Celebritology Live

Feb 04, 2010

Join Celebritology blogger Liz Kelly to gab about the latest celebrity pairings (and splittings), rising stars (and falling ones) and get the scoop on the latest gossip making waves across the Web.

Afternoon. A busy one in Celebritology land. At long last, the LA County Coroner's office has finally ruled on cause of death in not one, but two recent high-profile deaths. First, Brittany Murphy's death was ruled accidental. From the AP story:

The primary cause of the death was community acquired pneumonia, with contributing factors of iron deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication.

For Casey Johnson, the official cause of death is "Diabetic Ketoacidosis," but TMZ.com is reporting that "sources" close to the investigation think neglect was closer to the truth. She wasn't taking her insulin meds, basically.

So, with that as a somewhat businesslike and grim preamble, let's get started...

Oh yeah -- also, we're trying out the new chat format. Let me know what you think.

I'm in an alternate timeline. Does the Lost chat still follow this one?

No indeed. The "Lost" Hour chat has flashed back to Wednesdays at 2 p.m. ET, so as to stick with the idea of chatting the day after the show airs. You can read the transcript of yesterday's show here.

I know. I was going to write about this for tomorrow's main blog post, but  turns out it isn't true. According to a designer who apparently is actually working on some kind of clothing line with lil' Noah, there is no plan to expand into boudoir wear for the pre-tween set.

According to TMZ, the coroner attributes cause of death to " 'community acquired pneumonia,' iron deficiency anemia, and multiple drug intoxication" As to the multiple drug intoxication - can't "drugs" mean anything over-the-counter, to prescription, to street drugs?

Yep. I think what we're meant to assume is that Brittany had a veritable smorgasbord of drugs in her system at the time of death.

According to TMZ:


As for the multiple drugs found in her system, we're told they were both prescription, including medicine for cramps, and over-the-counter medications, including cough syrup. Our sources say the drugs "pushed her over the line" but the underlying problems were the pneumonia and anemia.

Liz: Imagine my shock when I open my US Weekly and see a photo of my beloved wearing what appears to be a wedding ring!! Any updates on this?? Watching my little fantasty world fall apart ...

I'm sorry Liz.

"Fantasty" -- I'm thinking that was a typo, but it works.

If Daniel's married, the ceremony must've been held on the down-low. But he has been a notoriously private guy, so that wouldn't be much of a surprise.

I do recall rumors of an alleged engagement -- to film producer Satsuki Mitchell -- sometime in the last year or so. I  think she was snapped wearing what looked like an engagement ring or somesuch.


So, maybe?

A moment of silence, please, for the loss of a great D.C. area celebrity, Tai Shan. I hope they treat you well in China, big guy.

Don't be a stranger, dude.

When I read that I though it meant Lindsay was hoarding secrets and was so confused. If anything, that girl's problem is she doesn't have nearly enough secrets!

I love that she's a potential hoarder (of junk -- even if it is expensive designer junk). That actually makes her 100 times more interesting to me. She's moved out of the realm of vapid, possibly drugged up, actress on the rocks into the much more interesting space of a woman with a totally illogical compulsion. I've already envisioned her meeting an end wherein she's buried by a mountain of Jimmy Choos.

Mel Gibson can't help himself. Promoting his new movie via satellite interview with WGN in Chicago, he took umbrage at a reporter's questions about his past and neglected to realize his mic wasn't off as the interview wrapped.

The London Daily Telegraph has the video.

Featured this in the Morning Mix a couple of days ago, but will post for anyone who has not yet seen it. My first reaction was that I can't believe the guy (Mel) is surprised to be getting these questions. He says something early on in the interview about having done his "mea culpa thing" and seems to think that should suffice and we should all just now put the whole DUI arrest/anti-semitic rant behind us.

Sorry, Mel, but you don't get to decide that.

Hope all is well with your pregancy! I am impressed with your stamina on Tuesday night. I am 26 weeks along now but could not even make it all the way through the recap show on Tuesday. I watched the premier on DVR last night and my little one was jumping like crazy all throughout. Her new fetal name is Dharma. Cheers!

Trust me, I was running on pure adrenalin at that point.

I like it, but it's hard to get used to since my brain is automatically programmed to submit a question at the bottom of the page. A few more chats and the old format will seem awkward.

That's the spirit.

is freaking me out! How come other chats aren't like this?

FYI -- you can turn off the auto-publish feature in the bar at the top, if that helps. You'll just have to refresh the page to see new questions.

Well, soon they will all be like this and there will be video and all kinds of neat doo-dads embedded in these here chats. It's a brave new world.


We were long overdue for a change. The software we had been using -- which has been great -- hasn't truly been upgraded since the late '90s.

just so I know, have you tested the new chat software to see if you can post pics of Christina Hendricks?

Aspects of it had to be...expanded to accomodate.

Christina Hendricks

I can't believe Paul let this one pass without embedding a pic.

Ick...Nast...Don't like the new format at all....

What's not to like? It'll grow on you. Give it time.


Andy likes it.

He could easily avoid the question by avoiding interviews. It's his choice.

Exactly. If he wants to re-ignite his acting career, he needs to be prepared to deal with his past actions.

Juvenile Diabetes doesn't strike me as the sort of thing to practice "tough love" about. So if Casey Johnson's family hadn't imposed "tough love," might not this have been reasonably avoided?

Well, she was 30... I'm not sure we can continue to blame the family at this point.

How do you pronounce Casey's mother's (Sale Johnson's) name? Sail? Sally? Sa-LAY? None of the above?

I believe it's just "Sally."

Okay, my scenario was that she'd die passed out in a drugged out mess on the bedroom floor, with her cell phone in one hand and a cigarette in the other. But I can move her to the closet under a pile of Jimmy Choos.

Right -- I don't think the two scenarios are mutually exclusive.

15 minutes in, and I gotta say, I'm not lovin the new format -- it just doesn't follow in real-time like the old format, and looks too much like the comments sections of a blog post. But, more importantly, was it just me, or was resident first-tier Celebritology hearthrob John Hamm pretty weak on Sat. Night Live last week?

Ya know, I didn't watch. It takes a lot for me to actually watch "SNL" these days. It's just so... not... funny. And after watching January Jones choke and burn last year, well, I pretty much swore off the show.

Someone mentioned on the Celebritology board earlier this week that there's a photo out there of Lady Gaga wearing "normal" clothes. Can Producer Paul locate it and post the link for us? I'm guessing she looks so different from her on-stage persona that when she goes out in public in mufti, she has almost total privacy in terms of not being recognized.

No luck on the Google, and I'm afraid if I keep looking the Post IT dept. will confiscate my computer.


May I appeal to the wisdom of the crowd?

Paul, any luck? I can't seem to find one.

Is Tila Tequila really like fo'serious done on Twitter? Where will she post all her baby pics?

I can't imagine someone -- Tila -- who was so obsessed with Twitter just quitting cold turkey. She was online 23-and-a-half hours a day. I predict a return. And soon.


Hey, Courtney Love couldn't stay away.

Not a question, but happened to see good ol' Nathan Filion at the Arc Light in LA the other weekend. He was paying for his parking at one of the pre-pay machines - no valet for him.

Love the Nathan Fillion.

How is your Restless Leg Syndrome (if I remember correctly you experience it)? I am newly gifted with it or didn't know why I was having the symptoms before. I just thought I was weird. Also, I like the new format even though as I get older I find myself acting more like my grandpa and think new technology is pointless until I give it more time. Oy vey.

The RLS is under control thanks to a fabulous neurologist and, now, the cooperation of my OB. Good luck with it. There are tons of online resources to help point you in the right direction for treatment. Trust me, it is possible to control RLS and lead a somewhat normal life, complete with restful sleep.


And thanks for the comments re: the new chat format.

I LOVE the new format but having a hard time resisting pressing F5. It has become such a knee jerk reaction for me.

Well, i don't think it'll hurt anything. So, hey, keep pressing.

Hi Liz. I'm lost. I need a valentine's day present for my boyfriend. He likes golf. Isn't super into gadgets. Also likes good beer. Help!

Ummm, a trip to a clubhouse happy hour?

Ick. Not smooth. Plus, we've lost the cute handles. Menswear in Tyson, Above the Apple Store. Other cute names for the particular topic.

Well you can still append those handles if you like. Just add them at the beginning or end of the question. Or put them in the topic area.

Grr. You change your format. My office email has to "migrate" tonight to a brand new system and who knows how much will survive the move?


And I'm sniffling over the video of Tai Shan's keepers handing him those last slices of apples this morning before he trundled off the Fed Ex Panda Express.


Please tell me you have some cute pictures of your furry friends to post--I need an some cheer today.

Have I shared this one yet?

Liz, are you, Opie, Andy, and Page telecommuting tomorrow?

I will, hopefully, be on a jet bound for Puerto Rico. Andy and Opie will be holding down the fort -- along with Page and our housesitter extraordinaire.

I once gave someone who really likes good beer, a growler. It's a big jug for beer and usually if you take it to a microbrewery, they'll fill it up for you to take home. It was a big hit! He takes it with him to breweries all the time.

There you go -- a growler. Just throw a golf ball in the jug and you're set.

By the way, my mom is attending the premier of Claire Dane's new HBO movie tonight and I lobbied for her extra ticket just so I could report on the red carpet action. I think Celebritology has taken over my life.

It's okay. Just succumb. Easier that way.

It's like pain meds after surgery. You can press, press, and press that button, but it will only deliver the prescribed dosage. Pressing the button makes you feel like you're in control.

Just press every 108 minutes.


Okay, so only the "Lost" geeks will get that, but it's okay.

So who is "the boss" when you are away Liz: Andy , Opie, or Page? I am guessing not Page..maybe one of the boys.

I'm not sure I want to know what goes on when we're not there.

I just didn't understand it.... Is it possible that she is heading full speed ahead on the crazy train again?

Good question. (See Britney's icky Grammy dress here, along with some other questionable looks).


I'm not going to worry until she busts out the pink wig again.

What about a set of Tiger Woods mistress golf balls?

She can go on "Hoarders" to keep her name out there --  it's not like Hollywood is knocking on her door much more.

Right. And it'll differentiate her from all her peers who gravitate to "Celebrity Rehab." Speaking of which, anyone watching the new season? What happened to Heidi Fleiss's face?

Oooh!! I can't believe I got a shout out! I don't know how long I'll be "Above the Apple Store." But this has just made my day and you better believe this link has already been emailed to friends:)

I love this chat.

...is TOTALLY under-rated as a great Caribbean destination. Have fun Liz and Mr. Liz and soon-to-be-baby Liz!

Oh, it's our third time back to the same place -- Vieques. I would totally recommend to anyone interested in a low-key getaway. Really the only things to do are eat, sleep, read and go to the beach.

This is how beer used to be sold for takeaway in 19th century saloons.


As the song goes: There was a little man and he had a little can and he used to rush the growler He went to a saloon on a Sunday afternoon, you oughta heard the bartender holler. "No more beer, no more beer, no more beer on Sunday. "No more beer, no more beer, you gotta get your can filled Monday."


The chorus, believe it or not is: She's the only girl I love, her face like a horse and buggy Leanin' up against a lake, ooohhhhhhh fireman, save my child.

I'm so confused.

Speaking of the Grammys, is it just me or is Pink very ... androgynous?

You're just noticing this now?

Too many drugs, and too much whatevercrap they inject into lips...many of the rehabers have the same scary face look. Too much abuse.

But with Heidi -- it's as if whatever was injected into her lips left them deflated rather than inflated. I hesitate to say it, but she looks like she had an accident playing with fire.

The apres ski togs are flying off the racks. I think most of the buyers are poseurs. I take it that Mister Liz doesn't need any apres ski togs in Vieques.

Nope -- all we need for vieques is a pair of flip-flops and a straw hat.

When she was on Oprah she said she never dresses in "normal" clothes anymore because she loves her clothing designs and works hard on them.


She said sometimes she will take something from her show and wear it during the day while she worked on her designs and song inspiration. Sounds good to me. She's a cool cat.

I'm not wild about her music, but I can appreciate that she's a creative person who has figured out a way to make it on her own terms.

Liz, good vibes for your flight tomorrow! On a celebrity related note, did you read the Oscar Roundtable in this week's Newsweek?


Morgan Freeman, Jeff Bridges, Gabourey Sidibe (yes, I had to look that up), Woody Harrelson, Carey Mulligan, and Sandra Bullock. Sandy seems very down-to-earth (and anti-Twitter), Harrelson is funny, Sidibe seems like a hard worker with her head on straight.


I'm still not sure who Carey Mulligan is, not having seen "An Education", while Morgan Freeman has, erm, a firm grasp of his self-worth. And I think Jeff Bridges really *is* The Dude. Bullock and Bridges were the two most interesting, IMHO.

I did not read that yet. Maybe I'll save it for the plane tomorrow.

And I would totally check out "An Education" if you're able. A well done little movie. Carrie Mulligan, as I've said before, is basically a Katie Holmes who can actually act.

I've never thought Taylor Swift could sing whatever her other considerable talents may be and she was awful at the Grammys.


What do you think about the kerfuffle and her record company blaming it on tech problems? Seems like shifting the blame to those who don't deserve it to me...but then I've been a tech on live shows so I'm sensitive.

Tech problems = she just can't sing "Rhiannon." Did you see Stevie Nicks's face while they were on stage? She was mortified.

Of course, there's not just the DUI and crazed drunker anti-Semitic rant, there's the fact that this self-professed conservative Catholic left his wife and the mother of his eight children for a considerably younger Russian model.

Well, yeah, but that's hardly illegal and not too different from the lives led by many of his contemporaries. The DUI incident, however, took things to a new level.

She is much less androgynous in person. I'm not friends with her but she looks way more feminine than some might think.

Thanks for the insight.

My husband and I just got back from Vieques a few weeks ago and loved it. So low-key and great beaches. Hope they can whip up a non-alcoholic daiquiri for you on the malecon.

We have a few places that have become go-tos for food and bevs. Restaurant Bili in Esperanza ... can't wait to get a taste of that cassava salad.

This is getting better the longer the chat goes on. I just realized I can scroll down through questions/answers while typing my own submission. I love it. I always feel bad repeating a question and wasting time on all of us.

A plus. We have a plus!

I love her! I just don't like her movies that much.

Yeah, she does seem like a really cool person and someone who would be a great friend. But, yeah, I'm not a big fan of her  movies, either.

And a swimsuit, right?

Well,  yeah. I don't think Vieques is ready for us to go starkers.

I'm such a do do. I almost forgot to share a link to this week's new Twits episode. We have a brand new quiz format -- you must check it out. Basically, actors reenact celeb Tweets as usual, but you have to guess (out of a list of four potential celebs) which one tweeted which statement.


If you like it, pass it on.

Maybe so, but how many of his contemporaries are as vocal as he was about being religious? I mean, it's one thing when Jude Law turns out to be a scumbag. It's another thing when someone who is so smug about his own goodness does it.

You have a point there.

I decided this a couple of weeks ago. I don't "get" her, whatever that means. I think, unfortunately, it means I'm getting old, but I really don't understand Lady Gaga.

Her music is weird, she dresses weird, I dunno. I guess I can't grasp what she's trying to accomplish here. I think the tipping point for me was her latest Single (Bad Romance?)

I'm convinced that 75% of that song isn't actually words. But everyone loves her. Which is fine, I just don't get it.

The only logical explanation I can come up with is that it's the ultimate Long Con, like some sort of epic, worldwide, episode of "Punked." I keep waiting for Ashton Kutcher to run out and go "Ooooohh World, we got you good!"

Thanks for letting me come out on this one. I don't dislike her, or even really dislike her music. I just don't "get" her, it's official. I'm old, I'm 28 and Old. I also think that "Kids Today Need Haircuts" I'm not joking, I really think this! Have you seen the hair on High School boys today? Get off my Lawn.

Feel better?

Is "Washington, D.C." a topic? I hate the new chat format, but only because it's new. Give me a few days. I already like the photo embedding, and it'll be nice to be able to link to individual questions. I deeply appreciate the old one, though - I started reading Hax chats when I moved overseas in 1997 and haven't missed one since. Can we pour out a little somethin for the old software?

Sure -- how about a little Wild Irish Rose? Or, considering the year it was designed, a Zima?

Okay folks, that's it for this week. Thanks for joining us and for helping to test drive the new chat software.


No chat next week since I'll be (hopefully) napping on a Caribbean beach. Not that I won't be thinking about all of you back here slogging through the snow.

The blog will be staffed by a host of capable subs next week -- including Producer Paul -- next week. So be nice.

Chat at you in two weeks!

In This Chat
Liz Kelly
Accredited Celebritologist Liz Kelly monitors the ups, downs and in-betweens of the stars. She is uniquely qualified to write this blog because of her alarming interest in celebrities and pop culture -- and because Sandra Bullock, Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty attended her high school (not at the same time, but still...)
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