The Fix

The Jolie-Pitts issue plea. Cruise boasts about fathering skills. Plus: Mick Jagger snubs President Bush.

By Salon Staff
April 25, 2006 5:30PM (UTC)
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Morning Briefing:
The Jolie-Pitts' plea for privacy: The Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie adventure continues at a beachside resort in Africa, and following the alleged pepper-spraying and beating of various paparazzi last week, the couple has issued a calm joint statement asking to be left alone: "We love Africa and to be here in Namibia with our family is very special for us," it said. "As for the press, we kindly ask for privacy so that we can enjoy this beautiful country with our children." After Jolie apparently threatened to leave the resort, Namibian officials ejected four photogs over the weekend, threatening them with arrest if they didn't leave. "This lady is expecting," Namibian Prime Minister Nahas Angula told the Sunday Times. "You guys are harassing her. Why don't you allow her some privacy? Harassment is not allowed in Namibia." (E! Online, Post Chronicle)

Cruise pities the media: Tom Cruise contends that he feels bad for the journalists who write about him, saying, "When I meet these people, they really seem unhappy to me. And that's too bad. Because I'm happy." In other Cruise news, he bragged to reporters about his abilities as a father, not only burping the baby but changing her diapers -- "I changed her first. I change diapers all the time" -- all from the calm remove of Rome, having flown to Italy to promote his movie while Katie Holmes and baby Suri stayed at home. (ContactMusic, People)


Richards hearts Sambora: Charlie Sheen's soon-to-be ex-wife, Denise Richards, has been spotted getting friendly with Richie Sambora, Heather Locklear's soon-to-be ex-husband. Paparazzi snapped photos of the couple in Laguna Beach and other Southern California spots over the weekend, just a day after Richards was granted a restraining order against Sheen. Richards and Locklear are (were?) close friends, but neither has commented yet on the blooming relationship. (People, Hollywood Tuna)

"United 93," loved or hated? When "United 93" debuts tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival, it will be to either a packed house or a very quiet one, depending on whom you ask. One source tells Lowdown that Tribeca is still scrambling to fill seats at one of the theaters being used for the premiere, while a festival organizer says, "The phones have not stopped all day for tickets to this." P.R. honcho Peggy Siegal tells Lowdown: "This is the hottest ticket. People at Universal have been tearing their hair out trying to find seats for people and juggling between the theaters." (Lowdown)

Mick Jagger booked the same set of suites in Vienna's Imperial Hotel for the Rolling Stones tour that President Bush was hoping to use during a summit in June -- and he has refused to give it over. A source close to Jagger told the U.K. Sun: "Bush's people seemed to be under the impression that they would just hand over the suites, but there was no way Mick was going to do that." (The Sun) ... As of last Sunday's broadcast, Tim Russert and "Meet the Press" have been the most popular Sunday morning show for five years running -- that's 260 consecutive weeks. (Associated Press) ... The Dixie Chicks' single "Not Ready to Make Nice" beat out Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw to become the current No. 1 country download on iTunes. (Fox 411) ... Maury Povich is being sued for sexual harassment by one of the producers of his show, Bianca Nardi, who claims that -- among other nasty things -- she was forced to have her breasts photographed and that the show's offices are "permeated with the use of alcohol, pornographic videos, and parties inviting open and notorious sexual activity." (TMZ) ... "X-Files" star Gillian Anderson is separating from her husband, documentarian Julian Ozanne, after 16 months of marriage. (Associated Press via Yahoo! News) ... Gossip scribe Lloyd Grove is rumored to be on the lookout for a new gig -- his three-year contract at the New York Daily News, where he pens Lowdown, expires in September, and there's talk he may be considering jumping to the paper's rival, the New York Post. (Women's Wear Daily)


Money Quote:
Tom Cruise on how he managed to outwit the paparazzi and safeguard Katie Holmes and daughter Suri since her birth last week: "Do you think I'm gonna let anybody mess with my girls? Come on, man, I make 'Mission: Impossible' movies." (ContactMusic)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
ABC airs back-to-back new episodes of "Hope & Faith" (8:30 p.m. EDT), and PBS analyzes the rationale of "the faithful" in the "Frontline" documentary "The Insurgency" (check local listings).


-- Joe DiMento

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