Diddy Wants You To Be His Next Assistant; Plus Usher, Paris Hilton, Janet Jackson, Marilyn Manson & More, In For The Record

Usher says he's 'not being led'; Hilton's alleged special treatment in jail being investigated; Jackson signs to boyfriend's label.

Do you want to be the next Fonzworth Bentley? Diddy is looking for a new assistant, and he’s taking his search online. The music mogul posted a video on his MySpace page asking wannabe lackeys to upload a video of themselves explaining why they deserve the gig (college degree required, he specifies). Diddy will put the hiring process in the fans’ hands once he has a pool of finalists. Check out the clip to upload your application video. …

They’ve done gone and did it. They wiped the smile off Usher‘s face. In an open letter written by the singer and posted on People magazine’s Web site Thursday, he denied reports that he harassed and threatened some people in the media; said he wanted to keep details about his upcoming marriage to Tameka Foster and the birth of their child private; and asked his fans to not believe all the rumors that have been floating around about him. “It’s disturbing that the media and bloggers (under the guise as ‘fans’) continuously speculate on the personal aspects of my life, therefore making assumptions and wrong insinuations that my fans are subject to believe,” he said in his letter. “I am happy, excited, completely clear and independent on my direction, feelings, decisions and I am NOT BEING LED,” he added, responding to rumors that Foster has Usher on a short leash. “Some media and bloggers have been totally intrusive, they have misconstrued aspects of my personal life and, because of this, my ‘true’ fans are not sure about what is fact and what is fiction.” …

In other Usher news, the R&B superstar appears in the August issue of Stuff, and he tells the lad mag that he’s growing up. “I used to be the guy who tore off his shirt during every show. Now I’m a little more comfortable in my skin, and I don’t have to show my chest or my stomach every time I take a picture,” he said. “As for the shirtless guy at the club, maybe he’s having fun, but the real players and ballers, you don’t see them coming. That guy who’s in the back chilling, he’s the one who always leaves with the hottest chick. And that’s his reason for being out in the club anyway, right?” …

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department launched an internal investigation on Thursday into whether Paris Hilton received special treatment during her time at Lynwood, California’s Century Regional Detention Center, the Los Angeles Times reports. The department’s union, which has clashed with Sheriff Lee Baca in the past, said deputies have complained about Hilton’s access to a cell phone (while other inmates waited in line for pay phones) and her new jail uniform (while many inmates receive recycled ones). … Janet Jackson is leaving Virgin Records for Island Def Jam, according to her boyfriend, music producer Jermaine Dupri. He confirmed to Billboard that Jackson was lured to the label by L.A. Reid, who previously recruited Dupri to his current post at Island Urban, a division of Island Def Jam. Dupri had been an executive at Virgin but resigned his post after Jackson’s last album, 20 Y.O., failed to live up to expectations. Dupri executive-produced the project and blamed Virgin for the album’s poor promotion. Dupri has said Reid would largely work with Jackson on her next album. …

One of Marilyn Manson‘s bodyguards has won a court battle against a photographer who claimed he was beaten up at a concert. A Los Angeles judge has ruled that Ruben Navarrete failed to present enough evidence that he was injured by the security guard at a Manson show in 2004. Navarrete alleged the bodyguard “grabbed him and put him in a chokehold” and then demanded he “erase the portions of his videotape that contained the images of Marilyn Manson.” The photographer initially named Manson as a defendant, but, according to TMZ.com, the judge threw that part of the case out. … The countdown to Posh and Becks’ takeover is over. Victoria and David Beckham arrived in the U.S. to throngs of paparazzi on Friday (July 13), and America may never be the same. W magazine is welcoming the power pair in its August Issue with a revealing article and equally revealing photo spread. (Check out the sizzling cover here. ) Victoria says she wants to change Americans’ perception of her (“I think they have this impression that I’m this miserable cow who doesn’t smile”), while new Los Angeles Galaxy player David wants to change Americans’ perception of soccer (“I do believe I can take it to another level”). The issue hits newsstands July 20. …

Lindsay Lohan was cleared of any wrongdoing in a 2005 crash in which she hit a van, TMZ.com reports. A Beverly Hills judge dismissed the case when the van’s owner didn’t show up to court. The owner had sued Lohan for $3,624.84 in damages following the October 4, 2005, incident. …

Nelly is coming out swinging. The St. Louis rap icon has titled his new album Brass Knuckles. Universal has set a release date of September 18. … In its August issue, Blender magazine has an interview with Kelly Clarkson in which she reveals details surrounding her face-to-face confrontation with music legend Clive Davis over her album, My December. “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell had a chat with TV’s “Extra” and shared some advice for Kelly and Clive: “Kiss and make up, decide what’s best, get on with it!” About Clarkson’s comments in the magazine, Cowell added, “Clive Davis at 80 is better than 99 percent of the people in the music business in their 20s, 30s and 40s. And he’s not 80, he’s less than 80.” Cowell admits that Clarkson is “one of the best, and she always will be” but that Davis is “the boss of the record company and it’s his job to advise.” …

And in yet another magazine article, Kanye West talks about his style (“Everything about me is pop and luxury.”); his swagger (“I’m really shy. … Why do you think I’m so cocky?”); and meeting his fiancee, Alexis Phifer (“I had on this throwback jersey, and the first thing I said to her, because I could tell she was stylish, was, ‘I don’t normally dress like this!’ “) in the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar, on newsstands July 24. … Everyone knows that kids love Harry Potter — but did you know about the boy wizard’s huge senior-citizen following? A retirement community in Silver Springs, Maryland, launched the resident-based blog Golden Wizard, where residents speculate about the outcome of the final book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” and debate different theories on the series. …

On July 28, ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler and former guitarist Tracii Guns will perform at Hollywood’s Key Club, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of 1987′s Appetite for Destruction. … Canadian metal act 3 Inches of Blood have hit a snag, just one date into this summer’s Ozzfest. “We are unfortunately one member short,” the band said in a statement. “[Frontman] Jamie Hooper has been experiencing problems with his voice and thus his ability to sing. Under the recommendation of doctors, Jamie has been advised not to perform until his voice has healed. As a result, Jamie will not be appearing with us on Ozzfest. [Guitarist] Justin Hagberg will be pulling double duty, playing guitar and singing most of Jamie’s parts. We hope Jamie’s recovery is as painless as possible and is back in the fold by the fall.”

7.12.2007

Looks like T.I.P. keeps getting T.I. into trouble. First, the Atlanta rapper got into a scrap with Ludacris‘ manager last month at a pre-BET Awards brunch, and on Wednesday night, T.I. confronted a fan during his performance at an ESPY Awards pre-party in Los Angeles, according to a source with ESPN. The fan allegedly tossed an object T.I.’s way, and the rapper responded by diving into the crowd and attacking the fan with his microphone before he was escorted out of the venue. The incident is the third fan-related dispute T.I. has had in recent months. …

Taking a cue out of Kanye West‘s playbook, 50 Cent is scheduled to debut his latest video — for the track “I Get Money,” from his delayed Curtis album — on New York hip-hop radio station Hot 97′s Web site on Friday at 4 p.m. West has premiered two clips from his forthcoming album, Late Registration, recently on his own site. …

“American Idol” 2006 runner-up Katharine McPhee makes all kinds of provocative statements in the August issue of Stuff (check out McPhee’s sultry cover shot right here ). Highlights include comments about being both naughty and nice (“There’s this other side of me that’s outgoing, energetic, and wild — and did really stupid things in college”); dating older men (“I love them. They’re just wiser, and they’re less about themselves and more about you.”); obsessions (“For me, with men, I will fixate on something. I’ll say, ‘I’m obsessed with your chin.’ I’ll kiss his chin and munch on it, and I think that makes people feel good.”); and settling down (“I want to have, like, 15 babies. I’ve always wanted to be pregnant. One year for Halloween, I decided to be pregnant, so I got this nun costume, and I put a big belly under it.”). Interestingly, McPhee will play a pregnant hippy in her forthcoming studio acting debut, according to The Hollywood Reporter. McPhee will appear in an untitled Columbia Pictures/ Happy Madison comedy that also features Anna Faris, Emma Stone and Rumer Willis (Bruce Willis and Demi Moore‘s daughter). Faris will play a Playboy bunny who is kicked out of the Playboy Mansion and becomes the house mother to a lame sorority. Filming is scheduled to begin later this month. …

A suspect in the shooting of two New York City police officers was fingered by an informant as the shooter in the killing of Jim Jones associate Stack Bundles last month, police confirmed to MTV News on Thursday morning (July 12). According to New York’s Daily News, Lee Woods, 29, was arrested by authorities as the getaway driver in Monday’s cop shootings, along with Dexter Bostick and Robert Ellis. The paper said that when Woods was arrested on Tuesday, a source close to the investigation singled him out as the rapper’s killer. …

Celebrity DJ Cassidy (not to be confused with the rapper) celebrated his birthday Wednesday night at New York’s Tenjune with performances by Big Daddy Kane and Naughty by Nature. Russell Simmons, Diddy, Kanye West, Jermaine Dupri, Cassie, Andre Harrell, D-Nice and Q-Tip were all in attendance. … In other Diddy news, the rapper’s ex Kim Porter spoke to “Entertainment Tonight” about her recent split from the music mogul, which the pair announced Tuesday. “In ending this relationship, I made a decision that was in the best interest of myself, Sean and our family,” she said. “I look forward to moving on with my life and my career, and wish him prosperity, health and happiness in life and in love. We will remain friends and committed parents to our children.” Porter is the mother of three of Diddy’s four children, including twin girls that were born just months ago. …

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is already poised to clean up at the box office, but its star Daniel Radcliffe isn’t planning to spend his earnings just yet. According to People magazine’s “World’s Richest Teens” list (which he tops), Radcliffe has a total net worth of $35 million or more (and is getting $50 million for the next two films in the series), but he has no urge to splurge when he hits 18 later this month. “I don’t think I’m going to do anything particularly exciting,” he told the magazine. “People seem to expect me to splash out on a classic-car collection, but I’ve never been into cars or anything like that.” He did, however, drop $17,000 on a custom-made Savoir mattress. Other teens featured on the list include rapper Romeo (has $50 million saved) and Hilary Duff (earns $12 million a year). “I definitely don’t just buy what I want,” Duff said. “My business manager says I’m well behaved.” She decided to pass on buying a nearly $100,000 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, but she does shell out for Marc Jacobs bags and vacations in St. Barts. For Rihanna, however, her bag money goes to Fendi (for presents for her mom) and splurges are limited to makeup and shoes (“Louboutins!”). Otherwise, “I don’t like to waste money,” she told the mag. …

Speaking of Rihanna, Diddy is off to Nigeria, where he’ll be rubbing elbows with the Louboutin-loving singer, Ne-Yo, John Legend and Shakira at the second annual Thisday Festival. The artists will perform Saturday and Sunday at the Thisday Events Center in Lagos. … You might have trolled eBay for a memento or two from your favorite celebrity, but instead of posters or locks of hair, how about a family member? James Blunt had just such a story for British GQ. A few years ago, Blunt’s sister, Emily, was a crying mess when she couldn’t get to a funeral in Ireland because of a transportation strike. Quick-thinking James went right to the Internet. “I ended up [posting a sale on] eBay: ‘Damsel in distress seeks knight in shining armor! Desperate to get to a funeral in southern Ireland, please help!’ The bids flooded in, and the guy who won had a helicopter.” And the story gets quirkier: Emily got married to her Net knight this summer. …

Mya and Vanessa Carlton will perform during the WNBA’s All-Star festivities, taking place Sunday and Monday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Mya is set to perform a medley of her hits during the game’s halftime on Sunday, while Carlton will take the stage the night before at the Welcome Party and Concert, sponsored by AOL. … Brooke Hogan is picking up where Tiffany left off. Hulk Hogan‘s musical daughter announced a mall tour on her MySpace page that kicks off Friday at Ocean County Mall in Tom’s River, New Jersey, and wraps up at the Laguna Hills Mall in Laguna Hills, California on September 2. …

Ultra-skinny Tennessean rockers Kings of Leon have announced dates for their fall tour, which will feature San Francisco’s Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in support. The tour — which begins August 2 in Minneapolis and wraps October 28 in New Orleans — features stops at the Lollapalooza Festival on August 5 and New York’s prestigious Radio City Music Hall on September 19. …

Remember that guest visit Blink-182 paid “The Simpsons” for the show’s 300th episode four years ago? Well, Homer and the fam must have made a good impression on Mark Hoppus — he’s getting hooked on Squishees. In a post on his blog, the bassist — who’s with (+44) now, of course — said he recently paid a visit to one of the 7-Elevens that have been converted into Kwik-E-Marts in anticipation of “The Simpsons Movie.” “[We] got Squishees and donuts,” he wrote. “This was definitely the first time I have waited in line for 15 minutes to shop at a 7-Eleven, and it was totally worth it. I can’t wait for the movie to come out.”