The Fix

"Brokeback" wins big at Critics' Choice. Stern still obsessing over nude scene. Plus: Swank and Lowe split up.

Published January 10, 2006 2:02PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
More love for "Brokeback": At the Critics' Choice Awards last night, "Brokeback Mountain" won the award for best picture as well as the awards for best director for Ang Lee and for best supporting actress for Michelle Williams, who tied with "Junebug's" Amy Adams for the honor. "Crash" took the award for best screenplay and best acting ensemble; Philip Seymour Hoffman took the best-actor trophy for "Capote," and Reese Witherspoon was named best actress for her role in "Walk the Line." The Critics' Choice Awards, which are handed out by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, have successfully picked five out of the last six Oscar winners for best picture (last year, the Critics' Choice went to "Sideways" while the Oscar went to "Million Dollar Baby") -- so things look good for "Brokeback." (L.A. Times)

Stern battles director: As we reported last week, Emily Stern abruptly quit an off-Broadway play in which she had a nude scene after a Howard Stern fan site outed her as the shock jock's daughter. Then Stern used his first broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio yesterday to claim that the show's director broke his promise not to publicize Emily's parentage by posting videos and photos of her on the theater's Web site, that the New York Times said the show "had no redeeming value," and that he'd advised his daughter not to do the play because the director and producer were untrustworthy. Now the play's director, Tuvia Tenenbom, is lashing back at Stern, telling the New York Daily News, "As far as I can tell, this guy is a habitual liar ... He feels no shame about using his own daughter for publicity." (Lowdown)

Smoking out the fakers: Yesterday was a big day for literary unmaskings. Not only did the Smoking Gun issue an in-depth report on the discrepancies, exaggerations and potential fabrications in James Frey's memoir, "A Million Little Pieces," the New York Times also reported that another famed author is a complete fabrication. JT Leroy, who made a name as a young, androgynous novelist with HIV and a troubled past as a truck-stop prostitute and drug addict from West Virginia, seems to have been cooked up by a San Francisco rock musician named Laura Albert and played in public by her husband's half-sister. (The New York Times)

Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe are getting divorced. (Rush & Molloy)  Star Jones reportedly demanded and received a whopping $85,000 promotional budget for her new book, "Shine," as well as bodyguards for all her public appearances -- presumably, as Page Six lovingly puts it, "to protect her from those gangs of surly soccer moms known to obsess over her every word." (Page Six)  Scarlett Johansson squashes rumors that she's hooked up with her "Match Point" costar, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, explaining, "He likes shoes and it was like having a girlfriend on the set." (The Scoop)  Ted Kennedy has written a children's book -- called "My Senator and Me: A Dogs-Eye View of Washington, D.C." -- which follows a Portuguese water dog named Splash and is to be released in May. (Associated Press)  "Producers" costars Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane received the 2,299th and the 2,300th stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a dual ceremony. (Reuters)  Billy Crystal wants you to know that he was the producers' first choice to host the Academy Awards this year, he was just too busy to do it. (Associated Press)

Money Quote:
Philip Seymour Hoffman on why doing publicity makes him nervous: "Reporters ask all sorts of questions. The way I handle it is, I tell the truth. I find if I'm honest, I'm OK. If I try to make s--- up, I get in trouble." (Cindy Adams)

Turn on:
The lay folk get their awards-show say in "The 32nd Annual People's Choice Awards"; Craig Ferguson hosts (CBS, 9 p.m. EST). And delve into the world of professional bull riding with TLC's "Beyond the Bull" (9 p.m. EST).

-- Priya Jain

By Salon Staff

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