- The Washington Times - Monday, February 5, 2007

Nick’s dating hurt Jess

Jessica Simpson says she was stung when ex-husband Nick Lachey began dating after their high-profile breakup, Associated Press reports.

“Oh, it hurt me,” the 26-year-old singer-actress says in an interview in the March issue of Elle magazine, which arrives on newsstands Feb. 13.

Miss Simpson and Mr. Lachey, 33, starred in the MTV reality hit “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica.” She filed for divorce in December 2005 after three years of marriage. She made that decision, she says, after watching the 2004 romance “The Notebook.” “I just figured out the statement,” she says of the film, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as star-crossed lovers.

Does she still keep in touch with her ex, who’s dating MTV’s Vanessa Minnillo?

“He’s so much a part of my life, how could I not be?” Miss Simpson responds to the magazine.

“Any guy that’s going to be with me from this day forward has to understand that.”

A piece of the Rock

J. Edgar Hoover’s obsession with Rock Hudson’s homosexual lifestyle caused Universal Studios to alter a movie in which he starred, a new book claims.

The FBI director, a lifelong bachelor, had agents in the bureau’s Los Angeles office interrogating men who had partied with Mr. Hudson, claims Nick Redfern in “Celebrity Secrets: Government Files on the Rich and Famous,” due in stores Feb. 20.

Reports (filed under Mr. Hudson’s birth name, Roy Harold Scherer Jr.) reached the FBI as early as the 1950s that the straight-shooting Hollywood star wasn’t quite so straight, the New York Daily News reported in yesterday’s editions. “FBI agents were clearly in possession of incriminating data on Hudson, including information on a variety of his bedmates, orgies in which he had partaken, and motels where he would conduct his secret affairs,” Mr. Redfern writes.

Things came to a head when Mr. Hudson was tapped to play one of the FBI’s finest in a movie that would become “A Fine Pair” with Claudia Cardinale. Variety magazine’s 1967 report of the casting set off a flurry of FBI memos, and before long, Universal producers changed Mr. Hudson’s role to that of an NYPD captain.

Mr. Redfern, who also gives details of agents nosing into everything from Motown star Marvin Gaye’s attitude to comic Bud Abbott’s extensive pornography collection, says that as soon as Mr. Hoover died in 1972, the file was closed on Mr. Hudson.

The actor died from AIDS in 1985 at age 59.

Big Willie style

Oscar nominee Will Smith (“The Pursuit of Happyness”) swings through town today to take part in a symposium titled the “Business of Show Business” at the Smithsonian Institution’s Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture in Northwest.

He’ll speak at a breakfast to jump-start the daylong event, described by organizers as a platform to educate policymakers on the value of the American motion picture business and its contribution to the U.S. economy.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and wire reports.

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