A rocky road to Elton's Oscar bash

Mary J. Blige

Anyone heading for the Elton John 14th annual Oscar bash — held in a huge tent outside the Pacific Design Center — was in for a rude shock.

First, there was the usual limo-lock. But folks who hopped out of their cars to walk, hoping to beat the traffic, were held back from the main check-in desk and red carpet by burly security guards — even "NYPD Blue" actor Henry Simmons and "Entourage" star (and Nicky Hilton beau) Kevin Connolly had trouble.

Why the delay? Guards said guests had to wait because fire marshals had temporarily halted arrivals to the packed party, co-hosted by Chopard, Audi and VH1.

An irate Entertainment Weekly editor and Marilyn Heston, Hollywood's hottest fashion rep, were detained for almost half an hour, even though other guests arriving in cars were being allowed to check in. Heston was frantically texting Lindsay Lohan on her Blackberry about what the star should wear to the other after-parties. Decisions, decisions!

Lindsay had been at Elton's bash for a while and met the singer-philanthropist. But she left to go back to her hotel and change into another sexier frock, more suitable for the hot Vanity Fair action across the street. "I told her to wear something short," said Heston. "It's easier to dance on the tabletops in a short dress than a long one."

But Lohan actually turned up wearing a long dress. Guess she doesn't always listen to solid fashion advice. Or maybe she wasn't planning on dancing.

Inside the tent: Elton, Donatella Versace, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Pamela Andersonand her photog pal David LaChappelle, Mary J. Blige, Ben Stiller, Tori Spelling, Nicollette Sheridan and new/old beau Michael Bolton, Nicole Richie and Lisa Rinna. Elton played the piano, John Legend sang some songs, a good time was had by all inside and over $3 million was raised to help fight AIDS.

Paris Hilton, who definitely was on Elton's guest list, arrived in a bright blue gown with an attention-getting peacock feather train and beau Stavros Niarchos in tow. The cooing couple later left to try out the Us Weekly/Rolling Stone party inside the PDC. Paris and her entire entourage took the private elevator up to the third floor bash while sister Nicky, who was with Connolly, took the escalator. When asked how the Elton bash was, Nicky replied. "I don't know. I didn't stay long enough to find out."

So many parties, so little time...

Photo: Mary J. Blige, Elton John and Sharon Stone band together at the 14th annual AIDS Foundation Oscar party.
(Kevin Mazur / WireImage)

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