The Fix

"Sith" sets records. Tom Cruise disses Brooke Shields. Duritz into call girls?

Published May 23, 2005 8:22PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Broken records: The Sith has truly gotten its revenge. The latest -- and lastest -- "Star Wars" flick took in a record-setting $158.5 million in four days. The movie raked in $124.7 million on Thursday through Saturday alone, besting the record held by 2002's "Spider-Man," which took in $114.8 million in its first three days of release. But the Thursday opening of "Star Wars" did prevent it from swiping the record for best opening weekend (Friday-Sunday) ever from "Spider-Man," which opened on a Friday. George Lucas' latest took in only $108.5 million over the weekend, landing it a solid second place in that category. (Associated Press)

Cruisin' for a  Tom Cruise talking trash about his buddy Brooke Shields? Well, yes. But only because he wants to help her. You see, Cruise tells "Access Hollywood" in an interview airing on Thursday, Shields really oughtn't to have taken the antidepressant Paxil to treat the debilitating post-partum depression she reveals in her memoir, "Down Came the Rain." Nope. Had the actress eschewed drugs in favor of vitamins, as Cruise's beloved Church of Scientology prescribes, the actor feels his friend would have been far better off. "When you talk about emotional, chemical imbalances in people, there is no science behind that. You can use vitamins to help a woman through those things," Cruise says, adding, "Here is a woman, and I care about Brooke Shields because I think she is an incredibly talented woman. You look at, where has her career gone?" ("Access Hollywood" via Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Keeping count: Who knows if he really did it? But Adam Duritz probably didn't count on jailed former escort agency honcho Jason Itzler telling the press that the Counting Crows frontman liked to "hire four or five girls at a time and spend $10,000 or $20,000 a throw." Added Itzler, "I'm only revealing his name 'cause I don't think it's gonna hurt his career." Duritz's manager called Itzler's charges baloney, and the musician's rep said, "I find this hard to believe. He's a rock star, for God's sake. He gets some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood." Duritz counts both Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston among his ex-squeezes. With friends like that  (Page Six)

Jackson trial update: I know, I know  it seems as if the Michael Jackson trial has only just begun, but prosecutors in the case say the defense may wrap up its case as early as Tuesday, paving the way for the prosecution's rebuttal, then defense response and closing arguments. Before the defense rests, however, both Jay Leno and Chris Tucker are expected to testify -- Leno to discuss a phone call he once received from Jackson's accuser and Tucker on his friendship with the boy. But the trial will not end without one last bit of controversy: The trial judge says he may sanction Jackson attorney Thomas A. Mesereau Jr. for playing games with a waiver of privilege that allowed former Jackson attorney Mark Geragos to take the stand on Friday. The judge said he felt "deceived by Mr. Mesereau." (Associated Press, L.A. Times)

Also: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has told his biographer Laurence Leamer that he suspects Sylvester Stallone once tried to paint him to the public as a Nazi sympathizer, but that he "felt somewhat responsible" for Stallone's alleged actions because he dissed the "Rocky" star in a 1988 interview with Playboy magazine. (Rush & Molloy) ... Corey Clark, the "American Idol" reject who has accused Paula Abdul of having sex with him and helping him in his quest for "Idol"-hood, is now spreading rumors about host Ryan Seacrest, telling Steppin' Out magazine, "There's a rumor going around that he [Seacrest] was doing some things with ["Idol" judge] Simon [Cowell]." (Rush & Molloy) ... The six-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bathroom D.C. home that Bill and Hillary Clinton bought in January 2001 for $2.8 million is now valued at $4.2 million, according to D.C. tax assessors. (N.Y. Post) ... Motley Crue's Vince Neil is getting into the wine biz. His Vince Vineyards label will launch with 500 cases of 2003 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and 250 cases of 2003 Sonoma Chardonnay, produced by vintner Harry Parducci at Adler Fels Winery in Santa Rosa. (Associated Press) ... Veteran actress Shirley Jones has received an honorary degree from Washington & Jefferson College, the school she left decades ago to become a Broadway, film and TV star. (Associated Press) ... Ellen DeGeneres won the Daytime Emmy for best talk show host on Friday night, and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" won the best talk show award for the second straight year. (Associated Press) ... "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee made a rare public appearance to accept an award presented by the Los Angeles public library on Thursday. (BBC News) ... Kylie Minogue's breast cancer surgery in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday has been deemed a success and she's now out of the hospital and said to be recovering apace. (Reuters)

Money Quotes:
Warren Beatty on why he suspects Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of positioning himself for a presidential run: "It's not fooling anybody to be running around raising money from Wall Street, K Street and rich Republicans all over the country. We are not the governor's dumbbells." (Reuters)

Denis Leary to the graduating class of Emerson College: "I didn't prepare a bunch of stuff to say to you guys because I know you want to get out of here and get drunk." (Boston Herald via Page Six)

Turn On:
On Monday night, "24" (Fox, 8 p.m. EDT) has its season finale, as do "Still Standing" (CBS, 8:30 p.m. EDT), "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 9 p.m. EDT), "Everwood" (The WB, 9 p.m. EDT), "Las Vegas" (NBC, 9 p.m. EDT), "Medium" (NBC, 10 p.m. EDT) and "CSI Miami" (CBS, 10 p.m. EDT). Look for recaps of "24" and "Everwood" on Salon on Tuesday.

-- Amy Reiter

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