The Fix

Spielberg upset at Cruise? Cruise trying to recruit Oprah? Plus: Speculation begins over Zellweger-Chesney split.



Salon Staff
September 21, 2005 5:05PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Spielberg no Cruise fan: After the mighty wave of Tomkat threatened to drown publicity for "War of the Worlds," you can hardly blame Steven Spielberg if he needs a little space from Tom Cruise. But there may be more to it than just the celebrity gossip angle. As the New York Post writes, "the director is still steamed at Cruise for ranting, during what were supposed to be promotional appearances for the Martian-invasion film, against the widespread use of Ritalin to treat unruly children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder." Cruise has been down-talking a lot of drugs lately, from Ritalin to antidepressants. "Steven and his wife [Kate Capshaw] have five children themselves and know some children for whom Ritalin does a lot of good. They took exception to what Tom said about the drug." Another source tells the Post, "They will not be working together again and Steven will never call him his friend." (N.Y. Post)

Is Oprah next on Cruise's list? First he jumps on her couch, then he takes her advice and proposes at the Eiffel Tower, now he's moving in next door. Is Tom Cruise stalking Oprah Winfrey, hoping to win the world's most powerful celebrity over to the side of Scientology? (Anyone needing proof of her power: Robert Chavez, the U.S. president and CEO of Hermès, recently got on the air to grovel and apologize for Oprah's being turned away from a Hermès store in Paris in June. Oprah started a boycott because she believed she was turned away for being black. Chavez announced the company has introduced sensitivity training and said, "I'd like to say to you that we're really sorry for all of those unfortunate circumstances that you encountered when you tried to visit our store in Paris." A source close to Cruise tells Star, "I think he really thinks he can convert her." Or, as one of Oprah's friends puts it, "Tom seems really eager to lure Oprah into the church because he feels she would be a fantastic spokesperson and attract a whole new set of followers." (Star Magazine, Forbes, AP)

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Heche not down with the power of prayer: With her mother touring the country talking to ex-gay groups and talking about how prayer made her daughter "go straight," Anne Heche is trying to straighten out a few things of her own on her Web site: "The ex-gay events right now make me sick," she says. "And for anyone who ever thought that Ellen [DeGeneres] and I broke it off because of sexuality, you couldn't be more mistaken. And for anyone who thought my mother's prayers had anything to do with me marrying a man, forget it." (AnneHeche.com via N.Y. Daily News)

Also:
Now that H&M has started taking the whole drug abuse thing seriously, British police have announced they'll be looking into allegations of Kate Moss' cocaine usage. Scotland Yard makes one thing clear right off the bat: " Police said any investigation would require more evidence than newspaper photos before it could proceed" After the news that Renée Zellweger filed to annul their marriage, country singer Kenny Chesney wants everyone to know he's all right. In good-ol'-boy fashion, he told Country Weekly, "I'm all right. I'm good. There have been better times, but I'll be OK." He didn't mention what Zellweger meant when she put down "fraud" as the grounds for the annulment, but the Boston Herald has some ideas: "Was Chesney gay?" In other celebrity-union news, Rebecca Romijn and actor Jerry O'Connell (who got his start as Vern Tessio in "Stand by Me") have announced their engagement. Romijn used to go as Romjin-Stamos during her former marriage to "Full House" actor John Stamos The New York media world -- from Matt Lauer and Katie Couric to Larry King and Bill O'Reilly -- gathered on Tuesday to remember Peter Jennings at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall. During a ceremony that included performances by Wynton Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma, Ted Koppel said, "I felt a thrill when I saw him. Not many people had that genuine charisma, that sort of animal magnetism that makes it difficult to focus on anyone else in the room" Legendary baseball player Yogi Berra has settled his suit with TBS over the use of his name in an advertising campaign for network's syndicated broadcasts of "Sex and the City." Berra filed a $10 million suit after learning that buses and subways were carrying ads asking if the definition of Yogasm is (a) a type of yo-yo; (b) sex with Yogi Berra; or (c) what Samantha has with a guy from yoga class. In the suit, Berra said he felt tainted by the ad and is a "deeply religious man who has maintained and continues to maintain a moral lifestyle." His lawyer would only say the settlement was "substantial."

Turn On:
Familiar format, new face: "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" starts at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC. Other new beginnings: "Lost" (ABC, 9 p.m. EDT), "America's Next Top Model" (UPN, 8 p.m. EDT) and "Law & Order" (NBC, 10 p.m. EDT) all begin new seasons, while the thrillers "E-Ring" (NBC, 9 p.m. EDT) and "Invasion" (ABC, 10 p.m.) both debut.

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-- Scott Lamb

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