The Fix

Martha discusses "rigid rubber and wire band" on her ankle with fans. FCC says Nicollette Sheridan towel drop was perfectly decent.

By Salon Staff
Published March 15, 2005 1:54PM (EST)

Turn On:
Tuesday night, Bravo kicks off the third season of "Project Greenlight" (9 p.m. EST), this one focusing on horror movies, and Glenn Close joins the cast of FX's "The Shield" (10 p.m. EST) in its season premiere.

Morning Briefing:
Prosecution on the defense: Things sure are looking up for Michael Jackson in his child-molestation trial. Not only did his lawyer Thomas Mesereau make Jackson's young accuser seem fairly unreliable during questioning on the stand, forcing him to account for instances in which he insisted to school authorities that Jackson had not molested him and various other inconsistencies in his story, but he also gave the young man room to show himself to be "sullen and combative, cheeky and evasive, acting more like a punk than a crime victim," as one CBS reporter put it. And further embarrassing the prosecution in the case is a report this morning that Court TV reporter Diane Dimond may have helped the D.A. gather evidence in the case, alerting them to a pair of soiled Calvin Klein briefs in the Jackson memorabilia collection of a New Jersey businessman. A Court TV spokeswoman insists that Dimond contacted the D.A.'s office only to get a comment "on some evidence that might be of interest to the prosecution." (Associated Press, CNN, CBS News, Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

All Dunne: Gary Condit has settled his $11 million defamation suit against Dominick Dunne -- for comments Dunne made about Condit in relation to the Chandra Levy murder case -- for an undisclosed sum. The case was settled just as Condit was to testify under oath about a sexual relationship with Levy. The terms of the deal require Dunne to publicly apologize: "In my recounting of that story prior to the discovery of Ms. Levy's body, I did not say or intend to imply that Mr. Condit was complicit in her disappearance, and to the extent my comments may have been misinterpreted, I apologize for them," Dunne said in a statement. (Page Six, Rush and Molloy)

Bracelet blues: Martha Stewart may be happy to be out of the clink and cuddling her "doggies," PawPaw and ZuZu, for whom she whipped up "a batch of scrambled eggs and cottage cheese" immediately upon her return home, but the electronic-monitoring bracelet around her ankle is a real thorn in her side. "I hope none of you ever have to wear one," she wrote of the court-issued anklet on a live Web chat with fans yesterday. "The rigid rubber and wire band is approximately 1 inch wide. The transmitter is approximately 4 inches by 3 inches and is somewhat uncomfortable and irritating. It also makes exercise difficult ... I wish it were removable, but it is not. I am not allowed to take it off at any time and I am not allowed, while in my home, to have any padding under the strap." (N.Y. Daily News)

Clintons on the move? No sooner is Bill Clinton back in Chappaqua, recovering from his recent surgery to remove scar tissue and fluid around his left lung, than speculation surfaces that he may be apartment-hunting in Manhattan -- at Donald Trump's Riverside complex. But a friend of the ex-POTUS insists the rumors are false. The Clintons, he says, "love Chappaqua," adding, "Hillary isn't about to desert her base there as she's running for re-election. Getting a place in Manhattan sends the wrong message." What's more, says the source, "It's also the wrong time for Bill. He's getting out of the hospital. It's been an exhausting time for him." (N.Y. Post, N.Y. Daily News)

Also: Osama bin Laden's niece Wafah Binladin, who lives in New York City and is trying to become a pop singer, is allegedly pissing off her friends and business contacts not because she's related to a terrorist, but because she's been acting entitled and spoiled. (N.Y. Post) ... Dwight Gooden is out of jail following his arrest in Florida on Sunday for domestic battery, but he's been ordered to stay away from his fiancée, Monique Moore, and to vacate the condo they share. (N.Y. Post) ... An intern working David Letterman's "Late Show" has been hospitalized in New York and is in stable condition after a piece of plywood fell on her from scaffolding as she was leaving work. (N.Y. Daily News) ... Tonya Harding is publicly scuffling with the man who has been promoting her new career as a boxer, threatening to "punch" the unfortunate promoter "in the mouth." (Rush and Molloy) ... "American Idol" dropout Mario Vazquez is still not saying precisely why he decided to bail on the show, insisting it had something to do with a "gut feeling" and vowing that the world has not seen the last of him. He also told "Access Hollywood" that "of course something did happen" to him since competition on the show kicked off, "but that will stay personal." (N.Y. Daily News, "Access Hollywood" via N.Y. Post) ... The FCC has unanimously ruled that the "Monday Night Football" spot in which Nicollette Sheridan dropped her towel and leapt into the arms of Terrell Owens did not violate federal indecency standards. (Associated Press) ... Big week for Bono: U2 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday night, and Bono and his wife have begun to publicize their new eco-friendly line of clothing, Edun, which is nude spelled backwards. (Reuters, Associated Press)

-- Amy Reiter

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