The Fix

Martha riles the help. Good news for In Touch, bad news for Newsweek. Plus: Eminem taunts Mariah.

By Salon Staff
August 16, 2005 5:12PM (UTC)
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Morning Briefing
Good help is hard to find: With 14 days still left to serve of her house arrest, the two dozen staff members of Martha Stewart's estate in Bedford, N.Y., are apparently not a happy bunch. One disgruntled hired hand recently called in to Page Six to let off some steam: "There's no health insurance and no retirement benefits, and now she has canceled the Poland Spring contract, so we don't even get free water. All this while she bought herself an Aston Martin and a French bulldog." The staff grumbles come on the heels of last week's news that Heidi Diamond, an executive who helped steer Stewart's business through the rough patch of her prison term, had announced she was leaving. She's apparently miffed over being elbowed out by reality TV producer Mark Burnett, and her departure makes her the third high-ranking executive to leave Martha within a year. Burnett's reality TV series featuring the lifestyle diva, "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart," begins on Sept. 21. Although the show has already finished production, there's still no telling what Stewart's catchphrase kiss-off for the series is going to be. Since Trump's blunt "You're fired" line isn't really Martha's style, speculation seems to favor some kind of cooking metaphor, as in "You're toast," "You're cooked," or "Your goose is cooked." (Page Six, N.Y. Post, USA Today)

A shambles: It's been widely reported that Babyshambles lead singer Pete Doherty was stopped by customs officials in Norway and held for four hours last Friday, causing the band to miss their main stage performance at a music festival there. In the end, Doherty and a roadie were released after each paying a $1,200 fine -- one for possession of 1.7g of crack cocaine and the other for 1.5g of heroin. The incident has once again raised the question: Why is Kate Moss going out with this guy? After the Friday incident, people close to Moss -- including Jude Law's ex, Sadie Frost -- have apparently again been urging her to dump him. Moss' mom has even nicknamed him "Crackhead." Doherty, in lucid moments, understands he's skating on thin ice. Two good Samaritans who stopped to help him change a tire last week got an earful about the couple's troubles. "They were making chit-chat about the weather but then he started going off on one about how much he loved Kate, and how lucky he was to have her. He said he was scared of losing her because of the arguments they've had." (NME, N.Y. Daily News, The Mirror)


More Moores?: Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have been a go-to couple for tabloid "She's pregnant!" stories for a while, but now Demi is making it clear she wants a baby for real. In the September Harper's Bazaar, she says that while there are no plans for a wedding just yet, she's hoping to "expand" the family. "I feel that we are and that we don't need something formal, so to do so isn't a big deal one way or another," she says. "The next phase? The growth of my partnership (with Kutcher). The growth of our union. The growth of our family. Which is all the things we truly desire ... to expand our family." (AP, MSNBC)

Tom Hanks was greeted by protestors -- including nuns -- in the English town where he is currently filming "The Da Vinci Code." A cathedral in Lincoln is being used for the scenes supposedly taking place in Westminster Abby, but some local clergy are up in arms about it. Sister Mary Michael, a 61-year-old nun who led a 12-hour prayer vigil in front of the Lincoln Cathedral, says, "I just don't think it is right that they are filming this story here. I know the Bishop and Dean argue that it is fiction -- and it might even be brilliant fiction -- but it is against the very essence of what we believe." In the world of publishing, celebrity magazines are a growth industry. Sparked by Brangelina and TomKat, celebrity newsweeklies posted big circulation gains in the first half of 2005 -- In Touch alone grew almost 50 percent. Newsweeklies, meanwhile, saw their numbers drop, with Newsweek's newsstand sales going down 14 percent It's Madonna's birthday: The pop diva turns 47 on Tuesday. Her next album, "Confessions on a Dancefloor," will be her 10th, and comes out Nov. 15 Vince Vaughn has been adamant in denying that there was anything romantic going on between him and Jennifer Aniston on the set of "The Break-Up." Not only is he good friends with both Jen and Brad, he admits he loathes the idea of commitment: "I've never been that big on having to go home with the same girl every night." Eminem has been taunting Mariah Carey during his recent tour, playing phone messages she left him to audiences everywhere. "I heard you were getting back with your ex-wife," she says. "Why won't you see me? Why won't you call me? You're not calling me " The messages apparently come from 2001, when Eminem claims the two were an item. Carey has vehemently denied that the two were ever together.

Money Quote:
Director Tony Scott, whose credits include "Top Gun" and "True Romance," on his priorities as a filmmaker: "Everything I do is very solid. We always get the money back, plus. I shouldn't be saying this, but I think what's most important to me is that people pay me and give me the budget to support my habit, which is trying to touch different worlds and show people these worlds." (


Turn On:
What happens when a former Mvtley Cr|e drummer goes back to the University of Nebraska and tries out for the marching band? Find out in the new reality series, "Tommy Lee Goes to College" (ABC, 9 p.m. EDT). Get your fill of celebrity-watching with the "Teen Choice Awards" (Fox, 8 p.m. EDT).

-- Scott Lamb

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