Whitney Houston: Larger Than Life

Photo: AP Photos

They say the camera adds ten pounds. That certainly seems to have been the case for Whitney Houston in her video for the media-bashing single “Whatcha Lookin’ At?” We hear that Houston’s creative team used some computer wizardry to fatten her up because she looked too scrawny, sources tell us. But you won’t see it in the U.S. Arista has released it only in Europe because the song tanked in the States. As we first reported in the summer, Houston was supposed to shoot the video with red-hot director Dave Meyers in August, but she abruptly canceled because, according to her rep, she needed to finish her album, Just Whitney … This isn’t the first time Houston has apparently taken advantage of high-tech imaging to put some meat on her bones. When Michael Jackson’s anniversary concert was taped last year, reports described Houston as “skeletal-looking,” with a collarbone “protruding” from her one-shoulder dress. But when the show aired, she looked relatively Rubenesque in comparison. Houston’s rep insists there were no touch-ups on her in the “Whatcha Lookin’ At?” video “because she didn’t need any. She looks fabulous.” The rep says we will finally get to see the Grammy winner when Arista releases the video for “One of Those Days,” which she started filming last week.

We’re fairly certain Ralph Lauren wasn’t too upset when Sean “P. Diddy” Combs mispronounced his name while presenting him with a VH1/Vogue Fashion Award last week. Earlier that same day, Combs bought $40,000 worth of goods at the Polo mansion. We also hear that Anna Wintour tried to give some props to Combs’s Sean John collection by asking the show’s host, Debra Messing, to wear one of his frocks when she introduced him. At the last minute, however, producers decided that the Will & Grace starlet should stick to her six designer gowns and that Combs would be introduced by a voice-over… . During the show, Angie Harmon left us guessing if she’s pregnant. No, there were no signs of an expanding belly (or any kind of a belly, really) in her Roberto Cavalli corset dress, but one of our spies overheard what she had to say when Steven Tyler thanked his kids – Mia, Liv, Taj, and Chelsea – while accepting the Rock Style Award. After the crooner cracked, “Having children is like getting pecked to death by chickens,” Harmon turned to her husband, Jason Sehorn, grabbed his hand, and cooed, “Are you ready, honey?” … The following evening at the GQ Men of the Year Awards after-party, music producer Steve Stoute was pushing Zino Platinum cigars, a new venture he’s started with Madison Avenue impresario Peter Arnell. When he offered Monica Lewinsky a stogie, the presidential paramour quickly backed away, laughing: “Whoa, you’ve got to be kidding!”

Talk may have folded months ago, but there’s still a certain Tina involved with the magazine – just go to talkmagazine.net. The site was originally a parody of the magazine by Modern Humorist founders John Aboud and Michael Colton, but it was taken down after Talk-Miramax bought the URL in 1999 and linked it to Talk’s official site. After the mag folded, Miramax didn’t renew the rights, and a savvy entrepreneur now has ownership. Web surfers are now automatically bumped to a porn site featuring “Tina,” a “19-year-old New York student” who performs a variety of sex acts. Colton, who just published Modern Humorist’s latest book, One Nation, Extra Cheese, hasn’t taken advantage of the site’s free trial membership, but admitted that “if there were photos of Tina Brown naked, I would have checked it out.”

A spy at the Los Angeles premiere of Ghost Ship at the Orpheum Theatre tells us that one of the film’s stars, Desmond Harrington, was so annoyed by the popcorn fight Andy Dick was having with a friend that he asked to be moved to a seat farther away from the childish shenanigans. Even so, Harrington and his co-stars Julianna Margulies and Isaiah Washington, along with Jack Osbourne, continued to be pelted with popcorn after Dick started another fight with a couple who were being filmed for the tv show Blind Date. Dick finally settled down when the movie’s producers, Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis, started to introduce the movie.

Where in the world is Jeremy Antunes? We hear that friends and colleagues were so angry that Antunes went public in a New York cover story this summer about legal battles he was having with the family of his late boyfriend, celebrity makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, that he barely showed his face in public afterward. A source tells us that Antunes is now living with Cher’s mom, Georgia Holt, in Palm Desert, California.

With Catherine Townsend.

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Whitney Houston: Larger Than Life