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Jessica And Nick Avoid Awkward Moment

This week's example of "The Rich Just Get Richer": Jessica Simpson.

Simpson walked away with Chrysler Crossfire on Thursday, selecting the winning key that turned the ignition to the $50,000 luxury car at the Style Villa, one of the numerous luxury freebie suites set up for celebrities during the week of the Video Music Awards.

Besides free makeup, liquor, clothes, watches, private jet discounts and motorcycle leases, the suite featured Chrysler, which offered stars the opportunity to select a car key at random.

Simpson, arriving Thursday afternoon, selected the key that started the car.

That's not all she got. Simpson and her hairstylist/BFF Ken Paves went through four floors of swag at the Bryant Park Hotel and selected some of her favorite things, including jewelry and clothes.

At the Nessa Lee Style suite, she and Paves made matching bracelets out of charms — Nessa Lee Style owner Vanessa Antonelli said Simpson chose the moon symbol for rest, an apple for health (Simpson lost her voice this week), a peace sign and two feathers.

At one point, Antonelli says Simpson asked her what the dolphin symbol meant. When Antonelli said it stood for intelligence, Simpson, famous for her airhead persona, retorted: "Who needs that?"

It's unclear whether Simpson will keep the car: Recently the IRS has started cracking down on the huge awards-show gift packages doled out to celebs, and the Emmy awards alerted presenters that they would have to pay taxes on its gift bag, worth about $42,000. Simpson's representative did not return a call for comment.

Elsewhere, Simpson managed to avoid an awkward encounter with her ex-husband Nick Lachey when they visited the Style Villa gift suite.

Lachey and Simpson were there at the same time — but narrowly missed each other as they visited the private rooms filled with free goods.

"(They) came by literally two minutes in between each other," said Rick Gomez at G-Star Raw Demin Jeans, where both Simpson and Lachey snagged gear.

Besides the ex-couple, other celebrities who came by the various suites around town were Snoop Dogg, Cassie, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Fall Out Boy, and Nelly, who steered celebs to his own Apple Bottoms clothing suite.

At the AOL-sponsored suite, Snoop Dogg accepted a $4,500 disc-shaped diamond-encrusted ring from jewelry designer Jacquelin Cohen, while Cassie snagged a blinged-out pendant shaped like a shark's tooth worth $2,500. But not everything was up for grabs. A $50,000 necklace was available, but for loan or purchase only.

When asked if she'd ever give it away, Cohen shook her head and laughed: "I'd be out of business!"
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody

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