The Fix

"Desperate Housewives" kid nabbed in pot bust. Sticky testimony in Jackson trial.

Published May 19, 2005 8:10PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Lesson of the day, courtesy of Cody Kasch: If you're co-starring on one of the hottest shows on TV, it might be a good idea to smoke your doobie in private. Kasch, the 17-year-old actor who plays Zach Young on "Desperate Housewives," was nabbed smoking marijuana outside a bar in New York's East Village late Tuesday night, and issued a desk appearance by the cop who spotted him. Reporters immediately camped themselves outside the Queens apartment in which Kasch had been staying before his arrest, but the actor is now believed to have flown back home to California. Meanwhile, Kasch's manager, Scott Bankston, insists that his client was not lighting up, but rather simply hanging out with friends who were. "He was with a group of kids and one of them was smoking pot, or was about to smoke a joint, when an undercover police officer arrested all of them," Bankston told the New York Times, saying he anticipated that the charges will be dropped. Kasch, he says, is "very upset about all this." (Newsday, N.Y. Daily News, N.Y. Times)

Jackson trial update: Michael Jackson's 12-year-old cousin Rijo Jackson provided some testimony that might prove sticky for the prosecution on Wednesday, telling the court that, when he was 10 and staying at Neverland, he saw his elder cousin's young accuser and the boy's younger brother masturbating while they watched naked women cavorting on a TV porn channel. "I saw them go to the TV, turn to a channel that had naked girls, and they did nasty stuff," Rijo Jackson told the jury, later clarifying what he meant by nasty stuff and adding, "They said why didn't I do that, and I said I didn't want to because it was nasty ... wrong." Young Rijo said he escaped from the suite he was sharing with the boys to his uncle's room, and tried to tell the elder Jackson what was going on, but said Jackson told him he didn't believe the boys would do that because they were "cool." (Jackson's young accuser has previously testified that he never masturbated until Jackson taught him how.) Rijo also testified that he saw the accuser and his brother steal money from a chef, some plastic crystals and a deck of cards from a ranch manager's office, and wine from Jackson's bedroom. Meanwhile, there's been speculation that the defense may rest its case earlier than expected, possibly as early as next week, after paring down its extensive list of celebrity Jackson-endorsers to Larry King, Jay Leno and Chris Tucker, though even appearances by those three are not definite at this time. (Reuters, N.Y. Daily News, N.Y. Post, CBS News, CNN)

The Beat goes on: A new play by a dead playwright? Well, not exactly, but Jack Kerouac's agent is about to publish -- for the first time -- a long-forgotten play by his late client that has been lying around in his files for decades. "Beat Generation," written the same year as Kerouac's seminal Beat novel "On the Road," will be published as a book in October -- and will be excerpted in the July issue of Best Life magazine. "It's quite different," Kerouac's agent, Sterling Lord, said of the play, "but it conveys the mood of the time extraordinarily well, and also the characters are authentically drawn. Some people have compared it to some of the great European playwrights." At the time it was written, in 1957, however, it was little appreciated. "Lillian Hellman turned it down," Lord recalls. "We even sent it to Marlon Brando," who apparently took a pass as well. (Page Six)

Also: Charlie Sheen is denying reports that he's rebounded from wife Denise Richards with a "hot brunette" who visits him regularly at his Encino, Calif., home. (Rush & Molloy) ... A woman falsely claiming to be Beyoncé has been calling around to publicists for various high-end companies, trying to score free products. (Page Six) ... Actor Frank Gorshin, best known for playing the Riddler on the "Batman" TV show in the '60s, has died after a struggle with lung cancer, emphysema and pneumonia. (Associated Press) ... Kylie Minogue will undergo surgery for breast cancer in Australia this week following confirmation by doctors that the disease has not spread to other parts of her body. (CNN) ... Kenny Chesney says he never officially proposed to his new bride, Renee Zellweger, because "she wouldn't let me, really. She just told me to name a town and place and she'd be there." (Associated Press) ... CBS has announced that it will cancel the Wednesday edition of "60 Minutes," insisting that the decision to yank it had nothing to do with the content of the scandal-plagued show, but rather with its ratings. (Washington Post)

Money Quotes:
Coldplay's Chris Martin at a camera-clustered series of back-to-back press interviews in New York on Tuesday night: "All these cameras make us feel like we're on 'The Apprentice.' We're not on 'The Apprentice' ... We're Coldplay, for God's sake." (Reuters)

Noah Wyle on leaving the role of Dr. Carter behind after spending one-third of his life on "ER": "It's like pangs. You're actually kind of happy about the fact you don't feel anything. And then you'll hear [an "ER"] promo on the TV in the other room and your heart just takes a jump." (USA Today)

Lars von Trier on President Bush at the premiere of his new film, "Manderlay," at Cannes: "Mr. Bush is an a**hole." (The Scoop)

Turn On:
Thursday night is another big night for season finales: Dr. John Carter (Noah Wyle) bids adieu on "ER" (NBC, 10 p.m. EDT). Quentin Tarantino directs the two-hour season ender of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 8 p.m. EDT). And "The O.C." (Fox, 8 p.m. EDT), "Will & Grace" (NBC, 8 p.m. EDT) and "The Apprentice" (NBC, 9 p.m. EDT -- go, Kendra!) wrap things up as well. (Look for reviews of "The O.C.," "The Apprentice" and "CSI" on Salon first thing Friday morning.)

-- Amy Reiter

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