The Fix

Mel Gibson's church unimpressive. Hilton accuser has accused before. Plus: Kate Moss suffering from memory loss?


Salon Staff
February 14, 2006 7:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
The church that Mel built: A quick visit to Mel Gibson's Holy Family Catholic Church in Agoura Hills, Calif., apparently shows that the millions of dollars in "The Passion of the Christ" revenue Gibson has poured into the project hasn't gone into creating some kind of Roman Catholic super-church. "One look at Holy Family's chapel confirms that the great joys of churchgoing are such that inclusion is not paramount in Gibson's clubhouse," writes Fox 411's Roger Friedman. "Parishioners, from what I could tell, are few. They sit on what looked like uncomfortable stiff chairs ... There were three pieces of paper taped to the windows of the main chapel doors, which were locked. One of the papers warned about using cameras; another described how one could get communion; and the third explained that women had to have their heads covered at all times when inside the chapel." (Fox 411)

Repeat offender? Rush & Molloy point out an eerie coincidence in the story about Los Angeles promoter Brian Quintana getting a restraining order against Paris Hilton last week: "Ten years ago, Quintana sought a restraining order against Stephanie Powers, claiming the 'Hart to Hart' star groped and battered him and forced him to have sex." Much like his complaint against Hilton, Quintana claimed that Powers became abusive and that he received threatening calls. When the actress later produced affidavits to prove she was abroad when Quintana claimed this was going on, the restraining order against her was dropped. Quintana bridled at the suggestion that his current claims against Hilton might be a ploy for free publicity, saying, "That's ridiculous." (Rush & Molloy)

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NBC savors the Olympics: Even with viewership for the Opening Ceremonies down almost 50 percent from the audience for the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, the Winter Games are proving to be a lifesaver for NBC. The coverage from Turin, Italy, this past weekend brought NBC's three-day average to a respectable 23.3 million viewers -- way up from NBC's 9.4 million viewers over the same weekend last year. It was also the first time the network has been the ratings winner for a weekend since, well, the 2004 Athens Summer Games. (N.Y. Post)

Moss getting forgetful? The Sun tabloid continues the crusade against Kate Moss with an item -- cleverly titled "Short-term Memory Moss" -- about how the model is slowly losing her memory because of drug use. "Kate, shamed over a #200-a-day drug habit, even forgets WHO she is actually heading to meet," the paper writes, and quotes a friend as saying: "Kate's really worried about her memory, and specifically short-term memory loss. She forgets day-to-day things. She forgets where she is supposed to be going -- after she has set off. It started as a joke and she brushed it off as silly. Now she's concerned something's wrong." (The Sun)

Also:
Chris Penn's death has officially been declared an accident -- the autopsy reports were finally made public on Monday, with the official cause listed as an enlarged heart complicated by the "effects of multiple medication intake." (E! Online) ... Singer Norah Jones is going to make her acting debut in a film by "2046" director Wong Kar Wai, tentatively titled "My Blueberry Nights." (BBC) ... Britney Spears' baby-in-lap driving stunt has raised the fearsome ire of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta: "No matter who you are, there's absolutely no excuse for this display -- not instinct, not fear, not even reckless paparazzi. It's irresponsible to compromise the safety of a child for the sake of the moment." (MSNBC) ... PETA, the animal rights group, is now angry at Vice President Cheney for shooting at a lawyer over the weekend. In a letter to the V.P., PETA president Ingrid Newkirk says: "Mr. Cheney, there is so much violence in the world that is beyond our control, but you can avoid hurting innocent animals (and well-connected lawyers) by putting down your guns and taking up a nonviolent sport." (The Scoop) ... Janet Jackson has a new album coming out in September -- providing she can lose enough weight between now and then to satisfy her label: "This new album is supposed to be pretty good, but Virgin feels it can't market it without Janet being back in fighting form," a source tells Page Six. "So they have hired her a personal trainer and put her on a diet. She has to lose at least 20 pounds." (Page Six)

Money Quote:
Harrison Ford on the value of not asking too many questions: "I grew up in the Midwest. You don't ask what a person's religion is, you don't ask what their politics are, you don't ask how much money they make and I pretty much still have that attitude about it. It's none of anybody's business and I don't advantage anyone by telling them what my personal politics are." (FemaleFirst)

Turn on:
Just in time for Valentine's Day, it's the "Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Love Smart" (CBS, 9 p.m. EST), in which Dr. Phil tries to find Paula Abdul a date (despite the fact that she's apparently already seeing someone). Tonight's "Winter Games" (NBC, 8 p.m. EST) competitions: Men's combined alpine skiing final, men's short program in figure skating, women's 500-meter speed-skating final and women's singles luge finals.

-- Scott Lamb

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