The Fix

Queen to skip Charles' wedding. Rushdie makes threats. Paris Hilton: "I don't know why this stuff always happens to me."

By Salon Staff
Published February 23, 2005 11:20AM (EST)

Turn On:
Bravo airs the season finale of "Project Runway" on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. EST, and the Science Channel offers "Brainman" (8 p.m. EST), about a 26-year-old savant who can calculate mind-bending math problems in his head and learn whole languages in a week.

Morning Briefing:
A wedding not fit for a queen: Prince Charles' mom has decided not to attend his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles next month. She will, however, attend -- and foot the bill for -- the church blessing following the civil ceremony. According to a royal spokeswoman, the queen's absence is "not a snub," but is rather for the couple's own good. "The queen's prime concern is that the civil ceremony should be as low key as possible, in line with the couple's wishes," she said. "Clearly if the queen were to attend, the occasion would no longer be, by definition, low key." According to historian David Starkey, the Queen's decision is "unprecedented." "One can only speculate on the reason why," Starkey commented. "It could be security, that she doesn't approve or that she doesn't care, a position which would unite her with the majority of her subjects." (Sky News)

Rushdie's fatwa: What's Salman Rushdie doing threatening another writer with bodily harm for expressing a point of view he didn't like? According to New York magazine's Intelligencer column, the "Satanic Verses" author marched up to New York Times writer Guy Trebay at an event and took him to task for writing that his wife, Padma Lakshmi, was defined by a "love of money and commodity. A burgeoning brand married to a global brand, she has no problem making public an inventory of brands she chooses to wear." Cornering Trebay, Rushdie said, "If you ever write mean things about my wife again, Ill come after you with a baseball bat." (Inteligencer)

The cry of the victim: Paris Hilton is devastated that her personal phone numbers, racy text messages, revealing photos (including one shot of her topless and making out with MTV Latin America veejay Eglantina Zingg, with whom she says she was just "joking around") and still more revealing notes to self were swiped from her T-Mobile phone and posted on the Web, touching off a frenzy of crank calls to Hollywood types. "I don't know why this stuff always happens to me, but I wish it wouldn't anymore," Hilton, vacationing in Aruba, tells Us Weekly in her first interview about the cellphone hacking. "It's too upsetting for me -- I can't believe it." Hilton sent her apologies to the friends and family whose numbers got out, but mostly she says, she feels "horrible that, once again, someone has invaded my privacy." (Us Weekly via N.Y Daily News)

Also: Miramax has refuted rumors that Harvey Weinstein was personally disinviting several people from his annual pre-Oscar party, saying that the company has merely created a waiting list for would-be attendees because the party is overbooked and must comply with fire-code restrictions. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) ... E! is denying reports that it plans to yank Star Jones off the red carpet because her Grammy ratings were 40 percent below the ratings Joan Rivers pulled in last year. "Star loves E! and E! loves Star," an E! spokeswoman said. (Rush and Molloy) ... Jessica Simpson was briefly hospitalized in Chicago on Monday after she became dehydrated as a result of a stomach virus while shooting a segment of "Oprah." (N.Y. Daily News) ... PETA is pissed at P.Diddy for using live penguins as a prop at a party at the opening of the Hotel Victor in South Beach last Friday night, but P.Diddy says he had nothing to do with placing the petrified-looking penguins on a plexiglass platform in the middle of a pool at the party. (Page Six)

Money Quotes:
New York ophthalmologist Dr. Burton Sultan, Sean Connery's Upper East Side landlord, on his famous tenant, in a $30 million lawsuit he has filed against the actor, who he says has wreaked havoc on his home and damaged his property with constant noise, horrible fumes, water leaks and an infestation of rats due to an ongoing renovation: "Notwithstanding the cinematic James Bond image of consummate finesse, the defendant Connery, in true Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde fashion, acts the part in real life of a bully who ignores norms of neighborliness and decency ... Connery's appearance and behavior was that of a rude, foul-mouthed, fat old man." (Associated Press)

Lindsay Lohan's grandma, pleading with her famous kin to fork over $20,000 to bail her troubled son (Lindsay's father) out of jail after his arrest on Long Island Saturday for DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle; he'd crashed his 2005 Volvo into a utility pole. "Lindsay, I love you very, very much. I hate what's happening. I know your father has problems, but it should be separate from our relationship. Just help your father, Lindsay. He loves you -- please be there for him. We're flat broke now." (N.Y. Post)

Naomi Campbell, blaming her bad behavior on her cocaine addiction: "You become short-tempered. You know? Your little charm goes. The little glow in your face goes. It's a very nasty drug ... I think what is very scary about cocaine is that you start to feel too confident and you start to feel indispensable, although none of us are indispensable." ("Prime Time Live," in an interview airing Thursday night, via Page Six)

-- Amy Reiter

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