Saturday 16 December 2017

Book reveals Monica play for aide of Clinton

A Complicated Man: The Life of Bill Clinton as Told by Those Who Know Him isn't due out until October, but it's already making news -- not least because of the revelation that before she set her hat at the former president, Monica Lewinsky "had eyes" for his top aide, George Stephanopoulos.

In a chapter titled 'The Bombshell Wears A Beret', former White House press secretary Mike McCurry tells author Michael Takiff how surprised he and other aides were upon learning the identity of the woman at the centre of the then-exploding sex scandal.

"That Monica? That can't be right," McCurry remembers thinking. "We knew who she was because she used to flirt excessively with Stephanopoulos. She would hang around George's office all the time, asking if she could go to Starbucks for him."

McCurry also admits to telling a reporter working the simmering scandal that the notion Clinton was fooling around was crazy.

"He's got Secret Service guys here all the time. Even if he wanted to, there's no way he could pull anything off," he said, believing he was telling the truth.

Former Senator Bob Kerrey's reaction to the news about Lewinsky was more raw. "Oh my God, an intern. He's toast," Kerrey tells Takiff, who interviewed 150 named sources -- from Bob Dole to James Carville -- for a fascinating look at a man he leaves up to his readers to judge as either "a decent man with flaws . . . or a flawed man with no decency."

Smith 'needed drugs to live'

ANNA Nicole Smith refused to accept that she was a drug addict, a weepy Larry Birkhead said on Friday, despite the fact that she relied on an mind-boggling array of prescription meds to get her though the day.

Birkhead, the father of Smith's daughter Dannielynn, says when he moved in with the actress in 2005, her medicine chest was crammed with drugs such as methadone, Topamax, Vicodin, Ambien, Valium and Chlonopin.

Testifying for the prosecution in the prescription-drug case against Howard K Stern and two of Smith's doctors (all of whom have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to provide excessive drugs to the celebrity model) Birkhead said Smith sometimes suffered seizures after taking drugs.

He also said he often saw her fall asleep while eating and put that down to the fact that she was taking numerous prescription medications.

Even though he says he tried to curb Smith's dependence, she was too strong-willed for him.

"She would say, 'I am in pain. I am not a drug addict, I have a high tolerance'."

Birkhead also testified that he and Stern butted heads over Anna's health. At one point, he said, he tried to hide a bottle of methadone from his girlfriend, and Stern told him Smith "needed the methadone to live." After that, he never hid her drugs again, saying he "didn't want anything to happen to her after [Stern] said she needed it to live." Smith was 39 when she died in February 2007 of an overdose of prescription drugs.

Diaz's beauty is 'dangerous'

CAMERON Diaz's cyber-status took a serious nosedive last week when she topped this year's "Most Dangerous Celebrities" list, compiled by anti-virus analysts McAfee.

Diaz was closely followed by Julia Roberts and Jessica Biel in the list of celebrity searches most likely to leave browsers vulnerable to encountering corrupt sites and malicious software, often designed to steal the user's personal information.

Other bold-faced names on the list include Gisele Bundchen, Brad Pitt, Adriana Lima, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Heidi Klum, Penelope Cruz and Anna Paquin.

The McAfee cyber-sleuths suggest "slightly less sexy" searches will keep your risk level low and used political "personalities" including Barack Obama and Sarah Palin as the safest (read: unpopular ) searches around.

Millennium bug hits town

AS the Millennium Trilogy mania continues to build in Hollywood, with last week's announcement that little-known actress Rooney Mara beat the likes of Scarlett Johanson and Emma Watson to play Lisbeth Salander in the English-language remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the people who represent Noomi Rapace (who plays the role in the original Swedish version) are reportedly hustling to get her on the Oscar-contention list.

Whether or not Rapace can be Oscar 2011's Marion Cotillard, the gambit places her in pretty good company, with current front-runners for the Best Actress slot including Annette Bening and Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine) Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs) and Natalie Portman (Black Swan).

And, even though the 30-year-old Swede has only been in LA a few weeks, the trade publications are tracking her meetings with such attention, they already have her "in the frame" for Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes 2 and opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 4.

Sunday Independent

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