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In the news

Woman claimed she was Jessica Simpson's aide

By wire services
Published July 27, 2005

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. An East Rutherford woman has been accused by authorities of amassing more than $12,000 in free merchandise by claiming she was Jessica Simpson's assistant.

Courtney Handel, 23, was arrested Friday. By Sunday, she had been released from East Rutherford police headquarters, where she had been detained. Police said she faces charges of theft by deception, fraud and trademark infringement.

Police said Handel sent e-mails and faxes to companies posing as Simpson assistant CaCee Cobb.

Simpson, 25, stars as Daisy Duke in the upcoming "The Dukes of Hazzard" film.

Handel told the companies the singer-actress had expressed interest in their products. But she used her own address, and when police detectives arrived Friday, they said they found her home full of merchandise.

"As we were standing outside, UPS pulled up with 12 more packages. We turned to each other and said, "If only all our cases could be this easy,"' Detective Sgt. Jeff Yannaconi told the New York Daily News.

Frye boots, PH Advantage cosmetics, Pagliei jewelry, Ted Rossi handbags, Peter Thomas Roth skin care products and Fake Bake tanning products were among the items, police said.

Police were arranging to return the products to the companies.

Vaughn puzzled by celebrity gossip

LOS ANGELES - Vince Vaughn, who co-stars with Owen Wilson in the new romantic comedy "Wedding Crashers," says he doesn't understand people who are interested in the love lives of celebrities.

"I don't know who spends their time on "Oh my God, what happened today?"' Vaughn told reporters recently, according to AP Radio.

He has this advice for those who are obsessed with celebrity gossip: "Go kiss someone and go get something to eat and take a nap, you're going to be fine, kid."

Vaughn said he wouldn't be good at picking up women at a wedding because he doesn't like blind dates.

"You don't really know the person. You're kind of forced into the situation where you're not really comfortable," the 35-year-old actor said. "It is easier, I think, to meet someone and say, "Let's meet out somewhere. Or both bring our friends.' And that way, there's less of a pressure on it, you're more comfortable."

Vaughn's screen credits also include "Old School," "Starsky & Hutch" and the upcoming "The Break Up," co-starring Jennifer Aniston.

[Last modified July 27, 2005, 01:03:14]

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