King of pain

Horror writer kills grotesque rumor; Bon Jovi rocks hair loss; Iglesias denies cold sore story. Plus: Partridge family stages a comeback!

By Amy Reiter
May 7, 2002 8:19PM (UTC)
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Heard the rumor about Stephen King keeping the pickled heart of a little boy in a jar on his desk for morbid inspiration? Me neither.

King would like to clear it up anyway.

"A few years ago in Scotland, this one austere lady [reporter] kept asking me about how I seemed so normal and All-American yet I could keep endlessly writing such terrifying novels. So after several times trying to explain it was really just a profession I told her that, whenever I had writer's block, for inspiration I looked at a small jar that was always on my desk and held a pickled little slave boy's heart from before the Civil War," the prolific author told celebrity researcher Baird Jones backstage at New York's Webster Hall on Saturday night. (King was in town performing with his band, the Rock Bottom Remainders, which also includes Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Scott Turow and Roy Blount Jr.)


"I have to admit I stole this groaner from another author," King says of the decidedly tasteless jar story.

The Scottish reporter "looked appropriately shocked" by the tall tale, which King says amused him greatly.

But in recent years, as his self-initiated rumor has taken on a life of its own, the author has become decidedly less amused.


"Since then, every few months, an interviewer asks me about my little boy's heart preserved in a jar" he says. "For the record, there are no preserved body parts in the King household."

Then how does he keep them from rotting?

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Hair today, gone tomorrow

"Someone told me that you have to regularly massage your scalp [to keep from going bald], so I do that all the time. You look like a jerk but it's got to be worth a shot, right?"

-- Jon Bon Jovi on how to stay ahead of hair loss, in the U.K. Sunday Mirror.


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Kissing a few more rumors goodbye

And while we're on rumor patrol, Enrique Iglesias would also like to debunk one: He and Anna Kournikova are not -- I repeat, NOT -- dating.

But it's not for lack of interest on his part.

"I wish!" he tells the British Mail on Sunday.


The singer says he came to appreciate the Russian tennis babe while working with her on the video for his single "Escape."

"She's crazy, but in a cool way," he says, somewhat bafflingly.

Iglesias himself claims to be baffled by tabloid reports that there were pucker problems on the set.


"I heard rumors that I would not kiss her because she had a cold sore," he says, "but that's not true."

And if it is true, they've apparently managed to kiss and make up.

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Juicy bits

Rev up the multicolor bus: It's apparently time for "The Partridge Family," the next generation. David Cassidy's 15-year-old daughter, Katie Cassidy, has recorded a hip-hop version of her dad's trademark single, "I Think I Love You." USA Today reports that the single will be released by Artemis Records in June. I think I never liked that song much in the first place.


It had to happen sometime, but who knew it would happen so fast? The producers of the surprise hit reality TV show "The Bachelor" are putting the call out for their next milquetoast victim. If you think you have what it takes to be the next Alex Michel, you can call 866-739-3150 or go onto's Web site. But I warn you, we'll all point and laugh.

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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