The Fix

Depp's odd present to Kate Moss. Marilyn vs. Tolkien: Which dead celebrities are worth more. Plus, Star Trek alert: Sulu comes out of the closet.

Published October 28, 2005 1:00PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Kate, free: It's been a month, but Kate Moss is out of rehab. She left the Arizona clinic she's been in since the whole doing cocaine on camera scandal broke, and is returning with a lot of support, including, weirdly, a mirror that Johnny Depp gave her to help her "face herself." (CNN)

Dead celebrity pay checks: Forbes has put out its annual list of the highest-paid dead celebrities (in terms of royalties, of course), and once again, Elvis is king, raking in $45 million for his estate last year. The top ten:

1. Elvis Presley: $45 million
2. Charles Schulz: $35 million
3. John Lennon: $22 million
4. Andy Warhol: $16 million
5. Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel: $10 million
6. Marlon Brando: $9 million
7. Marilyn Monroe: $8 million
8. JRR Tolkien: $8 million
9. George Harrison: $7 million
10. Johnny Cash: $7 million

(AP, Forbes)

Al Roker's just not going to take it anymore: Al Roker has discovered the power of Google, and writes in his blog that he can't believe what people are saying about him in the wake of his unintentionally comic coverage of Hurricane Wilma. To Roker, it's no joke: "I've read all these print journalists knocking their broadcast brethren about how we are trivializing hurricane coverage. How we are setting bad examples. How this is just grandstanding. I've got your grandstand right here. Stop whining. Just because your medium is irrelevant when it comes to a breaking story like a hurricane doesnt mean you have to trash others who are out there covering it." (Al via Gawker)

Jacko follows through: Confirming our suspicion about his need for attention in the wake of the scandal around Janet's alleged secret baby, Michael Jackson announced two big pieces of news on Thursday. First, the charity single he's been promising for over a month now has finally gotten off the ground -- though there's still no list of who exactly is going to be on it. Jacko was in Los Angeles this week to have mysterious pop stars come in to lay down vocal tracks for his song "From the Bottom of My Heart" (it's to be produced, oddly enough, by accused child pornographer R. Kelly). The other big news: Neverland is up for sale. The rumors that he'd given up the ranch have been floating around for a while now, but the sale is timed to free-up some much needed cash: some of his staff haven't been getting their paychecks. "Everyone is pissed," a staffer tells Fox's Roger Friedman. "It was one thing when this happened during the trial, but now is a different story." (Fox 411)

George Takei, the actor who manned the helm of the Enterprise as Sulu, has come out of the closet, inspired, he says, by a current role in a play he's doing in Los Angeles. "The world has changed from when I was a young teen feeling ashamed for being gay," he said. "The issue of gay marriage is now a political issue. That would have been unthinkable when I was young" ... Brooke Shields is pregnant with her second baby, due sometime next spring ... Another Scientology foe, former electrical engineer Keith Henson, says he's been on the run ever since he was convicted in 2001 of harassing the church. After some law enforcement officer told him he "was not likely to come out of jail alive," Henson went on the lam. He's been followed by private eyes and bounty hunters ever since, but has so far eluded the long arm of the law, and the even longer arm of Scientology. Henson says he's just looking for a state "where it's legal to kill bounty hunters" ... The outcry over the billboards for 50 Cent's new movie seems to have actually gotten something done: Paramount announced that some of the posters -- which show the gangsta rapper in all his bullet scarred glory, holding a gun -- would be removed from around L.A.-area schools ... The same book that broke the news of the identity of the guy who shot 50 Cent also alleged that murdered rapper Jam Master Jay was a drug runner in the 90s, but his family says it's not true. Ethan Brown, author of the book, "Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip-Hop Hustler," says, "I've interviewed so many of Jay's friends and family that I really feel this is a fair portrayal of him. I hope they'll see that once they read it. It's not a gossipy, snipey kind of book at all." Jay's family is not satisfied, though: "This detail came out right after Jay's murder, and the police have told us they investigated it and that this information is false," the family's spokesperson says. "Unless Mr. Brown is able to prove this, he cannot just put this kind of comment in print. We are distressed and offended. The family is outraged. I'm shocked at AnchorBooks as well for printing this" ... Google has so far posted 75 of the Academy of Television's archive of 284 interviews with TV performers, producers, directors and executives about the history of television. It's comprehensive, maybe a little too much so for its own good -- for instance, this 5-part, almost two and a half hour long chat with William Shatner ... Radar is reporting that Miller Publishing -- who also put out Tennis World -- is opening the package sale of Vibe and Spin to all bidders. Quincy Jones, Vibe's original founder, has been trying to buy the two-for-one magazines, but Miller thinks it can get a better price via competition.

Turn On:
A spooky trifecta: the series debut of "I Shouldn't Be Alive" (Discovery Channel, 9 p.m. EDT), documenting the cases that shouldn't have made it; Showtime premieres "Masters of Horror" (10 p.m. EDT), a 13-show series with each episode directed by a different modern horror filmmaker; and AMC is showing the creepfest "The Exorcist" (10 p.m. EDT). Also: "Nightline" takes a look at Hurricane Rita's destruction in Houston with "Ready or Not: Lessons from the Storms" (ABC, 11:35 p.m. EDT).

-- Scott Lamb

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