The Fix

Zeta-Jones' stalker rushed to hospital after drug overdose, and Miss America pageant turns its back on talent. Plus: What does the man who impregnated Elizabeth Hurley have to do with the Kerry campaign?


Salon Staff
July 31, 2004 12:00AM (UTC)

Turn On:
For political junkies afraid of going cold turkey after the Democratic National Convention, Bill Maher's "Real Time" (11 p.m. ET; HBO) -- on hiatus since March -- returns on Friday to give you a quick hit, with guest Michael Moore. Also, "Dateline NBC" (8 p.m. ET; NBC) looks into the clemency granted 117 inmates in Illinois by outgoing Gov. George Ryan, and the impact the move had on both the lives of the inmates and the capital punishment system.

-- Scott Lamb

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Morning Briefing:
A project fit for an apprentice? Donald Trump has filed plans to build a 64-story hotel-condominium tower on the Las Vegas Strip -- the tallest structure on the block. The $300 million property will feature 1,000 hotel rooms, 50 luxury residential units (some as big as 10,000 square feet), a spa and restaurants -- but alas, no casino. (Associated Press)

Stalker's big sleep: A woman charged with stalking Catherine Zeta-Jones, following the actress and her husband, Michael Douglas, all over the world, and writing her particularly gruesome threatening notes OD'd on sleeping pills in jail hours after the court date that brought her face-to-face with Zeta-Jones. Dawnette Knight, a 32-year-old psychology student, was found asleep on the floor of her cell. When guards found themselves unable to wake her, they rushed her to the hospital, where doctors determined that she'd pull through. Her lawyer denies that his client was attempting suicide, saying she took only "two sleeping pills" in order to get a "good night's sleep." How did Knight get the pills? "Anybody can get anything in jail," said her lawyer. (N.Y. Daily News)

No spritz: If Katie Couric's 'do looked a little floppy this week, there's a good reason: The hairspray in her stylist's bag was confiscated by security at the Democratic Convention. I'm sure Couric managed to keep a stiff upper lip in the face of adversity, nonetheless. (Rush and Molloy)

Revving up: "Kaptain" Robbie Knievel, son of Evel, is preparing for his big jump over five vintage military planes on the deck of the Intrepid in New York on Saturday night. (The stunt, which will take place before an audience of New York City servicemen and -women, will air live, sometime after 8 p.m., on TNT.) "I'm definitely going to crash. I can promise everybody that," Knievel told the press. (N.Y. Daily News)

Not this guy, again: Steve Bing -- the billionaire who impregnated Elizabeth Hurley and then dumped her and denied it and also fathered a child with Kirk Kerkorian's ex-wife Lisa Bonder -- is apparently back in the gossip pages, this time for ... donating a lot of money to the Kerry campaign -- and for having possible ties to the Mafia. ABC News reports that Bing is close friends with one Dominic Montemarano, aka Donnie Shacks, a notorious hit man who has done time for racketeering and is currently in jail for domestic violence. Bing's lawyer says his client has only a "business relationship" with Montemarano, who starred in a movie financed by Bing, and has demanded a retraction from ABC News. (Page Six)

Oh and also ... Courtney Love's cases for assault and drug possession have been consolidated so that they can be handled in one courtroom (AP) ... And the Miss America pageant has announced that it will discontinue the talent competition in effort to keep TV viewers entertained and will put greater emphasis on the casual wear, swimsuit and evening wear competitions in determining a contestant's score, prompting one former Miss America to call it a "tragedy." (AP)

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-- Amy Reiter

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