Clay Aiken, Playing Hooky

Former teacher Aiken (shown in
Former teacher Aiken (shown in "Spamalot") has missed six of seven meetings. (Joan Marcus - AP)
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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sorry, Clay Aiken fans, the ugly whispers are true: Your boy has been shirking his civic duty.

An investigation by The Reliable Source found that the most successful "American Idol" runner-up in history has made it to only one of the quarterly meetings of the Presidential Committee for People With Intellectual Disabilities since he was appointed by George W. Bush a year and a half ago.

Our inquiry was launched after a raging debate broke out over edits to the singer's Wikipedia page. Aiken detractors -- who scoured an incomplete set of committee minutes posted online and found no reference to the crooner -- were branding him a no-show, drawing fierce push-back from Aiken partisans.

The Claymates argued that: (1) A friend of a friend is on the committee and says yuh-huh, Clay has so been going to meetings! (2) Maybe Clay keeps his name off the books to avoid getting mobbed by fans; and (3) Haters don't really know, do they?

But our investigation (i.e., we called and asked) found that the former special-ed teacher in fact has skipped six of the seven meetings since he was named to the panel in September 2006, not even opting to drop in via conference call. A rep for Aiken -- now on Broadway in "Spamalot" -- declined to comment.

Love, Etc.

Engaged: Monica Goodling, 34, the former Alberto Gonzales adviser, to Michael Krempasky, 33, a top PR guy at Edelman and founding blogger with The betrothal of the Pennsylvania natives (first reported by the legal blog proves that even a congressional subpoena can have a happy ending: The two dated just after college, then lost touch for a decade -- until he saw her name last spring in the front-page stories about the controversial firings of several U.S. attorneys, and called to wish her well. He surprised her with a Valentine's Day proposal at the same restaurant where they spent V-Day 12 years ago; no date set.

Dating: La Plata boy-made-good Benji Madden and Paris Hilton, according to People. The Good Charlotte guitarist just split from model-actress Sophie Monk, and -- well, what can we say, it's his life, he doesn't have to listen to us.

Hey, Isn't That . . . ?

Bo Derek dining at Teatro Goldoni on Monday with the equally glam former Ecuadorean ambassador Yvonne A-Baki -- fried oysters, pasta, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot brought over by local rich guy Jim Kimsey. The "10" star and D.C. fan was here (again!) to lobby about her cause of horse slaughter (she's against); wore a delicate gray-and-white pantsuit, looked very Cali.

This Just In . . .

Gennifer Flowers, the former lounge singer/ Bill Clinton girlfriend, is selling tapes of their telephone calls -- tapes she made public in 1992 to prove she and the then-governor were more than political bedfellows. Flowers says she turned down a $5 million offer for the tapes in the 1990s, but now she's ready to let them go: "I certainly would enjoy the money for my future security." But wait . . . didn't she endorse Hillary Clinton in December? Won't this hurt the campaign? "She is doing a fine job of that herself, along with her idiot husband," Flowers, 58, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Karma is an interesting thing."


" Jerry Seinfeld made overstatements of opinion for comic effect."

-- Lawyers responding to cookbook author Missy Chase Lapine's slander suit, which alleges the comic -- husband of rival cookbook writer Jessica Seinfeld -- compared Lapine to assassins Mark David Chapman and James Earl Ray. In other words: the "just kidding!" defense. The filing in Manhattan's U.S. District Court also claims Jessica Seinfeld didn't plagiarize Lapine's cookbook.

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