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Heidi & Spencer tortured? No way, source says

Reports that Heidi and Spencer Pratt were tortured on the set of “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here” — that they were confined to a dark room for a day and a night with only water, rice and beans — as punishment are untrue, according to a source who’s part of the show production on location in Costa Rica.

“They were not kept in torture chambers,” said the source. “They quit the show on (June 1). They stayed in a hotel for all of three days until they begged to be allowed back. On (June 4) they entered the Lost Chamber at approximately 4:30 p.m. local time, and stayed until 6:30 a.m. the next day. That’s 14 hours. Not days, like is being alleged.”

And the conditions in the isolation of the Lost Chamber?

“They had lights — dim, but they had lights,” the sources said. “There were no creatures added to the room. Perhaps there was a rogue spider, but no creatures were added. And, they slept almost the entire time — that is, when they weren’t praying. When they came out of the Lost Chamber, they were in very good spirits.”

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    NBC Universal 2009 Summer Press Day

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    Sanjaya, Heidi and Spencer, Patti Blagojevich and more celebrities get wild on “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!”

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    Sanjaya Malakar

    Sanjaya Malakar, 19, who made his mark -- with his hair, not his voice -- on "American Idol," said he welcomes the opportunity to be seen as more than a succession of hairstyles and intends to do some soul-searching on the new reality show "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" "It will help me to come into myself and realize who I am and who I want to be, and to show people who I am without the 'American Idol' hair and makeup and the stage," he said.

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    Lou Diamond Phillips

    The versatile career of Lou Diamond Phillips has brought him success in feature films, television and theater as an actor, director and writer. Phillips first gained widespread attention starring as Richie Valens in "La Bamba" and solidified his reputation in "Stand and Deliver," for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Most recently, Phillips appeared in the Steven Soderbergh film, "Che."

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    Patti Blagojevich

    Money is on the mind of the wife of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. She and her husband are unemployed and he's facing federal fraud charges. His plan to appear on "I'm a Celebrity" was thwarted by a judge who wouldn't let him leave the country. Rod Blagojevich pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he schemed to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat and use the governor's office to squeeze campaign contributions. "My husband is an honest man. I truly believe that he will be vindicated. But in the meantime, we have to earn a living," Patti Blagojevich said in May.

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    Stephen Baldwin

    Actor Stephen Baldwin is the youngest of the Baldwin brothers. His much-publicized spiritual journey started many years ago when his Brazilian housekeeper told him she'd had a vision of leading her future American employer to Christ. His wife became a born-again Christian first and Baldwin became a Christian shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.

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    Torrie Wilson

    Torrie Wilson is a retired professional wrestler, fitness competitor and model. She won the Miss Galaxy fitness competition in 1998. Shortly after, she was signed by World Championship Wrestling, where she stayed from 1999 until 2001. On World Wrestling Federation television, she appeared as part of "The Invasion" storyline and with a group of wrestlers known as "Vince's Devils."

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    John Salley

    John Salley is a retired NBA basketball player, actor and talk show host. Currently, he is one of the hosts of "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" on Fox Sports Network. Salley hosted "The John Salley Block Party," a radio morning show in Los Angeles from 2005-06. The devoted vegan has appeared in numerous testimonial videos for PETA.

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    Frangela

    Francis Callier and Angela V. Shelton are better known as the comedy duo "Frangela." Real-life best friends, they have appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" where they were dubbed as "America's funniest people," as well as the hit film "He's Just Not That Into You," and they can be seen weekly on "Best Week Ever." The pair are regular pop cultural pundits on NBC's TODAY show and other programs.

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    Janice Dickinson

    Janice Dickinson is an American supermodel, fashion photographer, author, and agent. She opened her own modeling agency, which was documented in "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency," after judging four cycles of The CW program "America's Next Top Model."

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Moreover, conditions in the chamber were better than what their fellow cast members faced. “They were given food and water and four walls and a ceiling. They were protected from the elements whereas their cast mates have been getting rained on non-stop,” said the source.

“And the reports of the chamber they were in and calling it ‘the same as Guantanamo Bay?’ That’s just ridiculous,” said the source.

As for the mysterious condition that sent Heidi to the hospital, there’s no word yet.

“We can’t comment on her medical condition,” said the source. “But all will be revealed on the June 8 episode.”

The Pratts were on a plane back to Los Angeles at press time, and could not be reached for comment.

Kal Penn’s White HouseAfter abruptly leaving his role on “House” in April, Kal Penn announced that he was headed to work for the Obama administration as an associate director at the White House Office of Public Liaison.

Last week, people suddenly realized he’s yet to begin his new job. And while the actor and the White House are not revealing an official start date, a person who is overseeing a welcoming reception in Washington said he should start in July. “We’re making plans to welcome him late in the month,” said the source.

Gentle reminder, get ready for digital

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Because I care, a gentle reminder and rare PSA from Scoop to make sure you are ready for the June 12 switch to digital TV. According to latest survey by Neilson, as of the end of May, more than 10 percent of the 114 million households with television sets are either completely or partly unprepared. If you want to be sure your “Jon & Kate Plus 8” viewing is not interrupted, make sure you are prepared. Check out www.dtv.gov or call the government hot line on the transition at 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322).

Weekend box office stays ‘Up’In one of the closest races in recent box office memory, the Disney-Pixar film “Up” managed to escape a “Hangover.” “Up” had a $44 million weekend and “Hangover” came in a close second with $43 million. The real story of the weekend, however, is just how poorly “Land of the Lost” did. The adaptation of the television series, which starred Will Ferrell, made only $19.5 million. It didn’t seem to faze Ferrell though. He took in the Yankees game on Saturday, gamely waving to fans and posing for photos.

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

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