Britney Spears and brand-spanking-new fiance Jason Trawick celebrated their engagement and Trawick's 40th b-day over the weekend with dinner at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Vegas and dancing at Chateau nightclub. Brit's engagement ring is reportedly a 3-carat rock with diamond pave band designed by Neil Lane. Not quite as big as the 5.5-carat ring Brit got from K-Fed in 2005, but it'll do. Justin Bieber was also in Vegas on Friday to film a private concert at Whitney Elementary School for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Biebs distributed a literal truck full of toys, including fluffy white stuffed dogs, and has promised the school's 650 low-income students a $100,000 donation.
Julien's Auctions reports that the contents of Michael Jackson's last home were sold for nearly $1 million. Highlights of the daylong auction Saturday include a kitchen chalkboard where his children wrote "I love daddy," which sold for $5,000; an armoire where Jacko scrawled himself a note on the mirror, which fetched $25,750; and the rug that was beneath the bed where MJ died, which sold for $15,360.
CNN's Piers Morgan is on the hot seat this week as he appears at a judge-led inquiry into the ethics and practices of Britain's scandal-tarred tabloid press. Actors Hugh Grant and Sienna Miller, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, and singer Charlotte Church are among those who have given evidence about press abuse and phone hacking. Morgan, the former editor of tabs News of the World and the Mirror, has acknowledged he kept his edge in part through bribes paid to informants on rival titles. In his autobiography, The Insider, he jokes to an irate Kate Winslet, "You don't get to be the editor of the Mirror without being a fairly despicable human being." Howard Stern is slated to take the judge's seat that Morgan vacated on America's Got Talent.
Morgan tweeted this week that "#ChristopherHitchens once sent me this life lesson: '4 Most overrated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics.'" Three of the late Hitch's books, including the memoir Hitch-22, were among Amazon's six fastest sellers Friday.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, in NYC for the premiere of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, took daughter Suri to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular . . . the Beach Boys are planning a 50th-anniversary tour . . . rapper Slim Dunkin was reported shot in Atlanta ... Robert Downey Jr.'s sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was the box office darling this weekend with a $40 million opening, well below the first installment's $62.3 million debut two years ago . . . Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked did even worse, opening at No. 2 with a mere $23.5 million, about half the business the first two Chipmunks movies did on their debut weekends . . . the Guinness Book of World Records announced the world's shortest woman: Jyoti Amge, a high school student in India, who is 24.7 inches tall. -Meredith Broussard