In today's "Page Six," Lance Armstrong breaks his silence over his alleged Ashley Olsen romance, and tells the tabloid that "Ashley Olsen and I are strictly friends. We have hung out amongst other friends, and she strikes me as a nice, smart lady." [Ed. note: Wait, Lance uses the word "amongst"?] The column also says that Lance's ex, Sheryl Crow, is "hitting back at a Life & Style report about her supposedly being upset over Armstrong's relationship with Olsen." So she wasn't at all hitting back at "Page Six," who reprinted the Life & Style item yesterday with the headline "JUST TOO YOUNG"? It should be noted that she's probably also hitting back at Daily Intel, because we linked to the "Page Six" story, too. But that's because we are completely obsessed with the idea of Lance and Ashley together, and its awkward, lovely, skinny spectacle will still burn in our hearts. At least, until Mary-Kate starts dating Barry Bonds. Which we expect any minute now.
Lance Responds [NYP]
Earlier:Daily Intel's brief, beautiful coverage of Asstrong
Harvey Weinstein either physically removed a D.J. who was acting inappropriately with a lady at his table at Rose Bar or was punched in the face by him. (He's also getting married next month.) Denzel Washington had 30 bespoke suits made by an English tailor on East 53rd Street. Liz Smith speculates that the next Time person of the year will be the environment. Cindy Adams reports that a book on Heather Mills is in the works. The owner of Baraonda, the Italian eatery at 75th and Second, got a new lease on the space. PR guru Lara Shriftman has given into the pressure and revealed the daddy of her baby: rum heir Juan Bacardi.
Jennifer Lopez will supposedly announce that she's pregnant during her show at MSG on Saturday night. Jessica Simpson's people say she didn't drink and dash at the Box — her friend just accidentally took the receipt slip with him. Rosie O'Donnell did an impromptu ten-minute stand-up set during a show by Roseanne Barr at Comix. (Rita Crosby was there, despite having been served a subpoena earlier in the day.) Mariah Carey doesn't know how many bathrooms are in her Tribeca penthouse. Howard Stein, the nightlife honcho behind eighties hangouts Xenon and Rock Lounge, died at 62. The Port Authority says the quality of its toilet paper is much improved, contrary to what Larry David said on last week's episode of Curb. GLAAD forced "Page Six" to apologize for calling the pre-op transsexual who has a reality show on Fox a "she-male."
• As Robert Morgenthau's office starts a criminal investigation of the Deutsche Bank blaze that killed two firefighters, it turns out that the faulty standpipe had been deliberately cut — and recently. [NYP]
Professional winner Alex Rodriguez just can't win this week. He's been on the clock to break Barry Bonds's home-run record for exactly three days, and the tabloids are already 'roid raging. First, Braves third-baseman Chipper Jones said anyone who nears Bonds's record will have to answer doping questions — which the Post turned into yesterday's back-page headline "A 'ROID SHOCKER." Then, Mike Lupica's levelheaded Daily News column today about the Players Association became the back-page banner "UNDER SUSPICION." All this because money-hungry whistleblower Jose Canseco vaguely claims he has "other stuff" on Rodriguez in a book he's shopping.
• Juror Bloomberg is back at his day job — and he's brokered a deal with Albany that will require more developers in more neighborhoods to include low-income housing in their projects. Spitzer's likely to sign. [NYT]
O.J. Simpson had a ghostwriter for his never-released memoir, If I Did It (who'd have thunk it!) and even practiced a crying scene for his TV interview with Judith Regan. Barry Bonds's ex-mistress, who has alleged that the slugger has used steroids, is shopping a tell-all and nude pictorial. Enrique Iglesias wishes he were gay. Nathan Lane wants to start a heterosexual pride parade, with George W. Bush as grand marshal. Jay McInerney is sick of telling people he broke his foot chasing after a taxi. Madonna didn't invite Janet Jackson to sit at her booth at Butter, though she did hang out with Shakira. Also: Ashton, Demi, and Penélope were there. The flowers at the Waldorf-Astoria wedding of billionaire Russian heiress Angelina Anisimova and real-estate developer Ryan Freedman cost $1 million. John McCain didn't wash his hands before leaving a restroom in East Hampton.