Good thing

David Hasselhoff

is back in the news: free press for the

Baywatch

mimbo's autobiography,

Don't Hassel the Hoff

, in which the actor, producer, singer and writer, who has battled alcohol for years, lays his life all out, lays it out raw: He writes that in '02 he walked out of the Betty Ford Center after eight days, and drank so much he almost died of alcohol poisoning. The Hoff, who recently made the tabs when someone released a video showing him have a booze binge, also writes about surviving on the killing field that was the

Baywatch

set. While most dudes figured Hoff and his hot babe costars had it easy on the show, "nobody knew that the sand was hotter than hell and the water was toxic." What's worse, "every week we had to bow to the dictates of what was perceived as a horrible sexist show." His pain matters not, because Hoff knows the book isn't just about him: "Above all, it is about the hope contained in the

Knight Rider

slogan: 'One man can make a difference.' " A noble maxim to live by in a noble land.

Ashley Judd shines again

Actress

Ashley Judd

, who has the most beguiling, yet innocent-looking eyes in the biz, has earned herself a bachelor of arts degree from her ol' school, the University of Kentucky, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The 39-year-old star of motion pictures De-Lovely, High Crimes and William Friedkin's seriously creepaholic new horror piece, Bug, has graduated with a degree in French. She attended U.K. from '86 to '90, but left one course shy of graduating. We do not know whether Judd attended Sunday's graduation ceremonies, or what she did to finish her outstanding course credits, though last year she said she was thinking of taking a correspondence course.

Coup de Grâce

That most ironically named, churlish Court TV circus ringmaster,

Nancy Grace

, who never met a defendant she did not loathe to the core of her being, is leaving the cabler after 10 years. "Court TV will always hold a special place in my heart," the former prosecutor said yesterday. She said she'd like to spend more time developing her CNN Headline News show,

Nancy Grace

, and on her charity work.

Classical movement

Curtis Institute of Music alum

Zachary De Pue

, 27, a violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and one-third of the bluegrass-Hungarian trio Time for Three, has been named the concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

"Zachary is an incredibly talented musician who will bring new energy and vitality to our orchestra," said the orchestra's music director, Mario Venzago.

"We will find wonderful solos for him to perform."

Tammy Faye lets go

Tammy Faye Bakker

writes on her Web site that she's let go of medicine and left it up to God to decide who wins her battle with cancer.

"The doctors have stopped trying to treat the cancer," Jim Bakker's ex-wife said. "So now it's up to God and my faith. And that's enough! But please continue to pray for the pain and sick stomach." Tammy Faye was diagnosed with colon cancer in '96; she survived, only to learn in '04 that the cancer had returned in her lungs.

$35 mil worth of love

Dashing Hollywood lead

Tom Cruise

showed his baby

Suri

's mama, the lovely, blushing

Katie Holmes

, how much he treasures his new family - he bought 'em a $35 mil Beverly Hills mansion. The L.A. Times says the dump, which has seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms, a tennis court and a pool, sits on 1.3 acres of pretty - gated - land.

What's more, it's only two minutes away from the opulent mansion just bought by Katie and Tom's bestest friends, Victoria and David Beckham.

Hilton judge says no O

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge

Michael T. Sauer

, who sentenced

Paris Hilton

to 45 days behind bars, is denying a report on celeb Web site TMZ.com that he got a standing ovation from parishioners when he arrived for Mass at St. Brendan's Church in L.A. over the weekend.

The TMZ report was the basis for an item in "SideShow" on Tuesday.

"The church story is completely false," Sauer told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Tuesday.

TMZ, which initially reported that the incident took place on Sunday, has amended its story to say it actually occurred at a Saturday Mass. The Web site says it got the info from "several God-fearing witnesses."

TMZ also has dropped the standing-ovation element, reporting now that "the congregation erupted in applause. Several parishioners buttonholed the judge to express their approval."

Deacon Eric Stoltz, a member of the church staff, said in an e-mail: "The TMZ report is wrong. Nothing of the kind occurred at St. Brendan Church at any time, as Judge Sauer himself has told the Los Angeles Times. We regret that TMZ has to date refused to retract their story, especially since the judge and the priest who celebrated the Saturday Vigil Mass have both explained that no such thing happened."

Reach "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.
This column contains information from Inquirer wire services.