Sideshow: A secret wedding for Winslet

British actress Kate Winslet, left, arrives with her boyfriend Ned Rocknroll at the awards presentation of The Longines Hong Kong Cup horse race at the Shatin race track in Hong Kong, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In a most cowardly act that denigrates her status as public property, Hamlet and Titanic star Kate Winslet has become married in secret, away from fans, from snoopers, from paparazzi. Harsh!

The twice-divorced Kate, 37, tied her immortal soul in New York to a man named Ned Rocknroll. (Could anyone take seriously a guy with that last name?)

So underground were the nuptials, the couple's parents weren't invited. Kate's boyish Titanic costar Leonardo DiCaprio gave the bride away.

Mr. Rocknroll, 34, was born Abel Smith and legally changed his name. He is a nephew of Virgin mega-mogul Sir Richard Branson. He and Kate met in August 2011 at Branson's holiday manse in Necker Island in the Virgin Islands. Mr. Rocknroll is working as a PR man for the space tourism division of Branson's company, having given himself the title "head of astronaut relations and marketing."

He's been married once that we know of. Kate's ex-hubs are Jim Threapleton (1998–2001) and Sam Mendes (2003-2010).

We will pray for her.


Britney Spears to get the chop?

Britney Spears has had a very nice comeback over the last two years. Her 2011 CD, Femme Fatale, has sold 1.5 mil copies worldwide and she just released a collection, Playlist: The Very Best of Britney Spears. She also landed a sweet job as a judge on The X Factor. Er, well, until now.

Us Weekly claims Brit's TV boss, Simon "Bane" Cowell, is thisclose to firing her after only one season. "Britney will get the boot," Anonymous Insider tells Us. "Producers wanted her for the long haul, but it isn't working." Cowell last year launched a veritable PR circus when he hired Brit and fellow newbie Demi Lovato.

Brit, who earned a reported $15 mil for the year, hasn't been so beloved by TV critics or fans of the show.

If these reports are true, the firing would follow last year's massacre, in which Cowell dumped judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones in January, followed by L.A. Reid's decision to leave the show.

Fox has yet to comment.


Judge punts J.Lo's $20 mil lawsuit

A $20 mil countersuit filed by Jennifer Lopez against former chauffeur Hakob Manoukian in response to his wrongful-termination lawsuit has been thrown out of court, TMZ reports.

J.Lo claims that after she fired Manoukian, he tried to extort her for $2.8 mil (kind of a specific number?!), threatening he'd leak private information about her to the media. She also claims that while in her employ, Manoukian tried to control her daily movements in a smothering manner.

Manoukian's initial suit claims he was humiliated and berated at the hands of J.Lo's manager, Benny Medina, and was eventually fired by J.Lo without cause.


The public e-chats a lot about TV

Social-media tracking outfit Trendrr says more than 800 mil social interactions - via Twitter, Facebook, etc. - occur around TV shows each day while they're being telecast. Chat via Twitter alone has grown by 800 percent since last year.

Variety says the biggest slice belongs to Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants, which inspires 25 mil social interactions. Other leading shows include Cowell's aforementioned X Factor on Fox (17 mil), NBC's Shakira- and Usher-starring The Voice (11.5 mil), USA's WWE Raw (11 mil) and ABC Family's adaptation of Downingtown native Sara Shepard's novel series, Pretty Little Liars (10.5 mil).


Tay-Tay's 'Red' tops Billboard chart

Last week marked the busiest album-buying week of the year, with 12.79 mil albums sold. Some artists, including Taylor Swift, profited nicely. Swift's Red tops the Billboard album chart for a sixth nonconsecutive week, selling 276,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. T.I.'s Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head debuted at No. 2 with 179,000, while Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox fell a rung to No. 3 with 178,000. 


Tidbits 'n' pieces

The 70th anniversary edition of the Golden Globes on Jan. 13 will feature a mega-super-special theme song composed by classically trained Japanese megastar Yoshiki. It'll be available on iTunes on Jan. 15. . . . Mystic River author Dennis Lehane has offered an unusual reward for the return of the family pooch, Tessa, who this week vanished from Lehane's house in Brookline, Mass. Find her and Lehane will name a character after you in his next book. . . . Dozens of lions laid off when the MGM Grand in Vegas shut down its lion attraction last year have found a new home at lion handler Keith Evans' Lion Habitat Ranch in nearby Henderson, Nev. . . . Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens, who plays Downton heir Abbey Matthew Crowley, won't return to the show for its fourth season. The third season premieres Jan. 6 on PBS.


Dempsey: I want to save 500 jobs

Patrick Dempsey, so radiant as Grey's Anatomy lust object Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd, who works at a Seattle hospital, wants to save bankrupt Seattle cafe chain Tully's Coffee. Dempsey heads a group of investors who plan to bid on Tully's when it goes on the block Jan. 3. If successful, the move will save more than 500 jobs.

Any sale would be contingent upon approval by the bankruptcy court judge. Tully's next court date is Jan. 11.


This article includes information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at