The Fix

Ronstadt booted for praising Moore. Plus: Martha Stewart caught in new lie? And Pamela Anderson's porn-star name!

Published July 20, 2004 9:35AM (EDT)

Turn On:
Fox gets the jump on ABC in the partner-swapping subgenre of reality TV with Tuesday's series premiere of "Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy" (8 p.m. ET; Fox). Also: The newest epsiode of "NYPD 24/7: Hour Five" (10 p.m. ET; ABC) follows the New York detectives as they investigate the murder of a college student on the Lower East Side.

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Poor Linda Ronstadt: The singer was escorted out of the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas by security guards after a concert -- before an audience of almost 5,000 -- in which she dedicated a song, "Desperado," to Michael Moore, calling the filmmaker "someone who cares about this country deeply and is trying to help." Ronstadt, who has been told she is no longer welcome on Aladdin property, was not even allowed to return to her room to get her things, which were instead gathered and brought to her after she was led away. "Our first and only priority is the enjoyment of our customers," Aladdin president Bill Timmins said. "I made the decision to ask Miss Ronstadt to leave the hotel. A situation like that can easily turn ugly and I didn't want anything more to come out of it. There were a lot of angry people there after she started talking." (Las Vegas Sun via Drudge)

Skating along the edge: Former "Baywatch" actor Michael Bergin, who recently published a book about his relationship with the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, was arrested in Hollywood Friday after allegedly mowing down a woman with his SUV. The woman had been Rollerblading when Bergin's vehicle hit her and caused her to fly 15 feet through the air before landing on a parked police car. She was hospitalized with a broken leg. Bergin, who was charged with felony drunk driving, refused a breath test at the scene and was handcuffed and hauled into the clink before being released on $50,000 bail. This all happened, by the way, on the fifth anniversary of Bessette's death in a plane crash with her husband, John Kennedy Jr. (The Smoking Gun)

Martha caught in new lie? When Barbara Walters asked Martha Stewart about the image-damaging effects of her decision to carry a $6,050 Birkin bag to her trial, Stewart replied: "Do you know that is my only handbag? Do you know that? Do you know how many handbags I own? And that I bought that handbag, I think it was 12 or 14 years ago." But the New York Daily News is running a series of photos of Stewart arriving at court carrying other expensive totes. "In the eight months from pre-trial hearing to final sentencing, Stewart carried four different Hermès bags, worth at least $16,000 in all," reports the paper. Oops! (N.Y. Daily News)

Don't say that at the Aladdin: Perhaps you've been waiting to hear what Jessica Alba thinks about the war in Iraq? Your wait is over! "I just don't have a great feeling about what we're doing in Iraq," says the 23-year-old actress, who has an uncle in the U.S. Army there. "I don't know why we're there. Didn't we just give the power back over there? Why are we still there?" (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Crouch's admission: Stanley Crouch confessed to Tina Brown on her CNBC show, "Topic A With Tina Brown," that he did, in fact, slap literary critic Dale Peck upon meeting him in a New York restaurant. Writing in the New Republic in 2000, Peck had called Crouch's "Don't the Moon Look Lonesome" "a terrible novel, badly conceived, badly executed and put forward in bad faith." Here's the exchange between Brown and Crouch, which made it on the air just as the show's credits rolled: Brown: "Stanley, you have something to confess this week. What did you do, you naughty man?" Crouch: "I slapped Dale Peck." Brown: "You bitch-slapped Dale Peck?" Crouch: "That is true. He deserved it." Crouch later indicated that he was unaware that his response to Brown's question was being broadcast. "I had no idea the sound was going out," he said. (Page Six)

Money Quote:
Pamela Anderson explaining that the name of the lead character, Star Wood Leigh, in her steamy new book, "Star," is her very own porn-star name: "Somebody told me once that you figure out your porn name by taking the name of your pet and the street you grew up on." (N.Y. Post)

-- Amy Reiter

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