The Fix

Cruise and Holmes halt P.R. train wreck. Martha's daughter admits to sleeping around, dabbling in lesbianism. Plus: Dead British people's favorite songs!


Salon Staff
November 17, 2005 7:05PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
The new, improved TomKat: The first public appearance for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes since Cruise hired a public relations professional, Paul Bloch, and relieved his sister of her P.R. duties already reveals an enormous difference in style. The couple's presence at the Beverly Hilton, where Cruise was receiving the Stanley Kubrick Excellence in Film Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, was a study in low-key: no press photos, no PDA, no jumping on furniture. (Jeanne Wolf's Hollywood)

Martha gets sued, launches radio career: Martha Stewart's jail time may have ultimately been good for her career, but the trial continues to haunt her -- this week, in the form of a lawsuit from a jury consultant she hired to help her lawyers ahead of the trial. Consultant Julie Blackman filed a suit against Stewart on Tuesday claiming the lifestyle diva still owes her over $74,000 for services rendered, including designing a questionnaire for the jury selection process. The suit hasn't slowed Stewart one bit, though: On Wednesday, she announced that Martha Stewart Living Radio, a Sirius satellite channel that will grant you unfettered access to Martha's wit, wisdom and decorating tips 24/7, will launch on Nov. 21. And with "The Apprentice" getting canceled, the radio will also now be your best way to keep up with Stewart's daughter, Alexis, who will have her own daily talk show called "Whatever." Business Week Online's David Kiley caught a preview of the show last week, and it sounds hot! Kiley writes: "In one hour, Alexis complained in detail about not knowing what to do or how to act on 'The Apprentice,' confessed that she had slept with the cameraman assigned to shoot her, and had experimented with lesbianism. She certainly seemed and sounded serious about all of it." (Yahoo! News, Gawker, Business Week Online)

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Lachey rains on Jessica's parade: The latest installment of the Jessica Simpson-Nick Lachey marriage drama centers on Lachey's recent 32nd birthday, which was apparently a bust. Simpson had been trying to plan a big bash, but Lachey's response was reportedly, "Do what you want, but leave me out of it." The blowout was scaled down to dinner, which a source tells Life & Style Weekly was just a further sign that the marriage is on the outs. "Nick's in a bind. How can you divorce a woman who won't acknowledge there's a problem?" (Life & Style Weekly via the Scoop)

Brits mourn to "My Way": The U.K.'s Guardian newspaper has put together a list of the top 10 songs played at British funerals, and Old Blue Eyes has the honor of claiming the very top spot:

1. "My Way," Frank Sinatra
2. "Wind Beneath My Wings," Bette Midler
3. "Angels," Robbie Williams
4. "My Heart Will Go On," Celine Dion
5. "Simply the Best," Tina Turner
6. "I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston
7. "You'll Never Walk Alone," Gerry and the Pacemakers
8 . "Over the Rainbow," Eva Cassidy
9. "Time to Say Goodbye," Sarah Brightman
10. "Well Meet Again," Dame Vera Lynn

(Guardian)

Also:
Kimberly Stewart -- daughter of Rod Stewart, friend of Paris Hilton, insulter of Jennifer Aniston -- only just broke it off with "Girls Gone Wild" producer Joe Francis, but now she's suddenly engaged to "Laguna Beach" star Talan Torriero ... Not that this is in any way related to Stewart's engagement, but the New York Observer has a nice look at the phenomenon of women "dating down," taking up with men below their class or professional level, especially -- Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony -- in Hollywood Because tabloid editors just can't pass up a good pun, the Sun is running new pictures of Kate Moss holding coke and a straw ... John Miner, the former Los Angeles deputy district attorney turned Marilyn Monroe investigator, has been saying for some time that he has proof the starlet's death was murder, not suicide. Now he's asking that her body be exhumed for new tests. "How can a woman rest in peace when there's a lie about how she met her death?" Miner tells Playboy. "Monroe was denied the basic right to which every American, dead or alive, is entitled -- due process of law" ... Ralph Edwards, once host of TV's "This Is Your Life" and "Truth or Consequences" -- NBC's first-ever commercial show -- died on Wednesday. He was 92. In an interview several years ago, Edwards -- who also created "People's Court" -- recalled that ad prices in 1941, when commercial broadcasts first began, were somewhat different: "A 10-second commercial was $9" ... Bill Bray, the former LAPD officer whom Michael Jackson once considered a surrogate father, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles at age 80. Bray started working as Jackson's security guard early in the Jackson 5 days and followed him through much of his solo career, and though the two hadn't seen each other in 10 years -- Bray was eventually banished from Neverland -- Jackson became "hysterical" when he heard the news. A source tells Fox's 411, "There's a lot of guilt there."

Money Quote:
Gwyneth Paltrow on juggling motherhood and fame: "I sort of look at some peers of mine and I think, 'No, you've got it all wrong.' I just want to tell them all to have babies and be happy, and not get sucked into that Hollywood thing." (ET Online)

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Turn On:
The Sundance Channel's "Iconoclasts" (10 p.m. EDT), a series that pairs off luminaries from divergent fields -- a future episode features Todd Ford and Jeff Koons -- begins tonight with Samuel L. Jackson in conversation with basketball legend Bill Russell. It's also the series debut of the culture-swap show "Red & Blue" (Discovery Channel, 8 p.m. EDT) -- a family from one of the coasts briefly changes lives with a family from a fly-over state.

-- Scott Lamb

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