Pop Culture

Hilton’s fiancé is from controversial family

Paris Hilton’s fiancé has a family with a colorful past.

Paris Latsis changed his last name from Kasidokostas and took on his mother’s maiden name — reportedly to evoke the fabulous shipping fortune from that side of his family. But some people are wondering whether that was a wise move socially. Latsis’ maternal grandfather, shipping tycoon John Latsis, who died in 2003, was a notorious figure abroad and has been called a Nazi collaborator and a black marketeer.

Latsis was accused of profiteering during World War II and stood trial for collaborating with the Nazis. He was acquitted, but faced further criticism for his close friendship with Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos, leader of the fascist junta which seized power in Greece in 1967. A biography published in Athens in 1991 was bluntly titled: "John Latsis: Gangster."

In certain social circles, associating with Latsis simply was not done. Prince Charles was scolded by the UK press when he accepted a ride aboard John Latsis’ yacht in 1999. “This unpleasant Greek isn't offering such largesse to Prince Charles out of kindly benevolence,” chided London’s Daily Mail. “He’s doing it because he likes to boast that the future King of England is a friend.  . . . But the trip has sickened many of us.”

Hot dog

Jo Hale / Getty Images Europe
LONDON - JULY 02: Singer Mariah Carey performs on stage at "Live 8 London" in Hyde Park on July 2, 2005 in London, England. The free concert is one of ten simultaneous international gigs including Philadelphia, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Barrie, Tokyo, Cornwall, Moscow and Johannesburg. The concerts precede the G8 summit (July 6-8) to raising awareness for MAKEpovertyHISTORY. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey was not amused when a German TV host compared her to a stuffed sausage.

The singer — who has been known to squeeze into skimpy outfits — was appearing live on “Gottschalk & Friends” when, according to reports, interviewer Oliver Poucher joked, “What do you call a stuffed sausage in English?”

The audience reportedly burst into laughter. Carey protested that the host was “not being fair,” but Poucher expanded on his unkind comment later when he later whispered into a colleague’s ear and then remarked, “We were discussing the cellulite Ms Carey has on her legs. I only said what the public was thinking.”

Notes from all over

Danny Rothenberg
July 2, 2005, London, England: Madonna rocked London's Hyde Park during Live 8 Africa charity concert extravaganza rolling around the globe from Tokyo to Johannesburg. Musicians and fans were gathering in 10 cities worldwide for a global music marathon to raise awareness of African poverty and to pressure world leaders to do something about it at the Group of Eight summit in Scotland to be held soon after the concert.///Madonna performs onstage.. Credit: Danny Rothenberg / Polaris

Will Madonna get caught up in a Kabbalah scandal? The trendy religious group is reportedly being eyed by the IRS, which is said to be looking into its tax-exempt status. A source says one area of interest is the organization’s Spirituality for Kids. “Madonna has raised millions for Spirituality for Kids,” says a source. “The question is whether some of that not-for-profit money has been plowed into for-profit enterprises.”   . . . Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd, most recently seen in “Fantastic Four,” is refusing to respond to buzz that he’ll be the next James Bond. Gruffudd is the latest in a very long list of candidates rumored to play the secret agent.  . . .Katie Holmes’ social schedule might get a lot lighter. Nicole Kidman says that when she was married to Tom Cruise, she became more isolated. “Part of me shut down, put up barriers and became very insular,” Kidman told Glamour magazine. “It was very hard to keep friendships alive during that period.”

Mondays through Thursdays on MSNBC.com