- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 3, 2007

Rosie’s book

Rosie O’Donnell has had “an interesting year,” she confided yesterday, and a lot of it will be in her new book, “Celebrity Detox,” coming this fall.

Speaking at a breakfast gathering at BookExpo America, the publishing industry’s annual national convention, Miss O’Donnell said her long-delayed memoir on fame will not be “vindictive” or “mean-spirited,” but will offer a candid look at her very public life, including her brief, battling stint on “The View.”

“It is, in fact, a drug,” she said of fame, and spoke of seeing peers so radically, and scarily, transformed by celebrity that they looked like victims of “crystal meth.”

Looking healthy but tired, Miss O’Donnell noted that her book was supposed to come out a few years ago, but she decided it wasn’t ready, not quite “cooked.” Her time on “The View” convinced her she was ready to start baking again. She called the book “half blog,” half “straight” writing.

Last month, Miss O’Donnell ended an eight-month stint on “The View” that lifted the show’s ratings and, perhaps, the blood pressure of show creator Barbara Walters. Miss O’Donnell feuded with Donald Trump and frequently had snippy exchanges with the more conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

“We’ve had to change the epilogue,” she said of “Celebrity Detox,” then joked that her next career move would be “auditioning for ‘The Apprentice.’ ”

No longer Rock solid

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and wife Dany have separated, they announced Friday in a statement to People magazine.

“While certain aspects of our relationship have changed, we are both vitally important to each other’s lives,” their statement reads. “We will continue to advance and manage our business interests, our philanthropic efforts and most importantly the raising of our child together, as a loving team. We’ve been fortunate enough to spend the last 17 years together as a couple and look forward to spending the rest our lives together as best friends and business partners.”

Mr. Johnson, 35, was a professional wrestler before turning to acting in “The Mummy Returns,” “The Scorpion King” and “Walking Tall.” In 1997, he married the former Dany Garcia Johnson, now the chief executive officer of a wealth management firm.

They have a 5-year-old daughter, Simone Alexander.

Newman’s Own fund

Paul Newman is donating $10 million to Kenyon College to help start a scholarship fund, the private liberal arts school said.

Mr. Newman, 82, graduated from the Gambier, Ohio, college in 1949 with a degree in drama and economics.

“My days there were among the happiest and most formative of my life,” Mr. Newman said in a statement from Kenyon on Friday. “I believe strongly that we should be doing whatever we can to make all higher education opportunities available to deserving students. I hope others will support Kenyon in this manner.”

The donation will fund partial and full scholarships for 15 to 20 students a year, college spokesman Shawn Presley said. The first Newman’s Own scholars will be announced this summer.

Mr. Newman and his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, have donated privately to Kenyon in the past. The couple went public at the college’s request because Kenyon hopes the contribution will spur donations from other alumni, Forrester said.

Mr. Newman has given more than $175 million to charities from the profits earned by his Newman’s Own brand of dressings, pasta sauces, popcorn and salsa.

Mr. Newman, star of films including “Cool Hand Luke,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Color of Money,” said last week that he’s retiring from acting after more than 50 years.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee and Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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