For Jessica Hahn, posing bare-chested for those photographs in Playboy magazine may be one of the best things that has happened to her -- no matter what her mother or Tammy Bakker or anyone else says about it. Her mother has expressed shock and outrage over the pictures and Hahn's graphic account of her sexual encounter with former PTL leader Jim Bakker. Tammy Bakker was quoted over the weekend in a radio interview as saying, "I feel badly for her."

As she set out on a nationwide, 25-appearance media blitz for the magazine, Hahn refused to talk about reports that Playboy paid her $1 million for the story and pictures. She said, however, that the photographs have given her "a new lease on life" and that she is facing "a trillion opportunities" with book, movie, commercial and television offers that could bring her $2 million. As to criticism that she is taking advantage of the notoriety, Hahn unabashedly answers, "They're right. Who wouldn't? While there are a lot of open doors, I think it's a blessing and I'd like to walk through one of them." As to her mother's concern, Hahn says that will all eventually work out.

Sellars' New Theater

PeterSellars, who for two stormy years was the colorful though controversial head of the American National Theater at the Kennedy Center, this weekend was named director of the Los Angeles Festival. The 29-year-old Sellars, whose productions here lost millions when audiences showed little interest in his experimental theater, has been on a sabbatical from the Kennedy Center.

In shaping the popular biennial Los Angeles Festival, Sellars said he plans to expand it to include more participation by local artists and to lure productions from China and the Eastern Bloc countries. He described Los Angeles as the perfect laboratory to test the limits of artistic expression because of its rich jumble of ethnic groups. Aware of the vast sums of tolerant money it takes to finance his special view of the arts, Sellars believes the city's healthy commercial core should be nudged to contribute more. Los Angeles, he says, is like 14th-century Flanders, which attracted the art world because of its wealth.

Out and About

The news from Miami is that Donna Rice is moving, but she isn't saying where she's going. One of the nation's most famous Phi Beta Kappas, the sometime actress, model and pharmaceutical saleswoman held an apartment sale this weekend, selling almost everything. And the 29-year-old blond, whose rendezvous with former senator Gary Hart ended his presidential dreams, would admit only that she was leaving. She wouldn't say what her future plans are ...

Frank Sinatra's unauthorized biographer Kitty Kelley has a new hot story on her hands, and the bidding for this one should make her even richer. Kelley said she is planning a major magazine article to be written with her longtime friend Judith Campbell Exner, the woman who was romantically involved with both President Kennedy and gangster kingpin Sam Giancana. Kelley says she is annoyed by reports that she is doing a book with Exner. "Actually, we are planning a magazine article that hasn't even been sold yet," she said. Exner, according to Kelley, is destitute and dying of cancer, and now is ready to tell her story. Kelley may not be talking book now, but she may get offers she can't refuse ...

Hospital Report: Polio vaccine developer Dr. Albert B. Sabin underwent minor surgery Saturday for the removal of a benign tumor from under his right arm. The 81-year-old American physician and microbiologist was operated on by a close friend at a private clinic in Turin, Italy. He was released following the surgery, which was performed under local anesthesia ...

It was a big surprise for U2 concertgoers Friday in Philadelphia. During an encore, U2 lead singer Bono (who dislocated his shoulder last week while performing in Washington) apologized to the crowd for not being able to play his guitar and then said the band had "someone special" to help with the encore. With that the immediately recognized Bruce Springsteen came on stage and the two sang "Stand by Me" ...