The Fix

Nancy Grace sued. Federline says no sex tape. Plus: Fox offered Brown and Goldman families "hush money"?

Published November 22, 2006 2:30PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Grace gets sued: The family of Melinda Duckett, the mother of still-missing toddler Trenton Duckett who killed herself the day after taping an aggressively probing interview for Nancy Grace's "Headline News" show, is now suing both Grace and CNN for wrongful death. The suit claims the show misrepresented its intentions for the interview "in order to improve their ratings and for the prospective monetary gain of Defendant NANCY GRACE and Defendant CNN in malicious and contumacious disregard to inflicting severe emotional distress and damage" on both Duckett and her family. Grace's show aired the interview despite the news of Duckett's suicide -- you can watch the relevant exchange in a "Scarborough" clip on Video Dog. (The Smoking Gun, International Herald Tribune)

No sex tape? In an effort to quash rumors that his client has been trying to peddle a nasty video featuring his soon-to-be-ex-wife Britney Spears, Kevin Federline's lawyer is now saying that no such tape even exists. "While this is endemic [sic] of countless false and inaccurate stories that have made their way into the media regarding Kevin, his marriage to Britney, and the divorce proceedings which they are presently going through, I want to put this issue to rest once and for all," attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan said on Tuesday: "There is not a sex video of Kevin and Britney in existence." (Associated Press)

Browns and Goldmans offered hush money? Denise Brown appeared on the "Today" show on Tuesday morning to claim that back when Fox was still considering selling O.J. Simpson's book about hypothetically killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman and running an interview with him about it, the company offered her family "hush money" tied to the profits of the book and TV special. "They wanted to offer us millions of dollars. Millions of dollars for, like, 'Oh, I'm sorry' money. But they were still going to air the show," Brown told Matt Lauer. Goldman's family, too, was offered money over the weekend, but a lawyer for Fox told the New York Daily News the offer was only for a share of any profits made from the book and TV deal, and that "there were no strings attached." (N.Y. Daily News)

Kelly Clarkson, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Eyed Peas and country group Rascal Flatts were all big winners at Tuesday night's American Music Awards -- you can see a full rundown of the event here. (Forbes) ... Wesley Snipes says he thought all of the tax fraud issues he's now facing had been resolved years ago, and that he's innocent of the charges. In an e-mail to the Orlando Sentinel's Taking Names column, he writes: "It appears I'm to be the scapegoat, because there's more public interest in 'celebrities gone bad' than 'rich people being taken advantage of.'" (Taking Names) ... ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" results show was the biggest TV show in the country last week, drawing 27.5 million viewers according to Nielsen ratings. (USA Today) ... For his latest trick, publicity seeker and sometime magician David Blaine will be shackled by his hands and feet to a spinning gyroscope on Thanksgiving Day in New York's Times Square. As his press release states, he will then "attempt to escape from shackles while dangling four stories above Times Square in time for the Target 2-Day Sale ... If David Blaine successfully completes this feat, 100 deserving children will have a surprising and unforgettable start to the Christmas season," which means a shopping spree at -- surprise! -- Target. ( ... Legendary director Robert Altman died at age 81 on Monday night in Los Angeles of cancer -- Salon film critic Stephanie Zacharek looks back at his long and full career here. (Associated Press)

Money Quote:
Heather Mills on things she'd endure rather than having to get divorced again: "I would rather someone come up and chop off all my limbs than go through what I went through." (Extra via BBC News)

Turn On:
Wednesday night brings "Madonna: The Confessions Tour -- Live From London" (NBC, 8 p.m. EST), while the contestants of "Top Chef" (Bravo, 10 p.m. EST) must make a meal from only canned goods, and "The Real World" (MTV, 10 p.m. EST) goes to Denver for the premiere of its 18th season.

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EST): James Dobson
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Brice Marden at MoMA
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST): Stupid Pet Tricks, Matthew Broderick, Lupe Fiasco & Jill Scott
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST): Julie Scardina, Ellen Pompeo, Nelly Furtado
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST): Will Arnett, Tiki Barber, Billy Talent
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST): Fred Willard, Ashley Scott, Gabriel Iglesias
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST): Regis Philbin, Jay-Z
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST): Howard Dean (repeat)
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST): Jeff Greenfield (repeat)

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By Scott Lamb

Scott Lamb is a senior editor at

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