‘Here we go again’: Rihanna’s latest bad boy is the Knicks’ J.R. Smith
By Bill Zwecker May 29, 2012 9:32PM
Rihanna partied in Miami with J.R. Smith. | Mark Davis~Getty Images
Updated: July 3, 2012 12:53PM
R ihanna’s hard partying in Miami’s South Beach over Memorial Day weekend — mostly with new boyfriend J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks — had many of her longtime friends saying, “Here we go again.”
The point? As with ex-beau Chris Brown and guys she dated on her native island (according to a family friend from Barbados), the singer often seems to go for the “bad boy” type.
At least in the case of Smith, there seems to be no sign of abusive behavior, but he has had more than his share of run-ins with the law.
Just this past weekend, the NBA star was arrested in Miami Beach for driving without a valid license. He served a month in jail back in 2007 for running a stop sign and causing an accident that claimed the life of his passenger and good pal Andre Bell. More recently, Smith’s posting of a woman’s rear end on Twitter led the NBA to fine him $25,000.
“I think she still has a thing for Chris in a big way,” said another source close to Rihanna. “It’s weird, but I believe she may be dating J.R. to make Chris jealous in some kind of twisted way.
“When it comes to her love life, it’s always complicated.”
† While in Florida, Rihanna also happened to run into her ex, Drake, but that was all very friendly and drama-free.
STILL FEUDING? I’ve learned that Lady Gaga was surprised — and a bit irritated — to hear Madonna is still pushing that copycat thing about her. As critics last year noted similarities between Gaga’s “Born This Way” and Madonna’s 1989 hit “Express Yourself,” the Material Mom called the newer song “reductive” and said Gaga was reinterpreting her music from the ’80s.
While Madonna privately has said she’s complimented to be Gaga’s “inspiration,” it’s clear she’s being sarcastic. That’s also her intention in mashing together “Born This Way” with “Express Yourself” in that rehearsal video that surfaced in advance of her Tel Aviv concert Thursday (and presumably the rest of her tour).
MISSING THE POINT? Francesca Eastwood, daughter of Oscar winner Clint Eastwood, was surprised by the very negative reaction she and her boyfriend, photographer Tyler Shields, have received the past few days.
The brouhaha arose after Shields destroyed (with a chainsaw) and then set afire a $100,000 crocodile Hermes Birkin handbag — as an “art expression” on the new “Mrs. Eastwood & Company” reality show, featuring Clint’s wife Dina and other family members. Destroying high-priced items often has been part of Shields’ photographic art projects.
Turns out the whole point of the pricey destruction was to bring attention to how so many people are hugely obsessed with materialism — represented by the ridiculous prices charged for those Birkin bags.
While Eastwood initially appeared horrified at her boyfriend wrecking the bag, she ultimately participated in the process and later tweeted, “Sometimes you destroy what you love.”
STAGE SET: “Cosby” star Phylicia Rashad and playwright Paul Oakley Stovall will stage a talkback with the audience following the 2 p.m. Sunday preview performance of “Immediate Family,” the Stovall play Tony winner Rashad is directing at the Goodman Theatre. Chicago’s Cultural Affairs and Special Events czarina Michelle Boone will moderate.
ON THE AGENDA: A slew of veteran pro athletes — including Bob Avellini, Dan Hampton, John Lattner, Bob Love, Tony Furjanic, Billy Pierce and Steve Trout — will be on hand as celebrity bartenders Thursday night to support the Jack Brickhouse Benefit at 94 West Steak & Seafood in Orland Park. The event, organized by Jack’s widow Pat Brickhouse, will support a favorite charity of 94 West owner Bryan Sord: the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation.
† Among high-profile folks winging their way to Chicago for the June 14 Illinois Eye-Bank gala honoring Our Town’s popular society mainstay and philanthropist Mamie Walton and Dr. Joel Sugar will be Princess Anna Christina Radziwill, the daughter of Lee Radziwill and niece of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Due to Mamie’s London roots, the Peninsula fete will be “A Posh Night at Annabel’s,” inspired by the famed Mayfair nightclub — a frequent haunt of the late Princess Diana and other “posh” Londoners.
SEEN ON THE SCENE: Jennifer Hudson was spotted getting her sushi “fix” at Japonais Sunday night. … Ditto for the Blackhawks’ Dave Bolland.