The Fix

Abdul fights "Idol" allegations. Gyllenhaal defends 9/11 comments. Schwimmer and Cattrall, more than friends?


Salon Staff
April 28, 2005 12:00AM (UTC)

Turn On:
On Wednesday night, ABC offers an overview of its hit series "Lost" (8 p.m. EDT), Luke Wilson guests on Fox's "That 70s Show" (8 p.m. EDT), and ABC's "Nightline" takes a close look at a case of the American justice system gone horribly awry with "The Traitor: The Edwin Wilson Story" (11:35 p.m. EDT).

Morning Briefing:
Targeting Maggie: Is Maggie Gyllenhaal getting Dixie Chicked? A fan site for the actress was flooded with nasty e-mails and had to be temporarily shut down after Gyllenhaal told an interviewer that she felt the United States ought to examine its own role in causing the events of 9/11. In a subsequent statement released through her publicist, the actress said, "Not to have the courage to ask these questions of ourselves is to betray the victims of 9/11 ... It is always useful as individuals or nations to ask how we may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this conflict." (BBC News)

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Fight, fight, fight ... Paula Abdul, her lawyer and her "American Idol" colleagues are lashing out against an upcoming report on ABC News' "Primetime Live" alleging that Abdul gave special help to certain contestants on the show -- and even had a secret affair with one of them. The "Primetime" segment includes claims by former contestant Corey Clark, who was ousted from the show when it came to light that he was facing assault charges for abusing his sister, that he and Abdul had a thing goin' on, a claim he hopes to turn into a book deal. Abdul's fellow judge Simon Cowell told the press he thinks Clark's charges are "rubbish ... I think this guy's out there to publicize a book," though he did allow that Abdul spent more time "backstage with the contestants giving encouragement and everything else," adding, "that's not a bad thing." Abdul's lawyer calls Clark's charges "false" and "defamatory." ("Extra" via N.Y. Daily News)

Jackson trial update: Michael Jackson's former travel agent Cynthia Montgomery lent credence to his accuser's claim that Jackson's henchmen intended to send her family to Brazil to make them "disappear," testifying on Tuesday that she had been instructed by a Jackson associate to buy "one-way tickets" for the family. The trip plans were later dropped and the purchase never went through. Jackson's lawyers tried to undermine Montgomery's credibility by asking her pointed questions about her request for "use immunity" to prevent anything she said on the stand in this trial from being used against her in a separate case involving her potential involvement in a plan to secretly videotape Jackson during a chartered flight. But her testimony was supported by that of former Jackson videographer Hamid Moslehi, who told the court that, in the aftermath of the airing of the Martin Bashir documentary in which Jackson's young accuser appeared, he heard a Jackson associate say of the boy and his family, "We've got to get them out of the country." Moslehi also testified that the boy's mother was reluctant to make a video to bolster the singer's rep after the Bashir backlash. Debbie Rowe, Jackson's ex-wife and the mother of his two eldest children, is expected to take the stand on Wednesday. (N.Y. Daily News, N.Y. Post, CNN)

Sex and the "Friend"-ly guy? According to Us Weekly, David Schwimmer and Kim Cattrall may be an item. Yes, a romantic item. The magazine says the two have been sharing intimate meals together at the exclusive club Fifty in London, a city in which each of them has been appearing in stage roles. But Schwimmer's flack says, "I don't even think he knows Kim Cattrall," adding, more definitively, "He has never been to that restaurant." (Us Weekly via Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Also: A mustang horse has died after breaking its neck while filming a scene in the remake of the 1943 movie "Flicka." After an investigation, the City of Los Angeles' Department of Animal Services has ruled the fatal incident, the second serious injury to a horse on the film's set, accidental. (Reuters/Hollywood Reporter) ... Apple Computer is striking back at John Wiley & Sons, the publisher of a forthcoming unauthorized biography of its founder Steve Jobs, "iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business," by removing all Wiley books from the shelves of its stores. (Associated Press) ... HarperCollins has announced that it will publish the diaries of Ronald Reagan, which he meticulously kept during his presidency, next year -- either in an abbreviated version featuring only the highlights or a multivolume version including every jotted word. (The Washington Post) ... Conservative radio talker Laura Ingraham has announced that she's been diagnosed with breast cancer, has undergone surgery and is "hopeful for a bright future and a 'normal' life -- well, scratch the 'normal' part." (N.Y. Post) ... Britney Spears, now a few months into her first pregnancy, has landed dead last in a survey conducted by America Online asking more than 75,000 children ages 6 to 12 whether they thought Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani or Spears would be the coolest celebrity mom. Simpson topped the kids' list. (Page Six) ... Scandal-plagued "Insider" co-host Pat O'Brien is said to have been released from rehab on Sunday and is now expected to have a heart-to-heart sit-down with Dr. Phil and return to his own show on May 5, just in time for May sweeps. (E! Online) ... "The Simpsons" will air its 350th episode this Sunday on Fox, edging closer to outrunning long-running classics like "Dallas" (357 episodes), "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (361 episodes) and "My Three Sons" (369). (E! Online) ... Pamela Anderson has joined the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in its campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken by narrating a five-minute video condemning the company for alleged mistreatment of its livestock. (ABC News) ... Among the shows Bravo has announced for its upcoming season: a reality TV show focusing on Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston called "Being Bobby Brown" and a reality-show-canted '70s-'80s throwback called "Battle of the Network Reality Stars," (Hollywood Reporter) ... Us Weekly is running photos depicting Brad Pitt cavorting on an African beach with Angelina Jolie and her son, Maddox, claiming they prove that the "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" costars are a couple. (Us Weekly via Associated Press)

Money Quotes:
Robert Downey Jr. to British morning show host Lorraine Kelly during a recent appearance on her show: "I was just going to say your t--s look good." (Rush and Molloy)

Lil' Kim's reps, in a request that fans send e-mails on her behalf asking the judge in her perjury case for leniency in sentencing: "Do NOT criticize the justice system. Do NOT criticize the judge. Do NOT criticize the verdict. Do NOT criticize the court case or mention it in any way. Do NOT give opinions on what her sentence should be. Simply ask for leniency ... Do NOT mention Martha Stewart or any other celebrities (especially those in the music industry)." (N.Y. Post)

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-- Amy Reiter

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