WE WANT to get off the

John Edwards-Rielle Hunter affair and back to Paris, Britney and Lindsay, but now that the networks have glommed on to the story, it's reaching new lows.

On CBS's "Early Show" yesterday, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed alleged Hunter "friend" Pigeon O'Brien. Given the obvious - you never tell secrets to someone named Pigeon - O'Brien took her 15 minutes of fame and ran with it.

According to O'Brien, Edwards and Hunter met at a bar, he lied about the time line of the affair, the baby was his because Rielle loved him and wouldn't have a baby with someone she didn't love (not exactly faultless logic), and Hunter is one step away from sainthood.

"She's a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful person in a very ugly position, and I really feel for her," O'Brien said. "I think that - I really have never known someone so insistent upon integrity and honesty and openness."

Never? Who are your friends?

Rodriguez: "But someone who has an affair with a married man you say has integrity and honesty?"

O'Brien: "I think she thought that he had quite a bit of integrity, and I think that that appealed to her about him. Sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we pick people to fall in love with that maybe aren't the greatest choice at the time. I can't judge her in that, I can't fault her in that. . . ."

Hey, we'll fault her. He was a married man with a sick wife, and he was running for president. Unless it's your goal to become a home-wrecker or blackmailer, how can that relationship possibly work out well?

Rodriguez: "So for her this was about love . . . ?"

O'Brien: "Yes, very much so."

Rodriguez: " . . . not sex?"

O'Brien: "No! No, no, no, no, no! No, no!"

That's eight No's for those of you playing at home. Perhaps if Hunter or Edwards would have said "No" . . .

Some other highlights:

O'Brien described Hunter as "a very keenly intellectually engaged woman. She's very insistent upon rigorous dialogue . . ."

Edwards, in fact, enjoyed their rigorous dialogue: "Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Yes! Yes!"

O'Brien said that Hunter "digs very deeply," and that she and Edwards "connected very deeply."

Sometimes Tattle writes itself.

As for when O'Brien and Hunter fell out as friends, O'Brien said: "We lost touch in about May or June of '06, right before she began work on the webisodes. I think she was gearing up to really engage in the big piece of work that she was doing for him, so her head was in a different space . . ."

It took awhile, but now we know where her head was and what her big piece of work was.

Hey, nice suits

Former Blink-182 bassist Mark Hoppus, now with Plus-44, sued a father-and-son business Monday, alleging that they pocketed his investment in a venture to install automated checkout machines at

McDonald's.

No Happy Meals for him.

Hoppus invested $600,000 in Missicom in October 2003, according to the complaint, and his attorney, Howard King, said that other investors included golfer Phil Mickelson and former Blink-182 members Tom Delonge and Travis Barker.

The lawsuit in San Diego says that Ed and Jeff Mitchell lined their pockets "to the tune of over $1.5 million." It alleges that their company, Missicom LLC, does not have any contracts to install the machines to take orders and collect payments at McDonald's or anywhere else.

* The Allman Brothers Band

has sued UMG Recordings to demand a bigger cut of music sold through third parties such as iTunes.

The band filed its suit Monday in Manhattan, saying it was the victim of "digital exploitation."

They want at least $13 million and additional royalties from the sales of newly configured compact discs and digital downloads for use on telephone ring tones.

* Ed McMahon is being sued by

another creditor.

This time it's Westmoore Lending, of Huntington Beach, Calif., which says that McMahon owes more than $275,000 from a 2006 loan.

A growing number of creditors say that McMahon and his wife, Pamela, owe them money. The other actions have targeted debts incurred for the couple's Beverly Hills home, prescription drugs, credit-card debt and attorneys' fees for his daughter's divorce.

* Music producer Johnny Vieira has sued Vanessa Hudgens for $5 million, claiming that the actress and her father, Greg, have repeatedly violated a contract and have failed to pay him his share of her earnings.

Hudgens ("High School Musical") entered into an agreement with Vieira when she was still a minor, the suit, filed in L.A., states. Vieira claims that Vanessa and dad sued to get out of the agreement, but have also failed to abide by settlement terms.

Vieira is described in the suit as a songwriter and music producer who was "engaged in the business of discovering and developing artists in the music industry" when he entered into an agreement with Vanessa in 2005.

Well, she's developed nicely.

* Lastly, Kristen Hall, a

founder of Sugarland is suing the group's two current members, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, for $1.5 million.

According to a lawsuit filed in Atlanta, Hall was to get a cut of the group's profits even after she left in 2005 for a solo career, but she says in the suit that she has been excluded from the group's profits since she left.

Tattbits

* Shelley Malil, who played one

of Steve Carell's co-workers in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," has been arrested for investigation of attempted murder after his former girlfriend (Kendra Beebe, according to TMZ.com) was stabbed more than 20 times, leaving her critically injured.

Malil remained in custody on $2 million bail after he was arrested late Monday as he left a train in Oceanside, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said. He was expected to be arraigned yesterday.

* On "Extra," Hayden Panet-

tiere's parents, Skip (yesterday he was Alan) and Lesley, spoke with Mario Lopez about his arrest Monday on suspicion of felony spousal abuse.

"It was all a big misunderstanding," the couple says, and they now claim "nothing actually happened." They go on to say, "Lesley wasn't even aware that Skip had been arrested."

How drunk was she?

* The Hollywood Reporter says that Angelina Jolie is in negotiations to replace Tom Cruise in the spy thriller "Edwin A. Salt."

Guess they wanted someone a little tougher.

* The upscale French fashion

house Givenchy will help dress Madonna for her upcoming "Sticky & Sweet" world tour.

You'd think by now she'd be able to dress herself.

* With Hollywood in the midst of

a moratorium on new ideas, the Hollywood Reporter says that "Criminal Minds" executive producer Ed Bernero is developing a new version of "Hawaii Five-O" for CBS.

The network also is working on a new version of "Streets of San Francisco."

Maybe it's time for Tattle to re-pitch our environmentally sound sitcom remake, "My Mother the Hybrid." *

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

E-mail gensleh@phillynews.com