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How many red carpet and promo events does the average celebrity attend in a month?

By: S.W., New York

A.B. Replies: I am certain the average E! viewer has a soaring aptitude in advanced mathematics, if not calculus, so I shall present the answer in terms of ratio. The average number of celebrity public appearances is indirectly proportional to the size of their fame. Got that?

In other words, the more famous the star, the fewer red carpet dates you can expect. In fact, once celebrities reach living-legend status, they often stop showing up at private events, too. Some even become partially invisible, like vampires. (I hear Streisand can't see herself in the mirror anymore.)

Keep in mind that, regardless of wattage, a new movie or album will almost always flush its star out of hiding and into the Stygian realm of preapproved WireImage photographers and $400 gift bags.

Exhibit A: Johnny Depp. During the week of July 3, this man was snapped by the WireImage photo agency at roughly five events in three countries. According to Steve Granitz, president of West Coast operations for MediaVast, which owns the service, that's a lot of appearances in one week for a reclusive Francophile A-lister like Depp. But it is also typical of a star who is selling something, in this case tickets to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

The only other things that lure Depp-level celebs out of their walled compounds are Oscar campaign season, a fashion show by a darling designer or a disaster relief benefit of Katrina-esque proportions.

"Their publicists really hold tight on their schedules," Granitz tells this B!tch. "They want to keep that mystery about their clients."

Also, you must remember that very few entertainers actually enjoy red carpets. Yes, publicists are always there to swoop in with their piercing shrieks and uranium-powered scowls of doom should a reporter get too clingy. But often, those publicists are not quick enough, and a celebrity will be forced to talk about her favorite mascara for a few seconds.

You can see how a red carpet can be very unnerving.

Nonetheless, fledgling stars brave that carpet as often as three times a week, using it as a sort of synthetic fiber-coated path to immortality. Not-quite-stars cling to the red carpet, too, hoping the photographers can make or extend their 15 minutes. Celeb photogs cannot leave their homes without Courtney Peldon, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon or Jo Champa bulleting out of the bushes, splaying their bony hands against the paparazzi windshields as the shutterbugs screech away on two tires.

There is also a class of star that falls somewhere between the godlike and the desperate. These are are bona fide stars who still feel the need to show up, pose and tell everyone what they're wearing. According to Granitz, that list includes Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and the Flying Jessicas--Alba and Simpson. Digging into his photo database, Granitz tells this B!tch that Hilton alone has been shot at roughly 20 events in the past month, depending on what you count as a real red carpet shindig. Lohan, meanwhile, is currently seen at two or three public events a week.

Maybe she thinks Oscar season is in July. Let's not crush her fantasy.