The Fix

Gibson's Jesus meets the pope, Fidel Castro meets prime time, and Liza Minnelli doesn't want to meet any PETA members in a dark alley.

By Salon Staff
Published March 16, 2004 2:41PM (EST)

Afternoon Briefing:

I'm not Jesus, but I play him in a movie! James Caviezel, who played the title role in the Mel Gibson film (have you heard of it?) "The Passion of the Christ," had a meet and greet with the pope yesterday. The actor spoke to reporters today but would not say what he and the pontiff discussed. Box office, perhaps? (Reuters)

Fidel, redux: The Oliver Stone documentary about Fidel Castro that was supposed to air on HBO last year but was pulled because of late-breaking dissident crackdowns has been revamped to include more interviews with Castro conducted in May. Instead of "Comandante," the new piece is called "Looking for Fidel" -- set to air April 14. (Hollywood Reporter via Yahoo)

He made me do it! Liza Minnelli, when confronted by a PETA rep about wearing real fur after having promised she wouldn't, said, "It was David. I prefer fake, but he insisted I put on the real thing. He was horrible. I'll only ever wear fake from now on." Liza is now on the PETA "probation" list. (IMDb)

Martha's almost mea culpa: In her first statement to the press since stepping down from the board of her company, Martha Stewart said, "I am heartsick about my personal legal situation and deeply sorry for the pain and difficulties it has caused our employees." Her new title is "founding editorial director" and she'll still get her $900,000 salary until October. (ABC)

Will' William Shakespeare's will, along with those of Jane Austen, Napoleon Bonaparte and a host of other bold-name club hoppers, are now available online, thanks to Britain's National Archives. In Will's will, we learn that he left his "second-best bed" to his wife, Anne, which raises a whole slew of questions. (BBC)

Don't sugarcoat it: A reviewer in the Guardian, writing on Stephen King's latest writer-going-nuts flick, "Secret Window," says: "Stephen King should take a year off. He should kick up his heels and stow his typewriter in the basement, preferably underneath about 6 feet of fast-setting concrete, because there is way too much of his product on the market." (Guardian)

-- Karen Croft

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Morning Briefing:

Bite out of the Apple? Word is the remaining Beatles are planning to sue Apple Computer over the iPod, iTunes and Apple Music. It seems the computer company may have broken an agreement with the musicians' Apple Records never to extend its computer brand into the music biz. (Roger Friedman's 411)

Worried about Whitney? Now Whitney Houston's fans and well-wishers can rest just a little easier. The Grammy-winning singer, who admitted in 2002 to a struggle with drugs, has checked herself in to a drug rehab center. Her publicist, Nancy Seltzer, says Houston "thanks everyone for their support and prayers." (Associated Press)

Charlie Sheen's mind blown: Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen have announced the birth of their daughter, Sam J. Sheen, who entered the world last Tuesday weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces. The new father made the following comments to "Entertainment Tonight": "To be in the delivery room when little Sam arrived just blew my mind out of my head! It's pretty interesting, Sam was born on 3/9 and I was born on 9/3. She was born at 10:57 p.m. and I was born at 10:58. We've definitely got a connection." One would hope the connection goes a little deeper than that. (Reuters and Page Six)

Keeping it in the family: Tom Cruise has fired his longtime publicist, Pat Kingsley -- and his replacing her with his elder sister, Lee Anne DeVette. Both sides say the split is "amicable," but DeVette got her first taste of solo rumor-debunking when reports surfaced that Cruise had ditched Kingsley because she was not so keen on his recently increased openness about his dedication to Scientology. "That is completely untrue," DeVette, a Scientologist herself, told the N.Y. Daily News. (E! Online)

Tyson, fighting for peace? Mike Tyson is reportedly "very interested" in traveling to Tel Aviv to take part in a "Peace in the Middle East" fight. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Money Quotes:

"Til Death Do Us Part" star Carmen Electra on life and lenses: "Life is not worth living unless there's a camera around." (Associated Press)

Mel Gibson on losing his passion for President Bush, in an interview with Sean Hannity: "I am having doubts, of late. It mainly has to do with the weapons [of mass destruction] claims." (Drudge)

Alicia Keys, introducing the artist formerly known as "the artist formerly known as Prince" at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night: "There are many kings: King Henry the Eighth, King Solomon, King Tut, King James, King Kong. But there is only one Prince." (Reuters)

-- Amy Reiter

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