The Fix

Jackson losing Neverland? TomKat welcoming baby boy? Plus: Paris sings and Mike Wallace has some questions for President Bush.


Salon Staff
December 9, 2005 7:33PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Leaving Neverland: Michael Jackson's long-rumored financial woes look as though they're just about to catch up with him. As a source for the New York Daily News puts it, "All of the chickens have come home to roost." Jackson is reportedly facing a $270 million foreclosure come Dec. 20, meaning he could lose ownership of his Beatles music catalog as well as Neverland Ranch. He defaulted on the loan back in October, and has lately been hiding out in Bahrain, popping pills and making jaunts into Dubai to terrorize women's restrooms. Jackson has also stopped making payments on the $2.2 million second mortgage he took out on the Jackson clan's mansion in Encino, Calif., and the kin living there -- his mom, Katherine and the families of his brothers Randy and Jermaine -- are preparing to be kicked out. "They are making plans to move. This is the home where Katherine raised her children and now she has to leave," said the source. (N.Y. Daily News)

Little baby boy Cruise? Another baby store shopping spree, another baby's gender revealed, maybe -- Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have been spotted shopping for baby-boy items at the same store Heidi Klum, Britney Spears, and Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have been spotted picking up things for baby. "They had their people storm Petite Tresor, this very upscale baby store near Beverly Hills," a source tells the Scoop. "They were buying stuff like blankets for a boy and taking pictures of other, larger items such as baby cribs for consideration. The merchandise there is very European and they were interested in the classic and elegant." (The Scoop)

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When Paris sings, we're all screwed: The Web's top Paris Hilton toady, gossip site PerezHilton.com, has a long, fawning post on the heiress' newest pet project, her solo album. Hilton and her label, Warner, hosted a listening session for the record on Wednesday in Los Angeles, and Warner's planning on releasing four singles from the album, including the song "Screwed" (which has already landed Hilton in hot water with Haylie Duff). The Web site -- which gushingly says "the album is solid. It's really good!" -- reports we can expect the finished masterpiece to arrive in stores sometime after February. (Perez Hilton)

Also:
"Wedding Crashers" and "The Notebook" actress Rachel McAdams earned the respect of millions when she fled a cover shoot for Vanity Fair last month after skeevy guest editor Tom Ford asked her to get naked for the shot. (Radar Online) ... Snoop Dogg has been named the head of XM Satellite Radio's classic hip-hop channel, the Rhyme, and is already promising to "play music that people have never heard and music that they haven't heard in a long time." (Hollywood Reporter via Reuters) ... Matt Damon's fiancée may or may not be three months pregnant, as Star magazine helpfully explains. (Star) ... As part of Disney's nausea-inducing rebranding of Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin is reportedly going to be replaced by a "girl friend" -- a redheaded 6-year-old tomboy. (BBC) ... For some reason, the Secret Service is investigating a pressing story, picked up by New York gossip column Page Six, that Jenna Bush left her college I.D. behind at a Manhattan bar after a night of partying (Page Six) ... A forthcoming TV series follows two families -- one white, one black -- as they change race via the marvels of makeup magic. "Black.White," developed by rapper Ice Cube and filmmaker R.J. Cutler (who produce "The War Room"), is scheduled to be broadcast on FX in March of next year. (Associated Press)

Money Quotes:
Mike Wallace on what questions he'd ask George W. Bush -- who has declined to be interviewed by Wallace -- if he were given the chance: "What in the world prepared you to be the commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world? You apparently were incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little about the military Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [bleeped] up?" (Boston Globe via N.Y. Daily News)

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Steve Gaghan, who wrote and directed the new Persian Gulf thriller "Syriana," on how corruption is a global commodity: "To see people sacrifice their personal ethical systems in the face of money and power isn't unique to Persian Gulf kingdoms. It happens in Hollywood every day." (Lowdown)

Turn On:
Television junkies can get their fix with the final countdown -- No. 20 down to the big No. 1 -- of "TV Guide & TV Land: The 100 Most Unexpected TV Moments" (TV Land, 10 p.m. EST), while "Charlie Rose" (PBS, check local listings) hosts director Steve Gaghan. And on Saturday, it's this holiday season's first broadcast -- there will doubtless be many more -- of "It's a Wonderful Life" (NBC, 8 p.m. EST).

-- Scott Lamb

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