Whitney Houston's stay in Las Vegas for Divas Live on VH-1 has produced its usual amount of gossip, innuendo and strange facts.
Houston was seen coming out of the AAA Ear, Nose and Throat medical group Thursday morning, according to my sources. I am told she went there with a bloody nose. Her spokespeople, however, insist that nothing is wrong.
"Whitney went to see an ears, nose and throat doctor because it's so hot here," said Lynn Volkman, a publicist who is traveling with Houston. "Nothing else has happened." Volkman denied that Houston's nose had been bleeding.
A secretary in the medical office said she did not know what Houston's prognosis was.
Houston's stay in Las Vegas has not been trouble-free. According to my sources, Wednesday night her husband, singer Bobby Brown, had an incident in the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. Around 6 p.m., Brown is said to have been approached by a high roller who wanted to gamble with Brown. He handed him $5,000 for that purpose. "Then Bobby split with the money and couldn't be found," says my source.
Hotel security was called, and when Brown was found he was dining alone in the back of a restaurant in the Bellagio. "He was escorted back to his and Whitney's villa to explain everything," my source says.
"When Whitney found out, she hit the roof, and the two of them had a terrible fight," says my source.
Whitney's team says they do not know what Brown was doing Wednesday night.
When I called Rick Krim the producer of the show, on Thursday, he jumped on the phone from rehearsal where Whitney was busy putting the finishing touches on the finale with Stevie Wonder.
"There's been a great vibe here. Whitney's been on time for everything and she sounds great. We're really looking forward to tonight's show."
And indeed she appeared on the VH-1 show last night singing solo and with Wonder.
So many times in this space we write about a movie star imploding their career with a bad choice, or a studio goofing up the marketing of a film to the star's detriment.
But guess what? Jim Carrey's going to have a huge hit this weekend with Bruce Almighty. Carrey has returned to what he does best, sort of facetious slapstick. His co-star is Jennifer Aniston, who can do no wrong at the moment coming off her Emmy and Golden Globe wins. Carrey's best collaborator, Tom Shadyac, wrote and directed.
More importantly, Universal Pictures has gotten this project exactly right, with excellent commercials and teasers leading up to opening day.
Carrey was great on Jay Leno, too. The result is that this comedy -- his best since Liar Liar -- could give The Matrix Reloaded some trouble over the next three days.
It's a good thing Wyclef Jean showed up last night at the Supper Club for Bill Clinton. Otherwise, the fundraiser for Clinton's foundation and library would have been celebrity-free. There was talk of Beyonce Knowles showing up and a few other bold face names as well, but in the end it was Wyclef -- jovial, generous, and talented -- who stopped in, performed a couple of numbers, and then returned to his studio around the corner.
Clinton's evening was a mixture of odd and good, which I suppose is better than boring and bad.
Organized by his long time domestic advisor Clyde Williams, Jr., the event was pitched toward young, upwardly mobile African Americans. For that reason, tickets were only $50 -- apparently someone told the Clinton staff that that was good price. But by the looks of the people who showed, they would have paid $300 just to see the ex-president.
When Clinton finally took the podium and spoke, his first order of business was to thank popular artist Charles Fazzino, who's done a special 3-D collage piece for the Clinton library. The art was well received by the standing room only crowd.
Clinton told the audience that his Web site, which is now up and running, will soon offer his take on news events as they happen. "Now you'll know what's really going on," he promised. "Since you're not told that often these days."
Personally, since I have no idea what's going on at this point. I will check that out.
Clinton also said that his idea for the library, which will be built in Arkansas, is to have a grassroots group of donors who support it, just like the group that showed up last night. And since the New York party went so well -- raising $100,000 -- the Clinton Foundation is headed to Detroit next week to do the same thing. Other cities will be revealed soon.
As far as I know, there was no press allowed into this event, and I can't really say how I happened to be there. I don't know why no press was allowed, since not much happened, and Clinton departed the building very quickly after he spoke. (There was the obligatory rope line of handshakes before the speech.) There were also no familiar faces in the crowd, with the lone exception of Karenna Gore Schiff's sister-in-law, the plucky and pretty Ashley Schiff.
Whitney Houston (as seen in the top item today) has fired her longtime, long-suffering publicist, Nancy Seltzer. Houston is now flack free, although former Arista Records PR guy Mark Young has been helping her out temporarily in Las Vegas. Houston has already burned bridges at powerhouse PMK-HBH. Where to next? To someone who's not only a flack, but wears a flak jacket...
Annie Lennox's album, Bare, is a hit before it hits the stores. I'll tell you more about it next week, but suffice to say that Lennox will be on the top of the charts come June 10, when this CD is finally released on J Records...
Classic rocker Rick Derringer -- who made 'Hang On Sloopy' and 'Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo' all-time favorites -- is being featured in a special display at the Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland. It's a tribute to the great rock stars who hail from Ohio. Derringer has just released an excellent new jazz album, featuring an instrumental version of my favorite of his old Edgar Winter songs, 'Free Ride,' which is also this album's title. You can get it on amazon.com...
Finally: our little documentary, Only the Strong Survive, opens an exclusive run in New York at The Screening Room on Canal Street beginning today...