Side events bring out celebs in advance of VMAs

LOS ANGELES (AP) - September 7, 2008 "I'm not going to go to the awards, but I'm going to some of the parties and stuff," said actress Taryn Manning as she picked up swag at the Verizon Wireless Samsung Style Villa, a gifting suite at the swank Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills Saturday. "(There are) lot of creative people out, and lots of gifts, and all kinds of good stuff going on now."

Among those who turned out to get the good stuff were "The Hills"' star Audrina Patridge; Fonzworth Bentley; and members of Danity Kane. Tori Spelling was also at the suite with husband Dean McDermott and infant son Liam.

Spelling also said she wouldn't be attending this year's VMAs, citing parental duties.

"We have our family so we'll be at home watching," she said as she held Liam.

But she said she was looking forward to the appearance of Britney Spears, who was due to kick off the show.

"I think she'll be great, I'm a big fan of hers. You know she's a mom like me and it's a lot of work," she said.

Spelling also chimed in on the new "90210," calling the new incarnation of her old show, "Beverly Hills, 90210," calling it "great."

"I totally watched, loved it. I think the fans are going to be totally happy."

When asked what she thought the biggest difference was between "90210" then and now, she quipped: "Better clothes. It was the '90s when we did it."

--- Rapper T.I., the self-proclaimed King of the South, held court on Saturday night as celebrities gathered at a swank restaurant for a dinner in his honor.

R&B singer Keyshia Cole, "House" star Omar Epps and actress Elise Neal were among those who dined at One Sunset Saturday night in Beverly Hills with T.I. The dinner was also for hit producer Nate "Danja" Hills, who has produced for the likes of Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Nelly Furtado.

T.I. is slated to be one of the performers at the VMAs.

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