There’s good news and bad news in Ellen DeGeneres’ household.

DeGeneres, 46, has broken up with her girlfriend of four years, photographer Alexandra Hedison, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. But, proving that destruction often leads to new life, she has done so to pursue a romance with 31-year-old Arrested Development star Portia de Rossi, who left her girlfriend, singer Francesca Gregorini (Ringo Starr’s stepdaughter). Oh, the drama.

The new couple have VH1’s extravaganza “Big in ‘04” to thank for it all. While they first met some nine months ago at a photo shoot, the two did not actually conjoin until they saw each other again at the music channel’s awards show Dec. 1, after which de Rossi told friends they fell in love instantly.

But despite instigating the split, DeGeneres is still heartbroken. The New York Post claims she was spotted “crying hysterically on her phone” in the lobby of a hotel after a Christmas party.

DeGeneres and Hedison, 35, began quietly dating in 2000, shortly after DeGeneres and Anne Heche ended their headline-grabbing relationship. That split prompted a media frenzy that was helped along by Heche’s post-breakup wanderings around Fresno, Calif., waiting for the mother ship to beam her up.

News of the latest split will come as a surprise to those who caught DeGeneres on “Dateline NBC” last month, as she responded in the affirmative when asked if Hedison was the love of her life.

“Yes. Yeah. I’ve never felt this way before. Ever,” she gushed. “She’s amazing. She’s kind. She’s funny. Really, really funny. Makes me laugh very hard. I’m happier than I’ve been in my entire life.”

De Rossi, meanwhile, has remained tight-lipped about her personal life.

“I live my life the way I want to live it,” the former “Ally McBeal” beauty recently told Australia’s Herald-Sun. “I am certainly not going to modify my life just to suit the paparazzi.”



MADONNA’S TOUR IS TOPS

Madonna’s blockbuster Re-Invention tour took all the drama out of the top tour of the year race, ringing up $125 million in total box office gross by the time it wrapped in September, reports Billboard Online.

Madonna sold out 55 of 56 performances worldwide, with an average nightly take of $2.23 million.

Prince’s Musicology tour drew nearly 1.5 million people, more than any other artist, and grossed $90.2 million, second only to Madonna.

Shania Twain was third, reporting grosses totaling $62.5 million and playing to nearly 950,000 fans.

The rest of the top 10: Simon & Garfunkel ($59 million), Metallica ($53.8 million), Bette Midler ($53.3 million), Sting ($52.4 million), Kenny Chesney ($49.3 million), David Bowie ($46 million) and Toby Keith ($44.3 million).

This year, Celine Dion reported more than $77 million from her residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. If Dion’s numbers reflected a “tour” per se, she would rank third among all acts.



NIP, TUCK, SUE

Insisting she’s face-lift-free, Sharon Stone is suing a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, claiming he’s been wrongfully taking credit for her youthful looks in a number of popular magazines, reports TV Guide Online.

The 46-year-old actress says she has never had a procedure done by said surgeon, Dr. Renato Calabria.

US Weekly printed an article in August titled Did Sharon Stone Have Surgery? and In Touch ran a story in September, quoting Calabria, though he declined to comment on her in the article.

But the lawsuit stated that Stone “prides herself not only on her acting ability and other talents, but also on her natural physical appearance.”

The actress claimed negative publicity about physical appearance “has a damaging impact on a film actress’ professional reputation and her ability to obtain work in the film industry.”

Stone is asking for general, special, actual and punitive damages and any profits Calabria received from the allegedly unauthorized use of her name, image and likeness.



QUEEN RECRUITS SINGER FOR NEW TOUR

The remaining members of the rock band Queen are planning to tour next year with former Free and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers taking the late Freddie Mercury’s place, reports BBC Online.

Guitarist Brian May has said he expects to be on the road with Rodgers and drummer Roger Taylor starting in April.

“Suddenly the Queen phoenix is rising again from the ashes and will take precedence over our lives,” May said.

Queen has played with many different singers since Mercury’s death in 1991 but hasn’t toured.

May performed with Rodgers at a concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar in London in September.

“We were both so amazed at the chemistry that was going on in the Free hit All Right Now, that suddenly it seems blindingly obvious that there was “something happening here,”‘ May wrote on his Web site.

They teamed up again for a concert to mark their induction into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame, and were joined by Taylor.

“The show went so incredibly well from our point of view, and we got so many rave reactions from out there, we decided almost then and there that we would look at a tour together,” May wrote.



TRUMP’S “I DO’ COULD AIR LIVE

Donald Trump’s wedding to longtime girlfriend Melania Knauss could soon be coming to a TV near you, reports The New York Daily News.

Trump says there’s network interest in being there when the billionaire and TV star gets married Jan. 22 in Palm Beach.

“Two networks want to televise it live,” Trump said Monday. “The last live wedding I saw televised was Lady Di and Prince Charles, and that didn’t work out all that well.”

Trump didn’t say which networks were after him.

“I’m taking it serious,” he said, adding that he would be more interested if “Apprentice” and “Survivor” producer Mark Burnett were involved. “The networks would love to have this on live. I really don’t know how to respond to it.”

Considering Trump’s deal-making skills, it’s safe to say anyone carrying the nuptials would have to shell out plenty of money.

“It’s something they really want to do,” he added. “At first I was not sure, but in this crazy business they’d get great ratings.”

Before tying the knot for the third time, Trump will have to crown a winner in “The Apprentice 2,” his reality-show quest for a business-savvy person to work in his empire.

It’s down to two “Apprentice” contestants – Jennifer Massey and Kelly Perdew – with the winner to be named Thursday during a three-hour broadcast beginning at 8 p.m. on NBC, some of it live from Lincoln Center.

“I have not made up my mind yet,” Trump said. “It’s a hard one.”



WEDNESDAY’S BIRTHDAYS

Actor-comedian Tim Conway is 71. Singer Cindy Birdsong (The Supremes) is 65. Actor Don Johnson is 55. Bassist Paul Simonon (The Clash) is 49. Actress Helen Slater is 41. Actress Molly Price (Third Watch) is 39.


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