The Fix

Brando "heirs" come out of the woodwork, pope at work on new book, and is Spidey headed to Broadway? Plus: James Joyce letter about "ungovernable lust" fetches big bucks at auction.

Published July 8, 2004 9:03AM (EDT)

Afternoon Briefing:
They're coming out of the woodwork: Mike Medavoy, who was named in Marlon Brando's will as executor of the actor's estate, is getting random visits from people saying they are Brando's heirs. The latest, a woman named Lisa, says she is Marlon's daughter. Medavoy warns that anyone who challenges the will is "motivated by greed." (IMDB)

Martha's last stand: The judge in Martha Stewart's case today denied the latest request for a new trial based on the fact that a prosecution witness lied about ink-analysis testing of a worksheet. The judge said that there was "overwhelming independent evidence" to support the jury's guilty verdict. Martha will most likely be sentenced next week. (AP)

All in the famiglia: Two of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's children are under investigation for suspected embezzlement of movie rights involving companies controlled by the family (Fininvest, Mediaset, Medusa and Mondadori). Details of the probe aren't known, but the kids join their father in the spotlight, since he's suspected of tax and accounting fraud as well as illegal appropriation. (AFP)

Who edits the pope? John Paul II's latest book is "being edited" and word from on high is that it deals with philosophy and existence. The pontiff has written poetry and a memoir and released a collection of interviews in 1994 that sold almost 20 million worldwide. (AFP)

Joyce gets graphic: A sexy letter from James Joyce to his wife Nora sold for £240,800 at auction this week in London -- a record for a 20th century signed letter. The unusually sensual missive was written in 1909 and included such phrases as "ungovernable lust" and "wild-eyed whore." (BBC)

Spider-Man on Broadway? Rumors are that the hit comic and movie character will hit the boards if Marvel Comics and Julie ("The Lion King") Taymor have anything to say about it. She wants to hire Bono and U2 to do the music. (TV Guide)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
Following Tuesday's announcement of his running mate, John and Teresa Heinz Kerry appear for the entire hour of "Larry King Live" (9 p.m. ET; CNN). Also: HBO is airing Andrew Jarecki's remarkable 2003 documentary about the destruction of a New York family over charges of child molestation, "Capturing the Friedmans" (9 p.m. ET; HBO).

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Rupe spins it: What did Rupert Murdoch have to say about his New York Post's front-page blunder earlier this week, when it announced that John Kerry had selected Dick Gephardt as his running mate? "Everybody made a mistake and they are embarrassed and they've apologized for it, and it happens even on NBC sometimes." (CNBC via the N.Y. Daily News)

Cameron's shame: Cameron Diaz is doing everything she can to stop a Russian Web site,, from selling a video of her made in 1992 when she was an aspiring model, age 19, in which she appears high-heeled and topless and, along with another young model, poses "torturing" a man. "A cease and desist letter has been sent to the Web site" to prevent it from distributing the S&M video, which it began offering for download yesterday for $39.95. What, exactly, is Diaz shown doing? "Walking" a leather-masked man like a dog -- and spraying her breasts with compressed air and exclaiming, "Whoa! Look at them! Look at how big they got!" Poor dear. (Page Six and Rush and Molloy)

Sam's loss: A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in the alleged murder of three people found dead on a New Mexico ranch owned by veteran ABC journo Sam Donaldson. The boy is the son of ranch foreman Delbert "Paul" Posey, whose body was found Tuesday by police in a shallow grave on the ranch along with that of his wife, Tyrone Posey and her daughter, Maralea Schmid. Donaldson, who found evidence of an "obvious crime scene" and alerted police, was never a suspect, according to police, and has issued a statement expressing his sadness over the loss of the "hard-working" family. (ABC News)

Whattaguy: Dennis Rodman, who is currently peddling a sex enhancement spray in which he is a partial investor, is tattling about his own sex partners past. Rodman's idea of foreplay is apparently talking mean. Of his fling with Madonna way back when, he says in an interview tonight on the YES Network, "I told her that I never liked her music, she sucks, and all this stuff like that ... She was like, 'What? I suck?' I said, 'Yeah, your music is too commercial, it's too candy, too bubblegum,' you know, and stuff like that. And she said, 'Well, you know, you're honest.' I said, 'Yeah, well, I don't like it. You know, so, it doesn't mean I don't like having sex with you, but I don't like your music.'" Mercifully, he had kinder words about ex-wife Carmen Electra: "We wanted to get married just because we had such a connection, connecting bond with each other. And I really liked, I really actually liked the girl ... I'm always going to love her no matter what. She's a cool girl." (YES Network via Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Wolfie's salivator: The aide seen spitting on the wayward hair of Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" (along, of course with Wolfowitz himself) has come forward. "Would that qualify me for hazardous duty pay?" wonders Kevin Kellems, now communications director for Vice President Cheney. Kellems says he hasn't seen the film because Moore is "not getting a dime out of me." (Reliable Source)

Oh, and also ...'s Ana Marie Cox has been tapped to be a commentator for MTV News at the Democratic National Convention (Reliable Source) and former New York Times editor Howell Raines' book "Catch and Release" is said to barely mention the Times at all (N.Y. Post).

Money Quote:
John Kerry on the assets he and John Edwards bring to the presidential table: "We've got better vision, better ideas, real plans. We've got a better sense of what's happening to America -- and we've got better hair." (Associated Press)

-- Amy Reiter

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