The Fix

Tom Cruise, out of control? Lohan, the next Princess Di? Plus: Jackson said to be "nervous" about prison-time prospect.

By Salon Staff
Published June 2, 2005 11:19AM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Cruisin' for a bruisin'? Sounds like you're not the only one who's been wondering what on earth has gotten into Tom Cruise lately. If Cruise's recent open talk about Scientology, a subject he used to tread delicately around, plus his random dissing of Brooke Shields, weren't enough to make Hollywood sit up and wonder what was going on, his over-the-top performance on "Oprah" the other week apparently was. The New York Times reports that Paramount is considering pulling the plug on Cruise's upcoming "Mission: Impossible III," which is due to start filming next month at an estimated cost of $150 million. According to the Times, "Some executives at Paramount and DreamWorks [the studios jointly behind Cruise's upcoming 'War of the Worlds'] have voiced concern that fans were becoming distracted" by Cruise's recent behavior. Meanwhile, his agents at CAA, Kevin Huvane and Rick Nicita, are reportedly going into major damage control mode, pleading with the actor's sister/manager, Lee Anne DeVette, to "rein Tom in," Radar magazine reports. After Cruise's "Oprah" appearance, the agents dialed up DeVette to "read her the riot act." Then Huvane reportedly got Cruise himself on the phone to remind him that "restraint can be a good thing." (N.Y. Times, Radar)

Where was Herbie when she needed him? Lindsay Lohan is recovering her composure after the Mercedes SL65 she was driving on Tuesday was chased and hit by a paparazzo apparently intent on getting his shot. The teen star "was trying to find the police when she was broadsided. She was very shaken up. As she was sitting in the car, other paparazzi kept snapping her picture and videotaping her," her lawyer told the New York Daily News. And though that paper reports that the actress was uninjured, its rival reporters over at the New York Post note that when she finally stepped out of her car, she was seen to be clutching her neck -- a move the photographers surrounding her assuredly must have captured on film. (Rush & Molloy, N.Y. Post)

Jackson trial update: The jurors in the Michael Jackson trial have received their instructions from Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin on Thursday. The jurors will likely get the case on Friday. Many of Jackson's family members -- including sisters Janet and LaToya and Jackson's older brothers -- are expected to appear in court to show support in the trial's final days. Meanwhile, Jackson himself is said to be nervous. "He realizes in the next few days there will be jury deliberations," his spokeswoman Raymone Bain told the press. "It's a very difficult situation to sit in there and know your life is in the balance. He has strong faith in God and in the judicial system. He knows his fate is in the hands of 12 jurors." Added Bain, "He's a grown man; he knows what life is about. Nobody needs to talk to him about what it would be like in prison." (Associated Press, CNN, Fox News, N.Y. Times)

Also: ABC's "20/20" is set to air an investigation into the increasingly wealthy family behind the celebrity-embraced Kabbalah Centers in Los Angeles, London, New York and Miami. (Page Six) ... 50 Cent has filed a lawsuit against three video production companies, asking the court to stop them from selling a DVD containing an interview he did for free. The rapper is also seeking damages and profits from sales of the DVD thus far. ( ... An amateur videotape has surfaced that shows the alleged beating of a fan by security at a Snoop Dogg concert in Seattle -- and reportedly lends credence to the fan's claim that he was brutalized. (DotMusic)

Money Quotes:
Director Danny Boyle on contending with Cameron Diaz's acne-pitted face when he worked with her on the 1997 film "A Life Less Ordinary": "Some days she looked stunning, while other days she looked terrible. Really rough. We had to get the make-up artist to work hard on Cameron and make sure she had good lighting that didn't show her up." (Birmingham Sunday Mercury via Page Six)

Ted Turner on what he sees as CNN's current pervy bent: "I would like to see us return to a little more international coverage on the domestic feed and a little more environmental coverage. And maybe a little less pervert of the day. I mean, there's a lot of perversion around, I know that, but is it really news? I mean, some of it is. I guess you've got to cover Michael Jackson, but not three stories about perversion at the lead of every half-hour." (CNN)

Nora Ephron lending credence to a certain cryptogram theory about clues her ex-husband Carl Bernstein and his colleague Bob Woodward left to point toward Deep Throat's identity as Mark Felt: "Bob and Carl wrote in 'All the Presidents Men' that Woodward's code name for their source -- before he was christened Deep Throat by Washington Post managing editor Howard Simons -- was My Friend. Hello." (Huffington Post)

Turn On:
Thursday brings the premiere of NBC's "Hit Me Baby One More Time" (9 p.m. EDT), in which all-but-forgotten bands and pop stars like A Flock of Seagulls and Tiffany compete for another shot at success.

-- Amy Reiter

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