The Fix

Madonna to change name? Catherine Zeta-Jones, stalked? And why won't Tom Hanks run for office?


Salon Staff
June 16, 2004 1:00PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:

Not going to run: Actor Tom Hanks says he won't follow in Arnold Schwarzenegger's footsteps and run for political office. Sounding like the politician he says he doesn't want to be, Hanks recently commented, "If that was my inclination [to run for office] I would say, 'We're all in this together. We live in a land in which tolerance is our great strength, diversity is what our country is built on, and we all need to cut each other some slack. We have to respect what other people say, even if we disagree with it.' I can do that much better as an actor or a producer." (WENN)

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What time do you have? Tom Junod, a star writer for Esquire and other glossies, is making a few extra bucks these days by modeling wristwatches in ads in Esquire and other glossies. He sports a Bill Blass timepiece (that retails for about three grand) in one ad; the caption on the arty photo says, "When something is right, you know it." A spokesperson for Blass said, "We had a limited budget. We aren't going to get the John Grishams or the big, huge names that other people get." So they got Junod instead and, says the same spokesperson, "He's a good-looking guy, so that's definitely a factor." (N.Y. Observer)

Esther? Latest Madonna rumor: She wants to be called "Esther," explaining, "I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name." Tell that to the marketing people. (Sky News)

Fatal attraction: A woman who claims she had a two-year affair with Michael Douglas starting in 2002 has been charged with stalking Catherine Zeta-Jones and making criminal threats. Zeta-Jones' spokespeople say the woman's claims are "preposterous." The alleged stalker is in a Los Angeles jail. (Ananova)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
It's been 10 years since the O.J. Simpson trial, and on Wednesday "Biography" (8 p.m. ET; A&E) plays "where are they now?" with the major players involved in the case. Plus, Paris and Nicole return with the two-part season debut of the "The Simple Life 2" (8 and 9 p.m. ET; Fox), followed by the pilot of the fish-out-of-water comedy "Method and Red" (9:30 p.m. ET; Fox).

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-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Who showed up for the New York premiere of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" at the Ziegfeld theater Monday night? Who didn't? Martha Stewart and Chloë Sevigny were there, as were Tom Brokaw and Mike Myers, Vernon Jordan, Barry Levinson, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Spike Lee, Glenn Close, Tony Bennett, Ellen Burstyn, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lesley Stahl, Gretchen Mol and the movie's new promoter, Mario Cuomo. Tim Robbins and John Turturro brought their kids, and Yoko brought her son Sean. Richard Gere, Russell Simmons, Carson Daly and Leonardo DiCaprio wore Moore-esque baseball caps. And DiCaprio's apparently channeling Moore in other ways, too, commenting, "I think a lot more people who are on the fence about who to vote for, after they see this film, it's going to galvanize them. Young people didn't vote in the last election -- that was the problem, and it's going to be the main issue in the next. If you're a young person you've got to get as many people registered to vote, and then get them to vote for their candidate." Leo's candidate? "John Kerry." Nevertheless, the New York glitterati proved to be a tough crowd for Moore, giving the movie only a partial standing-O, lasting only about 30 seconds. (Page Six, Cindy Adams, Rush and Molloy)

Twenty ... five ... million: Court TV's Diane Dimond reports that she's obtained the confidential settlement agreement made between Michael Jackson and the kid who accused him of sexual molestation back in 1993. And? Jackson paid the kid (now 24), his parents and their lawyer a total package of $25 million to drop all charges against him. The 31-page document, signed on Jan. 25, 1994, however, contains a passage noting that the settlement is not an admission of guilt and that Jackson "specifically disclaims any liability to, and denies any wrongful acts." A review of the wrongful acts brought against him by the boy (and the surprising fact that Jackson met the kid while renting a Rent-a-Wreck) can be reviewed here. (Court TV)

Sad summer for Spears fans: Britney Spears announced on Tuesday that she will cancel her upcoming 36-city "Onyx Hotel Tour," which had been set to kick off on June 22, due to her recent knee injury. She has five to six weeks of brace-wearing ahead of her following last week's arthroscopic surgery -- and then eight to 12 weeks of rehab. (Reuters)

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Stalking who again? Natalie Portman's mother, Shelly, called 911 on Saturday to report a young man loitering near her Sea Cliff, L.I., summer home who she was concerned might be stalking her daughter. Turned out the young fellow was just a college student staying with a neighbor down the street who'd plunked down on a curb near the house to drink some tea, read a book and take in the ocean view. In fact, the fellow, who was born in France, didn't even know who Portman was. "I was sitting on the sidewalk, reading 'The Alchemist,' and apparently it was near the corner of her house. The police show up and they asked me for my ID and ran a check in their car. I asked, 'Is it a crime to read a book now?'" said the man, adding that when he was asked about Portman, "the name didn't register with me." (Page Six)

Your tax dollars at work: The Secret Service agents protecting Jenna Bush as she travels in Europe got into a fight Thursday with two men trying to steal a cellphone off a table the first twin was sitting near on a hotel terrace in Spain. According to a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy, after the men made their grab for the phone, which may or may not have belonged to Bush, the bodyguards punched one of them in the mouth. Charges were not pressed against the would-be thieves. (N.Y. Daily News)

Money Quotes:
Teresa Heinz Kerry assessing herself: "I mean, I'm cheeky, I'm sexy, whatever ... I've got a lot of life inside." (CBS)

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Larry Hagman -- sometime back -- on Ronald Reagan's head: "Reagan gave me five of his own cowboy hats, and I could not put them on because his head size was so small. He does not look it but that man's head is tiny. Ronald Reagan's head size is no bigger than a coffee saucer." (Page Six)

-- Amy Reiter

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