Just as Britney Spears‘ dad is criticizing her, word has leaked that the falling star may soon have a new father figure in her life: Jessica Simpson‘s dad.According to an inside source, Joe Simpson is considering managing Spears’ career, or what’s left of it, just as he has done for Jessica and her sister, Ashlee. The former Baptist minister even tried to set up a meeting over the weekend with Spears, our source attests – though Jessica’s rep Cindi Berger denies it. While some might fear a diva-like rivalry between the two singers, our source says Jessica would be okay with the arrangement and even offered to put out a call to Britney, as the two are no longer competitors. Spears has made more than $100 million from records and endorsements, while sales of Simpson’s five albums were lukewarm. But Joe Simpson adeptly steered his daughter into movies and lucrative appearances, like next week’s performance with the Pussycat Dolls at Pure in Las Vegas. And Ashlee had two No. 1 singles on the Billboard charts. The Simpson girls are clearly appreciative of their dad’s efforts: Last month, Ashlee called Joe “a wonderful man” in Harper’s Bazaar, and Jessica gave him a Ferrari. Insiders even credit Joe’s guidance for helping the sisters avoid the excesses that sent Spears to rehab at the urging of her family, doctors and manager, Larry Rudolph. Spears, attributing her behavior to postpartum depression, left rehab and fired Rudolph, for which her estranged father, Jamie, blasted her last week.
The job remains open. Spears’ spokeswoman wouldn’t comment. Side Dish
- For Dita Von Teese, rocker hubby Marilyn Manson‘s teen gal pal was the last straw. “I knew that there was an inappropriate relationship going on,” she told the Daily Telegraph. “I wasn’t supportive about his partying or his relationship with another girl, and as much as I loved him, I wasn’t going to be part of that.” Interested Manson replacements can catch the porcelain-skinned burlesque dancer at the Museum of Sex on May 16; she’ll perform in her famed oversize martini glass at the benefit, hosted by Alan Cumming and Perez Hilton.
- Susan Sarandon might be squirming in her seat during the flick “The Education of Charlie Banks” Friday at the Tribeca Film Fest. Daughter Eva Amurri has two sex scenes in the movie, about a young woman caught between her boyfriend and a visitor with a sinister past. “Both are exciting to watch,” Amurri told us. “In one of them, I got to wear a garter belt, which is my fantasy come true – ever since my prom dress.” It’s Limp Bizkit rocker Fred Durst‘s directorial debut.
- Ladies, if Ludacris gives you Elizabeth Arden perfume or Archipelago votive candles, don’t try to exchange them. He picked them up in the backstage swag suite at the Young Hollywood Awards …
- Finally, supermodels who dine on more than cigarettes and Juicy Fruit. Heidi Klum and Karolina Kurkova sampled Kobe beef sliders, lobster tacos, wings, scallops, sea bass – and Klum’s favorite, banana doughnuts, while primping for their Victoria’s Secret show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Hotel management must’ve been thrilled to learn the delicacies were sent by the FIX restaurant, which is at the Venetian.
- Lindsay Lohan credits a pale pink Post-It note as her inspiration for the shade of lipstick she created for Cargo. No doubt she’ll wear it when she’s named US Weekly’s red carpet stylemaker of the year tomorrow night at Sugar in Los Angeles.
- Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri threw out over $2,000 in cash to the crowd at Cameo in Miami during the party for Naked Papers when the DJ played their song “Money Ain’t a Thang.” One lucky customer walked out with $900 in Benjamins …
- Hmmm, Kevin Spacey is usually nicer than this. The “Moon for the Misbegotten” star was overheard at the Grand nightclub on E. 58th telling a bouncer who’d complimented his work : “I don’t give a f-.”
- Terrence Howard flirted with Kim Kardashian at mur.mur in the Borgata in Atlantic City Saturday night, but left alone. “His kids were upstairs,” a pal explains.
- Designer Marc Jacobs caught some rays over the weekend with “a bunch of cute boys” on the Christopher St. Pier.
- Brandon Davis, apparently back on the tequila diet, was doing shots at the Rose Bar in the Gramercy Park Hotel and looked visibly disappointed when he found out the brown-haired beauty he was chatting up was married.
- Chelsea Clinton, clad in business attire, enjoyed lunch with three men at Dishes on E. 54th St.
- Forever cool Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, outdoors at forever cool Odeon Sunday.
- Kelly Ripa and Joy Behar were on hand to fete Dr. Fredrick Brandt at the Core Club on E. 55th. The celebrity skin guru was launching his new book, “10 Minutes, 10 Years.”
- Diddy hit hot spot Butter late Monday night – but apparently wasn’t ready for his closeup. According to TMZ.com, the rapper’s bodyguard stepped in front of a cameraman to warn, “Don’t shoot him. … It’s not going to be a good situation if you [do].” Guess it was his bad side?
- When stars attack: Diddy isn’t the only camera-shy guy – Hugh Grant got a little, shall we say, “huffy” when a photographer snapped his picture in London yesterday.
- Kirsten Dunst looked a little, ummm, worse for wear after hitting a pub or two Monday night, following the London premiere of “Spider-Man 3.” The actress was spotted at the Hawley Arms festively singing along to the Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset” before finally calling it a night at about 4 a.m. Superhero Spidey was nowhere to be found, but luckily, boyfriend Johnny Borrell was on hand to get Dunst back to her hotel.
- Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy took a stroll in NYC Monday, but it’s far from their first outing. She’s been to see him in “Journey’s End,” of course, and the two attended “Frost/Nixon” Sunday night. They also bopped by Francisco Costa‘s shop on Madison Ave., where the designer hosted a benefit for Safe Horizon to help victims of violence and abuse.
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