Celebrity swoonings, snacks and sightings take over Memorial Day weekend

Alec Mazo, Cheryl Burke and Edyta Sliwinska.
Photo: Isaac Brekken

From celebrity swoonings to Octagon beatdowns to Playboy models poolside, Las Vegas was jam-packed with celebrities and stars of varying brilliance this Memorial Day long weekend.

Party points go to San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis who made the most of his weekend, partying at Tao Beach, Rain and Ghostbar, to name a few.

The hands-down casualty of this Memorial Day long weekend was New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey, who, after being spotted at the Palms and the Venetian, partied a little too hard at the Hard Rock on Sunday and had to be rushed to hospital after he was found unconscious around 2 p.m. (He was treated for dehydration and released later that day.)

Without further ado, here’s a sampling who was where and when:


Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White at dinner with a group of four in the main dining room at N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms. After sharing rock shrimp for an appetizer, White had filet mignon and baked potato for his main course.


Former “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss had lunch at Wolfgang Puck's Chinois.

Former NFL player and current assistant coach for USC, Ken Norton, Jr., with two guests on the patio at Ghostbar. The trio reportedly left just before 3 a.m.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson and a 10-person entourage had dinner in the main dining room at N9NE Steakhouse. The group ordered lobster bisque and salmon for dinner and followed their meal with Ketel One Citroen lemon drop shots for dessert.

Brazilian mixed martial artist and lightweight UFC contender Hermes Franca and MMA fighter Jeremy Stephens spent the evening at Moon with a group of eight friends. They danced and talked for most of the night and drank Ketel One vodka.

Three NFL football players – Bernard Berrian and Bobby Wayde of the Minnesota Vikings and Desean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles – took in the 8 p.m. performance of Mel B and Kenny Monaco’s sexy show at Planet Hollywood, Peepshow.

Actor Chazz Palminteri hit up both Tao and Lavo on Thursday, mixing and mingling over a few drinks with a friend at both destinations.

The Spin Doctors also hit Las Vegas on Thursday, playing a show at VooDoo Beach at the Rio.


The Palms Place pool was a NFL hotspot on Friday, as Arizona Cardinals defensive back Darnell Docket; Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney; New England Patriots linebacker Gary Guyton, former NFL player (and brother of notably-absent Minnesota Viking, Darren Sharper) Harry Sharper, Jr. ; San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman; Buffalo Bills star wide receiver Terrell Owens; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker; and Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee all took in the scene at Ditch Fridays.

NBA stars at the popular pool party included Juwan Howard of the Charlotte Bobcats; Michael Finley of the San Antonio Spurs; Andrew Melvin "Drew" Gooden of the San Antonio Spurs; and Rashad Dion McCants of the Sacramento Kings.

Also at Ditch Friday was Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden, who partied in a private cabana with some of the football players in attendance that afternoon.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson got his Memorial Weekend underway at Tao Beach.

America’s Next Top Model season seven winner, Caridee English, was also there, sipping mojitos from her daybed by the pool.

Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett share a kiss at Wet Republic.

Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett share a kiss at Wet Republic.

Former Girls Next Door co-star, Kendra Wilkinson, and fiancé, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Hank Baskett hosted a pool party of their own on Friday, at Wet Republic at The MGM Grand. Wilkinson’s former co-star and incoming Peepshow cast member, Holly Madison, joined them at the pool, but left the soon-to-be-married couple to have dinner at Tom Colicchio’s restaurant, Craftsteak. After dinner, the pair took in the 9:30 p.m. showing of Cirque du Soleil’s .

Dancing With the Stars alum Cheryl Burke celebrated her 25th (belated) birthday at Lavo, where she had had dinner the night before. Her picture-perfect model boyfriend, Max Zagorski, and fellow DWTS contestants Sabrina Bryan and Edyta Sliwinska (and her husband, Alec Mazo) joined her for the party at the Palazzo.

They began with dinner in the restaurant, complete with red wine and a special birthday cake, then Burke moved the party upstairs (and changed out of her black Herve Leger mini dress into a turquoise frock by Blush) and lived it up at a VIP table until nearly 3 a.m

Further south on The Strip, original Funkmaster Flex's Flip Squad member DJ Riz overtook the DJ booth at Privé at Planet Hollywood to perform a special set for the Memorial Day Weekend crowd.

Across the street at Caesars Palace, Method Man and Redman hosted the party at Pure.

Also on Friday, retired NBA star Charles Oakley and three others had dinner in the main dining room of N9NE Steakhouse. Oakley didn’t hold anything back, indulging in calamari, rock shrimp, a filet and an Australian lobster tail.

New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey was also at N9NE on Friday, having dinner with George Maloof and three others. The 250-pound footballer was said to have ordered a bone-in filet, lobster mashed potatoes and mac and cheese.

He and Maloof reconvened at N9NE to dine together the following night, as well, though Shockey did double-dinner duty on Saturday, as he stopped by Lavo for a bite to eat, too.

Shockey made headlines the following day, on Sunday, when he and a group of fellow NFL stars went to Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel. Things got out of control for the party-hardy Shockey around 2 p.m., however, when he was found unconscious and had to be rushed to hospital, where he was treated for dehydration and released later that day.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Javon Walker and singer/songwriter/actor Jesse McCartney were among a group of dozen diners at N9NE on Friday. While Walker had shrimp scampi and mac and cheese, McCartney enjoyed a filet for dinner. Both had espresso shots after their meal before heading to Rain at 11 p.m. with New Orleans Saint Reggie Bush.

Also partying at the club that night to the sounds of DJ AM were New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris and former NFL star Jamie Sharper.

Meanwhile, Jermaine Dupri, Nelly, Jesse McCartney and Javon Walker partied at Moon, arriving around 1 a.m. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was also there that night, with a group of 10 friends, as was fellow fighter Dan “Hendo” Henderson, who partied at a VIP table with half a dozen friends.

Fighter John Lewis kicked off Memorial Day weekend at Tapout’s pre-fight party at Studio 54 at MGM Grand.

Also hosting that night were PlaymatesHope Dworaczyk (Miss April 2009) and Crystal McCahill (Miss May 2009), who served as hostesses for the evening at Rok.

Another Playboy playmate, Jessie Parsons was in Vegas on Friday, lending her considerable assets alongside Maxim beauty Natalie Marie at the Vavoom! Bikini Fashion Show at VooDoo Beach.

Lastly, while Whoopi Goldberg definitely did not need a bikini to do it, she appear at the Encore on Friday for the first of two consecutive nightly shows at the resort.


Rapper Asher Roth surprised the pool partiers at TAO Beach on Saturday with an impromptu performance of his song, “I Love College.” Lil Jon was also there and joined Roth for a few rounds of shots in the sun.

Peepshow star Kelly Monaco celebrated her birthday by the pool at Palms Place, spending the afternoon in a VIP cabana with friends.

Saturday night was a big night for performances in Las Vegas: Flight of the Conchords performed at The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel; Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler sang for the sold-out crowd at Mandalay Bay; the Guess Who rocked Fremont Street and Cheech and Chong lit up the Pearl at the Palms.

Meanwhile, N9NE Steakhouse was an epicenter of NBA activity at dinnertime.

Spotted having their evening meal at the Palms eatery were Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics and former NBA player Sam Cassell, along with four friends. Pierce reportedly placed his NBA ring on the table before tucking into his 12-ounce filet mignon, creamed corn and green beans.

Drew Gooden of the San Antonio Spurs and seven friends also dined at N9NE on Saturday. He had the 8-ounce filet with mac and cheese.

A few tables over, Charlotte Bobcats Juwan Howard and San Antonio Spurs Michael Finley shared a meal with a large group of friends. Howard started with the caesar salad and followed it up with a 16-ounce bone-in filet with asparagus and one of the steakhouse’s signature sides, “Julie’s potatoes.” Meanwhile, Finley started with the Caesar salad with rock shrimp, followed by roasted Colorado lamb chops and creamed corn.

The sixth and final NBA player at the restaurant on Saturday was Golden State Warrior Steven Jackson, who switched it up and dined with a football player, Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. The athletic due was joined by six others and shared rock shrimp and oysters rockefeller to start their night. For the main course, Jackson had roasted Colorado lamb chops with Julie’s potatoes and Johnson ordered a 16 oz. bone-in filet with lobster mashed potatoes.

Later that night, New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris was spotted at a VIP table at Moon while Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson sipped Ketel One vodka and Red Bull while he played blackjack at Playboy Club. Meantime, over at Rain, top-rated Dutch DJ, Tiësto, took in the scene as Paul Oakenfold’s party, Perfecto Las Vegas, took center stage. The two acclaimed DJs were spotted at N9NE earlier in the evening, as well.

Tiësto enjoyed Perrier Jouet Champagne in the VIP area as he toasted the eve of his performance at Jet. He also performed at the Bank on Monday.

Actress Mindy Kaling, who plays Kelly Kapoor on the NBC comedy The Office, celebrated her 30th birthday ahead of time this weekend with dinner with four of her college girlfriends at Lavo.

Also dining at separate tables at LAVO: actorsChazz Palminteri and Larenz Tate.

Upstairs in the nightclub that night was Indiana Pacers guard Danny Granger, who partied with friends and drank Dom Perignon Rosé and Grey Goose and pineapple cocktails.

UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida at Studio 54.

UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida at Studio 54.

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida followed up his highly-anticipated meet-up with Rashad Evans by hosting an official after-fight party at Studio 54 in MGM Grand. Machida proudly showed off his newly-acquired championship belt at the party as he basked in the glory of his second-round KO.

Another fighter, “Sugar” Rashad Evans hosted an after-fight party of his own on Saturday. The UFC champion threw his post-bout bash at Rok.

DJ Starscream of Slipknot performed a double-date on Saturday, first playing at the House of Blues, then an after-midnight show at Mandalay Bay’s exclusive elevated nightspot, the Foundation Room.

Jermaine Dupri at E's <em>Daily 10</em> Smashtime Saturdays at Body English.

Jermaine Dupri at E's Daily 10 Smashtime Saturdays at Body English.

Over at the Hard Rock, Jermaine Dupri guest DJ’d at Body English, where rappers Nelly and Asher Roth and actors Tyrese Gibson (Transformers 2) Stephanie Pratt (The Hills), and songstress Toni Braxton were all spotted.


NFL player Simeon Rice and friends hung out by the pool at Daydream at M Resort, as the cast of Chippendales provided female sun worshipers with further toned and tanned eye candy at the other end of the pool.

Meanwhile, at another pool several miles north on The Strip, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest; Boson Celtics player Paul Pierce; Washington Wizards assistant coach Samuel Cassell; San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis; and Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson were all spotted at Tao Beach.

Frenchy of Rock of Love and Arian of Tough Love also partied poolside on Sunday, but made a splash off The Strip, over at Sapphire Pool at the Rio.

Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong celebrated his birthday with his co-star, Cheech Marin, as well as Panic at the Disco guitarist Ryan Ross and his girlfriend, Kate Thompson, with a Cirque du Soleil show at the Mirage. The group took in the 9:30 p.m. performance of Love.

The so-called “King of Krunk,” Lil Jon hosted the Sunday night party at Privé, where Andre Legacy and Simon "Dirt Nasty" Rex of Dyslexic Speedreaders also performed. Funny boy Andy Milonakis put in some time behind the mic, too, after spending the afternoon at Tao Beach.

Meanwhile, Wyclef Jean put in an appearance at LAX.

When Nelly and his entourage rolled into Tao just past midnight on Sunday night, they were hungry. The restaurant re-opened for the rapper, whipping up some kung pao and bass satays for the group, all of which were reportedly washed down with the three P’s: pinot grigio, pinot noir and Patron.

After their meal, the well-fed group made their way to Lavo, where Nelly sang along with his new song, “Vegas Baby.” It should be noted, however, that the lyric, “We stumble outta Tao in the a.m. hurtin’,” was in reference to his many nights at Lavo’s sister nightclub, not the end result of the meal he had just had.

Ben Stiller had dinner at the Palms on Sunday, where he and a group of eight friends shared a meal at N9NE Steakhouse. An apparent seafood fan, Stiller had big tuna for his appetizer and a lobster tail for his main course. Stiller was later spotted sitting with six others in the fireplace room at Playboy Club. The actor reportedly spent most of the night drinking water, talking and gambling with his friends.

Porn starlet Mary Carey was also at Playboy Club that night and danced most of the night away with some friends.

Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Jesse McCartney partied with a 15-person entourage at Rain. Also at Rain that night was retired NBA player and former Rookie of the Year, Larry Johnson, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, and professional boxer Zabdiel Juda.

New England Patriots running back Samuel Morris and three friends were also there, taking in the scene from a VIP table for about an hour before heading up to Moon.

Another football star, Terrell Owens, continued his Memorial Day long weekend at Rok on Sunday, where he hosted the evening’s festivities.

And finally, the Allman Brothers performed at Red Rock on Sunday night, treating their fans to a Memorial Day fireworks display during intermission.


Jennifer Love-Hewitt surprised her boyfriend, Ghost Whisperer co-star Jamie Kennedy with a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate his 39th birthday.

Though the couple’s getaway started just as the long weekend was coming to a close, the two didn’t seem to mind as they began their three-day vacation with margaritas at Cirque du Soleil’s Love.

It was Love-Hewitt’s third time seeing the show, but the first for Kennedy.

Cirque fans, the couple went backstage to meet the cast after the show and has plans to see O at the Bellagio before they head back to Los Angeles.

Later that night, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis returned to the Palms to party at a private VIP table at Ghostbar with a half-dozen others. The group drank Ketel One vodka and soda all night, closing out the club. Meanwhile, musician Mark Farina was spotted at Playboy Club shortly after midnight, as was former NFL player Jamie Sharper. Both drank Ketel One, with Farina sticking to martinis and Sharper mixing it up with Red Bull.


Melissa Arseniuk

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