The Fix

Did Cruise put the kibosh on Katie's sex scene? More Frey fabrications? Plus: Bush on "Brokeback"!

Published January 24, 2006 2:30PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Frey-gate continues: The revelations a few weeks ago that James Frey made up parts of his memoir, "A Million Little Pieces," continue to reverberate -- today the New York Times has a piece contending that Frey may also have fabricated large parts of his description of life in rehab. The story quotes Debra Jay, who trained as an addiction counselor at Hazelden (the rehabilitation center Frey visits in the book) and who herself has been a regular guest on "Oprah," as saying, "His description of treatment at Hazelden is almost entirely false." Other former Hazelden staffers have also come forward to challenge Frey's depiction of rehab, one saying that "98 percent of that book is false." (N.Y. Times)

Bush weighs in on "Brokeback," kinda: During what was an otherwise fairly routine (that is, scripted) Q&A session with students at Kansas State University on Monday, President Bush was asked about his take on "Brokeback Mountain":

Question: You're a rancher; a lot of us here in Kansas are ranchers. I just wanted to get your opinion on "Brokeback Mountain," if you had seen it yet ... (laughter) ... You would love it. You should check it out.

Bush: I hadn't seen it. I would be glad to talk about ranchin' but I haven't seen the movie ... I've heard about it ... I hope you go, uh, you know ... heh, heh ... I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm is what I was going to say ... I hadn't seen it (laughter, applause).

You can watch the video here. (Drudge, The Brad Blog, Crooks and Liars)

Cruise plays censor? When the Katie Holmes movie "Thank You for Smoking" played recently at Sundance, it was missing a sex scene between Holmes and Aaron Eckhardt that had appeared in previous screenings. This caused some, as Page Six puts it, "to wonder if Holmes' fiancé, Tom Cruise, used his staggering showbiz clout to kill the footage." A Fox Searchlight spokesperson said, "It's never been altered. It will absolutely be released with that scene. We don't know what happened, but we're looking into it." (Page Six)

Kidman and Urban -- all or nothing? Nicole Kidman and unofficial boyfriend Keith Urban are either in splitsville or are getting married in March at an elaborate ceremony, depending on whom you listen to. Australia's NineMSN carries an item by the British paper Mail on Sunday that says it's all over between the actress and her country-singin' beau. "Everything seemed to be going fine, but then she heard stories that Keith had not totally turned his back on his wild ways," the paper quotes a friend as saying, noting that Urban is "a former alcoholic and crack cocaine addict with a reputation as a womanizer." The source goes on: "She feels Keith isn't ready to settle down. Keith's devastated but determined to win her back." Yet London's Sun tabloid has all the details on Kidman's plans for a spring wedding and a "full-on church service with a Catholic mass." The paper's source says Kidman has been moving back toward the church since her divorce from Tom Cruise. "Nicole attended Scientology meetings with Tom but it put a strain on the marriage," the source says. "In the last two years she has rediscovered her Catholic faith and has been going to church and attending bible classes." (The Sun, NineMSN)

Joey Buttafuoco, his ex-wife Mary Jo and Amy "Long Island Lolita" Fisher have all signed on to appear in a televised reunion, though it hasn't been picked up by any channel just yet. Fisher told the New York Post on Monday, "We played this all out in a public eye. It'd be interesting to let the public see the healing process at the end. They saw everything else -- why not let them see the final product?" (Associated Press via MSNBC) ... Testifying at his own tax evasion trial on Monday, "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch boiled down his defense to blaming the IRS and then the show's producers for not making it clear he owed taxes on the income from his winnings. (Associated Press) ... NBC's "My Name Is Earl" is on a three-week hiatus because the show's star, Jason Lee, has come down with chickenpox. (People) ... Much was made of Drew Barrymore's chest size after her appearance at the Golden Globes last week; over the weekend, she made fun of it herself on "Saturday Night Live." (The Superficial) ... Hold on to your hats and glasses, sports fans: Pundit James Carville and Luke Russert (offspring of NBC's talking head, Tim Russert) are going to be hosting a new sports show on XM Satellite Radio starting in March. (The Reliable Source)

Money Quote:
Bill Maher, when asked whom he'd like to see as the first female U.S. president: "Are you kidding? Do you know how many women have gotten this world in trouble? Look at Indira Gandhi and Thatcher." (The Awful Truth)

Turn on:
"Scrubs" (NBC, 9 p.m. EST) celebrates its 100th episode on Tuesday, while the British women-in-prison show "Bad Girls" (BBC America, 9 p.m. EST) begins its second season. Or catch "Catching the Comet" (Science Channel, 9 p.m. EST), about NASA's recently returned Stardust probe and its mission to collect samples from a comet.

-- Scott Lamb

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