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WILLIAMS SPEAKS ON LEDGER

From the editors of tbt*: Tampa Bay Times

Michelle Williams, who hasn't spoken much about Heath Ledger's death since the actor was found dead in his Manhattan apartment, has released a statement pleading for privacy, the AP reports. "Please respect our need to grieve privately. My heart is broken," the statement released Friday reads. "I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father. All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day. His family and I watch Matilda as she whispers to trees, hugs animals, and takes steps two at a time, and we know that he is with us still. She will be brought up with the best memories of him." We're just glad Entertainment Tonight and The Insider discovered shame and didn't air that irrelevant video of him doing drugs almost two years ago.

Eva Mendes off to rehab

Eva Mendes is the latest passenger on the rehab train, with TMZ reporting she's off in Utah for a vacation from substance abuse. Mendes is staying at Cirque Lodge, the same place Lindsay Lohan spent her last round of detox. "Eva has been working hard for the past year and made a positive decision to take some much-needed time off to proactively attend to some personal issues that, while not critical, she felt deserved some outside professional support," her rep said. The site says she's apparently been there for "several weeks" for the unspecified problem (puzzling, since this photo was taken in Paris on Jan. 14). That shows how famous Ghost Rider has made her.

Xtina wants a solo baby cover

Christina Aguilera may be a mama now, but that doesn't make her any less of a diva. MSNBC says Xtina is furious that Ok! wouldn't guarantee a solo shot of her and baby Max Liron on the cover of the new issue, so she has refused to let the mag show them at all. Why the stubborn publishing problem? It's all about numbers, baby. "The Ok! wedding cover didn't sell as well as they hoped, and even her recent Marie Claire cover underperformed, all things considered," a source says. And lest Xtina forget she was a second banana until Britney Spears went to Crazytown, an "industry insider" lays it down proper: "Christina has an inflated sense of her own value and seems to expect an extortionate amount of money for these baby pictures. I'm not sure Ok! or much of the industry thinks is a dollar figure that's worth it. ... She hasn't proven to be a real seller." All this because Aguilera doesn't want to share a cover with Nicole Richie and Harlow Winter? For the rumored $1-million sources say they'll both get, Christina should deal with it.

Breakdown for Dunst?

Since having a mental breakdown seems to net you a lot of press these days, Kirsten Dunst is apparently trying to jump on the bandwagon, PageSix.com says. The actress "acted erratic" at Sundance, coming late and leaving early at a celeb event, sources say. Friends were apologizing for her behavior, saying "Kirsten is not in a good place right now." There aren't many new pics of KiKi, seeing as how she hasn't really been spotted out and about in weeks, the site says. Well, except at Sundance, that is. Could it be depression after breaking up with Johnny Borrell? Says her rep: "Kirsten is fine." Probably, but we love us some crazy!

Edited by Joshua Gillin, jgillin@tampabay.com

Exclusive content at blogs.tampabay.com/juice

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