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Spat goes public
Paris Hilton is hot ... over something Nicole Richie did.

But the hotel heiress isn't saying what's behind the feud with her co-"Simple Life" star.

"It's no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends," Hilton said in a statement this week. "Nicole knows what she did, and that's all I'm ever going to say about it."

Last week, Hilton, 24, told USA Today that Richie will be replaced on "The Simple Life" by her friend Kimberly Stewart, the daughter of singer Rod Stewart. Hilton and Richie have starred on the Fox reality show for its first three seasons.

Fox denied the casting change, saying in a statement: "We are currently discussing internally the creative direction of the next 'The Simple Life.' We are huge fans of both Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie and look forward to solidifying our plans for the next installment."

Ben and Jen again
Call it Bennifer: Part Deux.

Nine months after they started dating, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are engaged, People and Star magazines are reporting.

Citing a "close friend" of Affleck's, People says the "Pearl Harbor" actor has been privately spreading the news. A friend of Garner's told the magazine in February that she expected Affleck to propose.

Affleck's publicist, Ken Sunshine, would not comment on the reports. A call to Garner's rep was not returned.

As you may have heard, Affleck got engaged to Jennifer Lopez in 2002, but they called it off in January 2004. As opposed to the ridiculous amount of publicity Affleck got with J.Lo, he and Garner have stayed on the down low.

They met while shooting the action flick "Daredevil," but didn't begin dating until 2004. Their lone public appearance together has been a trip to the 2004 World Series in Boston.

Madonna sued again ...
A British director and several British companies involved in the creation of Madonna's European TV concert special have sued the singer, alleging she still owes more than $300,000 in directing and production fees.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Madonna owes director Hamish Hamilton and The Rude Corp. $175,000 for work on a TV special of the singer's 2004 European "Reinvention Tour."

Hamilton alleges in the lawsuit that he traveled to shows in New York, Florida, California, Nevada, France and England as part of his contract and scouted locations in Portugal for the TV special.

The lawsuit also alleges that Madonna owes Done and Dusted Ltd. more than $155,000 for expenses incurred during preproduction and production work on the program.

Celebrity birthdays:

Sunday: Actress Shirley MacLaine is 71. Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 63. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 23.

Monday: Actor Al Pacino is 65. Bassist Stu Cook of Creedence Clearwater Revival is 60. Actress Talia Shire is 59. Actress Renee Zellweger is 36. Actor Jason Lee is 35.

Tuesday: Actress-comedian Carol Burnett is 72. Singer T-Boz of TLC is 35. Actor Tom Welling is 28.

Wednesday: Actor Jack Klugman is 83.

Thursday: Actress-singer Ann-Margret is 64. "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno is 55. Actress Penelope Cruz is 31.

Friday: Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is 51. Actor Daniel Day-Lewis is 48. Actress Michelle Pfeiffer is 47. Actress Uma Thurman is 35. Rapper Master P is 35.

Next Saturday: Actor Al Lewis is 95. Actress Cloris Leachman is 79. Singer Willie Nelson is 72. Actress Kirsten Dunst is 23.

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