The Fix

Brad's illness way worse than the flu. Cameron's topless pic trial kicks off. Britney's old neighbor Tom Arnold tells all.

Published July 14, 2005 8:41PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Worse than the flu: Brad Pitt has been released from Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he checked himself in Monday night complaining of flu-like symptoms. Those symptoms, according to his publicist, turned out to be "a mild case of viral meningitis," a serious but rarely fatal illness involving the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord. Most people recover from it within a week. Pitt's publicist says the actor is now home and "doing well." (Reuters, Associated Press)

Tom Arnold, concerned neighbor: Tom Arnold is worried about his old neighbor, Britney Spears -- and he's aired his concerns to the New York Times. It seems Arnold and his wife used to live in the same building as Spears and her husband, Kevin Federline. One night, he told the Times' Boldface column, "I came home and Britney was passed out in the hallway. It was like 8 o'clock at night and I tried to help her and she's like, 'I'm O.K. I'm just locked out.'" Arnold said that Spears, still lying on the ground, responded to his questions politely -- "yes, sir," "no, sir." The next day, he said he pulled Federline aside to give him a few marital tips. "I felt so sorry for her," Arnold said, adding, "She just wants to be loved by somebody." (Boldface)

Cameron's headed to court: The trial of the photographer accused of trying to blackmail Cameron Diaz over topless, S&M-inspired photos of the actress taken before she was famous kicked off in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday. Diaz has accused the photographer of trying to pressure her into paying $3.5 million to take the 1992 photos off the market -- and says the photographer, John Rutter, forged her signature on a model release form to make his threat seem more real. But in his opening statement to the court, Rutter's lawyer said, "This is a case of a powerful movie star seeking to crush and destroy John Rutter and forever bury and conceal embarrassing photos -- and to do it without paying a cent to John Rutter." The trial is expected to last two weeks, and Diaz is expected to testify. (BBC News)

Oh, Emmy! The Emmy nominations are in. And? "Desperate Housewives" and "Will & Grace" got 15 nods each. "Everybody Loves Raymond" got 13. "Lost" got 12. Click here for more. (Associated Press,

Also: Several online betting sites are picking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as a clear favorite to take the presidency in 2008. One site,, has her listed as a 7-2 favorite over potential candidates including John Edwards, John Kerry and Rudy Giuliani. (N.Y. Daily News) ... Celine Dion's husband, René Angélil, has reportedly lost $350,000 in the high-roller room of Las Vegas' Bellagio Hotel over the last few nights alone. (Page Six) ... The lawyer husband of ex-Playboy Bunny Carrie Leigh is threatening HarperCollins, the publisher of Jennifer Saginor's new memoir, "Playground: A Childhood Lost Inside the Playboy Mansion," in which Saginor claims Leigh sexually molested her when she was but 14 years old, with "the biggest libel case there ever was." (Page Six) ... DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures have announced plans to go ahead with a live-action movie version of "Transformers," to be released on July 4, 2007. (E! Online) ... Martha Stewart's new business handbook, "Martha's Rules," will be released by Rodale publishing in October 2005. (PRNewswire) ... "Battlestar Galactica" ads touting the show's second season and the featuring stars Tricia Helfer and Grace Park are reportedly being widely stolen by collectors; they're disappearing at a rapid pace from bus shelters around Los Angeles. (Sci Fi Channel PR)

Money Quote:
German TV talk show host Oliver Poucher after he compared Mariah Carey to a stuffed sausage while interviewing her on his show, "Gottschalk & Friends": "We were discussing the cellulite Ms Carey has on her legs. I only said what the public was thinking." (The Scoop)

Turn On:
ABC News takes a look at online dating, focusing on the true tales of a series of young women, ages 25-38, as they look for a mate, in "Hooking Up," which has its series premiere Thursday at 9 p.m. EDT. And Sci Fi wraps up its three-part miniseries "Stephen King's Rose Red" at 9 p.m. EDT.

-- Amy Reiter

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By Salon Staff

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