The Fix

Jethro from "The Beverly Hillbillies" picks a fight with Ron Howard. Cameron Diaz battles the National Enquirer. And Britney Spears says, "[pregnancy] sex is crazy good!"

By Salon Staff
Published June 3, 2005 11:20AM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Diaz vs. the Enquirer: Cameron Diaz has filed a $10 million suit against the National Enquirer claiming it libeled her by publishing a photo of her embracing an MTV producer under the headline "Cameron Caught Cheating." Diaz says that the photo was snapped as she and the producer, Shane Nickerson, and a couple of other colleagues were leaving a Los Angeles sound studio and exchanged "brief goodbye hugs." According to the suit, "she and Nickerson did not engage in any kissing or making out." Nickerson, who is married, is also a plaintiff in the suit, as is his mother-in-law, a Connecticut schoolteacher who says she became "emotionally and physically distraught" after a National Enquirer reporter called her out of class to ask her how she felt about Nickerson leaving her daughter for Diaz. (Associated Press, N.Y. Post)

Jackson trial update: Both sides in the Michael Jackson trial gave their closing arguments on Thursday, each painting a different portrait of the man the jury is set to judge -- and the family accusing him of molestation. "Michael Jackson molested [his accuser] and many other boys," Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen told the jury, adding that, while the boys whooped it up at Neverland during the day, "At night, they entered into Michael Jackson's bedroom, which is a veritable fortress. They entered into the world of the forbidden [where] they learned about human sexuality with someone who was only too willing to be their teacher." Zonen illustrated his claim with projected images of girlie magazines and other items found in Jackson's home. Defense attorney Thomas Mesereau responded by branding his client's accusers "con artists" and "actors" whose case is based on "lies, innuendo and exaggeration." "This case makes no sense," Mesereau told the jury. Deliberations are expected to begin on Friday. (Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, N.Y. Post)

Jethro comes out swinging: Max Baer Jr., who played Jethro in "The Beverly Hillbillies," is lashing out at Ron Howard over the unfavorable portrayal of his father, prizefighter Max Baer Sr., in Howard's new movie, "Cinderella Man." "I have great respect for Ronny Howard," Baer Jr. told the New York Daily News. "But he never called me for any factual information about my father. They distorted his character. They didn't have to make him an ogre to make [Russell Crowe's character] Jimmy Braddock a hero." Counters Howard spokeswoman Leslee Dart, "The script was written from the point of view of the Braddock family. To them, Max Baer was a real threat. Ron felt that was how the character needed to be drafted." (Rush & Molloy)

Britney in heat: You might think that the really, really bad ratings for her new reality TV show would send Britney Spears a message about how much the public wants to hear her talk about her sex life. But, alas, you'd be wrong. And so Spears has opted to holler to the world, via People magazine, about the effect of pregnancy hormones on her boudoir activities. "I think it's better than it was before. I think it's the best. [The] sex is crazy good!" she shares. "My hormones are going crazy." (People via N.Y. Post, Media Life Magazine)

Also: White Stripes frontman Jack White has announced that he and model Karen Elson were married on Wednesday "on the confluence of three rivers -- the Rio Negro, the Solimones and the Amazon -- in the Amazon basin in the city of Manaus, Brazil ... by a traditional Shaman priest on a canoe at the exact point where the three rivers meet." ( ... Though they filed for divorce three months ago, Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen have issued a joint announcement about the birth of their daughter on Wednesday. "We're thrilled to finally meet our beautiful daughter," they said. Sheen was in the delivery room as the baby, Lola, was born. (BBC News) ... Paul McCartney is writing a children's book, "High in the Clouds: An Urban Furry Tale," which is slated for release by Penguin in October. (Reuters) ... A Massachusetts judge issued an arrest warrant for Bobby Brown on Wednesday after the singer failed to appear in court for a hearing about support for two children he fathered out-of-wedlock. (Associated Press)

Money Quote:
Jerry Springer on who he'd tap to host "The Jerry Springer Show" if, for some reason, he opted not to do it anymore: "Natalie Portman! Or Woody Allen. Anyone could do it. Anyone. All I do is, I go, 'You did WHAT?' 'Come on out!' 'We'll be right back.' A dolt could do what I do." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Turn On:
IFC offers a half-hour documentary on "Reservoir Dogs," "Reservoir Dogs Revisited," on Friday night at 10:30 p.m. EDT, followed by the airing of the 1992 Quentin Tarantino film itself at 11 p.m. And on Sunday night, HBO offers the season premiere of "Entourage" at 9 p.m., followed at 9:30 by the series premiere of Lisa Kudrow's "The Comeback," which, you should be warned, is getting some really awful reviews along with some tepid ones. Also on Sunday night, the Tony Awards, on CBS at 8 p.m. EDT.

-- Amy Reiter

Bookmark The Fix here. To send a hot tip to The Fix, click here.

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------