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George Rush grew up in a small Midwestern town, and then went on to Brown University, followed by Columbia University, where he received his master's degree in journalism. He wrote articles on weighty topics for national magazines, and a book, "Confessions of a Secret Service Agent." But after meeting Joanna Molloy, a fifth-generation New Yorker, Rush soon straightened out his life and began writing a gossip column with her. The couple, who have been married since 1992, have a little Rush.

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Diaz fit to be tied over Web video

Cameron Diaz is calling her lawyers now that a kinky video she made long ago has found its way onto the Internet.

For more than a year, the "Shrek 2" star, 31, has been fighting to stop the world from seeing photos and video she made over a decade ago when she was a model. But now a Russian-registered Web site (WARNING: ADULT CONTENT!) www.scandal-inc.com is trafficking in an "S&M" film titled "She's No Angel: Cameron Diaz."

The home page shows a woman who looks like Diaz - topless and in fishnets - joining a brunette in some "Spartacus"-style role-playing with a grimacing guy in shackles and a loincloth.

According to www.defamer.com, the trailer for the 30-minute video, which sells for $39.95, shows the actress using a can of Freon or compressed air for a purpose probably not recommended by the manufacturer.

A press release for the site claims that photographer John Rutter sold the copyright to the footage to a distributor, who sold the rights to scandal-inc.com.

Rutter's lawyer Ronald Richards told us his client "has nothing to do with this Web site. This video has been in existence for 12 years. Someone must have gotten a copy."

Richards also noted that the L.A. district attorney's office recently dropped an attempted-extortion charge against Rutter, whom Diaz claimed had tried to shake her down for $3.3 million.

Prosecutors are still charging that Rutter forged her signature on the photo release, which the photog denies.

Diaz's rep said that an L.A. Superior Court judge has issued an injunction prohibiting anyone from distributing the photos and video shot by Rutter in 1992. A cease-and-desist letter has been sent to the Web site.

Meanwhile, Diaz will be happy to know that her boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, was keeping himself occupied Tuesday night in Manhattan when he hit the party thrown by Joey Fatone and Joel Rousseau at Suede. Backed by DJ Clue, Timberlake sang Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" while moonwalking on a banquette.

A spy says he also spent a lot of time dancing with one fetching blond - "and they left together."

A friend of Timberlake insists that he departed blondless and that he's still tight with Diaz, who joined him in Memphis on Monday for the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley's recording "That's All Right, Mama."

Working blue for Dems?

John Leguizamo better mind his mambo mouth tonight at the Radio City fund-raiser for John Kerry and John Edwards.

We hear Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner surprised his co-chairmen Harvey Weinstein and John Sykes by inviting the "Sexaholix" comic to step up to the mike.

You'll recall that, in 2000, when Wenner, Weinstein and Sykes teamed up for a Radio City fund-raiser for Al Gore, Leguizamo made the candidate and running mate Joe Lieberman squirm with ribald remarks about George W. Bush.

"Harvey and John [Sykes] were shocked that Jann took it upon himself to invite [Leguizamo]," one insider told us. "We don't want John Kerry embarrassed."

A friend of Sykes confirmed Wenner didn't clear the comic with him, but said the Infinity Broadcasting chief "doesn't have a problem with Leguizamo. There's no way the guy would do it again. I'm sure Jann talked with him."

Reps for Wenner, Weinstein and Sykes declined comment. Leguizamo's spokesman said, "John is thrilled to be coming. If there was serious concern, he wouldn't be part of show."

The evening, which is expected to raise more than $6.5 million, will also feature John Fogerty (who's composed a song for the occasion), Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Jon Bon Jovi and Wyclef Jean.

An unreleased Brando pic

Now that Marlon Brando is beyond caring, you have to wonder how long it'll be before the Internet will be coursing with a certain photo of the Oscar-winner.

We're speaking of a shot that is said to show Brando, ummm, gratifying another man. Brando biographer Peter Manso, who has a copy, figures it was taken in the mid- to late-1950s. "There's no question it's Marlon," Manso tells us. "My sense is that it was posed, that he did it for the shock value."

"I, too, have had homosexual experiences and am not ashamed," Brando acknowledged in Gary Carey's bio, "Marlon Brando: The Only Contender."

"Deep down I feel ambiguous."

Various rumors linked him with authors James Baldwin and Gore Vidal, composer Leonard Bernstein and former roommate Wally Cox.

A more likely companion was the late actor Christian Marquand. In 1966, 25-year-old British critic Michael Thornton was dispatched to interview Brando at the Savoy Hotel. According to Britain's Daily Mail, the Q&A was done in a bed shared by Brando and Marquand, who were "in various state of undress, with alcohol [and] marijuana ... being liberally consumed.

Says Thronton today: "I can only say that I was left in no doubt about Marlon's interest in men."

Side dish

JON STEWART needs to get his guests in line. On Tuesday night's "The Daily Show," Ralph Nader blurted out that the comic's wife, Tracey, had just given birth to their first child. That prompted acting host Stephen Colbert to scold, "We'll have to kill you now" ...

A GARDENER who worked at Rod Stewart's Florida estate has admitted to stealing the rock star's $72,000 sports car, Palm Beach police say. Donald Smith, 22, had just been fired when he drove off in Stewart's yellow Dodge Viper, according to authorities. He was later arrested at a nearby motel. Speaking of El Rod, you should be seeing a lot of him here while he records his third album of standards. He's had the good fortune to get the great jazz singer Steve Tyrell to produce ...

GWYNETH PALTROW stopped in at Oliviers & Co. on Bleecker St. to taste some of the store's Greek olive oils ...

IF GOP conventioneers want some face time with a New York mayor, try Patsy's. Ten minutes after Rudy Giuliani walked out of the W. 56th landmark, Mayor Bloomberg walked in (with State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno) ...

COUNT ON Bill Clinton to secure a copy of Pamela Keogh's "Elvis Presley: The Man. The Life. The Legend." Keogh tells us that the former President (Secret Service code name: "Elvis") has the largest collection of Presley memorabilia outside of Graceland - including a scarf the King wore in the 1970s. Keogh, who enjoyed unprecedented access to the Presley estate photo archives, is due to read from her book at Borders at Park Ave. and 57th St. today at 6:30 p.m. ...

HE DATES one of the most beautiful women in the world, so what was Leo DiCaprio doing while supermodel Gisele Bundchen was dancing at the PM Lounge Tuesday night? Playing poker. "He brought his own pack of cards," a spy tells us. Maybe he's getting ready to take on poker pal Tobey Maguire ...

WB11 ANCHOR Jim Watkins led the applause for Christopher Weldon, executive director of New York Child Learning Institute, by the Knights of York at the Metropolitan Club for his 32 years of service and helping children with special needs.

With Jo Piazza
and Chris Rovzar


Originally published on July 8‚ 2004

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