Sean Penn's A Diplomat; The Gosselin/Suleman Show Is A Go

  • Is Sean Penn the unofficial liaison between Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez? Penn visited Chavez in Caracas on Wednesday and apparently the Venezuelan president told him:

"They gave [Obama] the Nobel Prize — very well, now he should earn it." [Page Six]

  • Britney Spears is using Twitter, Twitpic and Twitvid to promote her new single, "3" — there's a micro snippet of the video at the link. [LA Times]
  • Ashton Kutcher's best friend is a rabbi named Yehuda Berg from the Kabbalah center. [People]
  • Who will host the Oscars in 2010? Hugh Jackman has turned the job down. These are random choices, but I'd love to see Amy Poehler or Wanda Sykes. Or both. [Variety]
  • Nanny Stephanie Santoro says that Jon Gosselin was suicidal at the thought of Hailey Glassman breaking up with him: "He said he was going to kill himself… He said he was going to end it all … he couldn't handle it anymore." Breakdown in 3…2… [Radar Online]
  • Jon Gosselin plans to publicly apologize "in a sacred space to those whom I have hurt" at the West Side Synagogue in NYC on Sunday. [Page Six]
  • Meanwhile, word is that Jon Gosselin/Nadya Suleman show is "definitely on." A source says:"Both Jon and Nadya are each looking at bringing in close to $1 million for doing it." [Gatecrasher]
  • Did you see Derek Jeter kiss Michelle Obama the other night? [NY Post]
  • Another day, another Michael Jackson money problem. This time it's Leonard Rowe, who says he was MJ's manager of the singer. He's filed a creditors claim for $51,218. [TMZ]
  • Wow, John Landis — who directed the "Thriller" video — says Michael Jackson's estate owes him for $400,000; a production company which dealt with the "Thriller" video says it's owed more than $1,000,000; and the producer of the "Thriller" video wants more than a million as well. [TMZ]
  • By the by, the Michael Jackson movie will be up for Academy Award consideration. [Mirror]
  • Joe Jackson says Michael Jackson is "worth more dead than when he was alive." [NY Post]
  • Taylor Squared: Going strong. [Page Six]
  • Wait, what? Ne-Yo sings on The Princess And The Frog soundtrack? How very Jazz Age New Orleans. [ONTD]
  • Amanda Peet was burglarized by a sassy character. [Page Six]
  • Heroes is winding down; low ratings has NBC thinking a "final chapter" is the next way to go. [NY Post]
  • Charlize Theron will star in Mad Max: Fury Road. That's right, a new Mad Max flick! No word on whether Mel Gibson is involved, but Brit cutie Tom Hardy is in the flick. [Variety]
  • Reese Witherspoon will star in and produce a screenplay called Rule #1 — about a New York woman who befriends a Puerto Rican girl with attention deficit disorder. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • What the world needs now: Men In Black 3. [Reuters]
  • David Spade got $200,000 for that Tommy Boy DirecTV commercial with the late Chris Farley. [Page Six]
  • Sad face: Dennis Hopper has prostate cancer. He's canceling all travel plans to focus on treatment and is in a "special program" at USC. Be well! [AP]
  • Jackie Collins listens to Mariah Carey, John Mayer… and Jay-Z. [Independent]
  • "Whenever I'm in the recording studio or rehearsing and I'm not convinced about the way it sounds, I know because my body doesn't react to the music. So I always ask, Hey, am I moving? Are my hips moving? My hips don't lie." — One of 10 answers to 10 questions for Shakira. [Time]
  • "I know it gets sensationalized when I say, 'I was very close to death', but I was. It was a scary time. It's scarier since people like Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger have been popping their clogs. pretty much thought 'Is this worth it?' It was obviously not making me happy. The definition of insanity is repeating the same things and expecting a different result. At the time I thought, with the kicking and the rehab, maybe there's other things in life?" — Robbie Williams. [News.com.au]
  • "I haven't gone back since because I'm afraid… I'd never get sober for one thing, and to have to run around in a dress. . . it's cold up there!" — Mel Gibson on why he hasn't returned to Scotland since Braveheart. [Daily Mail]
  • "When I did my first album, I was marketed as the singer who would appeal to your grandma. But as each record arrived with more power and confidence, I began to sound younger and younger. Some singers start out as young punks and then make a classics album later in their career. With me, it has been the other way round. I feel as if I've finally started acting my own age. I'm the Benjamin Button of pop. It offends me when people think I only listen to Frank Sinatra. I was born in 1975 and I never wanted to be part of the Rat Pack. As a kid, my biggest idol was Michael Jackson. As a teenager, I wanted to be one of the Beastie Boys." — MIchael Bublé. [Daily Mail]
  • "I always felt like the male from the time I was a child. There wasn't much feminine about me. I believe that gender is something between your ears, not between your legs. That is something I discovered in the early '90s. It was just a long process of being comfortable enough to do something about it." — Chaz Bono loves being a man. [People]
  • "I was tempted to do it. But I couldn't take it. One smoke of pot and I fall asleep. I don't get much out of it. But that's beside the point. My kids were saying, 'Daddy, you have to try!' That's when I shut down. These were mushrooms ... I said, 'Listen, I didn't go through a sex change operation to direct all these women's movies so don't get me started.'" — Ang Lee wouldn't take acid to direct an LSD scene. [Independent]
  • "I just drank an iced tea here with lunch. If next year they say iced tea is worse than steroids, I'll probably quit drinking that too. But at the time it was legal, just like drinking an iced tea is legal. The baseball players, the football players, the hockey players - everybody I knew in every professional sport was using it to up their game, or to heal injuries, or to stay at their peak. And everybody thought it was safe." — Hulk Hogan talks about steroid use in his new book. [Time]
  • "I hate them!" — Paris Hilton on the Teen Thieves, who stole clothes and jewelry from her home. [Page Six]
  • "I have lots of original ideas that maybe will get made. But everyone... Even if you bring them the most obscure movie that nobody's ever heard of — they want to remake that." — Rob Zombie, who reworked Halloween and Halloween 2 and may remake The Blob, calls Hollywood a "scared town." [CNN]
  • "America's the only country where people have said that the New Zealand accent sounds posh or sexy or exotic. Anywhere else, it doesn't. That's why I've been spending a lot of time here." — Flight Of The Conchords' Jemaine Clement. [NY Post]
  • "As the mother of my kids, I won't slam Dina personally. But she has expressed to me that Lindsay is in dire, dire need of an intervention. And Lindsay needs to see that her mother is either lying to me or lying to her. Dina says positive things about Samantha when she's talking to Lindsay, but then when Dina talks to me, she blames Lindsay's downfall on the Ronsons. If Dina and her cohorts want to continue lying, I could [keep exposing her] for a year - on so many different subjects. My lawyers told me to keep every single conversation - and I did." — Michael Lohan is taking voicemail tapes to Entertainment Tonight. [Perez]
  • "If I go back to my black neighborhood, they'll rob the [bleep] out of me." — Tracy Morgan, promoting his memoir, I Am the New Black, at Barnes & Noble. [Page Six]
  • "I always felt that I wanted to help women, period. As a child I [saw] women really, really suffer terrible, terrible situations, and I vowed as a child to want to do something — anything — that can help them have better self-esteem so that they don't have to be subjected to men that wanted to kill them. In my music, that's what I've been doing in my career, and now through FFAWN I'm doing that. I guess what got me through when I was young was something I guess a lot of people don't have and that was just the will. ... I don't know what was driving me. I guess it was something in me did want to die — you know, I guess my spirit didn't want to die, but my physical body definitely was at some point was like I gotta get out of here. ... My physical body was contemplating suicide and all this other crazy stuff, and my spirit is what saved me, I believe." — Mary J. Blige, at the official ribbon-cutting for the Mary J. Blige Center for Women, which was made possible through Blige's Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN), design house Gucci and Westchester Jewish Community Services. [CNN]