Gerard Depardieu greets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, late Saturday night. (Mikhail Klimentyev/AP)

• Take that, Francois Hollande!: Gerard Depardieu showed he’s serious about turning his back on France by flying to Russia this weekend to personally pick up his new passport from President Vladi­mir Putin. The two enjoyed manly hugs and a photo-op dinner at Putin’s home in Sochi

The star, in local garb, shows off his passport in Saransk. (Yulia Chestnova/Reuters)

— and then the actor traveled onward Sunday to the small town of Saransk, where he was greeted like a hero and offered a free home. The 64-year-old movie star caused a scandal last month in his native France when he moved to Belgium in protest of President Hollande’s proposed tax hikes on millionaires. (Read earlier: Why Depardieu has a friend in Putin, 1/3/12

• The new Kennedy in Congress has his state’s new senator to thank for his marriage. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told that Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) met new bride Lauren Birchfield when both were students in Warren’s class at Harvard Law.

Josh Brolin (Mark Mainz/AP)

Josh Brolin spent part of New Year’s Day in the slammer after getting arrested for public intoxication in Santa Monica, reports AP. The actor (who played Dubya in “W.”) was released six hours later without a citation.

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