The Fix

Jennings' likely heir. Courtney Love, back in court. Plus: The celebrity sex tape no one wanted.

By Salon Staff
August 22, 2005 6:02PM (UTC)
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Morning Briefing:
Love child: It's been too long since Courtney Love did something attention-getting enough to get media attention, but this weekend brought not just one but two juicy Love stories. First, she was ordered into rehab by a judge in Los Angeles for a drug relapse that violated the conditions of her probation. During the hearing, she oddly said she needed to "hit rock bottom" before turning her life around. Then, on Sunday, the British tabloid News of the World quoted her as saying she was pregnant with British comedian Steve Coogan's baby, and that Coogan is a major sex fiend. It may have all just been the drugs talking, as Coogan's representative has dismissed the entire story, saying her client "is astonished by this. It's ridiculous." (News of the World, The Sun, BBC)

It's not about size?: The new sex tapes featuring Tom Sizemore are apparently about as exciting as those nude pictures of Jude Law that came out last week. Heidi Fleiss, former madam and Sizemore girlfriend, says, "He needed Viagra when I was with him." Despite the many rumors floating through the Internet, the tapes don't feature Elizabeth Hurley, though future tapes are promised to include female celebrities of one stripe or another. Sizemore's manager insists, though, that the actor's not embarrassed by the tapes. "Tom said, 'It's the maraschino cherry on the banana split that's been my life.'" (N.Y. Daily News)


Gibson watch: More support for Charles Gibson to take over the news anchor position at ABC news, this time coming from Broadcasting & Cable editor in chief Max Robins. Robins notes that there are still plenty of other contenders, "but on many fronts, from his amazing range as a reporter to his live-interviewing chops -- maybe the best in the business -- Gibson is the clear choice for World News Tonight ... The fact is, Gibson is the best person to maintain what [ABC News president] Westin called 'the core values' of the network's blue-chip newscast. Wait a respectful amount of time, Mr. Westin. Then rename it 'World News Tonight With Charles Gibson.'" (B&C via Romenesko)

Scarlett Johansson has been mostly keeping mum about her relationship with Josh Hartnett, but ever since the two were seen together at the Live 8 concert in London last month, she's inching ever closer to admitting there's something there. She says "I really do try to keep my personal life private. But, yes, I was there with somebody who is very lovely." ... Hunter S. Thompson got the raucous send-off he'd wanted on Saturday, with fireworks and plenty of big names in attendance at his ranch near Aspen, Colo., from Bill Murray and Johnny Depp -- who paid $2.5 million for the event -- to Sen. John Kerry and George McGovern. The enormous monument built to fire mortars containing his ashes went off without a hitch, followed by a party that went all night. ... Victoria Gotti has announced she has cancer after keeping it a secret from her family (and the producers of the show "Growing Up Gotti") for months. She told her sons earlier this month, but had already been getting treatment on the sly for months. "I just wanted the boys to be OK and not get crazy and think that Mommy is dying." ... Bob Costas, who regularly sits in for Larry King, turned down the chance to do the show last week when the subject was going to be the BTK sentencing in Kansas. "I didn't think the subject matter of Thursday's show was the kind of broadcast that I should be doing," Costas said. "I suggested some alternatives, but the producers preferred the topics they had chosen."

Money Quote:
Elijah Wood on meeting Jack Nicholson backstage at an awards show and asking about the final installment of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy: "He said, 'God, it's so long. What happened to you at the end?' And I was like, 'Wait a second -- you didn't watch the end of the film?' He's like, 'No, I was in the car waiting for the kids. There were too many damn endings.'" (Contact Music)


Turn On:
The far-flung, food-focused travel show "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" visits the Malaysian peninsula (Travel Channel 10 p.m. EDT). Also, the mobsters-have-families-too series "Growing Up Gotti" returns for a third season (A&E 9 p.m. EDT).

-- Scott Lamb

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