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Clooney takes aim at celebrity website

George Clooney is known as a prankster, but his plan to undermine a website that posts celebrity sightings is no joke, his publicist said yesterday. Clooney has suggested swamping Gawker.com's ''Gawker Stalker" feature with false notes about stars' whereabouts, spokesman Stan Rosenfield said. In an e-mail Rosenfield recently distributed on Clooney's behalf to other high-powered publicists, the actor calls for publicity firms and their clients to join the effort against the site that some have called a threat to celebrities. ''There is a simple way to render these guys useless," Clooney said in the message. ''Flood their website with bogus sightings. Get your clients to get 10 friends to text in fake sightings of any number of stars. A couple hundred conflicting sightings and this website is worthless. No need to try to create new laws to restrict free speech. Just make them useless. That's the fun of it. And then sit back and enjoy the ride," Clooney writes, signing the note, ''Thanks, George."

Pneumonia hospitalizes George Jones
George Jones has been hospitalized for pneumonia, the country singer's record label said yesterday. Jones, 74, is expected to make a full recovery, but doctors advised him to enter Nashville's Baptist Hospital on Thursday for treatment, Bandit Records said in a statement. Weekend performances for Albany, Ga.; Panama City, Fla.; and Chattanooga, Tenn., will be rescheduled, the release said.

Armani looks to the Far East for fashion
Giorgio Armani wants to expand his fashion empire in China -- a place he says has always inspired his designs. ''You can see from my retrospective show that many products reflect the Chinese inspiration," Armani said. He was on his way to Shanghai, where an exhibition of more than 500 of his designs and sketches was to be staged at the Shanghai Art Museum. ''The smiles I see when walking down the street, and other small details, they all give me inspiration," said Armani, who owns more than 30 stores in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

Rap mogul Simmons, wife end marriage
The marriage of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and his model-turned-entrepreneur wife, Kimora Lee (above), has come to an end. In a statement yesterday, Simmons announced the pair had decided to break up after seven years of marriage. The couple have two young daughters. ''Kimora and I will remain committed parents and caring friends with great love and admiration for each other," Simmons said. ''We will also continue to work side by side on a daily basis as partners in all of our businesses." Simmons is head of Rush Communications, but is perhaps better known as the cofounder of Def Jam Records and for his Phat Farm clothing line. Kimora Lee Simmons has become almost as famous as her husband, thanks to her Baby Phat clothing line.

Buttafuoco faces ammunition charges
Joey Buttafuoco, the Long Island body shop owner who gained notoriety in the 1990s when his teenage girlfriend shot his wife, has been ordered to stand trial on a felony charge of illegally possessing ammunition. Authorities said Buttafuoco, who has pleaded not guilty, violated terms of his probation by possessing ammunition found during a search last August of his San Fernando Valley home.

Viewers can vote on next 'Apprentice'
NBC will offer a true test on whether Donald Trump listens to advice. When this season's edition of ''The Apprentice" gets down to its final two candidates, NBC will ask viewers to choose their favorite in a telephone and online poll. The season's finale is expected in early June. The vote is not binding, but it will be the first time Trump gets on-air advice from anyone other than his employees.

Superman getting Imax, 3-D treatment
The new Superman is going to be flying at moviegoers in 3-D on huge Imax screens. Three or four sections of ''Superman Returns," due in theaters this summer, will get the special treatment, according to Warner Bros. Imax viewers will be prompted by an onscreen cue to put on and take off 3-D glasses for the sequences. ''Superman Returns," which stars newcomer Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel, will be released June 30 in regular movie theaters as well as the Imax theaters.

His talk ain't cheap
'It's insulting to me that everyone hasn't come with me. I take it personally.' Howard Stern, saying he's angry that only 4 million fans have followed him from broadcast radio to satellite. He says his audience should be 20 million.

FROM WIRE REPORTS

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