The Fix

Courtney Love shows up in court hours late, Sean Penn and Sofia Coppola are invited to join the Academy, and J.K. Rowling drops hints about next Harry Potter book.

Salon Staff
June 29, 2004 1:10PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:
Late Love: Courtney Love showed up five hours late for her court date Monday to face charges of reckless endangerment stemming from an incident earlier this year when she threw a microphone at a man's head. The judge, Melissa Jackson, scolded Love for her tardiness. (NME)

Hef still holds the reins: No matter who is the titular editor of Playboy, only one man controls the vision and his initials are Hugh Hefner. After a brief run with former laddie editor James Kaminsky at its helm, Playboy magazine is turning to longtime staffer Chris Napolitano to take over. Napolitano reportedly sees eye-to-eye with Hefner. As one men's mag editor recently put it, "It would be a fun thing to be the editor of Playboy, except you're not really the editor." (Women's Wear Daily)


He could have stayed a contender: A biography of Marlon Brando just released in the U.K. says that he is living in poverty on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles due to unwise spending habits and a series of expensive legal battles. The book, "Brando in Twilight" by Patricia Ruiz, says Brando has run up $20 million in debts and is living on his Screen Actors Guild pension, Social Security and residuals. (The Guardian)

New kids in the Academy: Sean Penn, Sofia Coppola, Audrey ("Amelie") Tatou, Ken ("Last Samurai") Watanabe and Viggo Mortensen have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (AFP)

Harry Potter VI: If you know the complicated clue system devised by J.K. Rowling on her Web site you can sift through all the hoax names and get to the real title of the next Harry Potter tome or you can just take her word that it is "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince." And the author gives another hint, that the prince in question is neither Harry nor Voldemort. (Ananova)


-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
When his brother decided to run for public office, filmmaker Richard Kassebaum decided to document it; the result is "Bill's Run: A Political Journey in Rural Kansas" (PBS; check local listings), which reveals the multiple and surprising levels of small-town politics. Also: the contestants get ready for their close-ups on "The Next Action Star" (8 p.m. ET; NBC).


-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
And now ... the Democratic prime-time lineup: Bill Clinton will kick off the Democratic convention in Boston next month, making a prime-time speech on opening night, July 26. On July 27, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy will take the podium. On July 28, the country will hear from Sen. Kerry's as-yet-unnamed running mate, and on July 29, Kerry himself will address the crowd. At some point, Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is expected to speak. And Al Gore? Well, that's still being worked out, though one Kerry insider says, "He will speak and he will not get dissed." (N.Y. Times)


Speaking of Clinton playing well in Peoria ... Clinton's book, "My Life," sold an estimated 935,000 in its first six days alone, nearly half of the 2 million copies initially sent out to stores, in what may be the fastest launch ever for a nonfiction hardcover. (N.Y. Daily News)

Buckley's bolting: William F. Buckley Jr. has handed his magazine, National Review, over to his select board of trustees, which includes his son, Christopher Buckley, and the magazine's president, Thomas L. Rhodes. But before making his "divestiture," the elder Buckley got in a few swift, unexpected kicks at the Oval Office's current resident and a few of his actions in office. "With the benefit of minute hindsight, Saddam Hussein wasn't the kind of extra-territorial menace that was assumed by the administration one year ago," Buckley said. "If I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would have opposed the war." And of the growth of the federal government over the last four years, the conservative commentator said, "It bothers me enormously. Should I growl?" (N.Y. Times)

Another guy gets into the magazine business: And that guy is ... Donald Trump. He's announced that he's launching a magazine called Trump World in September. According to a press release, the publication will be "a glossy upscale publication" that "will give readers a fresh new look into the A-list lifestyle of Donald Trump and the latest trends on living lavishly." It will also "speak to men and women 21-55 years old, taking readers inside Donald Trump's world, covering a variety of topics including real estate, travel, arts and entertainment, food and wine and select business success stories." Oh, and the first issue also promises a scoop about next season's "The Apprentice." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)


Catfight continues ... in court: Playboy Playmate Nicole Lenz has filed a $1 million defamation suit against Bijou Phillips and Casey Johnson. Lenz, who has fought a battle in the gossip columns with the two woman she's now accusing of "slander, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress," says she's suffering from a "good deal of neck pain" after being attacked by Phillips at a party in L.A. earlier this month. Johnson, she says, "encouraged Phillips" to attack her ... before Matthew Perry pulled Phillips off. Lenz says the two women also did irreparable harm to her reputation by planting stories about her in newspapers and claiming that she stole more than $750,000 worth of jewelry from Johnson, her former roommate. (Rush and Molloy and Page Six)

Ready to talk your ear off: Mike Tyson wants your pity. "For two years I have been a bum, truly a bum in the streets," he told the London Evening Standard. "I've got nowhere to live. I've been crashing with friends, literally sleeping in shelters. Unsavory characters are giving me money and I'm taking it. I need it. The drug dealers, they sympathize with me. They see me as some sort of pathetic character." Tyson, who at one point had amassed a $300 million fortune, is now in debt to the tune of $24.4 million. "When I had money, I was an animal. I was so belligerent. I lost all across the board. My life has been a total waste," Tyson said, adding that poverty and other privations have taught him a lesson. "I ain't the same person I was when I bit that guy's ear off." (London Evening Standard via

-- Amy Reiter


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