The Fix

Paris, secret genius? Moola the real reason Britney dumped Kabbalah? Plus: Will Bush see Gore flick?

Salon Staff
May 23, 2006 5:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Paris Hilton proves capitalism so right: Proof of her actual intelligence is impossible to gauge from her public persona, but the evidence is not great that Paris Hilton is a genius. Unless you're Fox 411's Roger Friedman. Citing some of her recent high-paying engagements as proof -- she was paid $200,000 for a night's work over the weekend in Cannes, France, just to show up at a charity function -- Friedman argues that Hilton is "dumb like a ... mogul." Another of her recent junkets, in Vienna, Austria, got her $1 million. And what does she do at these events? "All I had to do was wave, like this," she told Friedman, doing her imitation of the royal wave. (Fox 411)

Did Britney dump Kabbalah over cash? Britney Spears' pithy announcement last week that she was giving up the study of Kabbalah -- she posted a note on her Web site saying only, "I no longer study Kaballah. My baby is my religion" -- may not have been the whole story, according to the Scoop. A Spears insider tells the gossip page that "she's tired of the way [Kabbalah leaders] kept hassling her for money." Or maybe her mom, Lynne, is the one who got tired of it: "It was mostly her mother's decision," says the source. "They were always asking Britney to tithe [donate a percentage of her salary]. There was a lot of pressure, and finally her mom said, 'Enough is enough.'" (The Scoop)


The back story on Tommy's beef with Axl: If you're still finding the bizarre story about Tommy Hilfiger punching Axl Rose at a Manhattan club last week a little hard to follow, lucky for you, Page Six finally has "the real story" about what went down. Unfortunately, though, its version is just as crazy: Apparently Hilfiger has had it out for Rose ever since the rocker started dating Diane O'Connor, Hilfiger's adopted brother's ex-wife. You follow? One source even tells Page Six that Hilfiger and the brother, designer Michael H., made a "pact" to attack Rose whenever they see him. (Page Six)

Someone had to be offended by Madonna's appearance on a large mirrored cross for one number on her current tour, and it looks like the Church of England has taken the bait. "Why would someone with so much talent seem to feel the need to promote herself by offending so many people?" asked a church representative on Monday. (BBC News) ... Brandon Davis has called Lindsay Lohan and apologized for publicly calling her a "fire crotch," among other things -- or at least that's what Davis' pal Joe Francis, "Girls Gone Wild" porn magnate, says. (TMZ) ... It was a tough competition, but PETA has named Prince and "Veronica Mars" star Kristen Bell the sexiest vegetarians of 2006. (Associated Press) ... Flying back from Texas to California on Monday, Robert Rey, of "Dr. 90210" semifame, apparently used his karate skills to take down an elderly man who rushed the cockpit during a landing in Los Angeles. The man was later said to have had an attack of claustrophobia and was taken to a nearby hospital. (TMZ) ... Actress Michelle Rodriguez -- who recently did a brief stint in a Hawaiian prison for a DUI last December -- was given 60 days of jail time in Los Angeles for violating her probation on charges stemming from a DUI in 2004. (E! Online) ... ASCAP -- the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers -- has named 50 Cent the pop songwriter of the year for his contributions to songs like "Disco Inferno" and "Just a Lil Bit." He has won the award before, in 2004. (ASCAP)

Money Quote:
President Bush on whether he plans to see "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's global-warming documentary: "Doubt it." (Los Angeles Times)


Turn On:
Katharine and Taylor duke it out in the penultimate "American Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m. EDT), followed by the final episode of "House" (Fox, 9 p.m. EDT). Also, Reba McEntire hosts "The 41st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards" (CBS, 8 p.m. EDT), and ABC airs the made-for-TV Stephen King movie "Desperation" (8 p.m. EDT).

-- Scott Lamb

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