NAMES & FACES

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

NEA Honors for Tiki

Former New York Giants running back and "Today" show correspondent Tiki Barber, 32, was among the honorees at last night's National Education Association Foundation gala. After we asked the Virginia native about his work to advance child literacy (he and twin brother Ronde have written three picture books for boys), we asked the really important question: What did you think of the Super Bowl?

"I thought it was great. I was excited for them," Barber said of the victorious Giants, the team he retired from a year ago as the all-time rushing and reception leader. "My job now is as a journalist, so I didn't comment on the game, but my loyalties were clearly with the Giants." He added, "I played 10 years in the NFL . . . and more people want to ask me about 'Project Runway' than about football" -- referring, of course, to his recent appearance on said show. Contestants designed outfits for Barber to wear on "Today"; he and wife Ginny helped judge.

Pat O'Brien, Back in Rehab

"The Insider" host Pat O'Brien, 59, has checked into a rehab facility, reps for his show said in a statement yesterday.

"O'Brien and his doctors felt this is the best course for maintaining his sobriety," the statement said. "There will be no further statement at this time."

O'Brien has been down the rehab road before: In March 2005, he spent two months in treatment for alcohol and substance abuse.

Celebrity Ins and Outs

Turns out Delta Burke, 51, isn't in a psych ward -- just a clinic, her husband's rep tells People.

"Delta is in a clinic . . . to adjust medication. This is something she does once or twice a year," a rep for Burke's husband, Gerald McRaney, told People. "The tabloids have blown it up as if she's landed in a mental institution. It's not true."

Earlier this week, stories circulated that Burke had checked herself into a psychiatric hospital to work out her medications. In a telephone interview, Burke told TMZ.com that she suffers from anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and has hoarding tendencies.

And the legal tussling over troubled Britney Spears continues with her father getting a court's okay to fire the pop star's business manager, Howard Grossman, the Associated Press reports.

Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz also ordered Grossman to hand over Britney's "documents, records and assets" to James Spears, who earlier was appointed conservator of his daughter and her estate.

Grossman wouldn't comment on the order or say if he had been fired.


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