AS HAS LONG BEEN speculated, 83-year-old

Paul Newman

is battling cancer, his longtime neighbor and business partner,

A.E. Hotchner

said yesterday.

Hotchner, who partnered with Newman to start Newman's Own salad dressing company in the 1980s, said that Newman told him about the disease about 18 months ago.

"It's a form of cancer and he's dealing with it," Hotchner told the Associated Press.

Newman appeared to have lost weight during practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race last month. Martha Stewart, in an entry dated June 6, posted a photo on her blog of herself with the actor, who looked thin, at a luncheon for his Hole in the Wall Gang camps. (The Hole in the Wall Gang was led by Newman's affable outlaw character, Butch, in the 1969 film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.")

"He's battling," Hotchner said. "He's doing all the right stuff. Paul is a fighter. He seems to be going through a good period right now."

Asked about his prognosis, Hotchner said, "Everybody is hopeful. That's all we know."

Later in the day, Hotchner did a whoops, telling "Access Hollywood" "The AP misquoted me. I have no knowledge of Mr. Newman being treated for any illness."

No salad dressing for you, A.E.!

The odd couples

If you were stunned to learn that Clay Aiken was going to be a daddy, maybe your jaw won't drop quite as far to read that he doesn't want to be some one-kid wonder.

In Touch Weekly says Clay, 29, and the ultimate Clay-mate, Jaymes Foster, have already frozen eggs and sperm so they can have a second baby next year.

"Jaymes is due in August, so she'd like to conceive again next March," an anonymous insider says. "That way, she would give birth in December 2009."

"Clay and Jaymes are committed to having at least two children," the source added. "They're both incredibly successful and wealthy, so money is certainly no object. And he just adores children. He is going to make a wonderful and caring father. There's no doubt about that."

* Brooke Hogan confirmed to Michael Yo, on his "Yo on E!" satellite radio show, that her 48-year-old mother, Linda, really is dating Charlie Hill. He's 19.

"Yes, it's true," Brooke said. "I'm totally freaked out. This is really weird. I personally don't like it at all, or condone.

"I went to school with him," Brooke added. "He was a grade under me."

Now he's under your mother.

* David Spade and former fling Playboy Playmate Jillian Grace are expecting a baby girl, In Touch reports.

Spade, 43, broke up with Grace, 22, before learning she was pregnant.

"If it is true that I am the father of her child, then I will accept responsibility," Spade said.

In January, Spade told TMZ.com that he "had a brief relationship with Jillian Grace."

Brief as in a few weeks or brief as in a few minutes?

One prize, two parties!

Thanks to POPPORN.com and TLAraw.com, Tattle has two sets of passes for two to the "Party With Porn Stars Weekend" kicking off next Friday. Our two winners will each be able to bring a buddy to Club Risque Friday night, June 20, for an evening of special performances by Jessica Drake, Kaylani Lei, Ashlynn Brooke, Courtney Cummz and Alektra Blue, all of whom will be dancing and partying and posing for pics from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The winners will also get to attend Saturday night's party at Old City's National Mechanics (national mechanics.com), where they can meet the stars and chat with adult-film star/director Jack Napier. Winners will also get a gift bag of items we can't discuss without blushing.

To enter, all you have to do is write "I Want to Party with Porn Stars" in the subject line of an e-mail and include your name and phone number in the body of the e-mail, plus 25 or fewer words on why you want to attend (keep it clean, fellas). Send the e-mail to dinnercontest @phillynews.com (no, there's no dinner). On Monday, we'll pick two winners. Only one entry per person. You must be 21 or over to enter. Good luck.

Tattbit

* Chris Monzel, a Cincinnati City Councilman, has apologized to actor Rip Torn for using his mug shot in a campaign ad on crime.

Monzel said that the ad, which featured a picture of Torn with a black bar over his eyes (from his 2006 drunk-driving arrest), was meant to depict a generic criminal and discuss his efforts to "get sexual predators off the streets."

Rip Torn? What were they thinking?

Clooney ex increases assets

Now that Sarah Larson is done with George Clooney, she'll be going out with bigger boobs.

Her own.

According to In Touch, Clooney broke up with Sarah shortly after she got new editions in May.

"George really didn't want her to get the boob job," the essential anonymous insider says.

But since Sarah needed a place to recuperate, "She asked George if she could do her recovery at his house and he agreed," says the insider.

The source adds that although the pair appeared at a Metropolitan Museum of Art gala May 5, they were basically kaput by then.

"He wanted to break up with her but she had an Armani gown custom-made," says the insider. "He didn't want to be a jerk, so he took her to be nice."

Says a Sarah friend: "She likes her new body so much that she would consider posing for Playboy," adding that since she's now famous she shouldn't have any problems getting work.

Are there a lot of jobs in the classifieds for Arm Candy? *

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.