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Oprah wants Maria Shriver on her network

MariShriver hugs Oprah Winfrey during star-studded double-taping 'Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular' Tuesday May 17 2011 Chicago. 'The Oprah Winfrey

Maria Shriver hugs Oprah Winfrey during a star-studded double-taping of "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular," Tuesday, May 17, 2011, in Chicago. "The Oprah Winfrey Show" is ending its run May 25, after 25 years, and millions of her fans around the globe are waiting to see how she will close out a show that spawned a media empire. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Updated: August 31, 2011 12:37AM

Oh, oh Oprah!

Betrayed wife Maria Shriver may be the victim of a philandering husband, aging movie muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger, but she’s got a powerhouse in her corner: Oprah Winfrey.

† Help ’em: Sneed is told Oprah has taken Shriver, one of her best friends, under her voluminous wing and is talking media projects with the former NBC TV anchor/journalist on the TV titan’s new OWN network.

† Shriver, who was at the United Center Tuesday night for Oprah’s finale, is struggling with admissions her former housekeeper had a child with her errant husband a decade ago.

† Write ’em: Although the Kennedy clan, which has high regards for their cousin Maria, is the recipient of tons of dough generated by the Kennedy patriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy, Maria’s grandfather — Sneed hears it is Schwarzenegger, who is in the process of writing his memoirs, who’s been equally successful in building a fortune and advising the many Kennedy progeny.

† Sympathy central: Did you know Maria Shriver has 765,764 followers on her tweet sheet?

Oh, oh Oprah II

Oops! Sneed hears actor Tom Hanks, who was a surprise guest on Oprah’s show Tuesday night, made a dinner reservation at the posh RL restaurant Monday, which was canceled. Oprah, who was dining at the restaurant, apparently nixed Hanks’ reservation because she didn’t want anyone to know Hanks was in town.

Protect ’em . . .

$$$$: In addition to his five bodyguards, former Mayor Richard Daley has the use of a black Tahoe and gold minivan, municipal cars and a police patrolman, who was one of his bodyguard commanders — who is still making $152,000 a year. Not bad geetas if you can get it, huh?

Rahm ’em . . .

$$$$: Letting no green grass grow under his feet or greenbuck donors go hungry on his inaugural day, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was spotted dining with a gaggle of financial heavyweights at Piccolo Sogno Monday night.

Obamarama . . .

Begorrah! It pays to be distant cousins with President Barack Obama, who will visit the ancestral village of his Irish forebears next week.

† Translation: Henry Healy, Obama’s eighth cousin, just landed a job that will put his face on the country’s tourism campaign primarily aimed at drawing Americans and Brits.

† Meanwhile: Upwards of 50 U.S. officials Monday arrived in the village of Moneygall, the tiny village of Obama’s distant relations. At last peek, manholes were being welded up for security purposes.

The Fergie file . . .

The ditzy duchess: Fergie, the duchess of York, who was not invited to the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton due to her historic lack of common sense and errors in fiscal judgment, was apparently spotted buying royal wedding memorabilia at a 20 percent royal discount price at the Buckingham Palace gift shop.

That ought to let the Fergie bashing British public sleep at night.

I spy . . .

Hair Scare: White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley spotted getting a trim at Peter “Mr. Barber” Vodovoz’s hair shop, 200 E. Walton — who’s also former Governor Rod Blago’s barber. “His hair looked beautiful, the best” . . . Chicago Bulls Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer and CJ Watson dining at Tavern on Rush last week . . . ditto rocker Ted Nugent.

The letter bin . . .

A singular item mentioning President Obama had just played his 68th round of golf since taking office, netted this note:

“Dear Michael Sneed,
I am not sure if this is meant as criticism or not. If it is, 68 rounds of golf computes to roughly 272 hours if you estimate 18 holes to take 4 hours to complete. Therefore, of the 20,300 hours in office, 1 percent of it was spent playing golf, again assuming it takes him that long to play, which I doubt. Either way, I’m not sure why this would be an issue. If he played 272 hours of ping pong over the course of 2 plus years, would it warrant a mention?”

Sneedlings . . .

Congrats to Samantha and Rory Nugent on the birth of their son, Lucas Robert Nugent, born Friday, May 13th. “I guess the number is now lucky,” Samantha tells Sneed. Today’s birthdays: Robert Morse, 80; George Strait, 59; Tina Fey, 41 and Reggie Jackson, 65.

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