The Fix

Janet talks, Martha won't walk -- and her stock rocks. Plus: Jessica Simpson incites a riot and Ethan Hawke comes clean.

By Salon Staff
Published March 5, 2004 2:45PM (EST)

Afternoon Briefing:

Recipe for disaster: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia stock took a roller-coaster ride up before, then down-down-down after, a jury found Stewart guilty on all counts brought against her related to her sale of ImClone stock. (CNBC)

Still milking the breast story: Janet Jackson gave her first post-Super Bowl interview to Ebony magazine and insisted that "it was a costume accident" and "not intentional." Guess she wants us to tune in to "Saturday Night Live" April 10 when she'll be hosting -- in case there's another "accident." (Newsday)

Jessica causes a riot! MTV "Newlyweds" star and pop diva Jessica Simpson made a personal appearance at a Wal-Mart near Boston yesterday and 6,000 fans showed up -- 5,500 more than were expected. The police had to be called to restore order. Four people were arrested. (The Boston Channel)

Raising eyebrows: During an appearance on Larry King's show last night, Katie Couric was asked about the recent Women's Wear Daily gossip piece suggesting she was planning to have an "eyebrow lift." Couric said she called the writer, Greg Lindsay, for a little chat. "The reporter, or whoever -- I don't know if you can call him a reporter -- said, I stand by my story. I talked to him and said, dude, I don't know who your source is, but I hope you're not using them for anyone else because it's simply completely false ... But I think you don't want facts to get in the way of good gossip ..." (Gawker)

Life imitates HBO? Sarah Jessica Parker, having played a writer on "Sex and the City," has now become one in real life. She is starting on her first novel. Parker says it's about "an over-the-hill TV actress who gets a shot at a comeback, but lies about everything from her age to her acting credentials. Then, one by one, they all come out." She adds, "I would like to write full-time, but who knows what the future holds? It would be fun to turn this book into a movie, too." (IMDB)

Hot guitars for a good cause: Eric Clapton is going to auction off 56 of his guitars at Christie's this June -- including "Blackie," a composite Fender Stratocaster from 1956 that is valued at between $100,000 and $150,000. Proceeds will go to the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, which helps young people with chemical dependency. (AFP)

-- Karen Croft

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Emmy nod: A good thing: Martha Stewart , awaiting the verdict at her insider-trading trial, has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for best service-show host for her syndicated show "Martha Stewart Living." Washington Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes points out that, should the award go Martha's way and the trial the other, the domestic doyenne could be "the first convicted felon ever to win a Daytime Emmy Award." (Washington Post)

Ethan speaks: Ethan Hawke says it wasn't infidelity on either party's part that broke up his marriage to Uma Thurman. In an interview airing tonight on ABC's "20/20," Hawke says, "We had a lot of problems before I ever went to Montreal," where he was rumored to have had an affair. Most of the problems, he contends, had to do with dueling careers. "You know you'd come up with these rules: 'One person works, the other person doesn't.' Well, then somebody's always out of town." Then when they traveled together, he says, "I'm living in a hotel room taking care of my kids while you're off on a film set six hours a day doing what you love. Do that for nine months and see what a good mood you're in ... I don't know if it's just too hard to be married to a woman that wants to be a movie star. I know that she has that right to want that." Big of him. (

Biblical rage continues: Does Mel Gibson have a new nemesis at the New York Times? At a recent party, the "Passion of the Christ" director was heard complaining about Sharon Waxman's Times report that a few major studio chiefs planned to avoid working with him. Gibson says that Waxman "got the first shot," but vowed that "her time will come." (Rush and Molloy)

Maybe they'll work on better lighting this time: Are Paris Hilton and her ex-boyfriend/amateur porn costar Rich Salomon back together again? After the Oscars the other night, the two were seen "making out" on an after-party shuttle bus. "Rick was rubbing Paris' leg and kissing her," says one talky co-rider. (Page Six)

Money Quotes:

Howard Stern on being dumped in six markets by Clear Channel, which he says has close ties with the Bush administration: "My days here are numbered because I dared to speak out against the Bush administration and say that the religious agenda of George W. Bush concerning stem cell research and gay marriage is wrong. And that what he is doing with the FCC is pushing this religious agenda. And also the fact that the guy takes more vacation than any president ever. It's time for him to leave. Having said that pushed me off the air in six markets." (FMBQ via Drudge)

-- Amy Reiter

Bookmark the Fix here. To send a hot tip to the Fix, click here.

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------