No college, no college soccer: Despite what the Sun newspaper may have said (quoted in Thursday's Fix), Tom Cruise didn't hurt his knee playing college soccer, because Tom Cruise didn't go to college. A source said to the Sun that Cruise told Victoria and David Beckham that "he played for his college team and dreamed of making it as a professional. But unfortunately he injured his knee and wasn't able to play any more." In reality, he left directly from high school to pursue acting, and went from a bit player in "Guys and Dolls" to the international star we know and fear today. And the knee injury that ended his dreams of professional soccer was actually a wrestling injury -- not incidentally, it was the injury that prompted him to get into acting in the first place. (Yahoo! Movies)
No wonder he's tired: The unexplained "other medical issues," besides exhaustion, that forced Eminem to cancel his European tour earlier this week have finally been given a name: drug addiction. His publicist announced today that the rapper is being treated for an addiction to sleep medication "in the hospital under doctors' care." The abrupt cancellation didn't win him many fans in the U.K.; Lord Henry Mountcharles, who owns Slane Castle in Ireland where Eminem was set to perform, basically called the rapper a wimp, saying, "I don't think the Rolling Stones or U2 would cancel a section owing to nervous exhaustion." (BBC)
It's the movies, stupid: Who's to blame for the movie industry's current slump? Tired of being lumped in as a part of the problem, movie theater owners are trying to point out that there may be a very simple reason box office sales so far this year are down to $5.57 billion, as opposed to $6.05 billion for the same period last year. "Here's what we know about 2005: The movies are not as good," says John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners. Fithian also points out that comparing the two years yields a misleading look at the industry, saying "the industry has experienced a temporary drop-off compared to 2004, the biggest box office year in movie history." (Washington Post)
The Plagiarator?: The book proposal for "The Deliberator," a book about the Michael Jackson trial written by juror No. 1, Ray Hultman, contained a few lines that would have been familiar to Vanity Fair readers -- they were lifted directly from Maureen Orth's enormous April 2005 piece on the trial. Some of the sentences appear lifted word for word: "Up close, Michael Jackson's appearance is amazing. He wears a black pageboy wig, and his face is caked with white makeup, which conceals a prosthesis that serves as the tip of his nose. One person, who has seen him without the device, says he resembles a mummy with nostril holes." While the agent representing the book says the passage appears only in an earlier draft and the person responsible for lifting it has been fired, Orth herself has a different take: "This is just another indication of how thoroughly flawed that process was and how deeply celebrity affects a jury." (Page Six)
Snoop Dogg -- rapper, actor, porn producer -- is in trouble with some L.A. parents for cherry-picking talent from other teams for his new Snoop Youth Football League. Snoop was a volunteer coach for a few seasons with the Rowland High School Raiders, but has since split to form his own league, which so far has eight teams, and has been taking a lot of the talent with him With the return on expensive movie newspaper ads dwindling, Hollywood is planning major cuts in advertising, changes that will be especially painful to big papers like the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. More than just bad financial news, the losses in ad revenue might have a big effect on both papers' cultural reporting Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux, whose recent album is selling well, has gone AWOL and is being tracked down by her record company. Universal Classics has even hired a detective to look for her, but says so far she's "proving impossible to track down." Peyroux also disappeared after the debut of her first album, and spent seven years playing music on the streets of Paris Despite not winning "American Idol" -- in fact, he mysteriously dropped out of the show in the early rounds -- Mario Vazquez has signed a deal with J Records, home of previous winners Fantasia and Ruben Studdard. (AP)
Rapper Kanye West, calling for an end to gay-bashing in hip-hop: "Not just hip-hop, but America just discriminates. And I wanna just, to come on TV and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, 'Yo, stop it.'"
The title tells you everything you need to know: "Gene Simmons' Rock School" debuts tonight on VH-1 at 11 p.m. EDT. IFC presents three short new comedy series tonight (all reviewed here), "Hopeless Pictures," "Greg the Bunny" and "The Festival," starting at 10 p.m. EDT. And on Sunday, it's the season/series finale of "Six Feet Under" (HBO, 9 p.m. EDT).
-- Scott Lamb