The Fix

Kmart extends relationship with Martha Stewart, and Scotland Yard reopens Diana case. Plus: Will Peter Jackson direct "The Lovely Bones"?

Salon Staff
April 26, 2004 1:15PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:
Kmart keeps the faith: Kmart has extended its licensing agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia for two years -- to 2009. Having settled its royalty dispute with Stewart, the chain will continue to sell the Martha Stewart Everyday brand and will add several new products, including ready-to-assemble furniture. (AFP)

Case reopened: At the request of the royal coroner, Commissioner John Stevens of Scotland Yard is heading a team of British investigators to reopen the case of Princess Diana's death. Stevens visited the Ritz Hotel in Paris recently and walked the route Diana's car took before it crashed. He says he will interview everyone involved -- including the royals -- to "'draw a line' once and for all under the mystery surrounding the death of Diana." (Sky News)


From "Ring" to "King" to "Bones"? Rumor has it that "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson will follow up his remake of "King Kong" by taking over the direction of the film version of Alice Sebold's bestseller, "The Lovely Bones." (IMDb)

-- Karen Croft

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


Turn On:
Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi Arabian foreign minister, will talk about his country's relationship to the United States on "The Charlie Rose Show" (PBS; check local listings). "When unfulfilled dreams are crossed with uncontrolled obsession, murder results," reads Lifetime Movie Network's description of "Death of a Cheerleader" (10 p.m. EDT; LMN), with Valerie Harper and Tori Spelling.

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Legal switcheroo: Why did Michael Jackson ditch his high-profile lawyers, Benjamin Brafman and Mark Geragos, and replace them with yet another high-profile lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr., who at one point represented Robert Blake in his murder case, days before his scheduled arraignment on child molesting charges? Depends on whom you ask. Brafman's playing the decision as mutual -- and "unavoidable under the circumstances": "Mark Geragos and I are stepping down -- or as the Jackson camp is suggesting, being replaced. The fact is, this point was coming to a head over a number of complicated legal and practical issues that it would be inappropriate to discuss at this time." Brafman, who says he wishes Jackson well, suggested that the split was due to disagreements between the legal team and Jackson's many family members and advisors as to how to handle certain legal issues. (N.Y. Times) But Jackson family advisor Brian Oxman is playing the decision as all Michael's. "It's time for a new attorney, and Tom Mesereau is the best man for the job," he told the New York Daily News. "He was our first choice." Both sides insist financial considerations played no role in the matter.


Again? Billy Joel may have emerged seemingly unhurt -- save for a small cut to his left ring finger, for which he refused medical attention -- on Sunday after crashing his 1967 Citroen into a house in Bayville, Long Island, yesterday. (He looked embarrassed, a witness said, and griped that he'd only been on his way to pick up a pizza and couldn't believe that he'd gotten into another accident, his third in less than two years.) But comments made by Maria Dono, the 94-year-old woman who owned the home he smashed into, ought to have cut him to the quick. "I'm 94 years old and I still drive," she said. "I've never had an accident." (N.Y. Daily News)

Book Notes:
Tina Brown has reportedly landed an advance "believed to be in the mid-six-figure range" from Random House for a nonfiction book called "The Icarus Complex." "It's about overachieving -- the arc of rising and falling in American life that was accelerated by the tremendous accumulation of wealth in the 1990s," the editor turned talk-show host and columnist told the New York Post. "It's how power and money affect behavior and create a culture of permission." Added Brown, "I'm one of the characters. Obviously, I've had my own brush with Icarus." (N.Y. Post)


Former Washington Post staffer Pete Early has written a novel, due out in June, in which he creates a fictional character named Andrew Middleton, an arrogant scheming star reporter he's suggesting is based in part on Bob Woodward. Early, who claims that Woodward befriended him and "tried to get me fired," says, "I'm not bitter. But I do deeply resent that Bob Woodward betrayed me and he did it in the cruelest way possible." He says he intends to send copies of his novel to Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. (Page Six)

Warner Books, apparently hoping to replicate the success it had with Jack Welch's "Jack: Straight From the Gut," has won a bidding war to publish a book by Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill, in which Weill will dish out management advice. (Rush and Molloy)

Kevin Spacey's elder brother, musician and Rod Stewart impersonator Randy B. Fowler, says he's writing a book about his Oscar-winning younger bro in which he promises to "reveal once and for all why Kevin is like he is -- a bit of a weirdo." Adds Fowler of the book with which he hopes to make his own name, "I've got over 1,000 photos. I've been obsessive about this. I've got his diaries and the full story." (U.K. Mirror)


And another thing ...
Rev. Al Sharpton is said to be in the final stages of negotiations to host his own TV talk show. (Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

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

Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •