- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Sob sisters

Jessica and Ashlee Simpson are decrying the high cost of celebrity — at least the part that has made them tabloid fodder for the past year.

Jessica Simpson says the relentless gossip about her marriage to Nick Lachey drove her to visit a therapist, Associated Press reports from her interview in Teen People’s December-January issue, on newsstands Friday.

“I respect knowledge of the psyche. I would be a therapist if I weren’t an entertainer,” she tells the magazine.

The singer-actress, 25, also posed for the cover of the magazine along with her sister. Both talk about the difficult challenges of the past year.

Jessica Simpson, who had a starring role in “The Dukes of Hazzard” movie this summer, has been the queen of the tabloids — with much of the coverage dissecting her three-year marriage to Mr. Lachey. The pair have denied persistent rumors of a split.

“Hopefully mine and Nick’s story will continue for the rest of our lives, like what we vowed, through sickness and in health,” Jessica Simpson says.

Meanwhile, Ashlee Simpson, 21, recently released her second album, “I Am Me,” which debuted at the top of the charts. Still, she has had to live down her embarrassing lip-sync disaster on “Saturday Night Live” last year.

“Yeah, I messed up in front of everybody,” says Ashlee Simpson, who last month revisited the scene of her musical flub by performing on “SNL” — this time without prerecorded tracks.

“I love to sing. It’s a joy to me. I don’t do it for anyone else — I do it for me,” she says. “I’ve had to learn that my voice is the most important one. Otherwise, I’ll drown in what everyone wants me to be.”

State of the Union

Actress Gabrielle Union and her husband, Chris Howard, have separated after four years of marriage.

The couple announced the split in a statement released Monday by Lisa Kussell, the actress’s publicist.

Miss Union, 32, married Mr. Howard, a former NFL running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, in 2001.

Her screen credits include roles in “The Honeymooners,” “Bad Boys II,” “Bring It On” and “Deliver Us From Eva.” Her upcoming film, “Running With Scissors,” also stars Annette Bening, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes.

Miss Union stars in ABC’s “Night Stalker,” an “X-Files”-like series about investigating crimes linked to the supernatural.

‘Older not wiser’

A month shy of his 70th birthday, Woody Allen says age has little to do with wisdom.

“All the crap they tell you about … getting joy and having a kind of wisdom in your golden years — it’s all tripe,” says the Oscar-winning filmmaker, who celebrates his birthday Dec. 1, in a rare interview with Vanity Fair.

“I’ve gained no insight, no mellowing. I would make the same mistakes again.”

The director also says he would never make a film as good as Ingmar Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal,” BBC.com notes in a story about the Vanity Fair interview, due on newsstands Tuesday. “I feel that level of greatness is not in me,” Mr. Allen says.

He also speaks candidly about the 1992 scandal that shattered his longtime relationship with actress Mia Farrow: an affair with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, then 22.

Miss Farrow learned of the affair when she found nude photos of Miss Previn, reportedly taken by Mr. Allen, in the director’s apartment.

Mr. Allen wed Miss Previn in 1997. He says their relationship now has “a more paternal feeling to it” and describes the union as “one of the fortuitous events, one of the great pieces of luck in my life.”

“If somebody told me when I was younger, ‘You’re going to wind up married to a girl 35 years younger than you and a Korean, not in show business’ … I would have said, ‘You’re completely crazy’.”

Two in tune

Dolly Parton and Elton John will sing “Turn the Lights Out When You Leave” at “The 39th Annual Country Music Association Awards,” which will air live on CBS from Madison Square Garden on Nov. 15.

The CMA Awards will be hosted by Brooks & Dunn, who also will perform.

Other confirmed performers include Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley and Lee Ann Womack, according to Associated Press.

Paul Simon and Willie Nelson will perform and then present the CMA song-of-the-year award.

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

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