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It'll Take More Than a Kennedy to Put Mayo on the Stars' Rehab Map

· Billy Joel, Mariah Carey, Nick Nolte, Diana Ross

Meadows Clinic, Phoenix

A $4,000-a-night dude-ranch setting in the high Sonoran Desert.

· Mike Tyson, Kate Moss

Big & Rich's Big Spender: Man With a Conscience

John Rich has been very much on our minds lately. So many questions for the shorter, mustachioed half of country duo Big & Rich , who performed at April 30's Save Darfur rally. We dialed him up.

So, what motivates a guy to tip a bartender $1,000, as you did at D.C.'s Mad Hatter last week?

John Rich, from Big & Rich.
John Rich, from Big & Rich.( - Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records)
"The bartender ended up being from northwest Texas, where I'm from. He was a cool guy and a fan. I felt like saying thanks to him and to the fans in general. Our fans have made us very successful. He's working his [butt] off, so I said, 'What's the biggest tip you've ever had, $100?' He said, 'I've had one bigger than that,' so I said, '$1,000?' . . . I obviously didn't expect that to go into The Washington Post. Benevolence is something that should not be promoted."

How did you get involved in the Save Darfur movement?

"[Band mate] Big Kenny turned me on to it. As soon as I read what was on, I was blown away. We knew there weren't a lot of country artists or artists in general who are involved, so we thought we'd take a leading posture. When you have success and your microphone gets louder, everything you say, more people hear. It's an opportunity to do something bigger than yourself."

So, do a lot of people confuse you with Big Kenny or Keith Burns from Trick Pony, as happened in the photo captions of a certain newspaper last week?

"I never have a problem with people confusing me with Big Kenny. Keith Burns, maybe. But Big Kenny? No way. It's good to hear that our fans are paying attention."

Bartenders, take note: Big & Rich will be back for the Memorial Day concert at the Capitol on May 28.

A New (and 7-Figure) Unmasking for Valerie Plame

Valerie Plame has signed a seven-figure deal with Crown Publishing Group to write about her life as a CIA operative whose unmasking set off the sweeping federal leak investigation that's reached high levels of the White House.

Now retired from the spy agency, Plame will pen the book herself, Crown reps told the Associated Press. Though no official details of the contract were disclosed, the industry Web site Publishers Marketplace reported yesterday that the deal is worth more than $2.5 million.

The memoir, due out in fall 2007, has a working title of "Fair Game" -- inspired by a comment made to Plame's husband, Joe Wilson , the former ambassador who says his wife's identity was leaked to get back at him for criticizing intelligence the Bush administration used to justify invading Iraq. Wilson has written (in his own book) that commentator Chris Matthews told him that Karl Rove had maintained that "Wilson's wife is fair game."

The Reliable Source appears Tuesday through Friday and on Sunday; Web chat is at noon Wednesdays. Got a tip?

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