The Fix

Cruise vows to "take action" against pranksters. Docs say DiCaprio cheated death. Plus: Saddam's Doritos fixation.

By Salon Staff
Published June 21, 2005 9:05AM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Just a junk-food junkie? Am I the only one who thinks it's strange that Saddam Hussein is getting play in the gossip world like he's the next Paris Hilton? First we had that whole tighty-whitey episode. Now? A bunch of U.S. soldiers who spent almost a year guarding the Butcher of Baghdad have spilled the quotidian details of his life in captivity to GQ magazine, and the tabloids are picking out the juiciest bits. Such as  He really likes Doritos, which he calls "Doris," and likes especially to sprinkle them with water to make them soggy before he eats them. He's a germaphobe who likes to clean things -- even his food, before eating it -- with baby wipes. He also enjoys a breakfast of Raisin Bran Crunch -- and don't even think of offering him two scoops of one of those sugary kids cereals instead. "No Froot Loops!" he's been known to command. (GQ via N.Y. Daily News)

Who's the jerk now? Looks like those British TV pranksters who squirted Tom Cruise with water before the London premiere of "War of the Worlds" on Sunday picked the wrong celeb to splash. The London police have said they'd leave it to Cruise to decide whether or not to press charges against the four fellows, who were filming a segment for a new Channel 4 comedy show in which people -- famous and not -- get squirted with water. And unfortunately for the pranksters, the actor is not one to let such things drop. "Tom wants to take action but we will decide in due course what that will be," said the actor's spokeswoman. "He is not just going to forget about it." (

Icky pic: A photo of Leonardo DiCaprio taken after he got slashed the other night with a broken beer bottle has made its way into the press. And? It's not for the squeamish. The entire side of the actor's face looks raw and caked with blood, and a corner of his eye appears to have been scratched as well. The actor received 12 stitches to repair the wound, which doctors say could have been deadly had his angry female attacker managed to nick him in the carotid artery. Witnesses say the attack was totally unprovoked. And DiCaprio's publicist explained, "The attacker struck him with a glass object before being restrained by witnesses. The woman was reportedly looking for an ex-boyfriend whom she had apparently physically assaulted on prior occasions." (

Also: Sarah Michelle Gellar has signed on to play the lead role in a modern-day adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland," based on a computer game in which a grown-up Alice battles enemies with playing cards and other curious gear. (BBC News)  Laurence Fishburne and Philip Seymour Hoffman are the latest two big-name actors poised to join the cast of "Mission: Impossible 3." They'll play the mentor to Tom Cruise's character and the villain, respectively. (Hollywood Reporter)  The producers behind "Ray" have reportedly bought the life story for the subject of their next biopic: the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield. Let the "get no respect" jokes roll. (Daily Variety via Reuters) ... A New York judge has promised to dismiss marijuana-possession charges against "Desperate Housewives" actor Cody Kasch if the 17-year-old manages to keep his nose clean for the next year. (Associated Press)  Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller died of throat cancer in Minneapolis on Friday. He was 41. (  Spin magazine has named Radiohead's "OK Computer" the top album of the last 20 years. (Knight Ridder Newspapers)  The family of Notorious B.I.G. says it has proof that the rapper was killed by Marion "Suge" Knight in retaliation for the death of Tupac Shakur -- and has filed a civil suit against the LAPD for allegedly shelving the investigation after learning that some rogue cops may have been involved. (N.Y. Post)  Martin Scorsese has reportedly let Jack Nicholson tinker with a few the script in a few of his scenes in ">Rush & Molloy)  On a (marginally) related note, this Page Six blind item really is a doozy: "WHICH blond stud, nicknamed the 'Butterscotch Stallion,' has a perverse sexual bent? He recently picked up a girl at a wedding and the two went back to his hotel room. When the woman asked if he had a condom, the actor replied: 'I don't want to have sex with you, but I do want to do something else' -- and proceeded to lick her buttocks for 'over two hours.'" (Page Six)

Money Quote:
A note left by a woman who reportedly broke into Pamela Anderson's Malibu home and rooted around in the actress' underwear drawer: "I'm not a lesbian, I just want to touch you." (

Turn On:
NBC broadcasts Katie Couric's big sit-down with runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks and her fiancé, John Mason, at 8 p.m. EDT, and the network follows it up at 9 p.m. EDT with "I Want to Be a Hilton," a new show hosted by Paris Hilton's mom, Kathy. Then at 10 p.m. EDT, you can choose between the season premieres of FX's "Rescue Me" and MTV's "The Real World." And PBS offers two chewy-sounding documentaries: "Point of View: The Education of Shelby Knox," about a Christian teen who becomes an outspoken sex ed advocate, and "Frontline: Private Warrior," about private contractors who work with the military (check local listings).

-- Amy Reiter

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