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Cosby slapped with civil sex suit. Crowe says he was al-Qaida target. Amy Fisher lets fire at Martha Stewart.

By Salon Staff
March 9, 2005 5:14PM (UTC)
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Turn On:
CBS bids adieu to Dan Rather with an hour-long tribute, "Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers," at 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday night, as he vacates his evening news anchor chair. And Comedy Central airs the season premiere of "South Park" at 10 p.m. EST.

Morning Briefing:
Cosby case lives on: Bill Cosby may not have to face criminal charges in connection with the allegations made by a Canadian woman who has accused him of drugging and fondling her in his Philadelphia area home a little more than a year ago, but it looks like he'll be called into court to defend himself nonetheless. Yesterday, the 31-year-old woman filed a civil suit in Philadephia federal court seeking an undisclosed compensatory sum from the comedian. "In front of the jury, we will have all of the evidence presented and we believe they will make the appropriate decision," the woman's attorney, Delores Troiani, commented. Cosby has denied the charges. (N.Y. Daily News)

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The plot against Russell: Was Russell Crowe an al-Qaida target? The actor has told the Australian edition of GQ that in early 2001, shortly before he won the best actor Oscar for "Gladiator," the FBI informed him that he was the target of a plot by Osama bin Laden's terrorist network -- and offered him extra security. "That was the first [time] I'd ever heard the phrase 'al-Qaida,'" the New Zealand-born, Australian-dwelling actor told the magazine. "It was about, and here's another little touch of irony, taking iconographic Americans out of the picture as sort of a cultural destabilization plot." (Associated Press)

Riled rapper wrap-up: The Game and 50 Cent may end their increasingly violent feud with the help of the Boys Choir of Harlem -- or rather with help for the choir. There's talk that the rival rappers may both appear at a press conference today to announce plans to aid the financially challenged chorus. 50 Cent is expected to offer up a $150,000 donation, while the Game may kick in $100,000 more. And once they've kissed and made up, Fitty and the Game may want to coach Lil' Kim in the art of making nice to her enemies. Testifying before a federal grand jury looking into the shooting of a supporter of her rival Foxy Brown, Lil' Kim said of Brown, "I guess she is a rapper ... I don't consider her a rapper. I just don't, I'm sorry. Unless you are an artist, you won't understand." As to whether she considers herself a rapper, Lil' Kim said, "I am a sexy rapper. I am basically a sex symbol in the industry." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown, Newsday)

Jackson trial lesson of the day: When called to testify as to whether you were shown an issue of Barely Legal magazine by the man you've accused of molesting your brother, be sure to check the date before you answer in the affirmative to make sure that the issue was published before you and your brother ceased to have contact with said accusee. It's a lesson the brother of Michael Jackson's alleged victim appears to have learned the hard way. (Reuters)

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Also: Shoe designer Steve Madden is expected to be released from prison early next month, after serving just 30 months of his 41-month sentence; he's getting time off for good behavior. (Page Six) ... Peter Jennings, who became a citizen in 2003, served his first round of jury duty in New York last week, but was passed over during the selection process for two criminal cases. (Page Six) ... The quadriplegic lawyer who sued the producers of "The Apprentice" for discriminating against disabled people has agreed to drop his case after the producers agreed to insert language into their application encouraging people with disabilities to apply to be contestants on the show. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) ... Loni Anderson has been cast as Tori Spelling's mother in the pilot for Spelling's semi-autobiographical show "Notorious" on NBC. (Reuters/Hollywood Reporter) ... The cover of the next Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," due out on July 16, has been revealed: Harry and Professor Dumbledore are pictured in a hazy glow. ( Amazon.com) ... Charlie Sheen is insisting that it wasn't due to infidelity on his part that his wife, Denise Richards, six months pregnant with their second child, has filed for divorce from him. Says Sheen, "The reason for our separation is a private matter between the two of us." (ITV.com)

Money Quotes:
"Fat Actress" star Kirstie Alley on Hollywood's double-standard: "If you're too skinny, you're ridiculed, and if you're too fat, you're ridiculed ... [Hollywood is] very forgiving to drug addicts, men, fat men, prostitute-f-ing men, drag-queen-f-ing men. But it's not forgiving to women when they screw up. In fact, minimal things can destroy an actress' career, when the same thing can be a career builder for men." (TV Guide via Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Former "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher on the "disservice" she feels Martha Stewart is doing by sugarcoating her prison experience: "The worst part is they strip you of your dignity. They try to strip you of your self-worth ... If people want to go buy [Stewart's] philosophy and think jail is so wonderful, then they can go there. I don't know, maybe they'll send [Martha] back sometime." (N.Y. Post)

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Harvard dropout Matt Damon backing university president Lawrence Summers' right to express unpopular opinions: "I will say that when you're trying to encourage 18-year-old kids to exercise freedom of thought, it can be dangerous to remove [Summers] for doing just that." (N.Y. Observer via Page Six)

-- Amy Reiter

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