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Gene Blevins  /  Reuters file
Some fear that Nicole Richie may be taking "shop till you drop" a bit too literally.
updated 11/13/2006 2:52:37 AM ET 2006-11-13T07:52:37

Nicole Richie reportedly went AWOL from rehab — to go shopping.

The star of “The Simple Life” recently checked herself into the Beau Monde, a swank $80,000-a-month treatment center in Newport Beach, Calif.

The buzz is she’s seeking treatment for an eating disorder, but her reps insist that it’s merely to determine why she’s unable to put on weight.

But after less than 72 hours in the center, Richie checked herself out, explaining that she wanted to go shopping, reports Star magazine.

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The staffers at Beau Monde begged her to stay, reports the tab, which quotes a source as saying, “Nicole is in complete denial and oblivious to how sick she really is.”

Not long after she checked out of the center, Richie was spotted partying with Lindsay Lohan according to both the Star and another report in In Touch Weekly.

Chicks aren't afraid to be heard
Natalie Maines — the Dixie Chick who made those controversial comments about George W. Bush — has kind words for another Bush basher.

“Some people call me brave, but I don’t think what I did was brave at all. Brave is Kanye West, after Hurricane Katrina, saying George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” Maines tells the December issue of Playboy magazine; the interview goes on-line on Friday. “That was one of the greatest television moments of all time. I would never have said that. I’m a coward compared with him. It was so honest and sincere, and he knew what he was going to say. I would have chickened out. That was just so brave. And true.”  

Maines' bandmate Emily Robison believes that the backlash to the comments were so harsh because the Dixie Chicks are women. “Read the stuff on the Internet: ‘Just tell that [rhymes with ‘witch’] to shut up,’” Robison told Playboy. “They don’t want to hear mouthy women to begin with. A guy would have been an outlaw, the Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard of his generation.”

Notes from all over
Madonna is having little David’s room decorated in a safari theme, a source claims — and she’s spent $30,000 at PetitTresor.com for high-end kiddie furnishings. Her rep says that both the theme and the amount are inaccurate.  . . . Pierce Brosnan confirms that he’s working on a sequel to the 1999 flick “The Thomas Crown Affair.”  “Yes we’re going to have a crack at that and it’s a mighty challenge,” Brosnan told DarkHorizons.com. “It was a challenge the first time and it’s even greater now, so we should be getting the script for that in the next few months.” It will be based on the book “Topkapi,” which was a 1964 film starring Peter Ustinov. “This version of ‘Topkapi’ will have a different part, different woman, and different affair,” he says. “The guy is a little bit more seasoned and we’re using wonderful locations this time.” . . . Now that Oprah Winfrey has given her audience cars and $1,000 to donate to charity , Betus.com is posting odds as to what the talk-show queen will give out next. Two-week all-inclusive vacations are favored at 5/1 odds, and a date with her sweetie Stedman Graham is a long-shot, with odds of 100/1.

Jeannette Walls Delivers the Scoop Mondays through Thursdays on MSNBC.com

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