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Quaid sues "Brokeback" producers. "South Park" takes revenge on Chef. Plus: Sarandon mulls career, bra size.


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Salon Staff
March 24, 2006 7:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Quaid sues "Brokeback": In a lawsuit claiming he's a victim of "a 'movie laundering' scheme" that tricked him into only getting paid art-house film wages, Randy Quaid is taking the producers of "Brokeback Mountain" to court, asking for $10 million in damages and "restitution for all ill-gotten gains." Quaid apparently thinks he was hired under the false pretenses that the movie's producers somehow thought the film might become the unqualified box office success it now is, with a gross of $160 million so far. In papers for the suit (which you can see here), Quaid claims that when he was approached by director Ang Lee in 2004 for the part of Joe Aguirre, he was told: "We can't pay anything. We have very little money. Everyone is making a sacrifice to make this film." (TMZ)

"South Park" strikes back: Wednesday night's premiere of the new season of "South Park" -- helped out by all the recent Isaac Hayes publicity -- was the biggest the show's had since 2002, bringing in an estimated 3.5 million viewers. In it, Chef, formerly voiced by Hayes, met predictably with death after being brainwashed by a group called the Super Adventure Club, but while his death is grisly -- he falls off a high bridge, is stabbed, burned and then attacked by both a mountain lion and a bear -- the eulogy Kyle delivers is rather sweet and understanding: "We shouldn't be mad at Chef for leaving us," he says. "We should be mad at that fruity little club for scrambling his brains." (Video Dog has a clip.) "South Park" fans, meanwhile, are a little less forgiving; still pissed off about the show's Scientology spoof episode, which originally aired in November, being pulled last week, they've circulated a petition saying they'll boycott the Tom Cruise blockbuster "Mission Impossible III" until the episode runs again on Comedy Central. (Associated Press)

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Also:
Don't expect wedding bells anytime soon for Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake, at least if you have a habit of believing unnamed sources. "Justin has told friends he's 'confused,'" a mysterious insider tells Rush & Molloy. "He likes Cameron a lot. But he's 25. He says he just doesn't know how committed he can be. He needs space. Cameron is a little controlling." (Rush & Molloy) ... Michael Jackson is reportedly back in the U.S., staying somewhere in New York in order to give a deposition in the $48 million-dollar lawsuit against him from the financiers who helped him finance his massive loans from the Bank of America. (Fox News) ... Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana, crack and heroin at a London court hearing on Thursday. Outside the courtroom, Doherty got into a little melee with reporters, and someone snapped this amazing photo of him kicking a reporter's microphone out of her hand. (Associated Press via Yahoo! News) ... Unintentional double entendre of the day, from FoxNews.com: "Female Pedophiles Get Off Easy?" (TV Newser)

Money Quotes:
Robin Williams on what he thinks of celebrities who do endorsements: "Number 1, financially, I don't have to do it. Number 2, the people who do it, God bless them, but you think, Why does he need to do that? He's got hundreds of millions of dollars." (Reader's Digest)

Susan Sarandon on the role bust size has played in her career: "You have to be careful not to be upstaged by your breasts. I'm at least a C, sometimes a D, depending on the bra. And I've gotten curvier as I've gotten older. Directors cast the men they want to be and the women they want to have." (More magazine via Page Six)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
Nanny Stella whips naughty children and their parents into shape once more before Fox's "Nanny 911" (8 p.m. EST) goes on hiatus, while the WB's "What I Like About You" (8 p.m. EST) has its fourth-season finale. Elsewhere, author Reza Aslan, actor Jason Alexander and reporter Michael Ware are on "Real Time With Bill Maher" (HBO, 11 p.m. EST).

-- Joe DiMento

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