The Fix

Paris Hilton's journals "disgusting"? JT Leroy's mask now completely off. Plus: Send Bill O'Reilly to Darfur.


Salon Staff
February 7, 2006 7:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
The heiress diaries: Though none of the items salvaged from Paris Hilton's storage locker have been sold, let alone made public, TMZ is reporting that, as suspected, the most damaging stuff in the collection isn't the videotapes or photos but Hilton's various journals. "TMZ has learned the heiress made numerous shocking entries about herself, her family and others," the gossip Web site writes. "We're told Paris names names and the entire Hilton family comes off awful." One person who'd allegedly seen the journals described them as "disgusting." (TMZ)

The unmasking of JT LeRoy continues, or rather, ends: The final nail in the coffin of writer JT LeRoy's career has been driven in -- in Tuesday's New York Times, a "central figure" in the LeRoy ploy comes forward to say the writer is indeed a made-up character created, in large part, by San Francisco therapist Laura Albert. Who is this masked "central figure"? None other than Albert's partner of 16 years, George Knoop. The pair separated in December. He relates the tale of a decade-long game of fraud, wherein he and Albert created LeRoy out of whole cloth and used the persona to get close to literary stars. The Times writes, "Mr. Knoop said the ruse began in 1996, when Ms. Albert sought to get in touch with Dennis Cooper, a noted gay writer of edgy fiction whose work she admired. Concerned that Mr. Cooper might not be interested in communicating with a woman in her 30's, Ms. Albert had the idea to approach him as a troubled teenage boy nicknamed Terminator, with the biography of a street hustler." He goes on to describe LeRoy's very meticulous rise to fame, completed by using his younger half-sister, Savannah Knoop, as a stand-in for the fictional author. Now, Albert and Knoop have split up, and the couple are in a court battle for custody over their son. "The jig is up," Knoop told the Times. "I do want to apologize to people who were hurt. It got to a level I didn't expect." (N.Y. Times)

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Footing Bill's bill? New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof really wants Bill O'Reilly to take a vacation -- of sorts. Kristof, continuing a back-and-forth he has been having with O'Reilly in the media since last December, wants to bring the Fox talking head along on a visit to Darfur, Sudan, and is now taking up a collection for that exact purpose. After O'Reilly called him a "left-wing ideologue," Kristof invited him to come to Darfur to use his "talents for an important cause." O'Reilly has demurred, saying, "I do three hours of daily news analysis on TV and radio. There's no way I can go to Africa." Now Kristof is taking up a collection to try to persuade O'Reilly to come -- he's asking people to write to sponsorbill@gmail.com to pledge amounts to go toward paying O'Reilly's way in Darfur. (Editor & Publisher)

Also:
Todd Williams, the paparazzo who made headlines last autumn for shoving kids out of the way to get a shot of Reese Witherspoon while the actress was at Disney's California Adventure, has been found dead in his apartment in Los Angeles. (E! Online) ... According to a spokesperson for the NFL, the Rolling Stones agreed in advance of their Super Bowl performance to have some of their lyrics censored, including this line from "Rough Justice": "Once upon a time I was your little red rooster/Now I'm just one of your cocks." (BBC) ... On Monday, Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano was indicted on 110 counts, including charges of wiretapping for secretly bugging the phones of Sylvester Stallone, Keith Carradine and many others. (Hollywood Reporter) ... In a $2.7 billion deal, Disney is merging its ABC radio station network with Citadel Broadcasting Corp., making Citadel the third-largest radio group in the nation with 177 FM station and 66 AM stations. (Associated Press) ... Glenn Close got hitched to boyfriend David Shaw at a small ceremony in Maine on Friday. (People) ... In the rumor-mill race to replace Katie Couric on "Today" (if, indeed, she actually leaves), the new name on the top of the pile is "The View" moderator Meredith Vieira. (TMZ)

Money Quotes:
Roseanne Barr on the antics she once got up to with George Clooney, who played her boss Booker Brooks on the first season of "Roseanne": "One night we were all drunk, John Goodman took a picture of George naked with Groucho Marx glasses over his private area and we used to have that on the fridge on the 'Roseanne' show with a magnet on top of it. But someone stole it. I always check to see if it's on eBay, all of us do, but somebody must have just thrown it away because it's never shown up." (Entertainmentwise.com)

Turn on:
Mandy Moore guest-stars in back-to-back episodes of "Scrubs" (NBC, 9 p.m. EST) alongside her real-life flame, Zach Braff. Also: PBS has a documentary about Rob Williams and the birth of the Black Power movement, "Negroes With Guns" (check local listings), and former CIA Director R. James Woolsey appears on "The Colbert Report" (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST).

-- Scott Lamb

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