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It isn’t lying; it’s just good PR

Rihanna (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Rihanna (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Journalists have love/hate relationships with publicists, whom they typically refer to as “flacks.”

The New York Post, for example, has little regard for Amanda Silverman, a publicist at the Manhattan-based public-relations firm 42 West.

In fact, claims the Post, Silverman “might be the biggest liar in the business – and she has stiff competition.”

Example: Rapper Chris Brown was arrested on suspicion of assault on Sunday night. At first it wasn’t clear that the alleged victim was his girlfriend, fellow performer Rihanna, who just happens to be Silverman’s client.

When both Brown and Rihanna declined to perform at Sunday night’s Grammys show, Silverman told reporters that Rihanna had been in a traffic mishap and was “fine,” adding, “Thank you for your concern and support.”

Reports are now that Rihanna has told Los Angeles police that, after attending a Saturday-night party together, the couple fought and Brown allegedly choked her unconscious and threatened to kill her.

“It eventually came out Rihanna had bruises, a split lip and bite marks,” the Post reported. “If Silverman says the sun is shining, bring an umbrella.”

It’s always Paris, you know

Online reports say that the alleged weekend fight between Chris Brown and Rihanna was caused by Paris Hilton. OK! magazine says Hilton was “all over” Brown at a Saturday-night party. Was it Hilton’s fault? “Well, of course it is,” wrote a Los Angeles Times blogger, seeking an ironic tone. “We totally blame her for global warming, too.”

Take these stars to the bank

According to a list compiled by, the most bankable stars in Hollywood are, in order: Will Smith (who scored 10 out of 10), followed by Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio (all tied for second at 9.89), concluding with Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson.

Stars brighten the night

The stars were out on Tuesday to honor Gwyneth Paltrow and Courteney Cox for their dedication to fighting cancer. Tom Hanks hosted the event, Saks Fifth Avenue’s 14th annual “Unforgettable Evening” to benefit the Women’s Cancer Research Fund. Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, along with Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw, serve as honorary chairs of the charity. Others attendees included Beyoncé, who sang, and Jay-Z, who mingled.

Refaeli scores SI’s cover

Leonardo DiCaprio got his wish. His girlfriend, supermodel Bar Refaeli, 23, was chosen to grace the cover of the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. “This is the one I felt the most comfortable with,” said Refaeli. “You have the beach, blue water and a body. That’s it. I liked that the top of the suit was on.”

The birthday bunch

Movie director Franco Zeffirelli is 86. Sportscaster Joe Garagiola is 83. Actor Joe Don Baker is 73. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek of The Doors is 70. Actor Michael Ironside is 59. Singer Michael McDonald is 57. Actor-talk show host Arsenio Hall is 54. Actor Josh Brolin is 41. Singer Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips is 41. Actress Christina Ricci is 29.

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