The Fix

Jackson sneaks into girls' room. Kazakhstan gets riled about Borat. Plus: Willis' big offer.


Salon Staff
November 15, 2005 7:07PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Another Michael Jackson exposé: Diane Dimond's new book, "Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case," arrives in stores today, full of new allegations about the jurors, especially juror No. 5, Elanor Cook. Among Cook's alleged misdeeds: consorting with a former Neverland maid who testified at the trial and starting negotiations for a book deal on the trial before it was even over. "If the judge had known about her actions, there would have been a mistrial," Dimond told Page Six. Meanwhile, Jackson himself was busy terrorizing women in Dubai by using the women's restoom instead of the men's. He scared a 37-year-old woman coming into the restroom of the Court of Ibn Battuta Mall: Latifa M., "who is a teacher in a private school in Dubai, screamed in shock and ran out of the ladies' room when she realized that the woman-like person was a man. She went back in to photograph the pop singer with her mobile phone, while he was busy fixing his makeup." In a great loss for the world's tabloids, Jackson's people made her erase the photos. (Page Six, Khaleej Times)

No fans in Borat country: In a move destined to backfire, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry is taking on Borat, one of "Ali G." creator Sacha Baron Cohen's several personas. Cohen recently hosted the MTV Europe Awards as Borat, arriving in an Air Kazakh propeller plane flown by a vodka-swilling pilot, and on Monday Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashykbayev made vague threats about the country taking legal action against Cohen, calling his shtick "utterly unacceptable, being a concoction of bad taste and ill manners which is completely incompatible with ethics and civilized behavior." Ashykbayev also alluded to a possible "Ali G." conspiracy: "We do not rule out that Mr. Cohen is serving someone's political order designed to present Kazakhstan and its people in a derogatory way." (BBC)

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Bruce Willis' offer dies hard: Appearing on Rita Cosby's MSNBC talk show, Willis amended his $1 million antiterrorism offer -- originally made in 2003 for the capture of Saddam Hussein -- to include Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Aymen Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden. There's just one small catch: The offer's not open to members of the military.

Cosby: Are you prepared even right now to maybe offer $1 million for one of them?

Willis: Well, that was a conversation I was having with members of the military. I've since been told that military men and women cannot accept any reward for the job that they're doing. It was more about my passion for trying to stop Saddam Hussein.

Cosby: Would you offer that if somebody else, let's say a civilian, is willing to turn one of them in and finally put this to an end?

Willis: Yes, I would. Yes, I would.

(Rita Cosby, Live and Direct)

Also:
The ping-pong match that is Jude Law and Sienna Miller's relationship has, for the moment, landed on one side. Miller, talking to reporters at Sunday night's premiere of her new film, "Casanova," in Los Angeles, said: "Well, it's pretty obvious, isn't it? We're working things out" After denying that he really thought there was a frog on his head during the premiere of "Walk the Line" in Los Angeles last week, Joaquin Phoenix was still acting socially awkward at the New York debut of the film. In response to a question from New York Times reporter Campbell Robertson, Phoenix just reached out and stroked Robertson's earlobe Always willing to do whatever he can to help out members of his G-Unit posse, 50 Cent is launching a new publishing imprint to feature "street fiction," including the work of cronies like Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and Young Buck ... Showing that there's just no accounting for the tastes of teenagers, CosmoGirl! readers have unseated Johnny Depp as the king of pinups and given the crown instead to "The O.C.'s" dorky charmer Adam Brody ... The San Francisco Chronicle has a long article on the fate of "Arrested Development" -- Fox announced yesterday that it wouldn't be picking up the full season of the show, a dire predicament for any series -- that seems to say the news isn't all bad: "But remember, 'AD' was cut from 22 to 18 last year and still returned." And unsurprisingly, fans of the show have already started a petition to keep it on the air ... It's another feather in Jon Stewart's Emmy- and Peabody-lined cap: His book, "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction," has won the nation's top humor-writing award, the 2005 Thurber Prize.

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Money Quote:
Megadeath frontman Dave Mustaine's reaction to seeing the photos of Sean Penn in post-Katrina New Orleans, toting a gun: "When I saw the picture of Sean Penn in New Orleans with that shotgun I couldn't believe it. What the fuck are you going to do with that shotgun, Sean? Are you going to shoot somebody?" (ContactMusic)

Kenny Chesney, who'll be opening tonight's Country Music Association Awards in New York, on the show's being held in New York for the first time: "I don't know exactly what this does for country music. People have strong opinions either way about whether we even belong up there [in New York]. I'm indifferent." (N.Y. Daily News)

Turn On:
Despite Chesney's lukewarm feelings, "The 39th Annual CMA Awards" (CBS, 8 p.m. EDT) comes to Madison Square Garden, and "Charlie Rose" hosts Iraq's deputy prime minister, Ahmed Chalabi, and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Richard Holbrooke.

-- Scott Lamb

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