apology wasn't really heard," his manager, Johnny Wright, told me yesterday. "This gave him a bigger forum."
Wright, by the way, told me he is now managing the Backstreet Boys again, and that they are four songs into recording a new album for Jive Records. It should hit stores this summer.
There's no word on whether Paris Hilton, who was surgically attached to Nick Carter all weekend, will be known as a Backstreet Girl.
On Saturday night, forty years after the Beatles took America, John Lennon's younger son completed his first major-label album.
Sean Lennon told me proudly on Saturday night, after Clive Davis's extraordinary party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, "I finished my album tonight."
Earlier in the day, I spotted Lennon's mother, Yoko Ono, having lunch in the Polo Lounge at the BHH. Mother and son were on hand for the Grammy 40th-anniversary celebration of the Beatles, the group that included the late John Lennon and George Harrison, and the living Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
Ironically, Sunday night's main Grammy nominees could not have been more different from the Beatles. Few of them play instruments, sing or write their own songs.
Sean Lennon, however, is the exception. At 28, he's already released one album, "Into the Sun," on an independent label. Now his new project will come out on Capitol, the record company the Beatles together and separately have called home since 1964.
Lennon told me that contrary to gossip reports, Harrison's son Dhani does not play on his new album.
"I think the last time we played together I was nine," he laughed.
Imagine there's no bad blood: On Saturday afternoon, we caught Sean "P. Diddy" Combs lunching with fellow rap entrepreneur Jay-Z on the patio at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel while Nelly — a nice guy still living on his one hit, "Hot in Herre" — chowed down a few feet away.
It was Jay-Z who broke the ice and came over to "mug" (that's a male hug, and I'm coining the phrase right here) Nelly, who was without his trademark facial Band-Aid.
No knives, no violence, but of course "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner and his friend, tennis superstar Serena Williams, were seated a few inches away, so it was "all good," as they say here in the land of the non-verbal.
Or maybe it was the good news Jay-Z had just received: "It's official, I just bought the Nets," he reported, referring of course to the NBA basketball team stationed in New Jersey.
Did he buy all of them, or just a few, I wondered?
"All of them!" he said, with partners, of course.
At the same time, the aforementioned Yoko Ono lunched just inside the Polo Lounge, blissfully unaware of all of this.
Perhaps she was going over the speech she eventually gave on Sunday night, equally unaware of the enmity of Beatle fans all over the world and the imminent just-as-bad disastrous musical salute to the Fab Four that showed the Grammys are still as clueless as they were forty years ago today.
"You haven't done anything for me. Why should I do something for you?"
That's what a publicist — let's keep him nameless, no personal glory please — actually said to me last night at the BMG party at the Avalon nightclub in Hollywood following the Grammy telecast.
This guy had flacked for L.A. Reid when he was the head of Arista Records (a BMG label) and Clive Davis, who had been ousted from that position, was launching J Records at BMG.
Now, of course, Reid has been ousted and Davis has been promoted to the position of head of BMG North America.
My guess is that this guy, and many others who undermined Davis during that time, will themselves have to go now that these new changes have taken place. This what happens when administrations change. Or when you back the wrong horse.
The BMG party was star-studded, with R. Kelly, Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Stone, various Osbournes, Christina Aguilera, Earth, Wind & Fire, Dan Aykroyd, legendary songwriter Jerry Ragavoy, producer "Jimmy Jam" Harris, Craig Kilborne (with a beautiful Czech model date), 'N Sync's JC Chasez, elegant country superstar Martina McBride, Dave Matthews, Ruben Studdard and the inimitable Carlos Santana among Davis's guests.
BMG Worldwide chief Rolf Schmidt-Holtz stood at the front door and greeted all the celebs warmly, including actor Jamie Foxx, who I told you was a knockout singing Saturday night at Davis' gala and will likely sign a contract at J Records.
But the talk at the BMG party in many corners was about the absence of newly-minted winners OutKast.
Band members Andre 3000 and Big Boi (yes, those are their names) had their own bash in the Hollywood Hills that night, one which apparently was orchestrated by deposed Arista leader Reid, using Arista staff paid by BMG, even though Reid is now at Island Def Jam Records.
OutKast, no matter how much they thanked Reid on the Grammy stage last night for his loyalty all these years, are still a BMG act, and will be for some time to come.
Those Arista staffers who worked on the Reid party had better hope there are jobs for them at IDJ when Arista is downsized over the coming months.
As for the many other Grammy parties last night: Sony celebrated Beyoncé's five awards at the elegant and hip Maple Drive restaurant. Later the singer and her boyfriend Jay-Z joined Combs at a new club in the Kodak center in Hollywood for a sweaty, sardine-packed, and frankly highly unpleasant rap rave for what seemed like thousands of party kids.
A wall of marijuana smoke greeted us as we passed through the wide entrance, and the smell did not abate. Talk about a contact high!
Combs, in a bright white suit, sat with the couple in thrones on high until it was time for him to motivate the crowd at the top of his lungs. By then the massive amount of people who'd been impatiently waiting to get in — despite having invites in hand — broke the barriers and stormed the front door.
That's when we left. Fast. We passed — who else? — Jamie Foxx, and delivered the warning "You don't want to go in there."
But, you know, that was like a dare to the comic actor, who immediately tugged on his date's sleeve and dragged her off to see what all the commotion was about.