THERE'S A LEAK in the L.A. coroner's office. Fortunately it's not some viscous medical waste.
Coroner's officials are looking into how TMZ.com obtained details on prescription drugs contained in an investigator's report on the death of Brittany Murphy.
How? Because they're good.
Because every pharmacy cashier in L.A. is probably on TMZ's Christmas list.
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said yesterday that he didn't know how TMZ had obtained the confidential report and that he was concerned that other aspects of the investigation could be leaked.
"I'm furious," Winter said. "We don't normally release partial information. If partial information goes out, it of course makes us look bad. Everybody ought to get it at the same time."
TMZ's report stated that the investigator, who is identified only by last name, noted that numerous bottles of prescription medications were found in Brittany's name at the home where she collapsed. The medications included depression and anti-anxiety meds, and painkillers.
Medications were also found in the name of Brittany's husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, TMZ reported. TMZ declined to say how it had obtained the report.
Out and about
* Sexy screen siren Eva Mendes,
who was booked under an alias, got her hair blown out at Richard Nicholos Salon (1716 Sansom) yesterday afternoon, as our 24/7 colleague Dan Gross reported on his blog PhillyGossip.com. There's no word yet on why the actress, who was once rude to Tattle during an interview, is in town. Gross also reports that yesterday Upper Darby native/actor Jamie Kennedy and girlfriend Jennifer Love Hewitt acted "very lovey dovey," while waiting in line for coffee at Starbucks at the Phoenix (16th & Arch). Love Hewitt paid and left a very nice tip.
* Taylor Swift, Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas are among the artists who seem to have performed at every awards show this year, so it's no surprise that they're also set to perform Jan. 31 at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards. Other performers include Maxwell and Lady Antebellum, but more will be announced.
* HBO says Ricky Gervais will be a star voice in a 13-episode animated comedy series early next year based on his podcasts.
Voices on the aptly named "The Ricky Gervais Show" will include Gervais, longtime collaborator Stephen Merchant and their friend Karl Pilkington.
* According to Billboard.com, while
his older brother, newlywed Kevin Jonas, is off repeatedly losing his virginity, Nick Jonas has formed a new band, the Administration, which he says will allow him to "explore a little more of my roots as an artist and musician" and play songs that he "didn't think were necessarily right for the Jonas Brothers sound."
"With this record, the overall template was '60s and '70s funk-rock and, at times, soulful rock," the youngest Jonas told Billboard.com about "Who I Am" (to drop Feb. 2).
Nick says the Administration will play the entire album at its shows, as well as "a couple of covers . . . and then maybe a couple Jonas Brothers songs that I feel kind of a connection to."
Nick Jonas & the Administration will play the Tower Theater here on Jan. 9.
* Billy Jeffrey, who was a cast
member on the ABC reality-TV series "True Beauty" and has danced his a-- off as a Chippendale, is going to get to spend a couple of nights living in the house used for the movie "A Christmas Story."
Jeffrey, who says he's obsessed with the 1983 film, bid $4,200 for the privilege in an online charity auction.
* Organizers for the Venice Film
Festival have honored John Woo with its lifetime-achievement award, saying that the veteran director transformed action movies both in his native Hong Kong and his current professional home of Hollywood.
Calling Woo, 61, "an innovator of the contemporary language of cinema," festival organizers said in a statement posted on their official Web site Monday that they decided to award Woo the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement.
Woo celebrated by blowing their heads off in slow motion.
* A South Carolina priest, the Rev.
Andrew Trapp, missed the $1 million top prize in PokerStars.net Million Dollar Challenge but won $100,000 for St. Michael Catholic Church.
Trapp said he hopes that his participation gives viewers a "fun twist" on their perceptions of the priesthood.
What would that be? That they are shrewd gamblers?
Hey, Father, you got a favorite in the fourth race? Should I split my tens? What about the over/under in the Rose Bowl?
Trapp said the Catholic Church doesn't see a moral problem with playing cards or games of chance, within reason.
"It's a question of moderation - just like anything else," he said. "We believe it's fine to enjoy a beer or glass of wine, but not to abuse it to get drunk."
The big poker money went to retired New York police detective Mike Kosowski. But Trapp won $100,000, untaxed, in a semifinal round. It will go to the building fund of his church near Myrtle Beach.
Strangely, the priest won by consistently drawing three kings.
Daily News wire services contributed to this report.