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Rosie denounces Tom. Tom defends aliens. Plus: P.Diddy only "average" in bed?

By Salon Staff
Published June 29, 2005 10:16AM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Who's their daddy? The British tabloids are milking every drop they can out of that new book about Princess Diana, "Diana: The Last Word," written by her friend and "energy healer" Simone Simmons. The latest dribble, courtesy of the U.K. Sun? That Diana was forced by the royal family to get the DNA of both her children tested to verify that Prince Charles was truly their father. According to Simmons, the royals were particularly concerned about the provenance of Prince Harry, who has red hair just like Diana's admitted lover, James Hewitt. (Agence France Presse)

Speaking of dribbles from unsavory tomes ... Karrine Steffans' memoir, "Confessions of a Video Vixen," forthcoming from HarperCollins, reportedly contains Steffans (aka "Superhead") spilling details on her long line of famous lovers. And? Shaquille O'Neal was "nothing to complain about" and generous -- depositing $10,000 into Steffans' bank account after sharing an encounter with her. Sean "Puffy/P.Diddy" Combs was "average." And Bobby Brown was crazy in the sack -- literally: "He told me he was a member of Al Qaeda and that President Bush was looking for him," reports the experienced video star. (Rush & Molloy)

Cruise: We are not alone: It probably comes as no surprise at this point, but Tom Cruise says he believes in aliens -- for real. Asked by the German daily Bild if he thought they truly existed, Cruise replied, "Yes, of course. Are you really so arrogant as to believe we are alone in this universe? Millions of stars, and we're supposed to be the only living creatures? No, there are many things out there, we just don't know." (Bild via Reuters)

Et tu, Rosie? Even Rosie O'Donnell has stopped defending Tom Cruise. Here's an excerpt of a prose-poem she recently published on her blog:

after watching tom on o
and then everywhere else
in the free world
i think i may need to up my meds

shout out to brooke
stand tall girl
u saved a lot of women
by telling ur truth

my tommy needs to breathe
"heart humor and humility
will lighten up your heavy load"
said joni mitchell


Also: Paul McCartney is headlining the Live 8 concert in London -- sharing the opening number with Bono and U2 and returning at the end to close the show with "The Long and Winding Road" -- after reportedly threatening not to appear if given a less visible role. (This is London) ... The New York Review of Books has published a letter by Theodore John Kaczynski -- yes, the Unabomber, currently serving out several life sentences in a federal prison in Colorado -- taking issue with one writer's depiction of pygmies in ancient Egypt. The literary journal's editor, Robert Silvers, says that his staff took no special precautions when opening the notorious mail bomber's missive, admitting, "It only dawned on us afterward that it was the Theodore Kaczynski." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) ... AMC Entertainment is offering audiences who come to see "Cinderella Man" at their movie theaters their money back if they don't like the film. (Reuters) ... U2 has gone to court to sue a former stylist who wrote an unauthorized book about her experiences with the band over about $6,062 worth of memorabilia -- including Bono's hat, earrings and pants -- the band members say are rightfully theirs. (Reuters) ... Avril Lavigne and Sum 41 lead singer Deryck Whilbey are engaged, though they have not yet set a wedding date. (BBC News) ... Backstreet Boy Nick Carter has copped a plea and reached a deal related to his DUI arrest in California in March in which he has been given three years of informal probation, a $1,200 fine, and restricted driving privileges for 90 days and a requirement that he complete a three-month alcohol awareness program. (E! Online)

Money Quote:
Fugees member Pras on the reunion of his band for Tuesday night's BET Awards: "A lot of wounds is getting healed right now ... Tonight was a big surgery." (Reuters)

Turn On:
On Wednesday night, CNBC airs a look at everyone's favorite Internet auction site, "The eBay Effect: Inside a Worldwide Obsession" (8 p.m. EDT), and PBS offers an "American Masters" special on the a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock (check local listings).

-- Amy Reiter

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Salon Staff

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