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Celebrity Scoop

Britney Spears, casting off the remnants of her sweet-as-pie image along with most of her clothes, says she's relieved she didn't settle down with fellow pop star Justin Timberlake. Spears tells British Elle magazine for its September issue that the breakup made her a better artist. She also says she hated seeing Timberlake talk about their relationship and that she's actually quite shy. On the cover, the 21-year-old singer appears in a seductive pose wearing only a pair of tiny black briefs. "I'll always have feelings for Justin," she says. "OK, not feelings for him, but he'll always have a special place in my heart. He was my first love after all. I think I got way too serious, way too young. It's very healthy to not be in that relationship right now." Spears says she wasn't ready to join friends from her native Louisiana who had settled down. "I'll call up a friend and say, `Hey! What's going on? You're pregnant? What? Already?' But that's where I come from and that's the mind-set I had all my life," she said. "Now I think, `Whoa, that would have been the biggest mistake of my life.' Y'know?" Spears, who split with Timberlake in March 2002 after three years together, says it pained her to see him feature a look-alike of her in the video for his hit song "Cry Me a River." "Freakin' horrible. You know what I mean?" she says. "It was hard for me that he was so exploitative. Every interview that he did, he was just talking about us in such an open way and I just felt, `Is nothing sacred anymore?' It was weird. It was…disappointing."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton doesn't mind sharing top billing with Harry Potter. In fact, she enjoys it. The former first lady's book, "Living History," and J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" have been generating long lines at stores this summer and sometimes causing a bit of confusion. "I like going to stores and seeing `Harry' and `Hillary' signs," Clinton said Wednesday. "There was one night when I was in Huntington, Long Island, and I was there on the same night that Harry Potter made his `appearance.' There were some interesting interchanges. Some people for Harry were in my line, and some people for me were in Harry's line. It was so fun," she said. The New York Democrat was in Seattle for a fund-raising breakfast for the re-election campaign of Sen. Patty Murray and a book signing.

Clay Aiken wowed a sold-out hometown crowd and bathed in an ovation that nearly brought him to tears. Rising from below the stage, the "American Idol" runner-up opened his performance Wednesday with his single "This Is the Night." When it was over, he stood silently for several minutes as the audience screamed. Appearing to tear up, Aiken said, "Thank you so much. There's no place like home." After months of following the Raleigh native's televised journey to superstardom on the Fox talent search, his fans got what they wanted: Clay live. "Words can't describe it," said 15-year-old Sarah Pearce of Raleigh. The "Pop Tarts Presents American Idols Live!" tour hit the RBC Center Wednesday, featuring nine of the singers who performed earlier this year during the "Idol" competition. Through toll-free phone lines and text messaging, viewers crowned Ruben Studdard the winner. Aiken, 24, finished second.

Marilyn Manson will have to sit out the Six Flags Darien Lake stop on the 2003 Ozzfest tour. The amusement park says the shock rocker's act isn't appropriate for the venue. Manson, known for his ghastly, cadaverous look and macabre lyrics, is usually considered one of the headliners of the tour, which includes acts such as Korn, Disturbed, Chevelle and Ozzy Osbourne. Darien Lake is the only venue on the 30-city tour so far to refuse Manson's performance, The Buffalo News reported Wednesday. Being banned from shows is nothing new for Manson, whose suggestive, theatrical stage show has made him the target of religious and conservative groups. "Contractual agreement gives us the right to restrict artists from performing in our concert venue," said a statement by Six Flags. "We decided to pass on the Marilyn Manson performance." The 34-year-old singer told the newspaper, "Marilyn Manson is simply too dangerous for Darien Lake." Ozzfest is on stage Monday at Six Flags Darien Lake.

Government censors have postponed the Malaysian release of Jim Carrey's latest film, "Bruce Almighty," pending a decision on whether to ban it for trivializing the subject of God, officials said. The comedy had been scheduled to open Thursday in this mostly Muslim country, but the state-run Film Censorship Board is reconsidering its earlier decision to approve the movie, said board secretary Lukeman Said. "We have not decided whether to ban it, but we have instructed distributors not to show it until a decision is made," Lukeman said Wednesday. In the film, God gives Carrey's character, a frustrated TV newscaster named Bruce, all his powers for a limited time. Movies screened in Malaysia must abide by a strict censorship code that forbids sex, graphic violence and provocative handling of topics such as race and religion. "It's not appropriate to show the film in this country," said Abdul Hamid Zainal, a minister in the Prime Minister's Department. "We cannot equate ourselves with God, even as a joke."

Hundreds of Osmond family fans gathered in Hollywood to see their favorite sibling entertainers get their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After seventy-seven million records sold, and four decades of entertaining the world, Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Donny, Marie and Jimmy Osmond were presented the 2332nd star as cheering fans looked on. The Osmond family rose to fame in the sixties after appearing on "The Andy Williams Show." Williams told the crowd that the Osmonds were always naturally talented and were destined for fame. Originally, only four of the Osmond brothers performed on "The Andy Williams Show," but that all changed when five year old Donny Osmond got in on the act. A few years later, another Osmond was introduced. This time it was three-year-old Jimmy's turn to shine in the spotlight. In 1973, Marie Osmond joined in the singing family tradition becoming a country-recording artist. Their father, George, came to cheer his children on, along with their brother Tom, but mother, Olive, and brother, Virl, could not make the trip due to health reasons. Donny arrived in a neck brace saying he hurt himself while bodysurfing in Hawaii.

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