- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ivana, the peacemaker

Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana has weighed in on the feud between the billionaire developer and TV co-host Rosie O’Donnell, accusing them of milking their war of words for publicity value.

Ivana Trump, who is attending the Paris haute couture shows with her partner, Rossano Rubicondi, said she recently advised Mr. Trump and Miss O’Donnell to make peace in her advice column for the National Enquirer and Globe tabloids.

“I was very diplomatic, and at the end of the day, I said, ‘You know, guys, just take the high road, it is so ridiculous,’ ” Ivana Trump told Associated Press Television News yesterday.

“Donald and Rosie, they’re getting fantastic ratings, they’re getting publicity, they’re really using it as a marketing tool, not because they are enemies.”

The verbal smackdowns between Mr. Trump, 60, and Miss O’Donnell, 44 — moderator of ABC’s “The View” — erupted last month after the Donald announced that Miss USA Tara Conner would keep her title, which had been in jeopardy because of underage drinking. Mr. Trump owns the pageant.

Miss O’Donnell said the twice-divorced real estate mogul had no right to be “the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America.” Mr. Trump fired back in various interviews, calling Miss O’Donnell a “loser” and a “degenerate.”

Brandy in crash

Grammy-winning R&B; singer and actress Brandy was involved in a fatal accident last month, TMZ.com reports.

According to the celebrity Web site, the accident happened Dec. 30 at 10:30 a.m. on the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles. Police sources told TMZ the star was driving her 2007 Land Rover at 65 mph and did not notice that cars in front of her had slowed considerably. Brandy’s vehicle reportedly struck a 2005 Toyota; the Toyota then hit a 1989 Toyota. The 2005 Toyota then slid sideways and hit the center divider — and as the 2005 Toyota came to a halt, it was struck by a 1988 Acura.

The driver of the 2005 Toyota, Awatef Aboudihaj, was taken to Holy Cross Hospital in critical condition, and she died the next day. Miss Aboudihaj, 38, was a Los Angeles resident, TMZ.com reports.

Brandy was not injured, and there is no evidence drugs or alcohol were involved. The driver of the Acura suffered moderate injuries.

Brandy was not arrested.

Police are doing a mechanical investigation of the cars involved in the accident to determine if there was a malfunction.

Lamont Bentley, Brandy’s occasional guest co-star on her sitcom, “Moesha” (1996-2001), was killed in January 2005 when his car plunged off the same freeway.

DNA test delayed

A judge in the Anna Nicole Smith baby dispute temporarily blocked an order forcing Miss Smith’s daughter to undergo paternity testing, AP reports.

A Tuesday deadline had been set for the test, sought by Larry Birkhead, who claims he is the father of Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern. She was born Sept. 7 in the Bahamas.

Ronald A. Rale, an attorney for the 39-year-old former Playboy playmate, questioned the legality of the test, saying Bahamian authorities needed to grant work permits before an American doctor could conduct the test.

The judge granted a stay pending a Feb. 7 hearing, Mr. Rale said. Mr. Birkhead’s attorney, Debra Opri, called Mr. Rale’s request “a delay tactic.” She claimed that the test was scheduled between 3 and 6 p.m. Tuesday but that Miss Smith never showed up.

Mr. Birkhead sued in October to get a paternity test. Howard K. Stern, Miss Smith’s longtime personal lawyer, maintains he is the baby’s father.

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

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