'Scary' Spice Girl Melanie Brown Hires Gloria Allred in Eddie Murphy Baby Battle

Scary Spice | Aretha Franklin | David Beckham | Lazlo Kovacs | Dominick Dunne

Scary Spice Hires Gloria Allred

In case you didn't know it, famed and fearless attorney Gloria Allred is representing Melanie Brown. She is the other Spice Girl — the one who got pregnant by Eddie Murphy. Murphy pretended he couldn't remember her name or the consummation, but the eventual DNA test proved he is the dad.

To think, they could have all gone on "Maury Povich" and gotten a free test.

Anyway, here comes Gloria, and if I were Murphy, I would be nervous. Gloria takes a hard line on this sort of thing. Most people know her from TV appearances, but the fact is that Allred is part of a high-powered law firm. She hasn't said what she's going to do yet, but soon enough will come a complaint issued to Murphy for child support commensurate with his incredibly big income.

"I can't comment on anything more than we are representing Melanie Brown in the matter of Eddie Murphy. He knows it and knows how we feel about children's rights, etc.," Allred told me.

So now we know what Scary and Posh Spice are doing with their lives. The others — Baby, Ginger and Sporty — who knows? But I give these two a lot of credit. They know that a Spice Girl reunion tour is not going to make them millions. They have found other, more lucrative work.

Aretha Meets Katie Couric, Reggie Jackson

What a weekend for the Queen of Soul, Miss Aretha Franklin. Her arrival in the Hamptons was like a hurricane, with other celebrities lining up to meet her.

On Sunday, the popular "Today" show entertainment correspondent Jill Rappaport threw Aretha a down-home barbecue for about 50 guests at her Montana-style ranch in Water Mill, near Southampton.

Guests like Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, NBC's Jeff Zucker, Courtney Ross, Camille Grammer, Beth Ostrofsky (soon to be Mrs. Howard Stern), WOR's Joan Hamburg and Jill's author sister Linda Solomon chowed down on succulent ribs, brisket and barbecue chicken.

Missing from the proceedings was Jill's good friend, Christie Brinkley, who has been at her ailing mother's side in Hawaii. Marge Brinkley is said to be recuperating from a stroke she suffered last week.

Meanwhile, Ivan Bodley — bandleader for Aretha's pal R&B legend Sam Moore — brought a crack team of professionals and played all the Queen's favorite songs. I even got to dance with her to some Temptations hits. And Aretha's 11-year-old granddaughter, Victory, a real charmer, showed off some sweet moves as well. She has Grandma's style, that's for sure.

Franklin told me she is not — I repeat not — getting married any time soon to her devoted beau, Willie Wilkerson, but she is trying to finish her album of duets that Clive Davis will release sometime soon. Among her collaborators are Fantasia and John Legend.

Aretha didn't sing for the crowd — it's a vacation, after all — but she did serenade a few of us in the Architectural Digest-featured living room Rappaport shares with Wall Streeter Rick Swift.

Looking around at all the Western wares, Aretha broke out into a very Queen of Soul version of "Home on the Range." She joked that Jill's ranch is called the "Last Buck" not because of the deer, but "because she must have spent her last buck on the place."

On Saturday, Aretha had even more treats at the Mercedes-Benz polo matches in Bridgehampton. When former New York Yankee great Reggie Jackson was introduced to her, he removed his cap and bowed.

The polo matches, on a field sponsored by JetOneJets, was said to be the biggest opening ever, with boldfaced names like Debra Messing, B. Smith, Kelly Klein, Danny Masterson and Bijou Phillips among the crowd.

Polo has become a big business in the Hamptons. The sponsors are almost too many to mention: Alice & Olivia; St. Regis; Jaeger-LeCoultre Watches; the Trump Organization; Ocean Independence; Charter Yachts; 88 Greenwich; T-Mobile; Ralph Lauren; BlueFish Concierge; Evian Spring Water; Amstel Light/Heineken and Zino Platinum Cigars.

There's also a flock of business moguls on hand like Core Development's Josh Guberman; restaurant mogul Ed Kleefeld aka Jean Luc (Prime 103 in the Hamptons, JLX, etc.); Andrew Borrok and celebrity trainer Radu — the man who made Regis Philbin look 25 years younger.

Soccer Torts: Big Money for a Boondoggle?

For two weeks, the members of the Chelsea soccer (that's football to them) team stayed in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hills Hotel. They were waiting to play the L.A. Galaxy and David Beckham in his premiere game.

That's the Beverly Hills Hotel — not Motel 6 or a Courtyard by Marriott. The BHH is one of the most expensive hotels in the world, and certainly in California. Rooms go for $400 and $500 a night even with a good deal, and there are no good deals. This is the home of the Polo Lounge.

But the Chelsea team is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovitch. They are sponsored by Samsung, but it's hard to imagine the electronics giant authorizing a two-week stay for two dozen people at such a venue. Abramovitch is footing the bills.

The team was busy filling the BHH lobby last Saturday before going to defeat the Galaxy 1-0. There didn't seem to be a question of where they would beat them. It was already a done deal.

So what do the Chelsea players think of Beckham, now foisted on us as this summer's entertainment?

"He's a great player," they concurred. "And he's been wanting to come to America for a long time."

R.I.P. Picture Man

Lazlo Kovacs died over the weekend -- he was 74. The Hungarian cinematographer was responsible for the great look of what are now considered watershed films of the influential 1970s including Hal Ashby's "Shampoo," Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda's "Easy Rider," Bob Rafelson's "Five Easy Pieces" and "King of Marvin Gardens," Martin Scorsese's "lost" classic, "New York, New York" and five Peter Bogdanovich films including the wonderful "What's Up, Doc," "Mask" and "Paper Moon."

Kovacs' more recent work included the very good Cameron Crowe film "Say Anything" and "My Best Friend's Wedding." He shot Jessica Lange in her Oscar-winner "Frances," but he had no Oscars himself, not even a nomination. How do you like that?

Makes you wonder, doesn't it, about all these awards ceremonies?

Dominick Dunne Is Still Fun

I am happy to report that the great Dominick Dunne is alive and well and reporting in a fury on the Phil Spector trial.

If you didn't read his excellent account in the current issue of Vanity Fair (Shia LaBoeuf on the cover), do so immediately. Nobody covers a trial like Dunne. His unique account will run for at least two more issues, and the man who put Vanity Fair on the map some 20-plus years ago promises — and I know he's got it — a mind-blower before the jury reaches a decision.

In his spare time, Dominick is still holding forth at the Polo Lounge, despite the soccer team. He always has the ball, you know.