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Madonna’s pal puts foot in mouth

With friends like Rupert Everett, Madonna doesn’t need enemies.
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With friends like Rupert Everett, Madonna doesn’t need enemies.

Everett, a long-time buddy of the Material Girl, came to her defense after she was criticized by Elton John, but he ended up supporting accusations made by John.

Elton John, in a startling hissy-fit at a music-awards ceremony in England earlier this week, accused Madonna of lip-syncing her concerts. “Since when has lip-syncing been live?” John said after Madonna was nominated in the live-concert category at the Q Awards. “Anyone who lip-syncs in public on stage when you pay 75 pounds (about $134) to see them should be shot.”

Madonna’s rep immediately shot back, saying that “Madonna does not lip-sync” and that “she sang every note of her Re-Invention tour live.”

But Everett, a friend of Madonna’s and her co-star in “The Next Best Thing,” seemed to back up John’s allegation — at least in part. “Madonna sings everything she can sing but, if she goes into a dance routine, she’s got to dance; you can’t breathe and dance and sing at the same time,” Everett said, reports He added: “[John is] very bossy these days, I think. I mean he’s lovely but he’s a bit bossy and he does seem a bit cranky.”

Damon wants to butt out

DEAUVILLE, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 5: Actor Matt Damon attends theBruno Vincent / Getty Images Europe

Matt Damon is resorting to hypnotism to help him give up his smoking.

The star has had a two-pack a day habit for over 10 years and is so desperate to stop that he has been visiting a hypnotist to cure him, says a source.

“He’s tried a couple of things before, but nothing has worked,” says the insider. “We’re hopeful this time.”

“It’s working,” Damon’s rep happily told The Scoop. “His first treatment was in August and he hasn’t smoked since then.”

Notes from all over

Muslim convert and former pop star Britain's Cat Stevens, known as Yusuf Islam, returns to Heathrow airport in London , September 23, 2004. Stevens returned to Britain on Thursday after his deportation from the United States overToby Melville / X90004

Looks like Yusuf Islam — the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens — might be on the loose in Canada. Islam was recently refused entry to the U.S. after his name was discovered on a watch list for alleged terrorists. Now, customs officers at Pearson Airport in Toronto “are on the lookout” for Islam, according to the Toronto Sun, which reports that the singer was scheduled to arrive in Toronto last weekend to make a fundraising speech. “Due to privacy concerns” a Canadian Border Services Agency “couldn’t comment on whether Islam even showed up at Pearson,” according to the Sun.  . . . Billy Baldwin showed up at a charity event for Project ALS at Cipriani’s in New York with a completely shaved head, a “very nice black suit” and an anti-Bush T-shirt. . . . . Speaking of attire and Bush-bashers, Michael Moore is responding to a controversy over an offer he made to offer slackers Ramen noodles and clean underwear if they register to vote. The Michigan GOP asked that the charges be filed against the “Fahrenheit 911” director for trying to bribe voters. Moore says the whole thing was supposed to be a satire, and doesn’t seem to be taking the threat too seriously. “My friends, they will not catch me. Though I may be on the run. . . the slackers of America shall not be denied their noodles, they will proudly wear their clean underwear as free Americans”  Moore writes on his Web site. He closes by saying, “Stay strong, stay slacker, and please remember to turn the underwear inside out every three days. As for the noodles, add boiling water, stir.”

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