Reports that Heidi and Spencer Pratt were tortured on the set of “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here” — that they were confined to a dark room for a day and a night with only water, rice and beans — as punishment are untrue, according to a source who’s part of the show production on location in Costa Rica.
“They were not kept in torture chambers,” said the source. “They quit the show on (June 1). They stayed in a hotel for all of three days until they begged to be allowed back. On (June 4) they entered the Lost Chamber at approximately 4:30 p.m. local time, and stayed until 6:30 a.m. the next day. That’s 14 hours. Not days, like is being alleged.”
And the conditions in the isolation of the Lost Chamber?
“They had lights — dim, but they had lights,” the sources said. “There were no creatures added to the room. Perhaps there was a rogue spider, but no creatures were added. And, they slept almost the entire time — that is, when they weren’t praying. When they came out of the Lost Chamber, they were in very good spirits.”
Moreover, conditions in the chamber were better than what their fellow cast members faced. “They were given food and water and four walls and a ceiling. They were protected from the elements whereas their cast mates have been getting rained on non-stop,” said the source.
“And the reports of the chamber they were in and calling it ‘the same as Guantanamo Bay?’ That’s just ridiculous. And besides: Heidi and Spencer are Republicans. I thought they were OK with Guantanamo,” said the source.
As for the mysterious condition that sent Heidi to the hospital, there’s no word yet.
“We can’t comment on her medical condition,” said the source. “But all will be revealed on the June 8 episode.”
The Pratts were on a plane back to Los Angeles at press time, and could not be reached for comment.
Kal Penn’s White House
After abruptly leaving his role on “House” in April, Kal Penn announced that he was headed to work for the Obama administration as an associate director at the White House Office of Public Liaison.
Last week, people suddenly realized he’s yet to begin his new job. And while the actor and the White House are not revealing an official start date, a person who is overseeing a welcoming reception in Washington said he should start in July. “We’re making plans to welcome him late in the month,” said the source.
Gentle reminder, get ready for digital
Because I care, a gentle reminder and rare PSA from Scoop to make sure you are ready for the June 12 switch to digital TV. According to latest survey by Neilson, as of the end of May, more than 10 percent of the 114 million households with television sets are either completely or partly unprepared. If you want to be sure your “Jon & Kate Plus 8” viewing is not interrupted, make sure you are prepared. Check out www.dtv.gov or call the government hot line on the transition at 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322).
Weekend box office stays ‘Up’
In one of the closest races in recent box office memory, the Disney-Pixar film “Up” managed to escape a “Hangover.” “Up” had a $44 million weekend and “Hangover” came in a close second with $43 million. The real story of the weekend, however, is just how poorly “Land of the Lost” did. The adaptation of the television series, which starred Will Ferrell, made only $19.5 million. It didn’t seem to faze Ferrell though. He took in the Yankees game on Saturday, gamely waving to fans and posing for photos.
Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.