Houston checks in?
* TV show Extra reports diva Whitney Houston may have checked into a rehab in Arizona to treat her alleged addiction to crack cocaine. Houston's reps: "no comment."
A Sunny mea culpa!
* Brit tabloid the Sun, revered for its semi-nude portrayal of modeling ingenues on its divine Page 3, has apologized to Teri Hatcher, 41, for its August story that claimed the Desperate Housewives star consorted, canoodled and otherwise carried on with men in a van outside her home. In December Sun competitor the Daily Sport coughed up libel damages to Hatcher for a similar story.
Nick: She called it quits
* Proving he's as much an expert on marriage as he is on music, always likable former boybander Nick Lachey tells Rolling Stone that his former soulmate, Jessica Simpson, blindsided him with her request for a divorce, and that she was definitely the boss of him: "I'll tell you how I knew my marriage was over: I was told."
Nick, 32, says he's come to the metaphysical conclusion that Reality is not Real. Speaking of the couple's MTV show, Newlyweds, Nick said, "Jessica and I began playing these parts even when we were by ourselves. . . . It became a really blurred line. There was a question about what truly was our reality." Was there adultery? He's not sure.
The King's home
* Own a piece of music history: The first home Elvis Presley owned, a small ranch-style joint in Memphis, is for sale on eBay.
As of yesterday afternoon, bidding stood at $225,000. (Reps of eBay say that since the house went on the block Friday, its page has had 35,000 hits.) Bidding ends May 14.
Bello on Mel
* Norristown's first daughter, Maria Bello, whom I have loved way before any of you (since her days on ER and opposite Ben Stiller in Permanent Midnight) dishes about her life and tastes to Women's Health mag. Bello, who just wrapped Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, says Tinseltown's hottest XY specimen is her Payback costar Mel Gibson: "Mel was so open and accepting and charming. He didn't have a star chip at all. It was all about inclusiveness and compassion." (OK, work on charm, get rid of chip, learn compassion.)
A king's return?
* Seems the Bahrain sun and the Bahrain people have helped kick-start Michael Jackson's creative juices all over again. The 47-year-old singer is recording a new album for Two Seas Records, the label owned by Bahrain's Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa and managed by Brit music mogul Guy Holmes. Look for the record to help boost M.J.'s flagging finances sometime next year.
Lost on 'Lost'?
* In a potential spoiler for the hot hot hot mystery sci-fi series Lost, one of the show's regulars has signed to star opposite Tom Cavanaugh in the CBS comedy pilot My Ex-Life, the Hollywood Reporter says. Who? And will his/her Lost character be killed on (or by) the mystery island? I would never spoil it for you.
* Tinseltown power couple Brian Grazer and Gigi Levangie-Grazer are done. Producer Grazer, who Monday filed for divorce, stands to make a gazillion dollars on Ron Howard's Da Vinci Code flick, while his novelist wife of nine years is known for the screenplay for the 1998 Julia Roberts movie Stepmom. The couple, who have a prenup, have two kids: Patrick, 2, and Thomas, 6.
Contact "Newsmakers" at 215-854-5797 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This column contains information from Inquirer wire services.