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Mayer no longer a wonderland for paparazzi

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By Courtney Hazlett

You know that gaping hole in John Mayer’s heart, the one in the space Jennifer Aniston used to occupy? Mayer has found something to fill it, and it’s not another lady — it’s the paparazzi. The only problem: Mayer’s relationship with the shooters is a one-way street. Mayer might love the attention he gets, but the paps aren’t interested in him now that he’s no longer with Aniston.

“He thinks he’s famous as Jen now. Last week he went to a party, tipped off the paps, and even had decoy cars at the ready when he was leaving,” says one paparazzo. “Nice, but no one bothered to follow them, which made John think he ‘lost’ everyone, when really no one bothered to follow him.”

Considering how accessible Mayer often makes himself to reporters, bloggers and paparazzi, news that Mayer’s world is no longer a wonderland for the masses might not make sense at first. As it turns out, the explanation is simple: Mayer simply doesn’t sell now that he and Aniston have gone separate ways. According to one paparazzo source, “Pictures of him and Jen were selling for $20,000 at one point. A picture of him alone gets $200 now. Chasing him from his apartment to Nobu is hardly worth it.”

Samuel L. Jackson directing rumorsIt’s been several years since “Star Wars” vet George Lucas attached his name to “Red Tails,” a film about the Tuskegee Airmen; now that the film is getting closer to actual production, fan sites are buzzing with rumors, namely about Samuel L. Jackson’s involvement. It’s rumored that Jackson will have a significant role in the film, but he will not be directing it as many are speculating.

“A lot of fan sites are reporting erroneously that Sam Jackson is directing. He’s not. Anthony Hemingway is directing,” a source close to the production confirms. Hemingway has previously worked on “The Wire,” “Oz,” “ER” and “CSI” among other shows.

Scoop heads to DenverThe column is a little short this morning because I’m hopping a plane to Denver for the Democratic National Convention. Among the events on this week’s to-do list: Rock the Vote’s Ballot Bash with Fall Out Boy and Jakob Dylan; Ben Affleck’s poker tournament for the Paralyzed Veterans of America; the Spotlight Initiative Awards, which will include Annette Bening, Spike Lee, Alan Cumming, Rachel Lee Cook and Quentin Tarantino; The One campaign’s event with Kanye West. There’s lots more to come, but in the mean time, if you’ve got any burning questions for these celebs and why they care so much about the elections this year, I’d love to hear them. E-mail scoop@msnbc.com and let me know what I can find out for you.

Weekend box office“The House Bunny” got edged out by “Tropic Thunder” at the box office this weekend. The tale (get it) of a homeless Playboy bunny earned $15.1 million in its opening weekend, falling a million behind the “Thunder.” My prediction wasn’t that far out of line, though. “The House Bunny” was written by the team that brought us “Legally Blond”, and it stars “Scary Movie” fave Anna Faris and also Colin Hanks, who is currently making cameos as Father Gill in “Mad Men”.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com.