O.

J. SIMPSON

's search for the real killer brought him to Kentucky just in time for the Derby.

Hope he had better luck picking a winner. Well, maybe not.

In Kentucky, the "Juice" was about as welcome as a $2 bettor in Queen Elizabeth's box.

Maybe it was the thought of O.J. with a steak knife in his hand, but Jeff Ruby, owner of a pricey Louisville steakhouse, said he asked O.J. to leave his restaurant the night before the Derby.

"I didn't want to serve him because of my convictions of what he's done to those families," Ruby said Tuesday. "The way he continues to torture the lives of those families . . . with his behavior, attitude and conduct."

(Simpson was found innocent in 1995 of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman but was found liable in a civil trial that followed.)

Ruby said Simpson came in with a group of about 12 on Friday night. A customer came up to Ruby and was "giddy" about seeing Simpson, Ruby said.

"I didn't want that experience in my restaurant," Ruby said, later adding that seeing Simpson get so much attention "makes me sick to my stomach."

He said he went to Simpson and said, "I'm not serving you." When O.J. didn't respond, he repeated himself and left the room.

Ruby said O.J. soon came up to him, said he understood and would gather his party to leave.

After Simpson left, Ruby said patrons started applauding. He said he has received about 100 positive e-mails since the incident.

"It was the first time since 1994 he has ever shown any class," Ruby said. "He showed it that night in the restaurant" by leaving quietly.

Well, not that quietly.

Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter, said the incident was about race, and he intended to pursue the matter, possibly going after Ruby's liquor license.

"He screwed with the wrong guy, he really did," Galanter said.

Paris Hilton update

* Paris Hilton's new attorney, TMZ.com reports, is famed DUI defense lawyer Richard Hutton.

Already earning his keep, Hutton got Paris to issue a statement:

"After reading the media's coverage of my court hearing, I feel the need to correct what I believe are misperceptions about me. I absolutely realize how serious driving under the influence is. I could not live with myself if anyone was injured or killed while I was driving while impaired. Clearly, no one should - no matter how slightly.

"I am ready to face the consequences of violating probation.

"No one is above the law. I surely am not. I do not expect to be treated better than anyone else who violated probation. However, my hope is that I will not be treated worse."

Oops

* Akon, under fire for doing a sexually explicit dance onstage with a 14-year-old girl, is sorry.

Since the incident, Verizon has pulled out as a sponsor of his tour with Gwen Stefani.

In a statement released yesterday to the Associated Press, the "Smack That" hit-maker said:

"I want to sincerely apologize for the embarrassment and any pain I've caused to the young woman who joined me onstage, her family and the Trinidad community for the events at my concert.

"It was never my intention to embarrass or take advantage of my fans in any way, especially those under the age of 18."

* In another error in judgment, this one ours, the Los Angeles Times checked out the TMZ.com story about Paris Hilton judge Michael T. Sauer getting an ovation when he attended services at St. Brendan Church.

"Completely false," Sauer said.

How did Tattle find out we had perpetuated this lie? St. Brendan Church Deacon Eric Stoltz (not the actor) e-mailed us.

The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways.

Tattbits

* Following News of the World's report of Lindsay Lohan allegedly coking it up in a bathroom, the National Enquirer adds another straw to the powder.

A "friend" says that when Lindsay was at the Coachella Music Festival in April, she "bought six tablets of Ecstasy - three with an imprint of a blue Smurf and three with a pink diamond."

Then toss in an "eight-ball" of cocaine (about 3.5 grams).

"Lindsay did line after line of coke all weekend," the "friend" says. "One morning she ordered a $400 breakfast – two bottles of Ketel One vodka, one bottle of Belvedere vodka and a bottle of Patron tequila."

(And that's before she saw the reviews of "Georgia Rule.")

Since Coachella, the Enquirer says she has been in a 24/7 haze.

Yet Tattle saw Linds on "Ellen" last week and she looked good. Either this drug-bingeing is a load of bunk or Lindsay has the constitution of a rhino. *

* Ashley Judd is finally a graduate of the University of Kentucky.

She was on the 21-year plan.

Judd attended UK from 1986-90, but left one course shy of graduation. Her B.A. is in French.

* Martina McBride has a stalker. Her husband, John McBride, said in court papers that Ricky D. Fissel, 42, twice came to their door seeking Martina.

After John identified Fissel in a photo lineup, a search of his home revealed a newspaper article with Martina's photo circled with hearts drawn around it.

It figures. That's the guy who still buys a newspaper. *

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.