The Fix

Anna Nicole's son's death cleared up, but the mystery of her baby's daddy deepens. Plus: Screech's sex tape, the preview.

Published September 28, 2006 1:30PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Drug mix killed Daniel? The pathologist who conducted a private autopsy of Anna Nicole Smith's son, Daniel, now says the 20-year-old died of a lethal combination of methadone and the antidepressant drugs Zoloft and Lexapro, but rules out the possibility of an overdose. Dr. Cyril Wecht told the Associated Press, "The fact that we have these drugs and the levels of the drugs overwhelmingly and most logically point to this being a tragic, accidental, drug-related death." (Associated Press)

Dueling daddies: Meanwhile, the debate over who is actually the father of Smith's newborn baby girl is turning ugly. After her lawyer, Howard K. Stern, announced on "Larry King Live" on Tuesday that he's the "proud father," Smith's ex, Larry Birkhead, a photographer, is insisting the child is his, and is asking for a DNA test to prove it. "I know I am the father of the child," Birkhead told Us Weekly. "I look forward to having a relationship with my new daughter." He calls Stern's assertion "laughable," and adds that "Larry King didn't even believe Howard." (Associated Press)

That didn't take long: There's a totally sanitized preview of Dustin Diamond's sex tape up on TMZ (see the clip here). While Diamond would only say, "It's very possible that tape exists," when speaking to a Tampa, Fla., radio show on Wednesday (listen to the full interview here), it's clear from the clip that the subject is indeed the former Screech. (TMZ)

Charlie Sheen, star of CBS's "Two and a Half Men," has just renegotiated his contract to make him -- at $350,000 an episode -- the best-paid sitcom star currently on TV. (Reuters) ... Britney Spears, insisting she can handle her own P.R. now, recently dropped her longtime rep, Leslie Sloan Zelnick, and proved her mettle by selling pictures of her newborn son, Sutton, to People magazine for an undisclosed sum. (Radar) ... Sad news for former rapper Joseph (Rev. Run) Simmons and his wife, Justine -- their newborn daughter died on Tuesday shortly after being born prematurely. In a statement, Simmons said: "On Sept. 26, 2006, Victoria Anne Simmons for some unknown reason chose to come early and unfortunately did not survive." (Lowdown) ... Justin Timberlake held off Clay Aiken's new album to stay at the No. 1 spot in this week's Billboard 200 album charts. (E Online) ... "Six Feet Under" actress Lauren Ambrose is reportedly pregnant with her first child, due in December. (Us Online) ... For real gossip cognoscenti, Radar has a long profile on Mario Lavandeira, aka blogger Perez Hilton, including Lavandeira's admission that he was nearly suicidal just before his blog took off: "I felt like I was in a black hole, a tunnel, and I couldn't see the light at the end. My mom was this close to having me committed. I was always thinking about how I was going to do it ... with pills, with a gun, or what." (Radar)

Money Quote:
Sex writer Tristan Taormino, who's also Thomas Pynchon's niece, on her desire to get her famously reclusive uncle involved in one of her porn movies: "I think it would be fascinating for him do commentary on the next one ... I'm not holding my breath." (Page Six)

Turn On:
Two new series launch Thursday: the U.S. version of "Ugly Betty" (ABC, 9 p.m. EDT) and "Moms on the Road: Africa" (Travel, 9 p.m. EDT), in which eight mothers crisscross Africa, going from five-star hotels to shantytowns. And both "Smallville" (CW, 8 p.m. EDT) and "Supernatural" (CBS, 10 p.m. EDT) have their season premieres.

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT): Ashton Kutcher
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Chris Wallace, David Remnick, Richard Clarke and Al Hunt discuss the Clinton administration's anti-terrorism efforts
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Sir Richard Branson, Dane Cook, Monica
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Ashton Kutcher, Jenna Fischer, Amos Lee
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): John Stamos, Amy Poehler, Nigella Lawson
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Billy Connolly, Michael Ian Black, M. Ward
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Anthony Anderson, Ludacris
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Jim McGreevey
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Steve Wozniak

-- Scott Lamb

Get more of the Fix here.
To send a hot tip to the Fix, click here.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------