The Fix

Lisa Marie Presley says Jackson used her. Mary Cheney to tell all?

By Salon Staff
Published March 30, 2005 12:24PM (EST)

Turn On:
On Wednesday night, ABC offers the premiere of "Eyes" (10 p.m. EST), a series about a risky risk-management firm owner played by Tim Daly, and, in the same time slot, Bravo brings you the premiere of a reality series about dog owners called "Showdog Moms and Dads."

Morning Briefing:
Mary signs Mary: Mary Matalin has made her first acquisition in her new conservative-book deal-maker role at Simon & Schuster -- and it's a doozy. Dick Cheney's daughter, Mary, whose lesbianism became a key talking point in the 2004 presidential campaign, and who served as an aide to her father during both the 2000 and the 2004 elections, will pen a "behind-the-scenes look at the high intensity world of political campaigns," for a payment in the mid six figures, according to the Drudge Report. Of course, Matalin was a senior advisor to Vice President Cheney, too, but a Simon & Schuster source insists that Matalin was not doing Cheney any personal favors with the big-ticket deal, adding, "This was a great opportunity to secure a great political story. Period." Discussing the deal with the N.Y. Daily News, Matalin said Cheney will delve into her feelings about having her sexual orientation become such a hot political topic. "She never wanted to be the poster girl ... for gay issues," said Matalin. "She doesn't exist to be the lesbian daughter of the vice president."(Drudge, N.Y. Daily News)

Mira- unmatched: Disney and the Weinsteins have (finally) officially parted ways. Under the terms of the intricate agreement, Disney, which acquired Miramax in 1993, gets to keep the film company name, prompting Harvey Weinstein, who founded the company with his brother, Bob, more than 25 years ago and named it after their parents, Miriam and Max, to comment, "The toughest part of the entire negotiation was giving up the name." The brothers Weinstein are starting up a new "fully integrated media company," however, and may, the agreement stipulates, extend job offers to 100 of the 300 Miramax employees. (L.A. Times)

Jackson trial update: The most interesting testimony yesterday came from a flight attendant who said she routinely served Michael Jackson wine in Diet Coke cans during flights: He was a nervous flyer, she said, who sometimes insisted that the plane be landed rather than fly through patches of high turbulence. But the Xtra-Jet International air hostess, Cynthia Ann Bell, testified that Jackson was "a very private drinker" and that she never saw him share his alcoholic beverages with children, and in particular not with his young accuser or the accuser's siblings. What's more, Bell said, the accuser was a "rude and discourteous" passenger, who was known to throw food and cause trouble onboard. "It was embarrassing to have him onboard," she said. (N.Y. Daily News, N.Y. Post)

In other Jackson news ... Lisa Marie Presley has revealed that she felt used by Michael Jackson, to whom she was married from 1994 to 1996, shortly after he settled with another young boy who accused him of molestation. But, during an appearance this week on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Presley said that her marriage was real. "Do you think that he loved you as much as he could?" Winfrey asked Presley. "Yes, as much as he was capable of loving somebody," Presley responded. But did she think he used her? "All signs point to 'yes' on that," Presley replied, adding, "I can't answer for him." As for what she saw in Jackson, Presley said she fell "prey to the 'poor you' thing." (The Spokesman Review, N.Y. Post)

Also: The late rapper ODB's mother, Cherry Jones, and manager, Jarred Weisfeld, are suing a Florida production company, AGU Entertainment, for $1.8 million for breach of contract for allegedly reneging on deals with ODB and using his name as a come-on to investors. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) ... The Olsen twins are selling the 6,000-square-foot West Village penthouse apartment they bought for $7.3 million in 2003, never having moved in. Reported current asking price: $11 million. (Rush and Molloy, Page Six) ... Felony charges have been brought against Lindsay Lohan's troubled father, Michael, in connection with his Feb. 19 arrest for drunk driving, putting him at risk of up to four years in prison and, possibly, four additional years on an old assault charge. (N.Y Daily News) ... Laci Peterson's family is suing for $25 million, rather than their previous claim of $5 million, in a wrongful death suit against Scott Peterson, in order, they say, to "send a message" and to prevent Peterson from making money from a book or movie deal related to Laci's murder. (N.Y. Post) ... The musical "Sweet Charity" will open on Broadway after all; its injured star, Christina Applegate, has reportedly persuaded producers that she'll be ready to retake the stage shortly, leading them to hope for revived ticket sales. (N.Y. Times) ... Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, José Canseco and Janice Dickinson are three of the B-listers to sign on to the next installment of "The Surreal Life." (E! Online) ... Hilary Swank has been fined more than $150 for bringing an apple and an orange into New Zealand, breaching the country's strict fruit quarantine laws. (Associated Press) ...Naomi Campbell has been accused of slapping an assistant and attacking her with a Blackberry during a trip to Brazil, then threatening to ditch the poor thing if she tattled to police. (Page Six)

Money Quotes:
O.J. Simpson on lawyer Johnnie Cochran, who died Tuesday of an inoperable brain tumor in his Los Angeles home: "Johnnie is what's good about the law. I don't think I'd be home today without Johnnie." (Associated Press)

Johnnie Cochran on his famous O.J. trial line about the bloody glove, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit": "I'd like to have an epitaph other than that." (N.Y. Daily News)

Billy Crystal, accepting an award for playing a gay man on "Soap" in the late-'70s, at Monday's Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards dinner (also attended by Cynthia Nixon, with girlfriend Christine Marinoni; Tim Curry; and Bruce Vilanch, among others): "Understanding [is] vital in a modern society. If you see a rather manly person in women's clothes -- it might not be a lesbian. It might be Camilla Parker Bowles." (Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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