The Fix

Murdoch buys $44 million apartment; Lisa Marie sells Elvis; Duff vs. Lohan: It's back on!

Published December 17, 2004 10:54AM (EST)

Turn On:
Bill Moyers signs off once and for all tonight. He's retiring from "Now With Bill Moyers" (check local listings) after 33 years on PBS. And if you're feeling animated and hungry for spinach, there's family fun to be had with "Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy" (Fox, 8:30 p.m. ET), co-written by Paul Reiser.

Morning Briefing:
A place to lay his hat: If you're concerned you may have overpaid for your humble abode, spare a thought -- won't you? -- for Rupert Murdoch. The New York Times reports that the media tycoon is set to pay $44 million, cash, for a Fifth Avenue penthouse triplex apartment formerly owned by the late Laurance S. Rockefeller -- the most anyone has paid for a New York residence ever. The co-op, which spans the 14th through the 16th floor at 834 Fifth Avenue, at 64th Street, has 20 rooms and 8,000 square feet of living space -- plus 4,000 square feet of terraces. And what will Murdoch, whose net worth is about $7.8 billion and who will move from his penthouse co-op on Prince Street with his wife and two daughters, pay in monthly maintenence for the largest, fanciest apartment in a building that is also home to former Sotheby's chairman A. Alfred Taubman and Broadway producer Harold Prince -- and which one real estate agent calls "one of the five best apartments in New York"? $21,469.07. (N.Y. Times)

Elvis, going once, going twice ... Lisa Marie Presley is selling off the rights to her father's name and image, along with much of his estate, to SFX Entertainment founder Robert F.X. Sillerman for about $100 million. She'll hold onto Graceland and to some of Elvis' personal belongings, and will retain a share in the new Elvis-based company, which Sillerman plans to take public under the name CKX Inc. "For the past few years, I've been looking for someone to join forces with to expand the many facets of [Elvis Presley Enterprises], to take it to new levels internationally and to make it an even greater force in the entertainment industry," Lisa Marie Presley told the press. The sale will more than cover the $25 million debt Elvis Presley Enterprises has previously racked up. (Associated Press)

Oh, for criminy's sake: Just when you thought you'd heard the last of it, Page Six is reporting that "the catfight between Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan is back on." And now Lohan's 8-year-old brother, Cody, has reportedly been caught in the middle. According to the tab, after the Z100 Jingle Ball last week, Lohan's little bro and his friend, also 8, asked Good Charlotte's Joel Madden for an autograph (the boys are big fans of the band), but were rudely turned away empty-handed. Seems Madden is dating Duff and, after demanding to speak to Cody's and Lindsay's mother, said, "Until your daughter publicly apologizes to [Hilary], you're not getting any autographs!" Said a witness, "Cody started crying, he was so upset." Awwww. Poor kid. (Page Six)

Also: Mary-Louise Parker and Billy Crudup are reportedly at odds over Crudup's visitation rights to the former couple's 11-month-old son, William. At issue, reportedly, is Parker's wish that Crudup's new girlfriend, Claire Danes, for whom he left Parker when she was seven months pregnant, not have contact with wee William. (Rush and Molloy) ... Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Jim Carrey and Mick Jagger were all among those evacuated from London's Claridges Hotel after a fire broke out. No one was injured in the minor blaze. (Associated Press) ... Robin Williams visited the troops in Afghanistan Thursday, performed his routine -- then for some reason removed his jacket and T-shirt and went bare-chested for the crowd of 1,000 soldiers. (Associated Press) ... The world's most unlikely holiday party pairing: Tim Robbins and Ann Coulter, chatting each other up at the Wenner Media holiday party. See the photos documenting their surprisingly friendly encounter here. (

Money Quotes:
Paris Hilton, still trying to do damage control about that video: "I'm not a sexual person, really. I don't really care about sex. If I'm in a relationship, we don't even do anything, really. We just watch TV. I'm too lazy. ... I'd rather kiss." (Rolling Stone via Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Self-appointed Pale Male protector Lincoln Karim on his plans now that he's been canned from his job at Associated Press TV and ordered to stay 1,000 feet away from Paula Zahn, her family and, consequently, the bird he loves and has spent years documenting with his camera: "I was looking for a change in career anyway. TV is a despicable medium ... I think I'll write a book about Pale Male, collect my photographs. Maybe I need a break." (Washington Post)

-- Amy Reiter

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