The Fix

Britney takes action over sex tape report. Schwarzenegger to return hometown's "ring of honor." Plus: Clinton hearts Elton!

By Salon Staff

Published December 20, 2005 2:24PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
No sex tapes for Spears: Britney Spears is suing Us Weekly for libel, after the magazine ran a story in October suggesting there might be a Spears-Federline sex tape. The story, from the magazine's "HOTstuff" column, reported that Spears and Federline told their lawyers that a member of their entourage was threatening to make public a sex tape starring the couple, and that they also gave a copy of the tape to the lawyers and watched it with them. Spears contends that all of this is false. (Reuters)

Schwarzenegger and Graz break up: After his Austrian hometown, Graz, began taking action to rename the soccer stadium it had named in his honor, Schwarzenegger has penned a letter to the city's mayor, asking that his name be removed not only from the stadium but from other town projects as well. His name, he says, can no longer be used "to advertise or promote the city of Graz in any way." Schwarzenegger also promised he would return the city's "ring of honor," ceremonially given to him in 1999. (Associated Press)

Even Kenny G banned in Iran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has banned Western music on TV and radio in Iran. According to the Associated Press, "Songs such as George Michael's 'Careless Whisper,' Eric Clapton's 'Rush' and the Eagles' 'Hotel California' have regularly accompanied Iranian broadcasts, as do tunes by saxophonist Kenny G." The president also called for censorship of TV and movies, and issued a ban on foreign movies that promote "arrogant powers." (Associated Press)

Elton John had a "hen's night" party last night to celebrate his impending nuptials; Bill Clinton sent a videotape that was played at the party and on which Clinton reportedly said, "If there were more people in the world like Elton, then the world would be a better place." (Gatecrasher)  An arrest warrant is out for a paparazzo who missed his bail hearing. The photographer, in an attempt to get pictures of Reese Witherspoon, allegedly hit a 5-year-old kid with his camera and shoved other children at Disney's California Adventure Theme Park. (E! Online)  Ashlee Simpson is back home after collapsing and being hospitalized in Japan because of exhaustion, according to her rep. Simpson had walked off stage in the middle of a song during a concert in Yokohama, returning later to explain that she was losing her voice. She returned to her hotel before collapsing. (  Kate Bosworth and Orlando Bloom have been spied shopping for engagement rings in London. (Gatecrasher)  Michael Jackson's advisors are busy trying to get an extension on Jackson's loan foreclosure, while they organize a deal in which Jackson "benefactors" will make monthly payments on the $272 million loan package, plus an extra $2 million per month in interest. If the loans are foreclosed upon, Jackson will lose his stake in the Sony Beatles music catalog and possibly Neverland Ranch. (N.Y. Daily News)  A Scientologist and former alternative-medicine consultant to Tom Cruise has been under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department for the past six months and may now face charges of fraud, grand theft and malpractice. The woman, Feline Butcher, allegedly treated a liver cancer patient with "these magic drops and potions and vitamin drips -- and this silly machine," the patient's widow told Page Six (Page Six)  "Desperate Housewives" debuted in China Monday night, though minus some scenes with sex and violence. Still, one 49-year-old Chinese woman told the AP, "It made me laugh, but it was also embarrassing to watch it," because "there was too much sex." (Associated Press)  A spoofy account of Matt Damon and Lucianne Bozan's wedding on Defamer was picked up and reported as fact by other publications and Web sites. Among the obviously untrue details: A sanitation worker caught the bridal bouquet, and "guests dined on the finest knishes and pretzels available from a curbside cart." (The Scoop)

Money Quote:
Kelly Clarkson, defending her drinking: "Jesus drank. It came straight from the Bible that he had a glass of wine. Actually, I don't know if it says he actually drank it, but whatever." (Blender magazine via The Scoop)

Turn on:
Barbara Walter's special "Heaven, Where Is It? How Do We Get There?" airs tonight (ABC, 9 p.m. EST). Then, it's the two-hour finale of "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 10 p.m. EST).

-- Priya Jain

Salon Staff

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