The Fix

Paris' love letters revealed. Channing charged with DUI. Kidman's house bugged.

By Salon Staff

Published January 25, 2005 1:39PM (EST)

Turn On:
Two guest spots worth noting on Tuesday night: Gene Simmons will be the visiting celebrity judge on Fox's "American Idol" (8 p.m. EST), and Colin Farrell plays a randy guy (natch) interested in both Carla and Elliot on NBC's "Scrubs" (9 p.m. EST). And if you're in the mood for more enrichment than that, the new PBS science show "Nova: ScienceNow" premieres tonight (check local listings for times).

Morning Briefing:
And the Oscar nominees are ... not particularly surprising. Click here for a complete list. (

More embarrassing than all those videos ... Paris Hilton's love letters to her ex-boyfriend Nick Carter have made their way onto Page Six. And? The poor dear really had it bad for the Backstreet Boy, who may or may not have been the source of the bruises and fat lip she was sporting shortly before their 2004 relationship dissolved. "I don't want you to ever worry because I would never [bleep] this up for anything in the world. It's been really hard for me these past couple of months and I'm so happy I found you. You are the [bleep] and I love you to death," she wrote to him last year in a birthday card. Some time later she wrote, "I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for lying to you before and I want to let you know that it will never happen again. I can't explain the pain I felt when I thought I lost you. It was like half of me had been ripped from my soul. I never felt so alone and I never want to feel that way again. I never want to lose you. I never want to hurt you again . . . I'm so sorry for the pain that I have caused you. From now on things will be different, I promise." (Page Six)

Stockard, racing? Stockard Channing was charged on Monday with two misdemeanor counts stemming from an arrest on Dec. 14 in Los Angeles for DUI. California Highway Patrol officers reportedly pulled the "West Wing" actress over for driving on the shoulder of the 101 Freeway in Hollywood around 10 p.m. She was allegedly trying to extricate herself from a traffic jam by looping around it -- and subsequently failed sobriety tests. She was arrested and released without bail, having had no prior record of DUI. She'll be arraigned on Feb. 9. (

When genius hits: You know those MacArthur "genius" grants? The ones in which well-known writers are given $500,000 free and clear in the hopes that the windfall will free them up to do their best work yet? Well, Crain's Chicago Business has taken a close look at recent recipients and determined that "most of the 31 writers chosen since 1981 as MacArthur Fellows had already hit their artistic peak. That conclusion is supported by the 14 major awards  either a Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award or PEN/Faulkner prize  and 37 minor awards the authors received before getting their MacArthur money." In fact, according to the business magazine, a full 88 percent of the "genius" grant recipients wrote their best work -- and more of it -- before receiving a grant. The magazine attributes the reduced post-grant productivity in part to the advanced age -- on average, 48 -- of the recipients. But also, it concludes, "it would reinforce romantic notions that great art requires personal sacrifice to suggest that, half-a-million dollars in hand, writers get lazy." So there's still hope for all you poor, shivering, Ramen-noodle-scarfing novelists and poets out there ... (Crain's Chicago Business)

That's that then: Read all the Johnny Carson tributes and reminiscences you like, but don't expect to be privy to all the details of Carson's official send-off. The late "Tonight Show" host's family has told the press that there will be no memorial service and that it does not plan to release any information about his final resting place. "That's a private matter. He was a very private man," Carson's nephew Jeff Sotzing told the New York Daily News. "And it's going to remain that way." Carson's former sidekick, Ed McMahon, put it this way: "The final arrangements are: You put on your hat, the door closes, it's over." (N.Y Daily News, Associated Press)

Also: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has agreed to donate $750 million over the next 10 years to immunize children in developing countries via the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunization in Geneva. (Agence France Presse) ... Santa Barbara County sheriff's officials deny that they are the source of leaks in the Michael Jackson child molestation case and have announced that they will investigate how privileged information has made it into the press. (Associated Press) ... Model and socialite Fabian Basabe insists that comments by his lawyers Heller & Heller alleging that he called asking about how easy it would be to divorce his new wife, Martina Borgomanero, before he married her, are false and that he's "hurt and disappointed" by the "shameful innuendos." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) ... The owner of Johnny Carson's childhood home in Nebraska has put it up for sale on eBay (for $93,500), having failed to find a buyer for it last year. "I'm not trying to capitalize upon his passing," the buyer said, "but at the same time advertising to sell a home isn't cheap, and I couldn't ask for better advertising." (Rush and Molloy) ... J.K Rowling gave birth on Sunday to her third child, a yet-to-be-named girl. (Associated Press) ... Nicole Kidman's security team found evidence that, during the renovation of her Sydney, Australia, home, someone had planted a bug in order to record her personal conversations. The culprit is being sought. (MSNBC's Scoop) ... Greed has gotten so extreme among freebie-loving celebs at Sundance -- Pam Anderson reportedly claimed one Diesel assistant's only coat -- that a booth for the Humane Society tried to keep people from waltzing off with their property by posting a sign that read "Please do not steal from me, we are a charity." (Page Six, Rush and Molloy) ... Robert Redford says he never said he'd leave the country and move to Ireland if President Bush was re-elected: "It wasn't true . . . I love Ireland, I have family heritage in Ireland, but I'm an American, I love it here and I'm not leaving just because of some barking dog on the TV . . . I'm not going to do that . . . We are who we are and we're not going to shy away from something we need to stand up for." ("Hardball" via Page Six) ... Billy Joel insists that reports that he was tipsy when he performed a halting rendition of "That's Why the Donald Is a Trump" at Donald Trump's wedding are false -- and that his lyrical stumbles were due to last-minute revisions and bad lighting. (N.Y. Post) ... Robert Blake's personal assistant testified at his murder trial that one day eight months before Blake's wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, was killed, she thought he'd done Bakley in. (N.Y. Post) ... Star Jones will continue to be the red-carpet face of E! at the Screen Actors Guild, Grammy and Academy Awards. (N.Y. Post)

Money Quotes: "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry on why he thinks that towel-dropping "Monday Night Football" teaser would have been way better had it featured John Madden instead of Terrell Owens: "A woman as glorious-looking as Nicollette Sheridan throwing herself at John Madden is just funny." (N.Y. Daily News)

Seamus Farrow, Woody Allen's son with Mia Farrow, on his father's relationship with his adopted sister, Soon-Yi Previn: "He's my father, married to my sister. That makes me his son and his brother-in-law. That is such a moral transgression. I cannot see him. I cannot have a relationship with my father and be morally consistent." (Saga magazine via Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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