The Fix

Madonna adopting in Africa? Anna Nicole allegedly poses with baby, pasties. Plus: Mel Gibson, off the wagon?


Salon Staff
October 4, 2006 5:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Madonna and child: Madonna arrived in the African nation of Malawi on Wednesday, and she may not be leaving alone. The pop star's official schedule has her setting up several projects for the country's estimated 1 million children orphaned by AIDS, including education and feeding centers, but Andrina Mchiela, secretary to the minister for gender and child welfare, said the singer also plans to adopt a child during her visit. (Associated Press)

Drug tests, big checks and pasties, oh my: We'd be happy not to write another word on Anna Nicole Smith for a long, long time, but the news keeps coming. On Tuesday, it became clear that ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead's lawsuit against Smith is about more than just paternity: He's also asking for full custody of the newborn Dannielynn, claiming that Smith is a methadone addict who fled to the Bahamas to have her baby because she could avoid drug tests there. Us Weekly reports that Birkhead also alleges that Howard K. Stern is "claiming to be Dannielynn's father for his own financial gain, and claims that Smith had asked a third unidentified man to say that he was the father of her child -- a plan which didn't work out because the man had already had a vasectomy." Backing up at least part of Birkhead's claim is the news that Smith sold the photos of her "commitment ceremony" with Stern to People for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million, according to Radar's sources. The reason for the high price tag? Shots of li'l Dannielynn, including, writes Gawker, one pic in which "Anna is supposedly holding the baby while wearing pasties." (Defamer, Us Online, Radar, Gawker)

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Mel Gibson, drinking again? Various sources tell the National Enquirer they spotted Mel Gibson sippin' on a Bud during his recent stop in Austin, Texas, to screen an unfinished version of "Apocalypto." The tabloid quotes one witness as saying, "Mel Gibson was swigging a Bud with two adoring young women hanging on his every word" at an Austin bar, Stubb's Bar-B-Q, while another claims, "He definitely was drinking Budweiser. I saw him." Gibson spokesman Alan Neirob tells the Scoop: "The story's not true. He wasn't drinking anything alcoholic." (National Enquirer via the Scoop)

Also:
Maggie Gyllenhaal has reportedly given birth at a hospital in Manhattan -- as of Tuesday night, she and Peter Sarsgaard are the proud parents of a baby girl, Ramona. (Pink Is the New Blog) ... The rumors have been circling for months, but Access Hollywood and E! are confirming that Tori Spelling is pregnant. It will be her and husband Dean McDermott's first child. (Access Hollywood) ... David Hasselhoff's European single "Jump in My Car" is currently No. 13 in the midweek charts in the U.K., and reportedly is poised to go higher. (3 a.m. Girls) ... Barbara Walters' recent interview with Terri Irwin, widow of the late Crocodile Hunter, reportedly cost ABC News somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million in "licensing fees" for private footage of Steve Irwin. (Rush & Molloy) ... On the eve of the DVD release of "Reds," 25 years after the movie first came out in theaters, the New York Times looks back at Warren Beatty's masterpiece about the early days of the Soviet revolution and finds that the film "may be less nostalgic now than it was in 1981." (New York Times) ... The debut of Rachael Ray's syndicated talk show last week was the highest rated since Dr. Phil's debut in 2002, and Ray came in fourth in the overall talk ratings, after "Oprah," "Dr. Phil" and "Live with Regis & Kelly."(Broadcasting & Cable)

Money Quote:
Donald Trump offers his own interpretation of Brad Pitt's recent announcement that he and Angelina Jolie won't get hitched until gay marriage is legalized: "Obviously, Brad is trying to be a social activist and make a point about dropping the restrictions on who is allowed to get married and who isn't in this country. Or at least that's what he wants people to think. Maybe he's just come up with an excellent way to stay a bachelor. It makes him look really concerned about the plight of other people. Yet at the same time, he doesn't have to get married. This guy is smarter than I thought." (Trump Blog)

Turn On:
It's the long-awaited season premiere of "Lost" (ABC, 9 p.m. EDT), and "South Park" (Comedy Central, 10 p.m. EDT) returns for its 10th season. Also, the new series "The Nine" (ABC, 10 p.m. EDT) and "Freak Show" (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m. EDT) -- an animated show from David Cross ("Arrested Development") and H. Jon Benjamin ("Dr. Katz") -- both have their debuts.

On the Talk Shows:
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Sumner Redstone
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Alec Baldwin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Young
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Michael Clarke Duncan, Lisa Lampanelli, Rod Stewart
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Brian Williams, Dominic Monaghan, Larry Miller
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Jeffrey Tambor, Connie Britton, Billy Bragg
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Dane Cook, Emilie de Ravin, the Killers
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Ian Bremmer
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Sen. Byron Dorgan

-- Scott Lamb

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