ONE RICH BLOND
A California bankruptcy court last week awarded ANNA NICOLE SMITH, she of the breasts, $449.7 million, an amount the judge said was the former Playboy Playmate's rightful inheritance from a blink-and-you-missed-it marriage to the late oil baron Howard Marshall. The two met in a Houston topless bar, where Smith was working as a stripper. When they married in 1994, she was a nubile 26 and he was 89--but a young 89. Marshall died one year later, leaving two sons to fight with their stepmother over an estimated $1.6 billion fortune. The court ruled that Pierce Marshall had made changes to his father's will after Howard had signed it. Rather predictably, Marshall called the ruling a "miscarriage of justice," while Smith told the court that inheriting lots of money was exactly what ol' man Marshall wanted for her. "He wanted to make me happy," she testified. "His wish was my command."
NO, REALLY, I PAID FOR THIS SWEATER
In his first press conference, PRINCE WILLIAM announced he's not at all thrilled about the publication of Shadows of a Princess, a tell-all by his late mother's ex-private secretary that brands Diana a "scheming liar." "Harry and I are both quite upset about it, that our mother's trust has been betrayed, and even now she is still being exploited." After more obligatory Diana reverence, the British press discovered that Will, 18, plans to spend part of his gap year between high school and college trekking in Chile. William even claimed he made the money for the trip by playing in a sponsored water-polo match, though he reluctantly admitted Dad may have helped. "I chip in all the bloody time," noted Prince Charles, who joined his son at the press conference. Nice try, rich boy.
THE RETIRING TYPE
BARBRA STREISAND has always taken two things very seriously: performing live and Barbra Streisand. But having decided she needed more time to "live my life," she said farewell to her days as a concert performer with two sold-out nights at New York City's Madison Square Garden designed to drain the tear ducts of anyone who has ever even considered humming The Way We Were. She duetted with a videotaped Frank Sinatra on I've Got a Crush on You, bantered (albeit with aid from a TelePrompTer) with Shirley MacLaine about the Y2K virus, and dedicated a love song to husband James ("Double A-beep-beep-M-C-O") Brolin. In an emotional high point, Streisand related that someone recently sent her a love letter written by her father, whom she never knew, when he was a young man. And yes, that woman, Esther Grodin, 92, is here tonight! And yes, Streisand launched into Papa, Can You Hear Me? For the top ticket price of $2,500, Streisand also threw in Somewhere, Send in the Clowns and Cry Me a River. Her fans willingly obliged.
JUST A COUPLE OF PLAYER HAIDERS