The Beat

November 15, 2004

After the Sunset is about a diamond heist, but the jewels in the movie had nothing on the baubles on display at the film's London premiere. Serena Williams (left) walked the red carpet wearing a $2 million diamond necklace--and a see-through dark pink mesh dress by Stella McCartney. The movie was directed by Williams's boyfriend, Brett Ratner.

■ There wasn't much to watch on the court during the Knicks' home opener--a 107--73 drubbing by the Celtics--last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. But there was plenty going on in the seats. Spike Lee was noticeably missing from his courtside perch, but the void was filled by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Paris Hilton, Howard Stern and Woody Allen. When fans grew tired of booing the players, they took a more creative approach, chanting, "Paris Hilton" and "Be in my video" to the bored-looking heiress (near right)--who perked up and blew her admirers kisses.

■ Braveheart is the favorite movie of Lions tackle Kelvin Pritchett, who takes his freedom only slightly less seriously than William Wallace. Pritchett flew to Florida on the evening of Nov. 1 to vote the next morning and then flew straight back to Detroit. "It was really, really special because a lot of people have sacrificed their lives and gone to the extreme so that I would have the right to vote," said Pritchett. "I feel like it's my duty as a man, as a black man, to do the right thing, and that's to vote." Pritchett, who intended to vote by absentee ballot until a friend forgot to pick it up for him, estimates that between the flight, hotel and rental car, he dropped more than $1,100 to cast his ballot in the swing state. "It's a very expensive lesson, but my mom always said the best lesson's a paid-for lesson," said Pritchett, who declined to reveal who he voted for.

■ If ESPN wants its new poker drama, Tilt,to have a dark edge, the network certainly made a good call in casting the show's star. Michael Madsen, best known for his tough-guy roles in Reservoir Dogs and the Kill Bill series, will play a character nicknamed the Matador, who is one of the top gamblers in Las Vegas.

■ He probably wouldn't be able to top his Giants' salary ($18 million) waiting tables, but Barry Bonds showed a knack for the food service industry at the surprise birthday party he threw for his wife, Elizabeth, last month. Assisted by his personal chef, Bonds played the role of server at Los Angeles hot spot Yi Cuisine. (Wearing all black, Bonds took drink orders and made the ahi tuna tartare tableside before serving the dish to his wife and her friends.) Bonds's interpersonal skills will be on display next month, when he and Alex Rodriguez appear at the Marriott Marquis in New York City on Dec. 10. The two reigning MVPs will have one-on-one conversations with fans--who will have to pay $7,500 for the privilege.

THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

A bidder paid $575.96 for Bobby Hull's 45-year-old false teeth, which Hull said were "lost in the sheets during a bedroom romp in a Geneva hotel."

They Said It JEANIE BUSS

Lakers vice president, on the strained relationship between her father, Lakers owner Jerry Buss, and her boyfriend, former coach Phil Jackson: "I'm now the national spokesperson for not mixing business and pleasure."

B/W PHOTOGEORGE KALINSKY/MSG (GRIFFITH) PICTURE THIS In 38 years as Madison Square Garden's official photographer George Kalinsky has seen it all, including boxer Emile Griffith getting in a lather before a 1967 bout. This month Kalinsky celebrates the Garden's 125th anniversary with Garden of Dreams: Madison Square Garden 125 Years, a collection of over 100 classic shots. After this one was taken, Griffith's middleweight title went down the drain against Nino Benvenuti. COLOR PHOTOGREGG DEGUIRE/WIREIMAGE.COM (BUSS AND JACKSON) COLOR PHOTO RAY STUBBLEBINE/REUTERS (HILTON) COLOR PHOTOMJ KIM/GETTY IMAGES (WILLIAMS)

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Eagle (-2)
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