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Image: Mel Gibson, Britney Spears
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Mel Gibson helped Britney Spears when she was down, and now she's returning the favor
By The Scoop
TODAY.com
updated 7/20/2010 7:56:35 PM ET 2010-07-20T23:56:35

Mel Gibson has an unlikely ally during his custody battle with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva: Britney Spears.

Spears and Gibson are reportedly in frequent communication, according to a friend of the pop star, who spoke to In Touch Weekly. “Mel has been talking to her a lot, they speak on the phone,” said the source.

Although a Spears-Gibson connection seems to be out of left field, remember that the two vacationed together in Costa Rica in May 2008, and Gibson and his then-wife, Robyn, also reached out to Spears after her hospitalization in February of the same year.

“Mel was one of the only people who reached out to help Britney when she was at her lowest point, and she believes that demonstrates what a loving and wonderful man he is,” said the source. “She wants people to give him a second chance — just like he gave her one when everyone else turned away.”

Dean McDermott plans to ride again
Fans of Dean McDermott and Tori Spelling are well aware that his motorcycle racing is a source of consternation for Spelling, so when McDermott punctured his lung in a dirt-bike crash June 29, he felt pretty emotional.

“All I could think of was my family,” McDermott told Us Weekly. “I knew I’d be less of a dad for a while. I’m lucky I have Tori.”

Even though he had quite a scare, McDermott hasn’t decided to quit his hobby.

“When I get on a bike, I might be so scared s--tless I’ll never ride again,” he told the magazine. “At the same time, I’d love to maintain my pleasure riding.” (He hopes to be on his motorcycle for an Aug. 7 Ride for Autism charity event.)

Still, if his wife demanded he stop, McDermott said, “I’d give it up.”

Said Spelling: “I don’t tell him what to do.”

Matchmaker’s message to ‘Housewives’: Stop singing
“Millionaire Matchmaker” host Patti Stanger has some harsh words for “Real Housewives of New Jersey” archenemy Danielle Staub, at least when it comes to Staub’s budding singing career.

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“Yeah, that’s ridiculous,” Stanger said of "Real Close," Staub's single. “Don’t quit (your) day job.”

Stanger spoke to TODAYshow.com Monday from House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year event in New York, hosted by "Flipping Out" star Jeff Lewis. She extended her message to the entire “Real Housewives” franchise.

“These housewives really need to stop making records,” Stanger said, referring not just to Staub, but to singing castmate LuAnn de Lesseps. “If you really are going to sing, you need to sing a cappella and hit the money. If you’re not Celine Dion, get out of the park.”

That said, Stanger might be hitting the recording studio herself: She said she’ll be getting a singing lesson from Taylor Dayne in an upcoming episode of her show.

“I will sing, sing,” Stanger said. “I wouldn’t do it any other way, and Taylor Dayne is my goddess.”

But though Stanger doesn’t support Staub's singing career, when it comes to the "Real Housewives" show, she is on Team Danielle in the season’s big altercation between Staub and rival housewife Teresa Giudice.

“I think Teresa wanted her moment, I think Teresa wanted to be a star,” Stanger said. “As much as I know Caroline (Manzo) hates (Danielle), I gotta call it like I see it.”

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on today.msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Photos: Mel Gibson

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  1. Talk to the hand

    Jodie Foster directs Mel Gibson in the much-delayed film "The Beaver." Gibson is Walter Black, formerlly a successful toy executive and family man who now suffers from depression. No matter what he tries, Walter can't seem to get himself back on track ... until a beaver hand puppet enters his life. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Ready to plead

    Gibson arrives at Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles on March 11, 2011. Prosecutors charged Gibson with misdemeanor battery after a lengthy investigation into a fight with his then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Gibson pleaded no contest to resolve the case and faced no jail time. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Tough to hear

    At the height of her conflict with Gibson, Grigorieva released audio recordings through the website RadarOnline that captured Gibson raging against her. (Mikhail Metzel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Short-lived romance

    After nearly 30 years of marriage to wife Robyn, Gibson left her for Grigorieva, who has a son from an earlier relationship with actor Timothy Dalton. Gibson and Grigorieva had a daughter, Lucia, on Oct. 30, 2009, but split up in April of 2010. (Jacques Brinon / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Will audiences come?

    Gibson, center, speaks on set during the filming of "Apocalypto" in 2006. This historical epic follows the decline of the Mayan civilization 600 years ago, just before Spanish invaders conquered Central America. The story revolves around one native who fights to save his culture from the outsiders. (Andrew Cooper / Icon Distribution via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. After the rant

    Gibson had his police mug shot taken July 28, 2006, in Los Angeles after he was arrested for drunk driving. He was pulled over for speeding and had a blood alcohol reading of 0.12 percent, according to authorities. More notoriously, Gibson let loose an anti-Semitic tirade, blaming the Jewish people for all "the wars in the world." (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. 'Apocalypto' now

    Gibson pulls on his beard during a news conference held in Veracruz, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005. Gibson announced the shooting of "Apocalypto," a film in which the dialogue is spoken in an obscure Mayan dialect. (David Hernandez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Gibson's 'Passion'

    Gibson directs Jim Caviezel as Jesus on the set of Gibson's movie "The Passion of The Christ." The film was based on the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ. The film grossed more than $370 million. Gibson was criticized by some for the film's perceived anti-Semitism. (Icon Prodictions via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Good soldier

    In "We Were Soldiers" (2002), Gibson played Lt. Colonel Hal Moore who, during the Vietnam War, had to lead his men into a small clearing where they were surrounded by 4,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. The ensuing battle was one of the most savage in U.S. history. (Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Man of the People

    Gibson accepts his trophies for favorite motion picture star in a drama and favorite motion picture actor during the People's Choice Awards in January, 2001. (Lucy Nicholson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Finding his inner female

    Gibson tried his hand at romantic comedy in "What Women Want" (2000). Nick (Gibson), a chauvinistic hot-shot advertising exec, has his life turned haywire when a fluke accident enables him to hear what women think. (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Seeking his son

    Gibson starred in 1996's "Ransom" as a multimillionaire whose young son (played by Brawley Nolte) is kidnapped for ransom. (Getty Images / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Oscar winner

    Mel Gibson holds Oscars for best director and best picture for "Braveheart," at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Gibson shared the best picture award with producers Alan Ladd and Bruce Davey. (Jeff Haynes / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Director and star

    In "Braveheart" (1995), Gibson played William Wallace, a Scottish rebel who leads an uprising against the cruel English ruler Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan), who wishes to inherit the crown of Scotland for himself. (AFP -Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. No pretty-boy role

    In "The Man Without a Face" (1993), Gibson plays Justin McLeod, a former teacher whose face was disfigured in an automobile accident and fire who lives as a recluse. He is befriended by a young man named Chuck (Nick Stahl), which ignites suspicion and hostility from the townspeople. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Sci-fi drama

    In "Forever Young" (1992), a 1939 test pilot asks his best friend to use him as a guinea pig for a cryogenics experiment. Daniel McCormick (Gibson) wants to be frozen for a year so that he doesn't have to watch his love lying in a coma. The next thing Daniel knows he's awoken in 1992. The film also features a very young Elijah Wood, right. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Together for decades

    Gibson and wife Robyn attended the "Hamlet" premiere in Los Angeles on Dec. 18, 1990. Gibson married Robyn Moore in 1980 and they divorced in 2009. They have seven children together. (Barry King / WireImage.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. A mother's son

    In "Hamlet" (1990), Gibson took on Shakespeare's melancholy Danish prince. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, the film also starred Glenn Close as Hamlet's mother Gertrude. In real life, Close is only nine years older than Gibson. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Come fly with me

    Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. starred in 1990's "Air America," about two pilots during the Vietnam War who discover their planes are being used to smuggle heroin. () Back to slideshow navigation
  20. It takes a team

    "Lethal Weapon" (1987) is the first of a series of movies that were released in 1987, 1989, 1992, and 1998, all starring Gibson and Danny Glover as a mismatched pair of Los Angeles police officers. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. A tradition begins

    People's "Sexiest Man Alive" list began in 1985 with Mel Gibson. That year Gibson also starred in the final (at least for now, as there are talks of resurrecting the franchise) "Mad Max" film, "Beyond Thunderdome," opposite Tina Turner. (People) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Early troubles

    In 1984, Gibson starred as Fletcher Christian in "The Bounty," the story of Captain Bligh (Anthony Hopkins), whose cruelty leads to a mutiny on his ship. According to Wikipedia, Gibson and Hopkins did not get along during the shoot. At the time, Hopkins was a teetotaler, and Gibson was struggling with alcoholism. Gibson took to mixing two shots of Scotch with his beer. He dubbed the concoction "Liquid Violence." (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Stunning early performance

    "Gallipoli" (1981) tells the story of a group of young Australian men who leave their various backgrounds behind and sign up to join the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) in World War I. They each meet their fates against the Turkish army in the infamous battle. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. 'Mad' Mel

    In "Mad Max" (1979), an Australian dystopia of decaying order and violent highways, a police pursuit driver is drawn into a path of vengeance after a motorcycle gang targets him for the death of their former leader. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Auspicious beginnings

    Gibson made his feature-film debut in "Summer City" (1976), a low-budget Australian teen drama that chronicles the exploits of a quartet of boys who leave Sydney and head out for a weekend of surfing and adventure. Unfortunately the fun takes a serious turn when they find themselves involved in a murder. (Platinum Disc) Back to slideshow navigation
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