• Did you hear the story that made the rounds yesterday about how Tiger Woods' wife Elin whacked the golf champ in the face with a 9-iron after she discovered text messages from Rachel Uchitel, and the injuries he sustained in the aftermath (a fractured cheekbone, two cracked teeth) forced him to fly to Phoenix to have reconstructive surgery and explains why he's been out of public sight all this time? It probably isn't true, unfortunately, but it sure is an entertaining tale, isn't it? Also not true: The dubious reports that Tiger Woods has gone to rehab or is now shacking up with Rachel Uchitel, the later of which you can credit Uchitel herself with spreading as she desperately tries to cling to the spotlight. [DM, P6]
• Joe Halderman, the man accused of extorting David Letterman, has come up with a new—and very creative—defense. In a new court filing, his lawyer argues that if it isn't a crime for Tiger Woods' mistresses to seek payouts to keep their mouths shut, Halderman's attempt to get the TV host to pay him to stay silent about Letterman's flings shouldn't be a crime either. [NYDN]
• In addition to all the other horrible stuff he's accused of, Michael Lohan's ex-fiancée Erin Muller says he once beat her with a stilletto heel and "put a lit cigarette out on her scalp," too. Lohan's lawyer claims Muller is making it all up. And Michael himself has taken to Twitter to accuse Muller of drug abuse and incest. Because he's classy like that. [P6, TMZ, Twitter]
• Susan Sarandon was spotted sharing crepes with a younger guy at 2am in the Village the other night, but it wasn't Jonathan Bricklin, her ping-pong club business partner and supposed man-friend, alas. [NYDN]
• An autopsy was performed on Brittany Murphy yesterday and while no obvious cause of death was determined, more should be known when toxicology tests are completed in several weeks. Meanwhile, police sources say a huge stash of prescription pills (painkillers, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, antibiotics, etc.) were found at her home. And several of Murphy's friends, colleagues, and acquaintances have told reporters that her death "wasn't a shock," and that substance abuse "had sadly become par for the course." [NYP, NYDN, TMZ]
• In an interview yesterday, Murphy's husband Simon Monjack defended himself against suggestions he was a bad influence on Murphy. Monjack's shady past isn't doing him too many favors, however. The British screenwriter was sued by a bank for close to half a million bucks in 2006 as well as evicted from his apartment the same year. A year before that, he was arrested in Virginia on credit card fraud and theft charges. [AH, NYP, Fox News]
• Back in 2001, Tom Cruise sued a magazine editor named Michael Davis Sapir for saying that Cruise had a "homosexual relationship" and Sapir had a tape to prove it. Now it's Sapir turn. He's suing Cruise, his attorney Bert Fields, and private detective Anthony Pellicano for $5 million, claiming they spied on him and illegally wiretapped his phone. [TMZ, Us]
• The German shepherd that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony used to own wasn't the friendliest pooch. Not only did Floyd allegedly attack a flight attendant (who is now suing the couple), he supposedly also head-butted a housekeeper and bit one of their personal assistants. [NYDN]
• It's still unclear what caused Brittany Murphy's death in Los Angeles yesterday morning. While the coroner has indicated the 32-year-old actress appears to have died from "natural causes," it's been reported that lots of prescription drug bottles were uncovered by cops at the scene, and some friends say they'd grown increasingly concerned that she was abusing painkillers. An autopsy is planned for today or tomorrow, but an official cause of death may take a couple of weeks, pending the results of toxicology tests. [NYP, TMZ, People, Sun]
• Murphy's death has put the spotlight on her husband, sketchy 39-year-old screenwriter Simon Monjack, who married Murphy in 2007. [NYDN]
• Tiger Woods set sail on his 155-foot yacht Privacy on Saturday accompanied by a bunch of friends. Where he's going is anybody's guess, although considering the boat has a range of 4,000 miles, it could be anywhere. As for his estranged wife, Elin Nordegren, now that she's retained a divorce lawyer, she's reportedly gearing up to ask for full custody of their two kids and half of his fortune, which has been estimated at $600 million. [NYP, People]
• Jake Gyllenhaal just split up with Reese Witherspoon. Has he already moved on with Anne Hathaway? That's what the National Enquirer is suggesting. So it could be true, but it could also be totally made up. [ShowbizSpy]
• In other Anne Hathaway news, it turns out the guy who crashed his bike into the car she was sitting in earlier this week was a paparazzo. [AP]
• Demi Moore posted a pic of herself to Twitter—it was an outtake from a recent Harper's Bazaar photo shoot—and fellow Twitter users unleashed their wrath, suggesting the photos had been Photoshopped and telling her she looked old. "I'm 47. How am I supposed to look?" she responded. This actually makes us feel a bit bad for Demi, which isn't something that happens very often. [Us]
• "Snooki" (Nicole Polizzi) from MTV's Jersey Shore has been fired from her receptionist job for taking time off to go to LA to promote the show. (She's not too broken up about it. She got to hang out with Kristin Cavallari while she was there, so it was totally worth it.) In other Snooki news, the guy who punched her in the face on the show, a scene MTV censored, says he's sorry. [NYDN, Us]
Model and MTV host Alexa Chung turns 26 today. Yankees star Johnny Damon has two reasons to celebrate today: The Yankees won the World Series last night, of course; and it's also Damon's 36th birthday today. Ryan Adams is turning 35 today. Bryan Adams is turning 50. (Confusing!) Tilda Swinton is 49. Economist Jeffrey Sachs is turning 55. Actress Tatum O'Neal is 46. Folk legend Art Garfunkel turns 68. Famke Janssen is 44. Actor Sam Rockwell is turning 41. Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brothers is 22. And Kris Jenner, the woman to blame for creating all those Kardashian girls, turns 54 today.
• First Michael Jackson dies, and now this? It seems it's over for Tinsley Mortimer and her husband, Topper, now that Tinz is in London where she's taken up with a German prince named Casimir Wittgenstein-Sayn. Why the change of heart? For starters, "Cassie" makes more money than Topper and owns a castle in Germany. Even more importantly, marrying him would finally make the Tinz a princess. And opportunities like that don't come along every day, naturally. [P6, DM]
• Bradley Cooper denied rumors the other day that he's been dating Jennifer Aniston. One possible reason for that: It looks like he's involved with Renee Zellweger instead. [P6]
• Kevin Jonas is engaged. He's one of those annoying Jonas Brothers, in case you're not up to speed on your annoying teen pop stars. [People]
• A few years ago, someone walking through the meatpacking district would have complained about the stench of rotting meat. Nowadays? They're whining that Diane von Furstenberg's store is pumping perfume into the air. [P6]
Ryan Adams turns 34 today. Yankee Johnny Damon is 35. Celebrity economist Jeffrey Sachs is celebrating his 54th. Art Garfunkel is turning 67. Actress Tatum O'Neal is 45. Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brothers turns 21. Famke Janssen is 43. Author Joyce Maynard is 55. Actress Tilda Swinton is turning 48. Sam Rockwell is 40. And Kris Jenner, the woman who you can thank for bringing Kim Kardashian into this world, is 53.
Heading into Sunday night's VMAs, one could never have predicted that the Jonas Brothers would end up central to the ceremony's only real controversy; and yet, thanks to Russell Brand's purity-tweaking jokes and Jordin Sparks's impassioned tirade against sluts, there they found themselves. Would the squeaky-clean trio retaliate by wagging their ringed fingers in Brand's face, or would they take Courtney Love's colorful advice to sample "some pussy and some cock and shut the hell up"? According to the BBC, they chose a different route, claiming to be fans of Brand (thanks to his last Conan O'Brien appearance) and giving him some pointers on pleasing the fickle American audience:
Blake Lively signing autographs outside the David Letterman show ... Michelle Williams and daughter Matilda holding hands ... Katy Perry, the Pussycat Dolls, and Jesse McCartney performing in Rockefeller Center ... Kevin Jonas shopping with a bodyguard on Fifth Avenue ... Michael Phelps giving swimming lessons at an event at a YMCA ... Alec Baldwin shooting scenes for 30 Rock ... actress Kristen Johnston walking her dog through SoHo ... Jessica Szohr grabbing a bite to eat on the set of Gossip Girl ... and Katie Holmes saying goodbye to John Lithgow after the two had dinner downtown.