"What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff," says Holden Caulfield in the literary masterpiece

The Catcher in the Rye

. " . . . I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all." It seems H.C.'s creator,

J.D. Salinger

, 90, has stepped into the field himself. But he's not trying to catch poor saps beaten down by social convention. He's after an alleged plagiarist.

The Smoking Gun Web site says the reclusive author on Monday filed a copyright infringement suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to block the publication of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye by J.D. California, which purports to be a sequel to Salinger's classic. "It is a rip-off pure and simple," says the suit, which objects that 60 Years is also narrated by Holden Caulfield.

California tells London's The Telegraph that his novel is about Mr. C., a rebellious 76-year-old who escapes his nursing home to wander the streets of New York. He calls it "a tribute the way Holden would have said it."

Susan Boyle: Her recovery

Susan Boyle

, 48, who was hospitalized last weekend after coming in second on

Britain's Got Talent

, may take weeks to recover, says her doctor.

Chris Thompson

of the Priory Clinic in London, where Boyle is being treated for emotional exhaustion, tells London's Daily Mail, "I cannot talk specifically about Susan Boyle, but any admission to a psychiatric hospital for a matter of days is, in my opinion, a failed admission because . . . the job hasn't been done fully." But Boyle's bro

John

, 59, insists she'll be ready to serenade

President Obama

, who has invited her to perform July 4 at the White House. "So as you can see, her dream is still very much alive," John tells the Daily Record.

Who's to blame?

Can reality TV hurt people? Did

Britain's Got Talent

exploit and spiritually injure

Susan Boyle

?

Amanda Holden

, a judge on the show, tells

Larry King

that

Talent,

created by

Simon "Darth Vader" Cowell

, is a veritable lovefest that wouldn't exploit a fly. "We are a very loyal show, we love Susan very much," Holden said. She blamed Boyle's ills on the news media.

Jack Nicholson coming to town?

"The Untitled James L. Brooks Project" - the romantic triangle starring Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, and Paul Rudd set to start shooting here in mid-June - is negotiating with Jack Nicholson (who won Oscars for the Brooks films Terms of Endearment and As Good as It Gets) to play the role of Rudd's father. According to Variety, Nicholson would replace the notoriously noncommittal Bill Murray, who was initially slated to costar.

As you no doubt know, in the untitled film Witherspoon is torn between businessman Rudd and ballplayer Wilson.

Brooks has a good track record of eliciting restrained performances from wild men (think Adam Sandler in Spanglish, and the unbilled Nicholson as a magisterial Dan Rather-type anchorman in Broadcast News).

Diabolical Jack (The Shining, Batman, The Departed) doesn't age well for me. I prefer unflappable Jack to flipped Jack. My most cherished performances of his are Easy Rider, The Last Detail, Chinatown, Reds, the Brooks movies, and Something's Gotta Give. You?

- Carrie Rickey

Brüno: They all stink!

Sacha Baron Cohen

graces the cover of Marie Claire in character as Brüno, a misanthropic - and fun-loving - Austrian fashion critic. In the interview, B. wastes no time lobbing insults in an A-to-Z format at every celeb in the book.

"Just vatching him now on MTV. A great singer und so hunky," he says of Philly-area (female) heroine Pink.

Material Girl turned Spiritual Mom Madonna gets it the worst: The letter L is for "Little black child," Brüno says, "thanks to Madonna . . . it's zis season's vardrobe essential."

No, it's Brüno who stinks!

One

Richelle Olson

has filed a lawsuit against Cohen in Lancaster, Calif., claiming that the actor injured her in May 2007 when he was a guest at a charity bingo tournament in Palmdale, Calif., that he tried to film for his new movie. The suit seeks $25,000 in damages, claiming Olson sustained severe injuries as a result of struggling with Cohen and his film crew. Olson says the melee started when she tried to grab the mike from Cohen, who was using obscenities at the event. She claims she suffered brain bleeding and must use a wheelchair or cane to get around.

Heidi and Spencer lie & cheat - again

Celebdom's Axis of Evil,

Heidi Montag

and

Spencer Pratt

, have rejoined the cast of reality dross

I'm a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!

after storming out on Tuesday - even though they never really left. Us Magazine says

Speidi

pretended to leave after bitterly complaining about the show. (Gee, what's not to like?)

"Super-celebrities don't belong in the jungle. They belong in Hollywood with the paparazzi," Spencer said. Speidi then walked out on hot costars Lou Diamond Phillips and Janice Dickinson. They were later seen in Lalaland.

But the duo in L.A. were decoys. "Heidi and Spencer are still in the jungle and part of the show," their rep said yesterday. Why the stunt? Consider this: The show drew 6.4 mil viewers on Monday, but only 5.5 mil on Tuesday.

J.Lo: What if I can't act!?

Jennifer Lopez

tells

Entertainment Tonight

that returning to film after a three-year break gave her all sorts of anxiety. "I was like, what if I forgot how to act?!" says J.Lo, who costars with

Alex O'Loughlin

in

The Back-Up Plan

, a romantic comedy due out in January. What rocked about the job, she says, was that she got to hang out with her babies on set: "Bringing my babies with me that first morning, I was like, 'Oh my God, they're with me!' . . . It's great having kids on set. It's the best."

Miley Cyrus, fashion queen

Hannah Montana

siren

Miley Cyrus

is following in the chic footsteps of

Taylor Swift

and

the Jonas Brothers

with a marketing deal with that exclusive, hipster fashion boutique, Wal-Mart, to make a line of cheezoid clothes with designer

Max Azria

. "I love creating looks that are all about personal expression and individuality," says Miley of her line, which will help make every tween girl look the same. Wal-Mart, which champions (nonunion) family values, also will sponsor Miley's 45-stop tour, which will begin Sept. 14 in Portland, Ore.

Too old to Barack-and-roll

Denzel Washington

may be one of our finest actors, but inside, he's crying, not laughing. The 54-year-old

Philadelphia

star is sad, Brit paper the Daily Express says, because he has realized he's too old to play

Barack Obama

on the silver screen.

"When Obama's story is ready to be told I'll be too old to do it," the Express quotes D.W. as saying. "And if it were made now, he has too much to do to have me asking for tips on how to play him." The world is a cruel place.

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