Pop Culture

Press fuels Aniston pregnancy rumors

While Brad Pitt's large family with Angelina Jolie continues to make headlines, Pitt's ex-wife, actress Jennifer Aniston, is combating a rumor that she's pregnant.

Her rep has denied the rumor, which claims that Aniston's on-again-off-again beau John Mayer is the father. But there's more subterfuge at play when it comes to the Aniston rumor mill.

"Every time Brad or Angelina is in the news, and it's a story that's so exclusive only one outlet really gets the story, the natural reaction is to come up with a story about Jen to combat the attention," says one magazine editor.

Does that explain the stories about a possible Aniston-Mayer wedding at the same time that Pitt and Jolie were about to bring their twins into the world?

"Absolutely. Brad and Angelina don't have people around them leaking or saying things that maybe a reporter wants to hear. They live in a bubble. There's little to work with," says the editor. "But Jen? She dates, she's out and about, there's more material there, and everyone wants to see that she's OK."

One twist in the current story, however, is Aniston's recent means of battling the pregnancy rumors.

"Usually she just left it up to her rep (to deny), if he even felt the need to respond," the editor says. "But now she did lunch at (popular Hollywood eatery) the Ivy in a tight shirt? I mean, the Ivy? Usually Jen is above that sort of thing. She obviously knew she'd be photographed there. It makes you wonder if all of this press — hers and Brad's —is starting to get to her."

As for Pitt, he recently taped the Nov. 18 episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," where he reportedly discusses life with Jolie and their six children.

Fur flies over Kate Winslet's Vogue shoot
First there was speculation that "Titanic" star Kate Winslet's image was airbrushed when she appeared on the cover of the December issue of Vogue ("Kate is furious at suggestions that her body has been airbrushed," her rep countered).

Now comes a fracas over one of the photos in the piece where Winslet poses with a fur blanket. PETA contacted the actress, who in the past has spoken out about wearing fur, and informed Winslet that what she thought was fake fur could be real — and it was.

Say what you will about the use of fur in the shoot, but it's given the story a fresh set of legs. Vanity Fair has since apologized to the five-time Oscar-nominated actress, blaming a "miscommunication" for the error.

"Although there were both real and fake furs on set, the fur used in the photograph is real," a spokesman for the magazine said. "We thought Miss Winslet was aware of this and we're sorry for the miscommunication."

Winslet's publicist said that the actress was unaware of the rug's origins: "She thought it was false. There was apparently false fur there and real fur there, and she definitely understood it was false. Kate never wears fur. She's very, very firm on that."

Is ‘Pushing Daisies’ being pulled off the air? The writer's strike killed the momentum of many of last year's hit shows. When they came back this fall, some never really regained traction, ABC's "Pushing Daisies" among them.

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A number of blogs have this show firmly placed on the chopping block, but word from inside ABC is that there's been no firm decision yet.

"We've got until after the New Year to make a firm decision on what happens in the spring," says one ABC source. Not entirely encouraging, but not totally discouraging either. The show had its highest ratings ever the night of Barack Obama's infomercial, when it was the only network entertainment show airing.

Take-home lesson: if you're a fan, get watching, and tell your friends, if you want "Daisies" to stay on the right side of the grass.

Weekend box office The official start of the holiday season was a strong one. "Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa" had a stronger-than-anticipated opening — it made $63.5 million in its first three days. Just to compare: the original "Madagascar" had a $47.2-million opening weekend in 2005, and that included an extra day for Memorial Day.

Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd's "Role Models" did much better than expected, too — the R-rated film made $19.2 million.

Also noteworthy: the newest Bond film, "Quantum of Solace," opened in 57 countries and on 9,800 screens. It made a massive $130 million and if it tracks as predicted, it will have made $150 million by the time it opens in theaters here in the US on Nov. 14. Check back here on Nov. 12 when I write about watching my very first Bond film.

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

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