TABLOID HELL – MARCH 15

Aside from the bad boy of British pop, we find out about Geri going back to her criminal roots and David Gray getting as close to art as he ever will...

EMINEM has been rubbing off on ELTON.

According to this morning’s Daily Star (March 15), “dial-a-duet” big Elt, normally a friend to all, has turned into a street brawler who likes nothing more than a bare-knuckle rumble. On his way into the Ivy restaurant in London recently, Elton, it is claimed, took exception to a man taking his picture, and after hurling abuse at him, wrestled him onto the ground. Elton, says The Star, was pulled off by his partner David Furnish and led into the restaurant. But a hearty meal did little to cool his rage. Seems the wonderfully coiffured piano player still felt aggrieved on leaving, and he and the snap-happy fan “exchanged words again”.

The Star also reports that testosterone-charged Latino heartthrob Ricky Martin has been “warned off his new girlfriend by pals who claim she is after his money”. Apparently, Ricky’s new squeeze, whom he met at a Miami fashion show a few months back, is not a woman to trifle with. After splitting with a former lover, a Wall Street trader, in 1997, she was sued for the return of £367,000 in cash and jewellery. He didn’t get the jewellery.

The Sun today goes Hear’say crazy. They claim a world exclusive with a preview of the ‘Popstars’ band’s debut album. NMEPOP.COM posted just such a preview on Tuesday (March 13).

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, focuses attention on Geri Halliwell’s court appearance yesterday. The former Spice Girl, not unfamiliar with jurisprudence, having been convicted of shoplifting in 1990, had a rather more pleasant hearing this time around. Up on a speeding charge, she was banned for 42 days and fined £400 (as Princess Anne was fined the same amount, also for speeding, a day earlier Tabloid Hell is beginning to wonder if this is in fact a new celebrity levy). According to the Mail, Miss Halliwell caused quite a fuss. Staff sneaked in from adjoining rooms, one solicitor left his own hearing to seek an autograph and Mike Dunn, the man prosecuting her, admitted his mind wandered somewhat from proceedings. “Not that I was looking, but Geri was wearing a very short mini-skirt under her coat,” he muttered.

The Mirror maintains its keen eye on the world of music and celebrity. David Gray, those ever-vigilant 3am Girls report today, was spotted at the Tate Modern museum in London. He was “wandering around”. Reports that while “wandering around” Gray “looked at things” are unsubstantiated as Tabloid Hell went to press.

Finally, Muriel Harper’s old manual-control television set has saved her life. When the 83-year-old stood up to change channels after watching Esther Rantzen’s chat-show yesterday, a four-tonne Rolls-Royce came crashing through her living room wall, crushing the chair she had been sitting in. The house, in Walsall, West Midlands, the chair and the Rolls-Royce are now write-offs. Old Mrs Harper is shaken but fine. There is no word on the condition of the heroic television set.