Flipped Lid

It's not quite Texas cheerleader hair. Yet. But Hillary Rodham Clinton's locks grow longer and larger each day. Spokesman Neel Lattimore insists the first lady's newest look is the result of a schedule too tight for a trim, and not a move toward tress triangulation. NOW YOU KNOW...

We noticed that Oprah Winfrey was looking a bit heftier these past few months. But we were too polite to say so. Not so other publications. And now Oprah herself answers the rumormongers on her show today.

"If I'm pregnant, I don't know it," Oprah says. (Confidential note from The Source: A simple test available over the counter can put your fears -- hopes? -- to rest.) "I have put on some pounds because I am too tired to run eight miles a day."

So this is gratitude in Washington. Last year Leon Panetta agreed to roast House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt at a fund-raiser for Democratic candidates. This year it's Panetta who's getting marinated and grilled. Among those doing the roasting at the Hyatt Regency dinner last night were Maggie Williams, chief of staff to Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that "roasting Leon Panetta is like roasting Bambi" and so the assemblage contented itself with several exhortations for Panetta to run for California governor when his White House tour of duty ends.

Madonna reveals a previously unpublished experience: She was raped as a young woman in New York, the publicity powerhouse has told the British music magazine New Musical Express.

"It is not an experience I would ever glamorize," Madonna adds. And that fantasy rape scene in her book "Sex"? Oh, that was a depiction of a "completely consensual" encounter.

A D.C. Superior Court judge has postponed until January the sexual harassment trial of Wolfgang Pordzik, director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (tied to Helmut Kohl's Christian Democratic Union), after his attorneys argued that a Monday Washington Post article would make it difficult to seat an impartial jury. Four former employees here have accused Pordzik of harassment, inflicting psychological terror and -- most painful to a man who has devoted his career to German-Jewish reconciliation -- of making repeated antisemitic remarks. Pordzik, meanwhile, has sent German news reporters a fax in which he claims that the violent acts he admitted committing in divorce proceedings are "lies." No Port in This Storm

To the evictor go the spoils, which means that mega-rich yachtsman Bill Koch gets to kick out his former mistress, Kate de Castelbajac, from his $2.5 million Boston condo. He gave her 30 days to vacate the Four Seasons Hotel apartment after a Boston Housing Court jury ruled yesterday that she was not a tenant, the Associated Press reported.

"The verdict shows the people of Boston have common sense," said Koch, 55, who bankrolled the victorious 1992 America's Cup team. After the trial, he confessed to "incredibly bad judgment. . . . I'm a sucker for a pretty face and charming smile."

Koch met de Castelbajac, 43, in 1990 in Portugal, and they crossed paths again in 1992 on Cape Cod. She was then married to fashion designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac and had a son. Koch, too, had a son, with longtime lover Joan Granlund. They later wed but split when he took up with Kate.

In 1993, Kate moved to Boston and eventually into Koch's condo. He considered it temporary; she did not.

Koch -- who claims Palm Beach as his main residence (Florida has no personal income tax) -- wasn't living in the Beantown flat at the time. Their romance ended last year when he took up with yet another woman.

He billed Kate $40,000 for limos, flowers, jewels and other necessities she'd charged to him. She sought an "honorable" end to the affair. The Housing Court verdict came after nine days of testimony, including readings of their steamy faxes. In one, the glamorous former model, who has just written a book on the history of makeup, promised "hot love from your X-rated Protestant princess."

But their story is not yet over. She is also suing him for palimony. Wearing an Uncomfortable Suit?

New Hampshire Republican Bob Smith voted for a Senate tort reform bill, but his wife, Mary Jo, sued the Sheraton Washington Hotel for $3 million in a slip-and-fall.

She claims her 1993 tumble off a ramp in the hotel's parking garage was a nasty one that left her brain-damaged and unable to continue her daily life without difficulty, according to papers in the case, now being tried in U.S. District Court here.

Mary Jo Smith, now 51, was on her way to a luncheon featuring first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton when she slipped off the ramp and smashed into an elevator door frame before falling to the floor, according to the suit. A large yellow sign reading "Caution. Watch Your Step" was posted at the site, a defense witness testified yesterday, according to The Post's Toni Locy.

The senator's wife has downsized her original request for $3 million in damages to an unspecified amount; it now "falls within the cap formula" of limits in the Senate bill, according to a statement issued by the senator's office. The formula ties pain and suffering awards to future economic earnings, and would therefore limit the damages paid to a person like Mary Jo Smith, a former teacher who spent many years at home raising the couple's three children.

Neither Smith is commenting because of the pending litigation. Said Rich Vuernick, legal policy director of the consumer advocacy organization Citizen Action: "This is the height of hypocrisy." CAPTION:Koch and non-tenant de Castelbajac. CAPTION: Winfrey, not expecting; Panetta, not roasted; Madonna's past pain. CAPTION: Smith, caught with his ideology down?