The Fix

Aniston denies engagement rumors. Tim Gunn splits with "Runway" judges. Plus: Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson? Mario Batali and Courtney Love?

Published August 17, 2006 1:30PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
The lady doth protest (too much?): With her publicist Stephen Huvane desperately pulling out all the stops to quash the story about her engagement to Vince Vaughn -- including reportedly trying to blacklist the "Today" show -- Jennifer Aniston has finally decided that if you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself. In an interview with People, Aniston tries to spell out a denial in as many ways as she can: "I'm not engaged and I don't have a ring and I haven't been proposed to ... No. I mean, it couldn't be more of a 'No.'" Weirdly, she blames the mainstream media, not the tabloids, for forcing her to step up: "When it starts to travel over into the 'Today' show and CNN and supposedly reliable and accurate news programs, then you just go, 'This is insane.' People are getting fed a lot of bull." (People)

The Gunn report: The genius of Tim Gunn isn't limited to his refreshingly blunt performance on "Project Runway" -- he also keeps an official blog on the show's Web site, where he frequently disagrees with the judges' decisions (spoiler alert ahead). After Alison was booted on Wednesday night, he defended her losing look, which was made out of manila paper: "Her design was an origami and sculptural masterpiece, in my opinion. Foolish me, I thought she could win. Neither of us anticipated that the asymmetry of the design would bug the judges ... Chacun à son goût. It's a matter of taste. Alison, we will miss you more than I can adequately express." Then, describing Angela's crappy get-up, he writes: "It was all so basic. And it looked like an elementary school craft project for a production of 'Camelot' to boot. But Angela's still in: Chacun à son goût." (Bravo)

On the "friendship" of Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson: Following last week's trash-tastic Aniston/Vaughn cover, Us Weekly has come out this week with something -- well, we'll let the cover speak for itself: "Kate and Owen's Secret Affair: Sexy Dates, Sleepovers at his house. How their fling turned serious as Kate's marriage fell apart." With Wilson's lawyer telling Gatecrasher, "Any suggestion that Mr. Wilson caused the breakup of [Hudson's] marriage [to Chris Robinson] is actionable," we'll only note the timing is an interesting coincidence, since Hudson's separation from Robinson was just announced on Tuesday. Perhaps, as Us points out, there's some insight to be found in an interview she gave last year to "Access Hollywood's" red carpet creature Billy Bush:

Bush: So, are you prepared to live your life, the rest of your life, with just one lover?

Hudson: I don't know the answer to that.

(Us Online, Gawker)

Sweet chef love for Courtney? Gatecrasher has some very odd news from New York. A source close to celeb chef Mario Batali says that after one recent late-night drinking session with friends at Greenwich Village's the Spotted Pig, the married Batali mentioned he was going to "drop in on Courtney Love." The source said, "He said that he 'often' drops in on her," though Batali's spokeswoman responded, "That's ridiculous." (Gatecrasher)

Britney Spears says her current pregnancy was unplanned: "It just kind of happened. I'm going to wait a while for the next [one]! ... I feel like I've been pregnant for 10 years!" (Associated Press) ... The current No. 1 album in the U.S.: Rick Ross' "Port of Miami," which sold 187,000 copies in its first week. (E! Online) ... Production has started on Tim Burton's film version of the Stephen Sondheim musical "Sweeney Todd," with Johnny Depp in the title role. (Hollywood Reporter) ... Vanity Fair has a new publisher: Edward Menicheschi has replaced the embattled Alan Katz, who struggled with slow ad sales and was rumored to chafe with editor-in-chief Graydon Carter. (WWD) ... Oil heir/recent rehab alum Brandon Davis -- famous only for his angry, alcohol-fueled and genitalia-focused rant against Lindsay Lohan -- has apparently fallen off the wagon: He was reportedly seen drunkenly trying to extend his 15 minutes during Paris Hilton's album launch party in Miami, where he took the stage and announced, "I wrote a special new song called 'Firecrotch,' and it's for Lindsay Lohan!" (Page Six) ... NASA says it has lost the original tapes of the transmissions from the first moon landing in 1969. "We haven't seen them for quite a while," said a spokesman. "We've been looking for over a year and they haven't turned up." (Reuters)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FX, 10 p.m. EDT) and "America's Got Talent" (NBC, 9 p.m. EDT) wrap up their seasons, while new show "Ace of Cakes" (Food, 10:30 p.m. EDT) chronicles the work of "extreme baker" Duff Goldman. Also, Cinemax presents "The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club" (7 p.m. EDT), a docu-short about a photojournalist who committed suicide over the controversy surrounding his work.

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT): Discussion of the JonBenet Ramsey murder case
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Rick Warren
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Whoopi Goldberg, Fatboy Slim
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Kate Hudson, Kevin Smith, Soul Asylum (repeat)
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Bruce Willis, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Dropkick Murphys (repeat)
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Jane Kaczmarek, Esai Morales, Larke Miller
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Will Ferrell, Bobby Cannavale, Under the Influence of Giants (repeat)
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Matt Dillon
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Neil Young

-- Lamar Clarkson

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By Salon Staff

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