The Fix

Crowe's hotel outburst captured on videotape. Shrinks condemn Cruise. Plus: Eve's porn problem.

By Salon Staff
Published June 28, 2005 11:12AM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
More than a chucked phone? The Mercer Hotel employee who found himself on the wrong end of Russell Crowe's notorious anger problem earlier this month is expected to file suit this week spelling out the details of the alleged assault. And it's not looking too good for Crowe. According to the suit, allegedly backed up by surveillance-camera footage, Crowe not only flung a phone at clerk Nestor (Josh) Estrada at close range, hitting him in the face and knocking him to the floor, but also chucked a ceramic object -- a bowl or a vase, depending on which report you believe -- at him, narrowly missing. Relieved of the ceramic object, Crowe then reportedly turned around, bowed deeply and struck a karate stance. And what was it that allegedly pissed Crowe off in the first place? Faced with the actor's growing wrath over phone troubles at the hotel, Estrada allegedly muttered under his breath, "Whatever." (N.Y. Daily News, N.Y. Post)

One night in Eve? Looks like R&B singer Eve may be getting the Paris Hilton treatment. A 5-year-old amateur video of the 26-year-old singer getting it on with her then-boyfriend, Bad Boy Entertainment producer Stevie J., and a sex toy is reportedly making its way around the Web. According to the New York Daily News, "The footage ... lasts only 30 seconds, but it's every bit as explicit as Paris Hilton's infamous tape." A spokeswoman for Eve calls the tape's release a "violation," adding that "legal action has been taken to have it removed immediately." (Rush & Molloy)

Nail rap: Paula Abdul is urging California lawmakers to toughen up cleanliness standards at nail salons. Abdul contracted a bacterial infection from a nail salon in 2004, an injury requiring more than a year of treatment, she says. "Being a professional dancer, I'm no stranger to pain, but this time the pain was so excruciating that even my hair touching my thumb caused me to scream," the "American Idol" judge said in an appearance before the California Senate Business and Professions Committee in Sacramento, which is considering a bill regulating nail salons. "I was publicly humiliated," Abdul said of her ordeal, widely ridiculed in the press. "That is why with an open heart and a selfless agenda, I implore you to pass this bill." (Associated Press)

In other Abdul-related news ... Corey Clark, the former "American Idol" contestant who claims to have had a romantic relationship with and to have received help from Paula Abdul, has reportedly been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence after cops nabbed him in the midst of a scuffle with a female record company executive in a California hotel room. Guests at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento reportedly alerted the police to a loud fight going on in a room Clark was sharing with his lady friend, a woman 11 years his senior. According to police, "It ended up as a food fight, throwing dishes. I think it was mutual, a back-and-forth kind of thing -- a verbal dispute that just got out of hand." (N.Y. Post)

Took 'em long enough: The American Psychiatric Association has finally issued a statement condemning Tom Cruise for labeling psychiatry a "pseudo science" in interviews promoting his new film "War of the Worlds": "It is irresponsible for Mr. Cruise to use his movie publicity tour to promote his own ideological views and deter people with mental illness from getting the care they need," APA president Dr. Steven Sharfstein told the press. "Published peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates that treatment of mental illness works. It is unfortunate that in the face of this remarkable scientific and clinical progress that a small number of individuals and groups persist in questioning its legitimacy." (All Headline News)

Also: Christina Aguilera reportedly treated her fiancé, Jordan Bratman, to a night in a private room with several handpicked strippers at New York's infamous Scores strip club for his birthday the other night. Aguilera is said to have put on a little show of her own as well. (Rush & Molloy) ... Tick, tick, tick: Graydon Carter has been talking to former "60 Minutes" honcho Don Hewitt about Hewitt becoming a consultant for Vanity Fair magazine. (Rush & Molloy) ... Well, that didn't take long: The New York Post and the Star are both speculating that Angelina Jolie may be pregnant with Brad Pitt's child, though, according to one "well-placed" industry source, "She's just in her first trimester." (Page Six) ... Bob Dylan has signed a deal with Starbucks allowing his new CD, "Dylan: Live at the Gaslight 1962," to be sold exclusively at the chain's coffee stores for 18 months following its release on Aug. 30. (Reuters) ... The Miss America Pageant, booted last year from network TV, has found a new home: Country Music Television, a division of MTV, which will air the pageant in January. (N.Y. Times) ... Friends of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy Jr. insist there's no truth to the claims by a friend of Diana's, "energy healer" Simone Simmons, that Diana and JFK Jr. had a steamy one-night stand back in 1995. Diana's former butler Paul Burrell calls Simmons' claim, made in her new book, "a fantastical story of nonsense." And one of JFK's buddies says he doubts the tale's verity because, had John actually slept with Diana, he "would have made some crack about it." (Rush & Molloy)

Money Quote:
Paris Hilton's new best friend Kimberly Stewart (spawn of Rod) on what she thinks is the sexiest part of a man's body: "His penis. No, right here: the Iliac crest. [Points to the spot between her hip and belly button.] Will you make me sound smart and say the Iliac crest instead of the penis? I'll love you forever." (Blender magazine)

Turn On:
On Tuesday night, ABC airs the first two parts of its six-hour miniseries about Rome at the time of Julius Caesar, "Empire" (9 p.m. EDT), and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith host the BET Awards '05 (BET, 8 p.m. EDT), airing live from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. Also, President Bush is scheduled to speak from Fort Bragg tonight at 8 p.m. EDT.

-- Amy Reiter

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