The Fix

Cruise and Holmes get engaged, hold press conference. Oprah, most powerful celeb. Omarosa, the next Jerry Springer?

Published June 17, 2005 9:49AM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Threat turns to promise: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are engaged. Cruise reportedly popped the question to his little ladylove atop the Eiffel Tower in the wee hours of Friday morning. Then he held a news conference, with Holmes by his side, sporting a mammoth rock on her ring finger. "Yes, I proposed to her," he confirmed. "It was early this morning at the Eiffel Tower, so I haven't slept at all ... Today is a magnificent day for me; I'm engaged to a magnificent woman." Why did he choose that particular spot to propose? "I've never been to the Eiffel Tower. It's Paris, it's a beautiful city, it's very romantic," he told reporters, adding that he and his betrothed have yet to set a date or make any solid wedding plans. Holmes, for her part, said nothing during the press conference, though afterward, she did muster the enthusiasm to tell reporters she was "so happy." (BBC News, Reuters)

Compounding their joy: Tom Cruise's other good news of the week: He's No. 10 on Forbes magazine's list of the 100 most powerful celebrities. Ahead of him (in order) are Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson, George Lucas, Shaquille O'Neal, Steven Spielberg, Johnny Depp, Madonna and Elton John. (

Sharpton vs. Nader? Al Sharpton has lashed out at Ralph Nader for using the N-word during a speech at a Washington fundraiser on Wednesday night. Griping about having been kept off the ballot in certain Southern states during his 2004 presidential campaign, Nader said it made him feel like a victim of the old Jim Crow laws. "I felt like a [N-word]," Nader told the crowd, explaining later that he'd meant it "as a word of defiance" -- as the Black Panthers did in the '60s. But Sharpton said, "He's not a Black Panther," adding that, while he doesn't think Nader's a racist, "he ought to be sensitive that he does not sanitize that word." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Through a mother's eyes: You may think that perky-nosed Nicole Kidman's a dead ringer for Elizabeth Montgomery in "Bewitched," but Kidman's mother just doesn't see the resemblance. "My mom said, 'I don't think you look very much like her. I think Reese Witherspoon looks more like her,' " Kidman told Entertainment Weekly magazine. (Entertainment Weekly via Rush & Molloy)

Quality programming: Former "Apprentice" wannabe Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth has scored her own show, a trash-fest produced by the people who brought you "The Jerry Springer Show." "We're going to take all that attitude she has and have her turn it toward people who deserve to have their heads handed to them," said one producer. "Love her or hate her, you won't be able to turn her off. She's going to be bigger than Oprah." (Page Six)

Also: The judge in the Michael Jackson case has ordered that Jackson's passport be returned to the star, but has not yet ruled on the return of the musician's porn stash, photographs and other items currently in the district attorney's custody. (N.Y. Post) ... Tom Hanks has bought the movie rights to the Deep Throat story from Mark Felt and his family. (The Guardian)

Money Quote:
Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks on her decision to disappear days before her wedding was scheduled to take place: "I was very ashamed. And felt so guilty for the people that I have hurt. And, you know, how this has affected many people's lives. But at the same time, it's the best mistake I ever made. It allowed me to realize that I desperately needed help. And it humbled me enough to ask for that help." It's netted her a reported $500,000 book/TV deal, too. (NBC News via N.Y. Daily News)

Turn On:
On Friday evening, VH1 brings you a five-hour marathon walk down memory lane, "100 Greatest Kid Stars," starting at 5 p.m. EDT.

-- Amy Reiter

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By Salon Staff

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