The Fix

Jolie scolds Madonna. Oprah blackmailed? Plus: Online porn king questions the Screech sex tape.

By Scott Lamb
Published January 8, 2007 2:30PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Jolie weighs in on Madonna: According to the Daily Mail, Angelina Jolie wasn't impressed with how Madonna decided to go about adopting her son, David, from Malawi. "Madonna knew the situation in Malawi," said Jolie. "It's a country where there is no real legal framework for adoption. Personally, I prefer to stay on the right side of the law. I would never take a child away from a place where adoption is illegal." Heightening her moral status, perhaps, Jolie actually took the form of Madonna's namesake -- at least in a painting currently showing at the Miami Art Fair, where Jolie appears as the Virgin Mary, holding baby Shiloh in her arms with Maddox and Zahara at her side. (Daily Mail, Kate Kretz)

The failed Oprah blackmail plot? The FBI was involved in setting up a sting to catch a man allegedly trying to blackmail Oprah Winfrey's company over recorded phone calls he said would "not destroy but hurt" her reputation. Keifer Bonvillain was arrested Dec. 15 in Atlanta after reportedly trying to extort money from a victim who goes unnamed in the FBI's report, but who is identified as "a public figure and the owner of a Chicago-based company." Over the weekend, the Chicago Tribune said the figure was Oprah, and reported that Bonvillain was asking for $1.5 million in exchange for keeping recordings he'd made of conversations with an Oprah employee private. He'd e-mailed and written Oprah about the tapes, but was finally arrested after an Oprah representative, who was working with the FBI, wired him $3,000 good-faith money toward the full blackmail payment. (Associated Press, Chicago Tribune)

National Society of Film Critics awards: Voting on Saturday, the National Society of Film Critics made its picks for the best films and performances of last year. The winners: Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" won best movie; Paul Greengrass was awarded best director for "United 93"; Helen Mirren took home best actress for her role in "The Queen"; and Forest Whitaker was chosen as best actor for "Last King of Scotland." You can see a full list of winners here. (International Herald Tribune, Variety)

Screech sex tape update: Online porn peddler David Hans Schmidt, who made a deal with Red Light District Video to distribute the tape starring former "Saved by the Bell" actor Dustin Diamond, says he doubts all the body parts featured in the video belong to Screech. "You never see his face and his [manhood] in the same shot," says Schmidt. "If, in fact, he used a body double, I'm going to sue him for defrauding me, Red Light and the American public." Diamond's girlfriend, Jennifer Misner, defends her man: "That is all Dustin. I would definitely know." (Rush & Molloy) ... Renée Zellweger still gets upset when talking about her breakup with Kenny Chesney. (She was wed to him for four months before having the marriage annulled in 2005.) Asked by Life about the split, she says, "It's not on the top of my favorite things that have ever happened. [Her eyes well up] I'm not a superficial person. I don't care about what's on the grocery-store shelves. That's just salt in the wound. But it's not a television show. I lived it." (Life) ... Contradicting rumors the New York Post ran last week that Britney Spears is on the verge of getting dropped by her record label, Jive, Fox 411 reports that the singer is actually quite safe, for now. A source points out the simple market logic for keeping her on: "Let's put it this way: She's just a hit away from being back. Why drop her now?" (Fox 411) ... "Night at the Museum" and "The Pursuit of Happyness" repeated their No. 1 and 2 performances at the box office this weekend, with "Museum" pulling in another $24 million and "Happyness" taking in $13 million. (Variety)

Money Quote:
Kathy Griffin -- in her current stand-up act -- jokes about Whitney Houston's alleged drug problems: "You know who was at her intervention? Courtney Love ... Now let me tell you something, when Courtney Love is telling you you're hitting the pipe too hard, that's bad." (Page Six)

Turn On:
Two new reality shows arrive on Monday night: The guess-the-sexual-preference/relationship-status dating contest "Gay, Straight or Taken?" (Lifetime, 8 p.m. EST) and the equally self-explanatory "The (White) Rapper Show" (VH1, 10:30 p.m. EST). The drama "Lincoln Heights" (ABC Family, 7 p.m. EST) also launches, "Star Trek: Enterprise" (Sci Fi, 7 p.m. EST) debuts on cable, and Fox presents the Ohio State Buckeyes vs. the Florida Gators in the "BCS National Championship" (8:30 p.m. EST).

On the Talk Shows:
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST): David Arquette, Jennifer Hudson
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST): Kiefer Sutherland, Betty White, Chris Daughtry
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST): Matt Lauer, America Ferrera, Little Big Town
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST): Mario Lopez, Ne-Yo, Shawn Colvin
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST): Courteney Cox Arquette, Mark Moses, Twilight Singers (repeat)
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST): Louis C.K.
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST): Ethan Nadelman

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

Scott Lamb

Scott Lamb is a senior editor at

MORE FROM Scott Lamb

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