Eva Longoria defends Simpson

NEW YORK - Eva Longoria has some advice for Jessica Simpson.

Longoria, who is married to San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker, says Simpson is taking unnecessary heat from Dallas Cowboys fans who blame the 27-year-old singer's weekend trip to Mexico with her boyfriend, quarterback Tony Romo, for the Cowboys' defeat by the New York Giants.

'People gave me that ... when I started dating Tony,' Longoria, star of ABC's 'Desperate Housewives,' said.

National Lampoon to give award to Paris Hilton

NEW YORK - Paris Hilton is heading to Harvard.

The 26-year-old actress-socialite has been named Harvard Lampoon's 'Hastiest Pudding of the Lampoon Award,' the comedy magazine said Tuesday.

She will visit Harvard on Feb. 6 to accept her award, said Regent Releasing, the company that's distributing her new comedy, 'The Hottie & the Nottie.'

Hilton, whose body of work includes 'House of Wax' and TV's 'The Simple Life,' stars as the attractive best friend to an ugly duckling in the new comedy, slated for release Feb. 8.

Ludacris slated for ESPN show

NEW YORK - Tom Petty may be the official Super Bowl halftime performer, but the week leading up to the big game will feature plenty of other performers - and Ludacris will be among them.

The 30-year-old rapper has been selected to perform at ESPN The Magazine's Next party Feb. 1, which will highlight future trends.

Stipe dismissed from jury duty

ATHENS - R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe was among more than a dozen potential jurors dismissed at the beginning of the trial for a man accused of sneaking into a middle school and trying to sexually assault a girl.

Stipe told Clarke County Superior Court Judge Lawton Stephens on Monday he could not be fair and impartial in the case because he has been the target of stalkers and death threats, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.