“In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you that we have it.” – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments on homosexuality in Iran. Clearly he’s angling to get the next season of “Prison Break” to be filmed in the Persian Gulf.
Despite my best attempts to avoid writing about Britney Spears, you people keep asking about her. Fine — you’ve broken me down. I was amused when Joey Fatone invited Spears to come to Orlando and stay with him and his wife, an offer echoed by Rosie O’Donnell and radio doyenne Lynn Samuels. I thought Spears might go, especially since she allegedly said “I hate L.A.” to friends in Atlanta. But Los Angeles might hold the key to Brit’s comeback. Rumor has it that Spears is being wooed for a sitcom starring Matthew Perry in which she’d pose as his wife to help further his business career. Sounds like a less inspired version of “Ned and Stacy.”
Elton John has also offered accommodations to Britney, but she might wanna steer clear of him. John is currently part of a ludicrous kiddie porn investigation. pparently John has a 4,000-piece photography collection and one of the snaps, taken by award-winning photographer Nan Goldin, is described as “featuring two young girls posing provocatively.” I don’t think there’s anyone less likely to have kiddie porn of the female variety than Elton John!
If Elton were smart, he’d invite Britney’s ex, Justin Timberlake, to come live with him. As evidenced from a photo taken on the last night of his concert tour, Justin has not only managed to maintain his fantastic physique, he’s actually enhanced it! Log onto BillyMasters.com for this revealing and delectable bod shot.
Turning to Elton’s more philanthropic side, he done the impossible — he got Anderson Cooper to participate in a gay event! The silver fox was emcee for “An Enduring Vision,” a gala benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in NYC. The benefit, which honored Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, featured performances by Elton and kd lang and raised over $2.2 million.
John’s female counterpart is planning a West Coast benefit. Dame Elizabeth Taylor hopes to make a rare return to acting — on stage, no less — in A.R. Gurney’s play “Love Letters.” The proposed reading will take place in December and will find the legendary lady sitting next to James Earl Jones. The one-night-only performance is speculated to raise over $1 million for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
One of the splashiest annual AIDS benefits is Sheryl Lee Ralph’s “Divas Simply Singing.” Started by the Sheryl Lee 17 years ago, “Divas” routinely attracts the most divine singers of our time and is always a sell-out. This year, scheduled participants include Natalie Cole, Ann Nesby, LaKeisha Jones, RuPaul, and Deneice Williams. But the highlight will surely be the reunion of original “Dreamgirls” co-stars Ralph, Loretta Devine and Jennifer Holliday. Devine has done the benefit every year, but Holliday has only participated once before. When Sheryl Lee went to see Jennifer in the Atlanta production of “Dreamgirls” (which I wrote about weeks ago), she convinced the Tony winner to come out west for this event, which benefits Women Alive Coalition and Balm in Gilead. “Divas Simply Singing” takes place on Oct. 6 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. You can get more information at www.DivasSimplySinging.com.
One of Sheryl Lee’s divas and best friends is my bosom buddy, Jenifer Lewis. Jen was on “Oprah” last week talking about being bipolar, and her revelations were brave and insightful. On Nov. 17, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center will hold its 36th anniversary gala and honor Lewis, not only for her constant support of our community, but also for the thousands of dollars she’s raised for the Center with her one woman show, “Bipolar, Bath and Beyond.” You can get more information at www.LAGayCenter.org.
One of Jenifer’s first jobs was as one of Bette Midler’s Harlettes — and we have Midler news. Bette has joined the cast of the finally-filming Diane English remake of “The Women” and is playing “Countess DeLave.” She’s not the only addition to the cast. We hear that Cloris Leachman, Carrie Fisher, Lynn Whitfied, Joanna Gleason, Ana Gasteyer and Debi Mazar have joined the previously announced Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Candice Bergen. The flick is shooting in Boston as we speak.
Recently Mariska Hargitay was a guest on Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime talk show, and the comedienne wanted to show a clip of the two of them when they worked together on “Ellen.” DeGeneres mistakenly felt that since it was her sitcom, she could show clips for free. But that’s not the case. Disney informed Ellen that she’d have to pay just like anyone else. This did not sit well with the funny lady, who took the studio to task on the air. Instead, she ran a clip from “Falcon Crest” which, not surprisingly, was significantly cheaper.
I didn’t have room in last week’s Emmy wrap-up to write about Lily Tomlin, but I ran into her at the HBO party. She told me about her upcoming project — airing, appropriately enough, on HBO. “12 Miles of Bad Road” is a dramedy which finds Tomlin as the matriarch of a Texan family that is constantly in and out of trouble while running a wealthy real estate empire. Mary Kay Place plays her sister and our own Leslie Jordan plays their cousin. The show is written by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (who created “Designing Women”) and is slated for a 10-episode run beginning in January.
Since I mentioned “Designing Women,” let me acknowledge the passing of Alice Ghostley. So few performers maintain such a high level of work as Alice. From “Bewitched” to “Designing Women” (over 20 years apart) generations were captivated with this most consummate of comediennes. She’ll be greatly missed.
This week’s “Ask Billy” question is a popular one. Ronny in Salt Lake City asks: “Are those photos of Oscar de la Hoya fake or real? You must know the truth.”
Actually, Ronny, there are several sets of photos. A first group surfaced showing de la Hoya in a black fishnet body suit, bikini undies and high-heeled pumps. Those pics were allegedly leaked by an exotic dancer of questionable veracity. Hurried explanations from the fighter’s camp denounced those photos as fake. Then a second set surfaced — showing the chiseled champ in white fishnet stockings and matching tutu! Still more denials. Then more photos (presumably from the second session) came out — still in the white fishnets, but now sporting a pink miniskirt and matching panties. These will be of particular interest to my fans. Why? Because in one pic, Oscar’s testicles seem to be popping out. No denial of this photo has been issued at the time of this writing – so we’ll run all of ’em on BillyMasters.com.
When Oscar is bustin’ out all over (and it’s not even Oscar season), it’s definitely time to end yet another column. It’s been a while since I titillated you with a testicle shot, but this one was certainly worth the wait. There’s never any reason to wait for more gossip. Just go to www.BillyMasters.com and you can get the latest dirt worth dishing. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a note at Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Britney joins the cast of “The Women”! Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.