New Age Guru to the stars, author and lecturer Deepak Chopra counted Michael Jackson among his friends. Seeing him at the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s 11th Annual Art for Life East Hampton benefit , we wondered if there were any celebrities he might want to reach out to now.

“I don’t normally reach out to people unless they reach out to me,” he replied with a peaceful smile. Then whom would he like to seek his counsel? “I think Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan,” was the not-so-surprising reply.

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“I think (Mel) has in himself a great potential to not only help himself but influence a lot of people,” Chopra said. “It’s just that he’s lost. The way he’s speaking, he’s not in touch with himself. He’s allowing a very divided self to express himself. And expressing a very tortured soul.”

And Lindsay? “She’s still a child. It’s unfortunate that she has to be in prison. It would be so much more compassionate to have her in a supervised rehab setting.”

Seated at the table with Chopra was Russell Simmons. We asked him what he thought about the public damnation of Agriculture Department executive Shirley Sherrod, taking her remarks out of context.

“I think that we rush to judgment,” Simmons told us. “A lot of newscasters are looking for the thing that justifies their point of view instead of actually looking for news. Every blogger is not a newsman. And what they wish to be true is not always true. So we have to be careful with the left and the right. She was fired before the news even came out, so it says something about both sides. I don’t blame anyone. It's just something we have to learn, a teachable moment. But, I’m very proud that the president moved quickly to change that.”