The Vindication of Amanda Bynes

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Today in celebrity gossip: A maligned actress is defended, Joe Simpson is not who you think he is, and No Doubt has a little racist video controversy. 

Though actress Amanda Bynes, recently scrutinized for odd behavior involving hit and runs and strange online activity, is not completely out of the woods, she's at least been cleared of one accusation. Last week or so, a story ran in In Touch claiming that Bynes wandered nude into the lobby of her regular New York tanning salon to ask for something, seeming to not care that she was naked for all to see. Some supposed witness-type told the magazine that she "seemed completely out of it," seeming to confirm the rumors that Bynes has maybe snapped some sort of tether. The actress responded last week, saying "I'm not 'troubled.' I don't get naked in public. I'm 26, a multi-millionaire, retired. Please respect my privacy." So a strong, if admittedly strange, rebuttal. And now the owner of the tanning salon is saying that security tapes confirm that Bynes was never nude in the lobby, so case closed. Of course they could just be protecting a loyal and high-profile client, but let's take their word for it, shall we? Bynes' potential mental problems are nothing to make fun of, but we do have to wonder about this "26, multi-millionaire, retired" thing. If that is the case, maybe she's just bored? I mean, wouldn't you be? Sure, we all think "Oh man, if only I didn't have to work, it'd be so great." But I dunno. I think you'd get bored and, yeah, maybe start to act a little strange. You'd be alone all the time while everyone else is at work! Doesn't sound that fun. Maybe that's what's happening. Let's hope that's what's happening and urge Ms. Bynes to try to get some kind of job. Doesn't have to be acting, it could be anything. She could go work at a library. Do they have libraries in Los Angeles? Well, actually, I think she lives in New York now, so sure, they have libraries here. There's a little branch on Tompkins Square Park. Maybe she could go work there. No nudity allowed. [Us Weekly]

Speaking of people denying sneering rumors, Jessica Simpson's dad is telling friends and associates he is not gay, according to TMZ "sources," in the wake of some rumors that he recently came out to his family and is dating some 21-year-old kid. He also got a makeover that makes him look like, well, like if Annie Lennox had a brother. So who knows what's going on. And really we shouldn't care. If Joe Simpson has been gay this whole time and is just now coming to terms with it, good for him. If this is just some dumb rumor pegged to some newly frosted hair and a new young friend, well then pish to it. Pish, I say! Who really cares who crinkly, crusty old Joe Simpson is sleeping with? It doesn't really matter to anyone. All that matters is that we gently try to guide him back toward the hair salon so they can maybe salvage what's left of his hair and encourage him to never ask for the Lori Petty again. That's all we can do, as a society. So let's do it. [TMZ]

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No Doubt still exists. That's not the gossip news, but I just thought it was worth repeating. No Doubt is kickin' around, making music. How about that. Would we ever have guessed that back in those Tragic Kingdom days? I don't think so. But here they are, with an album and singles and videos and everything. Well, today they are down one video. See they've decided to pull the video for their new single "Looking Hot" because Native American groups objected to the sight of lead singer Gwen Stefani dressed in stereotypical Native American garb, feather in her hair and whatnot, fighting cowboys. That was viewed as a simplification of the culture. So the band pulled the video and released a statement, saying "As a multi-racial band our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures. Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history." Which, cool, fair enough. I believe it was not their intention to offend, but also appreciate that some Native American groups would balk at the sight of Gwen Stefani dressed like an "Indian," tied to a pole for a song called "Looking Hot." Say what you will about over PC-ness and sensitivity and all that, but when the vast majority of your ancestors were horrifically genocided, I think it's only fair for you to get upset about sexy music video depictions of said genocide. Doesn't that seem fair? I think that seems fair. [Us Weekly]

Hm. Oscar-winning Moonstruck screenwriter and Doubt playwright John Patrick Shanley is being sued by a 26-year-old actress who claims that Shanley, 61, was violent during sex. The civil suit alleges that Shanley "placed his hands over the plaintiff’s mouth and neck to restrain her" and "looped his belt around her neck during sex 'and pulled the belt, preventing [her] from breathing.'” The suit asks for $5 million in damages, claiming that Shanley used his status to control the woman, Amanda Jencsik. Shanley's attorneys are trying to get the suit dismissed, trying to cite a similar case against boxer Oscar de la Hoya that the same judge threw out several years ago. The lesson of all of this, of course, for the accuser and the accused, is that no one should ever do anything with anyone. Don't trust some old playwright because he might be a violent creep, don't trust some ambitious young actress because she might sue you for millions of dollars, don't do anything, go anywhere, talk to anyone, ever. That's the only way to be safe. Anyway, hopefully the right thing will be done here, whatever that may be. [Page Six]

Back to more positive news: Levi Johnston has released photos from his recent wedding, and he was wearing a camo vest and bowtie. Yup. Uh uh. TMZ has the wedding photos and while we frustratingly don't see any of the venue, food, or guests, we do see plenty of Levi's cool dude look and much of the bride, Sunny Oglesby, and their baby, Breeze Beretta. Oglesby looks nice, if too young, and both kids are awfully brave, wearing no jackets or anything in Alaska in late fall. But yeah, mostly: camo vest and bowtie. Well done Levi, you old sumbitch. Well done always. [TMZ]

Kristen Bell is pregnant with Dax Shepard's baby, so that's it, dudes who have been crushing on Kristen Bell since Veronica Mars. She might really, officially be off the market. And not only off the market, off the market with Dax Shepard. Sorry, guys. I know you really wanted this thing to happen for you two, but it doesn't look like it's going to, ever. Obviously things could happen, parents don't always have to stay together, but it seems less likely now, I'm afraid. So, pack it up and move on. Yeah, there's Krysten Ritter, or maybe that chick from that Evercreek show who's now on that Revenge show your sister and her gay friends are obsessed with, or maybe just Jill from work. Maybe it's time to really commit yourself to the world of the real and realize you like Jill, you have for two years now, and she's into you, so you should just ask her on a date. Forget about Kristen Bell. That was just a dream some of you had. It's time to wake up. [People]

The world's biggest mystery right now is this: Why did Shaquille O'Neal, who is very very rich and lives in an 11-bedroom mansion, buy a second house in a Florida suburb for $235,000? Hm? Why did he do that?? Is it for him? For someone else? Is it a just-in-case house? What could he want this house for? We don't know, but we like the mystery. Also, apparently $235,00 gets you five bedrooms, granite countertops, and a wet bar in Florida. Why don't we live in Florida?? Oh, wait, right, of course. It's Florida. Anyway, why did Shaq buy this house?? [TMZ]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.