The Fix

Did Liza force employee to have sex? Is Howard leaving? Is Britney pregnant?


Salon Staff
November 11, 2004 4:44PM (UTC)

Turn On:
It won't be easy to watch the HBO documentary "Last Letters Home: Voices of American Troops From the Battlefields of Iraq" (9 p.m. EST), but it's the right thing to do.

Morning Briefing:
Very personal assistant: You thought the stuff David Gest accused Liza Minnelli of was scandalous? The $100 million lawsuit filed against the singer and actress by her longtime bodyguard, chauffeur and personal assistant M'Hammed Soumayah has been unsealed. And? Soumayah says Minnelli not only regularly beat him, but also forced him to have sex with her under threat of losing his $238,000 job. "During the course of his employment [Soumayah], without his consent, was forced to engage in sexual relations with Minnelli," the lawsuit claims, adding that the married father of two has "physical evidence" that Minnelli repeatedly "hit and assaulted" him. "Fearing loss of his lucrative job, [Soumayah] tolerated Minnelli's violent outbursts and did not complain about them to her or anyone else." He finally left Minnelli's employ when she tried to cut his salary in half. Minnelli has filed a $250,000 countersuit against Soumayah, claiming breach of contract. (New York Daily News)

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Another woman behaving badly ... again? Has Naomi Campbell lost it on yet another hapless assistant? A source tells Page Six that the supermodel, who has a history of unleashing her bile on (and chucking telephones at) her support staff, had "a loud and physical confrontation" with an assistant identified as Amie Castaldo on Tuesday. Word is that the assistant overheard Campbell say something disparaging about her to the model's hairstylist and makeup artist and fled in tears. "She was crying and mumbling something about Naomi under her breath," says the source. Things reportedly escalated from there and Castaldo is no longer in Campbell's employ. The Campbell camp denies that there was any kind of skerfuffle and says, "Naomi ended the brief working relationship in a professional manner and wishes Amie the best in all her future ventures." (Rush and Molloy)

It's hard to Kerry on: "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" star Vincent D'Onofrio is said to have passed out on the show's set Wednesday morning and was examined and released by paramedics, who raced to his side but found nothing wrong with him. However, a source on the set blames the results of the recent presidential election, in which D'Onofrio supported John Kerry. "Ever since John Kerry lost the election, [D'Onofrio] has lost his [bleep]," the source reported. "He has been getting into fistfights with people, and when he passed out today, we all thought he was faking it. But then he insisted they call 911." A rep for the show insists that no fistfights have taken place on the set. (Page Six)

Also: Star Jones and Al Reynolds are licensed to marry in New York City, having picked up their papers at the Municipal Building in Manhattan on Wednesday morning. Their wedding is scheduled for Saturday (Rush and Molloy) ... Rumors are heating up that Britney Spears is pregnant; her friends and family say she's "ecstatic," but her rep's official comment is "I don't know" (Page Six) ... Howard Stern says he may leave his job at Viacom way earlier than his originally planned departure date on Jan. 1, 2006, to embark on his new career in satellite radio (New York Post) ... At least one ABC affiliate, in Iowa, has decided to pull the movie "Saving Private Ryan" from its lineup amid fear of raising the ire of the FCC, even though the film has been aired widely twice before on prime-time TV (Television Week via CNN/Money) ... Courtney Love has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault stemming from an altercation with another woman at the L.A. home of Love's ex-boyfriend back in April (Reuters) ... Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake got into a scuffle with paparazzi who jumped out at them outside an L.A. hotel this week. After struggling with the photographers, Diaz and Timberlake snagged one of their cameras and turned it in to police in hopes of identifying its owner, who has accused the stars of battery and grand theft. Diaz and Timberlake contend that they acted in self-defense (Associated Press).

-- Amy Reiter

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