The Fix

Whitney's "really broke." Hasselhoff divorce gets nasty. Plus: Lindsay Lohan's dad speaks out from prison.

By Salon Staff
March 30, 2006 7:25PM (UTC)
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Morning Briefing:
Hopelessly addicted, paranoid and now broke, too: The Whitney Houston downward spiral of shame continues its fascinating spin with the news that she's totally broke. On the heels of Wednesday's big National Enquirer story, Fox 411 writes that Houston -- who had a string of Top 10 singles from 1985 through 2001 -- has heavy mortgages on her homes and is about to be sued by a former landlord. "There's no money," says an insider. "She's really broke." The site parses how it could be that a singer with Houston's stable of hits could suddenly find herself penniless -- not enough touring, a series of recent flops, no rights to many of her own songs -- and points out another sad aspect of the whole debacle: She could lose custody of her daughter, who's currently staying with a relative. "Even though Bobbi Kristina lives away from home, there will no doubt be a new investigation based on the Enquirer story," writes the site. "If 50 percent of the report is deemed true, Houston and Brown could easily lose their daughter for good." (Fox 411, National Enquirer)

Prince's album goes to No. 1: For the first time in his many decades in the business, Prince has debuted at No. 1 on the charts with his new album, "3121." Selling 183,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen, Prince's album knocked the Disney soundtrack "High School Musical" out of its top spot. It's the first time Prince has been at the peak of the Billboard charts since 1989's "Batman" soundtrack. (E! Online)


Father knows best? Lindsay Lohan's dad obviously hasn't heard about Wilmer Valderrama's recent appearance on "The Howard Stern Show" (where, among other charming tidbits, he unfavorably compared deflowering Mandy Moore to having sex with warm apple pie). Michael Lohan still hopes his daughter will get back together with Valderrama, her "first love." "Lindsay is linked with a lot of different guys in print -- most of them are just people she bumps into in clubs. None of them mean a thing to her," Michael recently told the National Enquirer from prison in upstate New York, where he's serving out a sentence for drunken driving, aggravated assault and criminal contempt. "I always found Wilmer a cut above the other guys she dated. When I met him he was a gentleman and very respectful to her. I like that." (ContactMusic)

Hasselhoff gets the boot: In what is quickly degenerating into a nasty, nasty public divorce, David Hasselhoff was ordered by a judge to "remove his personal effects from the family residence" he shares (or rather, shared) with his wife, Pamela. The order included instructions to both parties that the move-out be "peaceable," and gave both sides the opportunity to commit the event to tape: "Parties may have the exchange videotaped if they wish." (TMZ)

Teri Hatcher has been playing kissy-face with "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, and Us Weekly has the pictures to prove it. (Us Online) ... Justin Timberlake may still have a soft spot in his heart for his ex, Britney Spears, but he's no Kevin Federline fan: "He thinks Kevin is gross, and there's not much that would change his mind about that," a source tells Star magazine. "He says that they [Spears and Timberlake] had a lot of great years together, and he's pretty sad at how things turned out for her." (MSNBC) ... Rocker Pete Doherty's newest addiction: Jaguars. The rocker has gone through eight of the cars in as many weeks -- when one gets towed, he simply heads to the nearest used-car dealer and pays cash for a new one. (London Mirror) ... The City of Los Angeles has approved a $1.1 million payment to the family of Notorious B.I.G. for police negligence during the rapper's wrongful-death trial. (Associated Press) ... PBS chat-man Charlie Rose is recovering from heart surgery in Paris, but is expected to be back at work by the end of April. (Yahoo! News) ... A pregnant Gwyneth Paltrow -- the same mother who once said, "I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup" -- was spotted at a sushi restaurant in Lower Manhattan, drinking Guinness. (Gatecrasher)


Money Quote:
CNN founder Ted Turner on what's become of cable news since he left the business: "There's an awful lot of superfluous news, the pervert of the day and someone that shot seven people at a fraternity party. Who needs it all?" (Associated Press via CNN)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
The History Channel's "Declassified" (10 p.m. EST) peeks into Mao Zedong's once-private archives, ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (8 p.m. EST) tackles post-hurricane problems in Florida, and on NBC's "The Office" (9:30 p.m. EST) Michael takes the Dunder Mifflin gang ice-skating to celebrate his birthday.


-- Joe DiMento

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