Show him the money

A lone journalist stands up to Tom Cruise's anti-outing crusade; "Survivor's" creator admits to shameless marketing; Halle Berry says $500,000 wouldn't cover her breasts; and more!


Amy Reiter
June 6, 2001 8:40PM (UTC)

Calling Tom Cruise gay is particularly risky business these days; the actor has sworn he'll take to court anyone who fans the peskily persistent rumor.

But that hasn't stopped Michael Davis, the pathologically self-promoting publisher of something called Bold magazine who claims to pattern himself after Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt.

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Shortly after Cruise wrestled porn star Kyle Bradford and the French magazine Actustar into submission by filing a $100 million lawsuit, Davis, 32, apparently decided he wanted a piece of the legally fraught name-calling action.

So he sent 'round to his P.R. contacts (me among them, I'm afraid) the following characteristically baffling, un-spellchecked e-mail: "Bold Magazine has offered 500,000 for any Proof that Tom Cruise is gay, in support of Tom Cruise."

According to Davis, he then received an e-mail "from a real person stating they had witnessed and have video proof that Tom Cruise is infact Gay." So, although he did not yet have "tape in Hand," Davis says he alerted the Associated Press about his potential find, insisting that "if such a tape does exist I will turn it over to Council of Tom Cruise or Kidman and do what I can to prevent such a potentially damaging tape from going Public after all Tom Cruise is a Family Man."

Oddly enough, Davis' plans for the as-yet-unseen tape were not greeted with gratitude by the Cruise camp. The actor sicced his lawyer, Bert Fields, on Davis, slapping the self-dubbed "hard nosed Publisher" with a $100 million lawsuit for defamation.

Unlike Actustar (which agreed to publish a retraction) and Bradford (who issued a public statement saying he never said what Actustar said he said), Davis says he is "prepared to go the distance with Mr. Cruise to prove a point in the Media Market Place and that point being you cant censor the Media no matter how crazy a story might seem, The Public has a right to KNOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!."

It is, Davis writes via e-mail, his journalistic obligation not to prejudge the content in his magazine: "If I started Judging what to report on and what not to report on It would be as bad as the Government trying to censor the Media. Tom Cruise and his Legal team can send all the threatening letters they want, but they will not stop me from reporting the truth from credible sources."

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What's more, he gripes, "Certain celebrities that have money think they are above the constitution, and their attorneys that bill them forget that they are sworn to up hold the American Constitution and right to free speech and Journalism. Thank God this is still America and other Publishers way before me have demonstrated in court that the Media has every right to report a story that has what we(the Media ) feel is coming from a credible source.(without giving up that source)."

Backing away from the story at this point, he says, "sets a President to other Magazines and Journalists."

So the good Mr. Cruise might want to ask himself if this really is the dangerous President he wants to be setting ...

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Will we survive this?

"'Survivor' is as much a marketing vehicle as it is a television show. My shows create an interest and people will look at them, but the endgame here is selling products in stores -- a car, deodorant, running shoes. It's the future of television."

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-- Mark Burnett on shameless self-promotion and reality TV, in Esquire.

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The Halle she did!

Halle Berry would like to clear up a little misconception about her breasts. She did not get a $500,000 bonus to flash them in "Swordfish," no matter what at least one of the producers has been telling the press.

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"Totally not true. But it's made for great publicity for the movie," Berry told a group of reporters over the weekend. She did the topless scene, she says, solely for the good of the film.

In fact, she'd never doff for such a piddling little sum, she says. "I would sell these babies for way more money than that."

The lady apparently drives a Berry hard bargain.

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You don't tug on Duchovny's cape ...

"I feel that fans respect Mulder as the consciousness of the show and for him to come back like Superman's Dad or whatever feels cheap to me."

-- David Duchovny, explaining why he won't return to "The X-Files" even as a guest, on Zap2it.com

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Hardly the mother of all settlements

It's certainly enough for a healthy down payment on a new mobile home, but Debbie Mathers-Briggs (aka Eminem's mom) is apparently not so happy that she agreed to a $25,000 settlement from her son instead of pursuing the $12 million she was originally hoping for.

According to Ananova.com, Mathers-Briggs says she was forced by her lawyers into accepting the settlement in her defamation suit against her son. But a judge in Michigan's Macomb County Circuit Court says everything is all signed and settled and that's just too bad.

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"If someone feels remorse subsequent to it," Judge Mark S. Switalski said, "that doesn't change that it is a settlement, established in writing by agents of the parties."

In other words, no take-backs.

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

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Amy Reiter

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