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O'Donnell, Trump, Miss USA
Pictured at left: Rosie O'Donnell on "The View." Pictured at right: Donald Trump and Miss USA, Tara Conner. (AP Photos/Rick Maiman)
POP!

Trump, O'Donnell face off

Rosie O'Donnell had some fiery words for Donald Trump on "The View" yesterday morning, calling him a "snake-oil salesman" after he announced he would not fire Miss USA Tara Conner.

Trump fired back to People.com , calling her "a woman out of control" and saying he planned to sue O'Donnell over her statements questioning his financial well-being.

"You can't make false statements," he said. "Rosie will rue the words she said. I'll most likely sue her for making those false statements -- and it'll be fun. Rosie's a loser. A real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie."

The battle began on yesterday's show, when a peeved O'Donnell said: "(He) left the first wife -- had an affair. (He) had kids both times, but he's the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America. Donald, sit and spin, my friend."

O'Donnell aimed her criticism at his comment Tuesday that, "I've always been a believer in second chances. Tara is a good person. Tara has tried hard. Tara is going to be given a second chance."

Conner, who just turned 21, will go to rehab but keep her crown, following allegations of drug and alcohol abuse. A grateful Conner apologized at the press conference, and thanked Trump for his compassion.

O'Donnell was not as touched. After repeatedly saying she "didn't enjoy him," Rosie discussed Trump's finances -- saying he went bankrupt, which Trump denies -- and likened him to the "snake-oil salesman on 'Little House On The Prairie.' This is not a self-made man," O'Donnell said.

When "The View" co-hosts discussed Conner's alleged drug and alcohol abuse, O'Donnell was dismissive, saying, "She went out and she was partying -- doing what Paris and Lindsay do."

She also turned her wrath on the Miss USA organization itself. "Miss America is the prestige," she said. "Miss USA is a different thing. It's basically a model competition. Let's be realistic."

Trump's response? " The Miss USA contest . . . has terrific ratings on NBC. Miss America got thrown off of network television! It's (on cable), where nobody watches it," he said . "And my father never gave me tons of money."

He also thinks Rosie's rant against him was personal. Trump says he once sarcastically chastised O'Donnell about her "failed magazine" and "failed talk show."

For her part, O'Donnell seemed set for a fight. "Here comes the lawsuit. Get ready," she said. "This is going to be good."

'Lost' actress loses home to fire
The home rented by "Lost" actress Evangeline Lilly (inset) in Kailua, Hawaii, was destroyed by a n early morning fire , Lilly's rep confirmed to People magazine yesterday . "Yes, it is unfortunately true that her home in Hawaii burned down [yesterday] morning," said Cara Tripicchio. "Thankfully, Evangeline is safe as she was on set already when it occurred." The house, which Lilly reportedly shares with two women who work on the "Lost" crew, was empty at the time of the blaze. The cause has yet to be determined. Captain Kenison Tejada of the Honolulu Fire Department said that the alarm was received at 6:43 a.m. yesterday, and that crews reached the scene six minutes later. "When we arrived the house was fully engulfed," Tejada said. "It was a complete loss. Just the roof was still standing." Lilly, 27, who plays Kate on the series, earlier this year has been romantically linked to costar Dominic Monaghan.

Lara Flynn Boyle weds
Lara Flynn Boyle and Donald Ray Thomas were married this week in San Antonio , a spokeswoman for the former star of "The Practice" told People magazine. "She's ecstatic," said Karynne Tencer , who added that Boyle's "very, very happy." The couple met two years ago and became friends before starting to date six months ago. Besides the ABC legal show, which ran from 1997 until 2004, Boyle, 36, also appeared on Showtime's "Huff," as the bi-polar character Melody Coatar, and on NBC's "Las Vegas," as the owner of a new hotel. In her personal life, Boyle previously was linked to Kyle MacLachlan, David Spade, and most notably Jack Nicholson, who was 33 years her senior. The two went public with their romance at the 1999 Emmys and reportedly remained together through the latter part of 2000.

Eminem finalizes divorce . . . again
Rap megastar Eminem and his high school sweetheart divorced Tuesday for a second time, less than a year after they remarried. Eminem and Kim Mathers agreed to divide property under terms of a settlement and to share custody of their 10-year-old daughter, Hailie Jade Scott. They told a judge they understood the divorce was final. The couple "conducted themselves with dignity and respect," Michigan Circuit Judge Antonio P. Viviano said. "All in all, they are a very fine couple to deal with." Eminem, 34, whose real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, declined to comment after the hearing as two men whisked him into a black Cadillac Escalade. Mathers, 31, did not speak to reporters. Eminem and Mathers remarried Jan. 14. He filed for divorce April 5. They first married in 1999 in Missouri, and divorced in 2001.

K-Fed to take on wrestling champ Cena
Kevin Federline is ready for a fight and West Newbury native John Cena appears ready to give him one. The estranged husband of Britney Spears is scheduled to face Cena, the World Wrestling Entertainment champ, in the ring on New Year's Day in Miami . "The real Kevin Federline never backs down from a challenge," Federline said Monday night at Washington 's Verizon Center, where a WWE extravaganza was taking place, The Washington Post's "Reliable Source" column reported. Federline, who this fall signed with the WWE to appear in some staged fights and was even body slammed by Cena in October, was promoting his New Year's Day face-off. Federline, 28, says he'll be the victor when he takes on the 6-foot-1-inch, 240-pound star of "The Marine." "Make all your jokes, because New Year's Day I'm the one who is going to be laughing," Federline shouted to Monday's crowd.

FBI releases secret Lennon files
The FBI has released its final surveillance documents on John Lennon to a university historian who has waged a 25-year legal battle to obtain the secret files. The 10 pages contain new details about Lennon's ties to leftist and antiwar groups in London in the early 1970s, but nothing indicating government officials considered the former Beatle a serious threat, historian Jon Wiener told the Los Angeles Times . The FBI had argued that an unnamed foreign government secretly provided the information, and releasing the documents could lead to diplomatic, political, or economic retaliation against the United States. The newly released documents include a surveillance report stating that two prominent British leftists had courted Lennon in hopes that he would finance "a left-wing bookshop and reading room in London" but that Lennon gave them no money. Another page states that there was "no certain proof" that Lennon had provided money "for subversive purposes."

Procol Harum organist wins song credit
A judge awarded a 40 percent share in the copyright of "A Whiter Shade of Pale," one of the most famous pop songs of all time, to a former organist for Procol Harum. Lead singer Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid always claimed credit for the hit, which became part of the soundtrack for the "Summer of Love" of 1967. But in his ruling, the judge decided that organist Matthew Fisher, who is now a computer programmer, was entitled to both credit and royalties. "[Fisher's] contribution to the overall work was on any view substantial but not, in my judgment, as substantial as that of Mr. Brooker," the written judgment said.

Seizing the moment

'In respect to how to screw up an occupation?' Actor George Clooney, when asked about any parallels between "The Good German," a new movie in which he stars, and the war in Iraq.

FROM WIRE REPORTS

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