AS HAPPENS to most high-school couples, even the musical ones,

Zac Efron


Vanessa Hudgens

have broken up.

"It's nothing dramatic," an unnamed source told E! Online. "There's no third party involved."

"They were together for so long. It just ran its course," said another insider.

Sources insist the pair remain friends, and if neither makes a hit film soon, they may work together again as teaching assistants in "High School Musical 7."

* Elizabeth Hurley says she has separated from her husband of three years, Arun Nayar.

Hurley's tweeted announcement - how else to tell the world you're breaking up and then complain that people are invading your privacy? - comes amid reports in British tabloids linking her romantically to Australian cricket star Shane Warne. Warne yesterday confirmed that he has also split from his wife.

"Not a great day," Hurley, 45, tweeted Sunday. "For the record, my husband Arun & I separated a few months ago."

A beef with prison food

Malcolm Alarmo King, a convicted drug dealer serving time at California's Theo Lacy jail, didn't like the jail's salami.

Can you blame him? One can only imagine where that meat came from.

King, however, complained to officials about the salami - he didn't try to hide it, like other inmates - and was able to receive kosher meals, not because he was Jewish but because his attorney cited Festivus as his religious belief.

Granted, all religions have to come from somewhere, but the source of Festivus is an episode of "Seinfeld."

Sheriff's spokesman Ryan Burris says King got salami-free meals for two months before the county got the order thrown out in court.


* Ja Rule pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted criminal possession of a weapon stemming from a July 2007 stop of his luxury sports car.

Wearing dark-blue jeans and a black sweater, the rapper said "guilty" and answered yes to a judge's questions in a low voice.

"Because of your guilty plea here today, you'll have a record of having committed a violent felony. This is a very serious matter," Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers told the rapper.

Ja Rule was promised two years in prison when he is sentenced in February.

* New York City Ballet dancer Jennifer Ringer said on NBC's "Today" that New York Times ballet critic Alastair Macaulay needn't apologize for calling her plump in a performance of "The Nutcracker."

Ringer, cast as the Sugar Plum(p) Fairy, said yesterday that her body is part of her "art form" and there to be criticized.

In his review, Macaulay said Ringer "looked as if she'd eaten one sugarplum too many."

Ringer says Macaulay is paid (thank goodness) to put his opinion in the newspaper. But, she says, some 2,000 other people who saw the Nov. 25 show "had a different opinion as well."

Ringer has battled eating disorders and says she's "a more womanly type than the stereotypical ballerina."

Already, a sequel to "Black Swan."

* Celebrities including Robert Redford, Robert De Niro, Colin Firth and Sting are calling on Iran to release a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

In an open letter, more than 80 actors, artists, musicians, academics and politicians say that "Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has suffered enough."

They call on Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to release her along with her son and lawyer, who are also imprisoned.

The letter was published yesterday on the front page of The Times of London newspaper.

Kind of amazing that a country can be developing nuclear power and still believe in stoning.

* Speaking of getting stoned, reports that Miley Cyrus' peeps knew about the recent video of Miley hitting the bong and tried to weed-le it away from its owners.

Anonymous sources told TMZ that one college student who came into possession of the vid contacted Team Miley after Thanksgiving and later traded his MacBook Pro with the video for a brand-new one. Team Miley also allegedly did a computer swap with another student downloader.

They just couldn't get all the copies.

* Central Pennsylvania girl Elizabeth McCleerey, 14, who was seriously injured in an October car crash, has received two dozen roses from Justin Bieber thanks to a Facebook campaign launched by her fellow students.

The Patriot-News reports that another teen idol, 13-year-old Cody Simpson, visited McCleerey in person last week.

McCleerey remains in the hospital after the crash that injured her and four others. She has had to relearn how to speak, but her mother says that she remembers all the words to both performers' songs.

Now if Bieber really wants to help, he should record a song with more words.

* Former "Calorie Commando" TV chef Juan-Carlos Cruz has been sentenced in Los Angeles to nine years in prison on a charge of soliciting two homeless men to murder his wife, Jennifer Campbell.

Cruz, who pleaded no contest earlier this year, smiled and winked at Jennifer during yesterday's sentencing appearance.

Defense attorney Shawn Chapman Holley (of Lindsay Lohan notoriety) told Superior Court Judge H. Chester Horn Jr. that Cruz is expected to serve half of the nine-year term.

He's also expected to be the first contestant on "Iron Bar Chef America."

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.