The Fix

Jackson's ticklefest, Turner's "nooner" and Bacall's rant. Plus: Lindsay Lohan "hooking up" with Christian Slater?

Published April 5, 2005 11:09AM (EDT)

Turn On:
Tuesday night is a fine night for TV watching. AMC brings you a documentary about the movie industry coping with -- or failing to cope with -- certain aspects of World War II, "Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust," at 9 p.m. EST. And at 10 p.m. EST, DTimes offers a documentary based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times articles about deadly accidents at railroad crossings, "Trouble on the Tracks." And then there's the debut of Robbie Knievel's reality TV show, "Knievel's Wild Ride" (A&E, 10 p.m. EST), and the season finale of "The Starlet" (WB, 9 p.m. EST).

Morning Briefing:
Fonda opening up: The revelations from Jane Fonda, whose book, "My Life So Far," is out today, just keep coming. In addition to those much-written-about threeways with first husband Roger Vadim and a series of call girls, Fonda feels it's time to share the fact that she caught third husband Ted Turner in a "nooner" less than a month after she'd married him, and subsequently beat him with a car phone. Of her struggle with an eating disorder, she says, "The act of purging is somewhat orgasmic." Oh and there's more. Much more. (N.Y. Times, N.Y. Daily News)

Octogenarian's rant: Remember how last year Lauren Bacall caused a mini-scandal by saying her "Birth" costar Nicole Kidman was unworthy of the label "legend"? Well, the 80-year-old actress is at it again -- this time dissing pretty much all actresses practicing the craft today -- and Hugh Grant to boot. "Today, women with minuscule talent are willing to sacrifice everything for their careers," Bacall told Radio Times magazine. What's more, she said, "Actors today go into TV, which I don't consider has a lot to do with acting. They only think of stardom. If you photograph well, that's enough. I have a terrible time distinguishing one from another. Girls wear their hair the same, and are much too anorexic-looking." And it's not just the women on-screen who leave her cold. "We live in an age of mediocrity. Stars today are not the same stature as Bogie, Jimmy Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart," she said, adding that Hugh Grant, for instance, is "charming, marvellous. Not a great actor but he doesn't have to be." (Radio Times magazine via BBC News)

Jackson trial update: After a break on Friday, the Michael Jackson child molestation trial got back underway with a testimonial bang on Monday. On the witness stand: the 24-year-old son of a Jackson housekeeper who says that the pop star fondled him while tickling him on three separate occasions -- twice touching the little boy's genitalia above his shorts and once below -- when he was between the ages of 7 and 10. "We were watching cartoons and he just started tickling me, which was cool," the young man, now a married auto-parts salesman who also works at an anti-truancy program, said of the first incident, which he says took place at a Los Angeles apartment owned by Jackson. "It eventually moved down to my little private region, I guess ... around my crotch area. You know, you're 7, you didn't think it was wrong ... I probably did think it was weird but not super-weird because you were tickling." The second instance was not dissimilar, also lasting about four or five minutes -- two cartoons worth, a cartoon and a half, during which, the man testified he was thinking, "I should probably go." At the end of the first two tickle sessions, the man said, Jackson gave him $100, which he took to mean "Don't tell your mom." During the third instance, however, which the man said took place at Neverland ranch, Jackson reached up under his shorts and grasped the 10-year-old's testicles. The young man, who won a $2.4 million settlement against Jackson in 1994, broke down and wept while recounting this instance, telling the prosecutor asking him questions, "This took a lot of counseling to get over, just to let you know." Judge Rodney S. Melville ordered that comment stricken from the record. (Associated Press, Reuters, N.Y. Daily News, N.Y. Post)

In other Jackson news ... Longtime Michael Jackson publicist Bob Jones, who was canned by the pop star last year, has announced plans to publish a tell-all about his former client called "Michael Jackson: The Man Behind the Mask," due in stores next month. Jones' collaborator, writer Stacy Brown, says the book will detail Jones' attempts to confront Jackson about his curious behavior with little boys, including his penchant for sucking baby bottles with Emmanuel Lewis and Kieran Culkin. "In no uncertain terms," Brown says, "Michael told Bob to mind his own business." (Page Six)

Lohan behold, dating Slater? Lindsay Lohan, was recently linked (and then apologetically unlinked) in the gossip columns to much older man Bruce Willis. Now the 18-year-old actress is said to be dating Christian Slater, 35. Slater, recently separated from his wife and currently appearing on Broadway in "The Glass Menagerie," has reportedly been spotted lurking around the New York set of Lohan's latest film project -- and disappearing into her private trailer. "They're definitely hooking up," a source tells Lloyd Grove's Lowdown. But Lohan's rep says she knows nothing about a trailer visit and that Slater was on set to visit someone else and merely "said hello" to Lohan. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Also: New York's Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square is refusing to run a billboard for Green Day, featuring a cartoon image of a bloody hand holding a heart-shaped grenade, saying it has a right to refuse ads that it deems have any discomfiting "political, pornographic or inappropriate content." The billboard will run on the W hotel instead. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) ... Martha Stewart's lawyers have appealed to a judge to roll back a few of the conditions of her house arrest, citing the difficulty she has commuting to and from work -- and visiting her 90-year-old mother -- in the time she's allowed out of the house to work and tend to essentials. (N.Y. Daily News, N.Y. Post) ... Al Gore's cable TV channel for the youth of today, Current, is set to launch on Aug. 1 in 19 million homes. (Associated Press) ... Neil Young has returned home after undergoing surgery last week for a brain aneurysm and is expected to make a full recovery. ( ... "Sin City" was the top box-office earner over the weekend, taking in $28.1 million. (USA Today) ... Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb are planning to team up again to record another album together. (IGN Music) ... Vincent Pastore, who played Big Pussy in "The Sopranos," is being sought by police for allegedly beating up his girlfriend in a car and on a street in New York's SoHo. ( N.Y. Post

-- Amy Reiter

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By Salon Staff

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