The Fix

Prince Harry's swastika problem, the "Apprentice" cruise, and Jackson's accuser on what went down.

By Salon Staff

Published January 13, 2005 11:59AM (EST)

Turn On:
Lily Tomlin and Buck Henry guest-star on NBC's "Will and Grace" Thursday night at 9 p.m. EST. Watch ABC's exclusive report (see below) on the coming Michael Jackson trial on "Primetime Live," at 10 p.m. EST.

Morning Briefing:
The trouble with Harry: Prince Harry is sorry, very sorry, about attending a costume party dressed in full Nazi regalia, swastika armband included, the other day. And he's certainly sorry to have seen an image of himself in the costume splashed large across the front page of the London Sun under the headline "Harry the Nazi." The royals have issued a statement on his behalf: "Prince Harry has apologised for any offence or embarrassment he has caused. He realizes it was a poor choice of costume." But though some Jewish leaders are ready to accept the young prince's apology and move on, many other Brits aren't so sure he's paid an adequate price for his breach of taste. Former armed forces minister Doug Henderson told the BBC that the get-up made him question whether Harry was suitable to attend the prestigious royal military academy Sandhurst as planned, noting, "If it was anyone else, the application wouldn't be considered. It should be withdrawn immediately." The British royals have long tried to play down various family ties to the Nazi party. Also at the costume bash, by the way, was Harry's elder brother, William, who came dressed as a lion. (BBC News, N.Y. Post)

Ahoy there Further proof that Donald Trump's self-promotion efforts know no bounds: the recent in-box arrival of Expedia's invitation to vacation aboard "The Apprentice Legend Cruise" this fall, an exciting opportunity (co-sponsored by Trump World magazine) to part with $1,199 (for an inside cabin) to $2,899 (for a suite) of your hard-earned cash. "Join former cast members of the hit series 'The Apprentice,' and sail from New York City aboard Carnivals Trump World Legend September 26 - October 4, 2005!" blares the come-on. "After a VIP bon voyage party featuring 'The Chairman' himself, Donald Trump, youll leave the Manhattan skyline in the distance, sailing for exotic Caribbean ports-of-call. Youll be entertained in Trump World style with gala events, luxurious receptions and over-the-top parties. Rub elbows with past cast members and get to know thousands of other fans while you test your competitive edge at our 'Apprentice-type' activities and contests -- come ready to win!" That's right, one grand-prize winner will score a trip to Expedia headquarters to serve alongside the company's CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, for a day -- and $15,000 cash. But more appealing to you all, I'm sure, is the chance to "rub elbows" with "Apprentice" losers including Stacie J., Jen C. and Raj. I know, I know, you're all fired up ... (Then again, who are we to poke fun?) (

A taste of the trial to come: ABC News' "Primetime Live" has apparently reviewed more than 1,900 pages of grand jury testimony made by Michael Jackson's young accuser and pulled out a few choice passages. Such as? This description of an alleged instance of molestation: "We were laying on the bed and he [Jackson] told me that men have to masturbate ... he told me that he wanted to teach me [to masturbate] we were laying in the bed, and then he started rubbing me ... he put his hand down my pants and he started rubbing me ... my private area ... he was masturbating me." Asked about Jackson's facial expression during this interlude, the boy, who was 14 at the time he was testifying, said: "His eyes were like squinching [sic] really tight." And in response to a question about whether he ever touched Jackson, the boy responded, "No. He -- he wanted me to, but I didn't. I said no and I pulled my hand away." The boy's younger brother further testified that Jackson once appeared before the boys naked and erect as they watched a horror movie, telling them "it was natural ... it's just normal" -- and that the door to Jackson's room is tricked out with "a bell ... a sensor ... [and] seven locks ..." (ABC News)

Also: Brad Pitt held a news conference to promote "Ocean's Twelve" in Japan on Thursday, but barred all press except for Japanese reporters from the room and forbid those who attended to ask questions about the dissolution of his marriage. (Reuters) ... Steven Spielberg says he's talking with Liam Neeson about having the actor star in his upcoming film about Abe Lincoln, planned to go into production next year. (Variety) ... "Larry King Live" favorite Nancy Grace is getting her own show on CNN Headline News starting in February. She will interview inmates, jurors, victims and others in what she says will be "no-script, no-made-for-TV drama, it's the real thing." (Washington Post) ... D'Angelo was arrested outside Richmond, Va., on Sunday and charged with drunken driving, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. ( ... Joan and Melissa Rivers are headed back to the red carpet to interview celebrities at the Golden Globe Awards this Sunday -- and Star Jones has signed on to pitch in, too. (N.Y. Daily News) ... Kid Rock will not perform at a youth concert to be held as part of the Bush inauguration after all. His rumored participation had infuriated Christian conservatives. (N.Y. Daily News) ... Ali G, aka Sasha Baron Cohen, posing as "Borat," reportedly got booed by a crowd at a rodeo in Salem, Va., after he finagled his way into singing the national anthem and ended with the words "your home in the grave." (Page Six)

Money Quotes:
Clint Eastwood at the National Board of Review awards dinner on Tuesday night, at which he accepted a Special Filmmaking Achievement prize for "Million Dollar Baby" and Michael Moore picked up a special "Freedom of Expression" award for "Fahrenheit 9/11": "Michael Moore and I actually have a lot in common -- we both appreciate living in a country where there's free expression. But, Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera -- I'll kill you ... I mean it." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Wenner Media exec Kent Brownridge, expressing regret for comparing the Brad-Jen split to the tsunami: "I used an inappropriate metaphor and I'm sorry that I in any way compared a monumental tragedy in human life to this ... I wish I'd said that this was our equivalent of covering the presidential election. I didn't mean to offend anybody." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Star Jones Reynolds, as she apparently now wishes to be known, on the outcry over her wedding greed: "I wouldn't do one thing different. I don't want to be rude and make people think I don't care what other people think, but it was my wedding and I don't care what other people think. I live my life that way ... The wedding was for the 8-year-old in me and the marriage was for the woman." (Associated Press)

-- Amy Reiter

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