- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 27, 2001

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — It may have been Julia Roberts night at the Academy Awards, but it was Sean "Puffy" Combs who held court at the Vanity Fair party afterward.
"The bar is open," the rapper shouted exuberantly from behind one of the bars at Mortons restaurant after Sunday nights show.
With him was actress Renee Zellweger, searching for a glass of water.
Mr. Combs, acquitted of bribery and gun possession charges in New York just two weeks ago, was the center of attention throughout much of the party, with one movie star after another coming up to congratulate him on the trials outcome.
"I was standing next to Puffy Combs," an awe-struck Beau Bridges said afterward.

You may be an Academy Award winner, but when youve got to go, youve got to go.
That was the predicament Miss Roberts found herself in when she arrived with boyfriend Benjamin Bratt at Mortons for the Vanity Fair post-Oscars party Sunday night.
Confronting her was a gigantic line to the womens room.
Unwilling to wait, the star of "Erin Brockovich" dashed into the mens room, where she was met with cheers and applause.
No one would say afterward if she used the facility or decided to wait.

Elton John feared people would scream "fix," and he wasnt talking about the Academy Awards balloting.
"I know some people are going to say the fix is in," Mr. John quipped at his post-Oscars party as he handed the door prize, a diamond-encrusted Chopard watch, to his good friend John Waters.
The director was the big winner at the soiree, at Moomba in Beverly Hills, which appeared to be vying hard with the Vanity Fair gala two blocks down the street at Mortons for hippist post-Oscar bash.
While Miss Roberts, Tom Hanks, Mr. Combs and others made small take at Mortons, Mr. John schmoozed with Sting, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas.
Russell Crowe ducked in the back door and Cameron Crowe strolled in the front, holding his Oscar for best original screenplay in one hand and clutching his wifes hand in the other.

At the fabled Governors Ball, the stars included not just actors and directors but also celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.
As Oscar winners and non-winners Academy Awards folks dont believe in calling anyone losers poured into the exhibition hall next to the Shrine Auditorium, they were greeted by dozens of hors doeuvres and a beef and lobster entree prepared by Mr. Puck.
There to eat it were such stars Ed Harris, Mr. Hanks, Geoffrey Rush, Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Hillary Swank and Jeff Bridges, as well as a few non-Hollywood oddities such as Superior Court Judge Lance Ito of O.J. Simpson fame.

Fans of the Oscar-winning film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" who visited the Crustacean restaurant after the Academy Awards show werent disappointed.
As the stars of the movie arrived there for the Sony Pictures party, they quickly ignored a horde of media photographers, choosing to visit with hundreds of their cheering fans instead.
"Oh, I paid for them," actor Chow Yun-fat joked when asked about the enthusiastic turnout.
"Such a wonderful feeling," actress Michelle Yeoh said. "We have four Oscars. Whoever would have thought."
"Its overwhelming," added director Ang Lee, clutching one of the movies Oscars. "This is the climax."


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