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Oprah Winfrey
Denis Farrell  /  AP file
Uh oh ... Dr. Phil has incurred the wrath of Oprah Winfrey, the National Enquirer reports. An insider says that the TV shrink ticked off the Queen of Talk by not apologizing about his meeting with Britney Spears.
msnbc.com contributors
updated 1/21/2008 11:15:33 PM ET 2008-01-22T04:15:33

The fallout from Dr. Phil McGraw’s controversial meeting with pop wreck Britney Spears just keeps on coming. Now it’s not just Brit’s parents and mental health professionals giving the good doc a hard time. Queen of Talk Oprah Winfrey has had it with her tell-it-like-it-is protégé, reports the National Enquirer.

“Oprah is furious,” an insider told the magazine. “She expected Phil to apologize before the situation got out of hand. Instead he used the spotlight to tout his struggling talk show. … Oprah thinks he has completely lost his sense of right and wrong.”

No stranger to her own scandals, Oprah’s upset about how Phil’s handled his public embarrassment . “Oprah has made mistakes but the difference is that she’s known when to step back and apologize,” a friend revealed. “She feels Phil should have done that when he had the chance. … He betrayed her trust.”

A show source told the Enquirer that Oprah warned Phil before, and her angry reaction was “coming for a long time.” Seems the two talk titans clashed over several issues in the past. In 2005, Phil “threw a hissy fit” when Oprah’s close pal Maria Shriver failed to wrangle hubby Arnold Schwarzenegger to introduce him at an obesity conference. He also earned O’s ire after his “Shape Up!” diet products failed to deliver and later led to a $10.5 million settlement .

Slideshow: Celebrity Sightings Phil may have his own show, but getting on Oprah’s bad side caries a hefty price. “Phil got a whopping $75 million deal, but Oprah is still his boss,” another close source explained. “She even has control of what time slots he’s in. If she doesn’t want him around, she can make him disappear.”

Papa Joe runs interference on Tony Romo
Friends fear that Joe Simpson is on the verge of messing up yet another relationship for daughter Jessica, reports Life & Style. The first clue came when the family patriarch accompanied Jess and Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo on their sexy Cabo getaway.

“It’s weird that Joe was on vacation with them,” a Simpson family friend told Life & Style. “But he oversteps his bounds all the time, and Jess lets him.”

“Joe just can’t leave Jess’s love life alone,” added another insider. This second family friend confided that the overprotective pop meddled with both John Mayer and Jess’s ex-husband, Nick Lachey, “causing huge problems in both relationships.”

Fortunately, Jessica’s latest man didn’t seem to mind Joe joining the couple in Cabo. “Tony just laughed,” the first friend told the magazine. “He knows Joe’s one of his biggest fans, and he wants to have a good relationship with him. So if Joe wanted to hang out with them in Cabo, no way Tony was going to say no.”

However, the second Simpson insider predicted that it wouldn’t be long before Joe wears out his welcome. “Tony likes Joe,” said the Simpson family informant. “But at some point he’s going to get sick of Joe hanging around and all the calls and family get-togethers.”

Dish on the fly
Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody gave a flawless performance as an enormous jerk when he ditched his date at the recent GM Style event in Detroit, reports Page Six. Without a word to his companion, Elsa Pataky, the large-snouted thespian “left through the back door of the tent and didn't return,” a Page Six spywitness observed. “(Elsa) didn't know where he went.” … Mary-Kate Olsen’s latest barhopping buddy is 29-year-old artist Nate Lowman, and according to People, the two may have made a “love connection.” “They’re dating,” the magazine’s source said of the cute couple recently caught partying two nights in a row at NYC’s Beatrice Inn. … When friends told Salma Hayek that breastfeeding was the key to post-pregnancy weight loss, she took them seriously. “Salma has been pumping and freezing endless amounts of breast milk,” a source told Star. “When Salma’s not feeding Valentina, she’s hooked up to an industrial-size breast pump.” Unfortunately, things aren’t going according to plan, as the insider added, “she still can’t drop the extra pounds.”

Tabloid Tidbits is compiled by Ree Hines and Helen A.S. Popkin.

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