It has the unmistakable aroma of Sy Hersh about it, some would say. Readers with better memories will recall the controversy surrounding Hersh's 1997 book on the Kennedy White House, "The Dark Side of Camelot." All hell broke loose at the time of its publication because Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, fell for a batch of forged papers purporting to document and add new detail to JFK's long-rumored dalliance with Marilyn Monroe. The scam was quickly discovered and Hersh was welcomed back into literary folds.
Well, now a new mystery woman has surfaced to keep Kennedy conspiracy buffs chewing their collective cud for at least the next few minutes. London literary agent Peter Cox claims to have discovered the woman with whom Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had a thing going on in the months leading up to November 1963. And -- surprise, surprise! -- the woman, whom Cox identifies only as Judith and who, fearing for her safety, has been living in seclusion in Northern Europe, is shopping a book around. Cox insists that Judith, a married Mormon, is the real deal and that her story has "an incredible amount of convincing detail and documentary evidence."
"Judith's story will give a very different impression of Oswald from the one we usually get," Cox recently told Bookwire.com. "It's an extraordinary love story that gives him a human face."
Anyone taking bets on how long it takes Oliver Stone to option this baby?
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"Star Wars"? Whatever
"I'm 46 years of age. I'm married with two kids. I love to fly-fish. That will never change. At the end of the day, you know something? It's just a movie."
-- Irish actor Liam Neeson, who plays a Jedi master in "Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace," in an upcoming Movieline magazine.
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Many happy returns
Tax day's gone. So as you mop up after your filing rampage, take a moment to stop and smell the white-out on some celebrity tax returns. The intrepid sleuths over at the Smoking Gun, which obtains juicy government, law-enforcement and court documents via the Freedom of Information Act, recently compiled returns filed last year by foundations that manage charitable donations for big-money pooh-bahs ranging from Michael Ovitz (whose foundation gave lots) to Mike Tyson (whose foundation gave zilch). Some highlights:
Aerosmith's comeback has been good for more than just the pre-teen set. The quintessential '70s band's foundation has reawakened after a few dormant years, and while it shelled out only $6,150 (including a $1,000 contribution for "Edible Art" at the Art Institute of Boston) in the fiscal year ending in February 1998, its coffers swelled by $206,500, perhaps portending future donations nearly as lush as Steven Tyler's lips.
Calvin Klein, T-shirter of the stars, and ubiquitous Brand Master Flash Tommy Hilfiger both dug deep in 1997-98. Klein's foundation forked over more than $700,000 to numerous charities, while Hilfiger's contributed $1.1 million, not quite balancing out a $200,000 donation to the privileged Choate prep school with a whopping $750 gift to the Ethiopian Children's Fund.
Kelsey Grammer may have had trouble with the sauce, but the "Frasier" star has no problem flipping open his wallet to support causes both noble and nutty. Grammer deposited $250,000 in his foundation in the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 1997, and then promptly dished out $115,100, including $2,500 to Get a Pet magazine for the "sponsorship of homeless animals" and $1,500 to the U.S. Olympic Committee for ... a "dynmonwood desk protector." (?)
In the battle of giving between Disney top mouse Michael Eisner and his pipsqueaky former protigi and current nemesis Jeffrey Katzenberg, Katzenberg -- not to be confused with Scrooge McDuck -- comes up short. According to the Smoking Gun, in 1997, the Dreamworks mini-mogul managed to deposit $675,000 in his foundation, a fair chunk of change until you stack it next to the Eisner family foundation's $55 million cash influx. Quack.
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An emergency sex life-saving news flash
Stop. Put down the shampoo. Just ... put ... it ... down ...
Shampooing, showering and wearing deodorant damage your sex life. Aphrodisiac researcher Nancy Nickell, whose new book is called "Nature's Aphrodisiacs," says all those habits your mother told you were good are actually passion-killers that wash away your precious pheromones and along with them the chemical signals that attract the opposite sex.
Nickell maintains that you'll get lucky more if you cut down on bathing, let your armpit, facial and body hair grow and skip deodorant. She also recommends that you wear "a loose-fitting muu-muu, toga or armpit-exposing tank top." And, of course, avoid underwear at all costs. Guess Sharon Stone was onto something ...