Martha Stewart is getting sympathy from a somewhat unexpected source: Heidi Fleiss. “Prison is horrible,” says the former “Hollywood Madam,” who ran a prostitution ring that served Tinseltown’s rich and famous.
Fleiss spent three years in a federal prison in Dublin, Calif., after her conviction on charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering.
She has some advice for Stewart as the newly freed domestic diva resumes life on the outside.
“Forget about what happened in prison,” Fleiss said. “Put it behind you, move on and work hard.”
Fleiss says she admires Stewart.
“I get her magazine, and I send it to my former roommate (in prison),” she says. “I think she’s great, and I think she’s going to be just fine.
“It’s so wrong what they did to her, just because she is a powerful woman. But she will come out of this smarter and stronger. Just watch.”
Is that funny ha-ha, or …
Pop princess Britney Spears has been laying low of late, but that’s about to change.
She appears in a black-and-white photo in next month’s Allure magazine, wearing only a spectacular necklace.
And she’s set to join Tim Allen in a movie comedy about selling cosmetics, “In the Pink,” also featuring Bette Midler, Cher and Wanda Sykes.
An associate said Spears hopes “to prove to her doubters that she can be funny.”
Duff has Crimson seeing red
Student editors at the Harvard Crimson say singer/actress Hilary Duff is “a loser and a chicken” because she didn’t go through the university’s notoriously difficult admissions process.
Duff notes on her Web site that she’s auditing courses through the Harvard Extension School, a continuing-education program offered online.
The Crimson, which objects to media portrayals of Duff as a Harvard student, suggests she might be more popular at Yale.
He’s one wild and crazy old guy
On the celebrity relationship beat, Renee Zellweger, fresh off a split from White Stripes rocker Jack White, is reportedly romancing Irish singer Damien Rice.
And former “Sex and the City” star Kristin Davis has found love with someone almost 20 years her senior: Steve Martin.
Friends say the 59-year-old comedian is so smitten by Davis that he threw a surprise party to celebrate her 40th birthday last month.
Another twofer of Lunden
Former “Good Morning America” co-host Joan Lunden‘s brood keeps getting bigger.
On March 1, surrogate mother Deborah Bolig delivered daughter Kimberly Elise and son Jack Andrew. Just 20 months ago, Bolig delivered another set of Lunden twins, Kate and Max.
“I feel like I’m living on Noah’s Ark – they’re coming two by two,” said Lunden, who also has three daughters from a previous marriage.
The birthday bunch
Singer Bobby McFerrin is 55. Actress Susan Richardson (“Eight Is Enough”) is 53. Actress Alex Kingston (“ER”) is 42. Actor Wallace Langham is 40. Singer Lisa Loeb is 37. Singer Pete Droge is 36. Actor Johnny Knoxville (“Jackass”) is 34. Singers Benji and Joel Madden (Good Charlotte) are 26. Actor David Anders (“Alias”) is 24. Actress Thora Birch (“American Beauty”) is 23.
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