The Fix

Britney battles sex tape/divorce rumors. Cruise promotes cooking-oil cure. PETA denudes Anna Wintour. Plus: Stern rips into Leno.

By Salon Staff

Published December 14, 2005 2:11PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Award season continues: The Golden Globes list was announced yesterday and, not surprisingly, "Brokeback Mountain" picked up a bevy of nominations, including ones for best drama, best director (Ang Lee), best actor and best supporting actress in a drama (Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams) and best screenplay. Two themes everyone seems to note: All five of the best-drama nominations went to indies -- "Brokeback," "The Constant Gardener," "Good Night, and Good Luck," "A History of Violence" and Woody Allen's forthcoming "Match Point." And several of the films nominated feature gay or transgendered characters. Felicity Huffman gets a nod for "Transamerica," as does Philip Seymour Hoffman for "Capote" and Cillian Murphy for "Breakfast on Pluto." Even Pierce Brosnan picked up a nomination for his portrayal of a bisexual hit man in "Matador." Let the culture wars, er, continue. (Associated Press, Variety)

Scientology's latest strike: Tom Cruise is making an appearance in downtown Manhattan tonight, at a fundraiser for the clinic he helped found near the World Trade Center to help heal 9/11 firefighters and rescue workers who breathed toxic smoke. Apparently, the L. Ron Hubbard-created "purification rundown" that Cruise is hawking involves drinking cooking oil, sauna sweating and taking lots of niacin. The scary part is that those submitting to this treatment are encouraged to stop using inhalers and prescription drugs. Oh, and the clinic's innocuous name? Downtown Medical. (Page Six)

Spears-o-rama: Britney Spears' reps have been busy issuing denials on several fronts, first against a rumor that the pop star and Kevin Federline made a sex tape, and then against an alleged Federline quote, asserting that he was consulting lawyers and preparing to ask for a $125 million settlement if the marriage ends. In Touch Weekly picked up the quote from German mag Die Bilt. Nevertheless, concerned fans have launched, urging Britney to "remove the boil that is Kevin from herself and her payroll." (Rush & Molloy, In Touch Weekly,

Lincoln Karim, last year arrested for allegedly stalking CNN anchor Paula Zahn and her family during his quest to save Fifth Avenue hawks Pale Male and Lola, is now suing Zahn and her hubby for $1 million, accusing the couple of "maliciously, purposefully and intentionally causing and instigating [Karim] to be falsely arrested and falsely imprisoned." (N.Y. Daily News)  At a Manhattan party over the weekend, Jessica Alba refused to pose for a photo, even after the promoter pointed out that Madonna, Hilary Duff and Selma Blair had all obligingly posed. Explained a member of Alba's entourage, "She's a bitch -- sorry." (Page Six)  In a book about the making of "The Brothers Grimm" just published in the U.K., Terry Gilliam told author Bob McCabe that he, Heath Ledger and Matt Damon wanted to cast Samantha Morton in the role eventually won by Lena Headey. With typical sensitivity, Harvey Weinstein refused to cast Morton, saying, "You think Matt or Heath would want to [bleep] that?" (The Scoop)  PETA continues its war against Anna Wintour, sending out Christmas cards to Vogue staffers featuring a cartoon of the editor in chief in her underwear and with the message "Without Fur I Am Nothing." (Radar Online)  Perez Hilton is holding a contest to coin a moniker for alleged new couple Lindsay Lohan and Jared Leto; finalists include LoLeto, Letohan and the rather musical sounding JaLiLeLo. (Perez Hilton)

Money Quotes:
Howard Stern talks to Steppin' Out's Chaunce Hayden about his utter contempt for Jay Leno: "He called me to appear on his dumb show when we were in Vegas and I wouldn't even consider it ... He still tells people that I'm his friend. Jay Leno has no friends. Jay Leno is a robot!" (Rush & Molloy)

Viggo Mortensen clarifies his political position, telling the Progressive, "I'm not anti-Bush; I'm anti-Bush behavior. In other words, I'm against cheating, greed, cruelty, racism, imperialism, religious fundamentalism, treason, and the seemingly limitless capacity for hypocrisy shown by Bush and his Administration." (The Progressive via The Scoop)

Turn on:
Get into the holiday spirit with the 1999 version of "A Christmas Carol," with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge (TNT, 9 p.m. EST). And "Sit Down Comedy With David Steinberg" premieres, with guest Mike Myers (TV Land, 10 p.m. EST).

-- Priya Jain

Salon Staff

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