Kim Kardashain, Sanaa Lathan have eyes on soon-to-be-single Kobe Bryant
WITH BILL ZWECKER December 21, 2011 8:40PM
Sanaa Lathan (pictured) and Kim Kardashian reportedly have set their sights on NBA star Kobe Bryant, whose wife just filed for divorce.
Updated: January 23, 2012 10:56AM
Wife Vanessa has barely filed for divorce, and already there are two high-profile women fighting for Kobe Bryant’s affection: Kim Kardashian and actress Sanaa Lathan.
Kardashian reportedly is very attracted to the Lakers star — and there are even rumors her mom, Kris Jenner, was the one who leaked some very unpleasant details about Bryant’s sexual escapades to his wife, adding to her decision to finally file for divorce.
Lathan, recently seen in “Contagion” and TV’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” long has lusted for Bryant and has been seen flirting with him both at Lakers games and Hollywood parties.
† Speaking of Kim K., it’s likely we will hear a lot more about the allegations the Kardashians’ fashion lines are made in Asian sweatshops utilizing child labor. The Kardashians’ team has vigorously denied the claim, but it clearly has boosted the online boycott of all things Kardashian. That campaign already has more than 300,000 folks who have signed a petition promising to avoid buying, watching or having anything to do with anything Kardashian-related.
END OF THE ROAD? According to CNN sources, the network is not unhappy about the embarrassing details coming out of Piers Morgan’s testimony (via satellite) at the British Parliament inquiry into phone hacking — back when he was editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World.
Though Morgan denies any knowledge of the practice, he has been contradicted by a former reporter who worked closely with him in London. At the end of the day, CNN may use it as ammunition to get rid of Morgan, who continues to slip in the ratings.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Giuliana and Bill Rancic — plus partners R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman, and chef Doug Psaltis — have named their new restaurant. RPM Italian will open in January on the site of the old Ben Pao, at 52 W. Illinois. The name comes from combining the last initials of the partners.
The team had considered calling the eatery Mama DePandi’s, after Giuliana Rancic’s mom and her talent for whipping up tasty Italian dishes. “We realized that the name Mama DePandi’s felt more Old World Italian,” Rancic told her colleagues at E! News. “And this restaurant is anything but.”
That said, Rancic promises Chef Doug will include a number of menu items that would make her mother proud.
TIMELY SPLIT: Though she revealed her split from husband Daniel Zelman on Tuesday, Debra Messing’s statement noted that the couple had “privately separated earlier this year,” and I understand the marriage of 11 years had fallen apart well before that.
As a well-known Hollywood divorce attorney reminded me Wednesday, the timing of the couple’s announcement likely is due to California law — requiring the payment of alimony to the less affluent spouse if they remain married 10 years.
Though the Messing-Zelman breakup appears quite amicable, delaying their expected divorce filing until after the 10-year mark likely will reap hefty financial benefits for Zelman, who is thought to earn far less than his high-profile actress wife.
LAUGH TRACK: Lauren Lapkus, star of the upcoming NBC sitcom “Are You There, Chelsea?,” will be returning to her comedy roots at iO Theatre for an 8 p.m. Friday gig with her improv team, called Mike Helicopter. “Saturday Night Live” cast member Paul Brittain will also be back at the iO this weekend to play in “Challenger” Friday night and “Armando” on Monday.
STILL SELLING SEX: Naturi Naughton — who made many friends in Chicago while here starring in the now-canceled “The Playboy Club” — has been cast in another show that has a sexy component. Naughton will co-star in “The Client List” with Jennifer Love Hewitt on Lifetime, playing a masseuse in a massage parlor called the Rub, where the girls give, uh, more than mere massages.
HEADED HERE: Fans of “The Housewives of Beverly Hills” will be interested to learn that reality show’s Taylor Armstrong will be in Chicago to host the big New Year’s Eve bash planned at Enclave nightclub on West Chicago Avenue. The name of the fete is apt: “Everyone’s Famous,” though in Armstrong’s case, they might have added another line: “For Being Famous.”
† Chad Michael Murray — former teen heartthrob from “Dawson’s Creek,” “Gilmore Girls” and “One Tree Hill” — will be in Skokie on Jan. 4, autographing his first graphic novel, Everlast, at Barnes & Noble.
SEEN ON THE SCENE: Jim Muno, the new marketing VP at Navy Pier, was spied lunching with ex-Sox star Ron Kittle at Harry Caray’s on the Pier, at the exact same time another Chicago baseball legend — Ernie Banks — was lunching at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie.