The Fix

Trump spares hard-partying Miss USA. Britney's cheating heart? Plus: Fred Goldman files O.J. suit.

Published December 20, 2006 2:30PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Trump says, "You're not fired!" Miss USA Tara Conner's crown-wearing days looked numbered after she was recently accused of such un-Miss USA-like activities as underage drinking (she just turned 21, but has been spotted in New York City bars for months) and "sexual misconduct" (she has been linked to a number of men over the same period, and reportedly made out with Miss Teen USA). (See Broadsheet's item from Tuesday for more on beauty contest rules.) But Miss Universe Organization co-owner Donald Trump decided to spare Conner and allow her to keep her title, provided she goes into rehab. At the press conference on Tuesday announcing his decision, Trump said Conner could be a role model as someone who could change her ways: "I believe she can do a tremendous service to young people." (Us Online)

Sony settles: Music giant Sony BMG has decided to settle a lawsuit brought against it for secretly embedding music CDs with software designed to limit the number of copies consumers could make of the discs using a computer -- the programs also made the unwitting users' computers more vulnerable to hackers. Sony has agreed to immediately stop distributing CDs with the hidden software and will pay $1.5 million in fees and fines, as well as make payments to any consumers who can document computer damage that resulted from the presence of the software. (Hollywood Reporter)

Goldman files Simpson suit: Ron Goldman's father, Fred, filed suit against O.J. Simpson on Tuesday, seeking the profits that Simpson made from his "If I Did It" TV and book deal. The suit claims Simpson tried to defraud the Goldman family by setting up a shell company to receive profits from the deal -- reportedly worth about $1.1 million -- thus avoiding a direct tie to Simpson, who still owes the Goldman family $38 million from an earlier judgment in a wrongful-death suit stemming from Ron's murder. (Associated Press)

Britney gossip du jour: The new leading theory of what led to the end of the Britney Spears/Kevin Federline marriage posits Spears as the likely cheater, not Federline. Star reports that Spears and new squeeze J.R. Rotem were an item before she filed papers, though Rotem was also previously linked to Spears' new idol, Paris Hilton. In Touch Weekly, meanwhile, reports on a kinda heartbreaking conversation between Spears and Federline, with the pop starlet taunting her ex with pictures of her smooching her new flame. "It was really bad," a source tells the mag. "She just started pushing his buttons ... He started screaming at her." (The Scoop)

Eminem's second divorce from his wife, Kim Mathers, was finalized in a settlement in a Michigan court on Tuesday. The couple will share custody of their 10-year-old daughter, Hailie Jade Scott. (BBC News) ... Beating out "Deal or No Deal" and the "Survivor" finale, "NCIS" was last week's top-rated TV show, drawing an audience of 17.4 million. (USA Today) ... The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has announced the recipients of its 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. The winners? The Grateful Dead, the Doors, Joan Baez, Maria Callas, Ornette Coleman, Bob Wills and Booker T. & the MG's. (E Online) ... "United 93" is picking up Oscar steam: The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association -- which has been in line with the Oscar winner for best picture four times in the last five years -- has selected the 9/11 drama as the year's best movie. (The Envelope) ... Meanwhile, the Toronto Film Critics Association picked "The Queen" as its favorite picture of 2006, and gave Helen Mirren the best-actress award for her title role in the picture. (Reuters)

Money Quote:
Actor Bill Nighy on what words of wisdom he had for his "Notes on a Scandal" costar, 17-year-old Andrew Simpson: "The only acting advice I ever give is don't take drugs and pay your taxes, which is a couple of things I wish somebody had told me when I was his age." (Rush & Molloy)

Turn On:
Wednesday night is chock full of seasonal programming: TNT offers a 1999 version of "A Christmas Carol" (8 p.m. EST), starring Patrick Stewart as Scrooge; the Food Channel covers the 2006 "Gingerbread Championships" (9 p.m. EST); "Christmas Out of the Box" (National Geographic, 9 p.m. EST) looks at the various roots of the celebration; and "After Jesus -- The First Christians" (CNN, 7 p.m. EST) takes a skeptical look at the beginnings of Christianity.

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EST): JonBenet's father, John Ramsey
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Directors Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST): Renée Zellweger, holiday toy demonstration, Taking Back Sunday
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST): Will Smith, Pamela Anderson, Richard Roeper, the Blind Boys of Alabama
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST): Stuart Scott, Sean Lennon
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST): Xzibit, Paula Poundstone
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST): Adam Carolla, Giovanni Ribisi, OK Go
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST): Ben Stiller
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST): Robert Schneider, Chris Funk

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By Scott Lamb

Scott Lamb is a senior editor at

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