The Fix

Howard Stern tells Kate Hudson where to go, Arnold can't make up his mind, and Britney gets ready to kick off. Plus: James Gandolfini stops traffic in Queens!

By Salon Staff

Published July 29, 2003 2:09PM (EDT)

Every day it's a new story, as rumors fly that Arnold Schwarzenegger won't run, then he will, then he won't. Today's message is that he's still undecided. Flip-flopping is one way to keep your name in the news -- and one way to make sure journalists finally learn how to spell it. (N.Y. Post)

Speaking of back-and-forth behavior, Anne Heche is set to star in a movie called "Sexual Life," being financed by Showtime. The cast includes Elizabeth Banks, Dulé Hill (Charlie on "West Wing") and James LeGros. It's about complicated relationships, which Heche -- who has dated both Steve Martin and Ellen DeGeneres -- surely knows something about. (Hollywood Reporter)

Howard Stern has been blasting cute Kate Hudson lately for her comments about Americans in Paris. Goldie Hawn's blond daughter is there filming "Le Divorce" and she reportedly said that American tourists are often loud, obnoxious and ask for ketchup a lot. Howard, in his usual understated way, suggested the actress move to France and try to have a career there. Maybe Howie should do the same -- his rudeness, like theirs, is an art form. (MSNBC)

James Gandolfini stopped traffic in Queens yesterday and Sunday to shoot a seven-vehicle car chase for the next season of "The Sopranos." Gandolfini stuck around to chat and sign autographs with the locals. When asked for details of the upcoming season he said, straight-faced, "I die." Always a kidder, that Tone. (N.Y. Daily News)

Get ready for football, folks -- Britney Spears has just been announced as a performer at a free show on the Washington, D.C., mall before the kick-off of the Sept. 4 NFL season opener between the Redskins and the N.Y. Jets. Mary J. Blige is also expected, and organizers may try to snag Aerosmith and Kid Rock to join the crowd. But don't get too distracted yet -- the boys of summer are still on the field. (Miami Herald)

-- Karen Croft

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BBC News is reporting that Liza Minnelli and David Gest, though separated, have "no plans to divorce" at this time. That said, news of the odd couple's split has brought out the bitterness Minnelli's friends and family members -- as well as other rubber-neckers -- have felt toward Gest. A sampling:

Liza's half-sister, Lorna Luft: "I met him five minutes and then he went around telling people he was going to keep me out of her life. I didn't have any of her phone numbers. He wouldn't allow me or my children to talk to her. I find their behavior odd and strange. I think it's sad. My sister was once a very respected and admired star. Now he's turned her into a freak show." (N.Y. Daily News via Irish Examiner)

A "New York-based event planner who has worked with Gest on several projects": "I've always just assumed David was gay." (Chicago Sun-Times)

A "longtime L.A. friend of Gest": "David is very litigious, but don't confuse all those lawsuits over the New York apartment remodeling and VH-1 over the canceled reality show with them having personal money problems. This is not about money -- it's about Liza wanting again to control her own destiny." (Chicago Sun-Times)

Gossip columnist Roger Friedman: "The big question now is the pre-nup. Oh, Liza, let's hope you made him sign one!" (Fox News)

Liz Smith: "Whenever I saw Liza and David together, they were usually annoyingly lovey-dovey. But she was always hanging back just a bit, 'moving away to safety,' I called it. (If you ever saw the video of their soul kiss at the altar when they married on March 16, 2002, you saw even then that Liza was metaphorically saying, 'Down, boy!' and moving back from his controlling grasp.) But David enjoyed his moment in the limelight too much to use common sense." (N.Y. Post)

In other news ... Jennifer Lopez is telling the press that she and Ben Affleck can't wait to screen "Gigli" for their future children as "the movie where Mommy and Daddy met. It's a special movie for us -- in more ways than one." This about a movie in which she is heard to utter the following line: "A penis is like a sea slug or a long toe." Guess that's one way to teach the kiddies about anatomy.

Best of the Rest
Page Six: Is Tommy Mottola in hot water with Universal Music Group chief Doug Morris after boasting that his contract to head up Casablanca Records is worth $50 mill?; Kevin Smith and his wife call lovemaking "night-swimming" after young daughter walks in on them; Barbara and Jenna Bush mingle with Lollapalooza rockers, meet Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell; Oscar de la Renta proclaims his love for Miss Universe, makes her star of his show.

Rush and Molloy: Lizzie Grubman gets new boyfriend, restaurateur David Sherman, after asking friends if he's "hunky enough"; Sharon Bush collects ex-hubby Neil's hair clippings and toothbrush for drug test, claims results were inconclusive; L.A. shock-jock Tom Leykis, who broadcast the name of Kobe Bryant's accuser, himself accused of history of domestic abuse; Liza Minnelli apparently enjoying Gest-free living, going to Broadway shows, eating out, ordering "exactly what she wanted."

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