Arnie's beef

Nein to Terminator statue! Justin goes down on Britney; Top Gun Cruise draws bead on Iraq. Plus: TV's new weak-ass link.

By Amy Reiter

Published September 27, 2002 9:47PM (EDT)

Admire Arnold Schwarzenegger if you must, but whatever you do, please don't put him on a pedestal. It interferes with his platform.

The good citizens of Graz, Austria, Ah-nold's hometown, have encountered nothing but resistance from the beefy actor in response to their proposal to erect a 77-foot-tall statue of him in full Terminator mode in the middle of town.

The monument, which has been designed by Russian artists Vladislav Efimov and Aristarkh Chernyshev, was to be erected in 2003 to coincide with Graz's turn as the European cultural capital. Cost for the mega-Arnie? Damn near $5 million.

Schwarzenegger already has a stadium named after him in Graz, but now that he's got political aspirations to consider, he's not too keen on having all that dough spent on a mockup of little old him.

"I am very flattered and honored that such a monument would be considered, but I must encourage those involved not to erect a Terminator monument," Schwarzenegger wrote the avant-garde art forum that's spearheading the statue movement. "I strongly suggest using the money that would be needed to build the monument ... for much more important efforts."

What sort of efforts did he have in mind? "I would prefer having the money go to aid the poor, health care services, educational services and the Special Olympics," he writes. "I strongly advise using the money in a productive way to benefit the people of Graz."

Or they could just make a big check out to his gubernatorial campaign if and when he decides to run.

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Justin's last licks

"OK, I did it ... I'm in so much damn trouble."

-- Justin Timberlake sharing that, yes, he has performed oral sex on Britney Spears, on the New York radio show "Star and Buc Wild," after the hosts promised to play his new single 30 times a day in exchange for the admission.

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Celebrity plate rates

How much would you pay to have dinner in Vegas with Siegfried & Roy and maybe a few of their white lions and tigers? Do I hear $500?

So far that's the highest bid offered for a meal with the master illusionists as part of MissionFish's Lunch with a Leader fundraiser, in which all sorts of celebrities have offered themselves up for charity.

For lunch with Salma Hayek, though, you'll have to cough up more than $3,500. A quick bite with Andre Agassi will run you at least $1,950. And the aforementioned Mr. Schwarzenegger won't eat for less than $1,400.

Susan Lucci, Ted Danson, Larry King and Sam Donaldson are all relative bargains at $550. But if you want to go really cheap, you should consider Paul Anka or Pat Boone, who, with top bids currently at $100 apiece, have so far failed to attract their $500 reserve prices. Boone's lunch, by the way, comes complete with "a lesson in Music 101 and the inside scoop on his ex-neighbors, the Osbourne family."

That's gotta be worth something.

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Iraq, the miniseries?

In case you've been tossing and turning in bed at night, wondering what Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg think about the prospect of going to war with Iraq, they've both taken action to set your mind at ease.

They're both for it, if Bush says they should be.

"If Bush, as I believe, has reliable information on the fact that Saddam Hussein is making weapons of mass destruction, I cannot support the policies of his [Saddam's] government," Spielberg told reporters at a press conference in Rome, where he traveled to promote "Minority Report."

Cruise, newly braces-less and blond-streaked, concurred.

"Personally, I don't have all the information President Bush has," he said, "but I believe Saddam has committed many crimes against humanity and his own people."

Perhaps if Arnie needs a running mate ...

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Friends forever?

"It's going to come back. When push comes to shove, there's going to be too much money involved for everybody to walk away now."

-- A network executive positing that "Friends" will continue after this season, in Variety.

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Weak idea

Ninety minutes of Anne Robinson may sound like hell to you and me, but it apparently sounds pretty good to the big shots at the BBC.

The British network is moving ahead with plans for a movie based on the life of the "Weakest Link" host.

The story, which one could imagine getting picked up for a subsequent U.S. airing, would focus on Robinson's years as a hard-bitten reporter, battling alcoholism and struggling to regain custody of her daughter.

"At its worst, it meant ending up with my knickers around my head in a bed I didn't recognize, surrounded by vomit and having not the faintest idea where I was," Robinson wrote of her drinking problem in her autobiography, "Memoirs of an Unfit Mother," on which the film is based

You know, that's an image I could have lived without.

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Britney Spears Celebrity Tom Cruise