The Reliable Source Live

Nov 28, 2012

Washington Post columnist Amy Argetsinger was online Wednesday, November 28, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Reliable Source web chat.


Hope your Thanksgiving was pleasant. Now it's officially the holidays! Time for Justice Ginsburg to bust out the bling, for all the one-name celebrities (Danica, Mayim, Kimora, Djimon) to break up quietly, for the RNC and DNC spox to shave their heads, for Charlie Sheen to hand out six-figure gifts, and for Bill Marriott to get the party started on the ice slide!


What else? Al Sharpton is in a rent dispute. . .  Carla Bruni loves the simple life. . .  diplomats rush to the rescue at a socialite’s house fire. . . and the Palm turns 40.


Also on our radar if not in our column: A guide to all the Petraeus scandal fixers. . . . A big change in anchorwoman style. . . . And, of course, R.I.P. Larry Hagman.


Looking forward to your questions.

Say boyfriend Olivier did instigate the brawl with her baby daddy (did you see his face?!?) and it's his preferred method of settling differences, how stupid is Halle for continuing the relationship?

I wouldn't rush to judgement about who is at fault here in a matter that hasn't yet gone to trial. I think none of us can really know what goes on in someone else's relationship; nor is it easy to divine the truth of what happened during an emotionally charged custody dispute. All we know for sure is that Halle Berry has always had exotically bad taste in men.

It's easy to spot celebrities at some airports. A couple of years ago, I was flying out of National, and in a 15 minute time period I saw Andrew Young, David Gregory and Peter Orszag. Monday morning I saw Rick Bayless (with wife and daughter) at Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. Made my holiday!

You have a good eye. People, this is one reason not to walk through the airport staring at your cell phone. 

Liam Hemsworth.  Given Daniel Craig will be in the role of James Bond for some time, I mean a more mature version of him. My friend mage this suggestion awhile ago and I laught at it then, but kind of like it the more and more I think about.

I disagree. He is a very handsome kid, and who knows how handsome he'll be at 35, say. But I don't think the public would ever accept a Bond who was so familiar as a youngster. It would rob him of his mystery. If Daniel Craig had been a teen star, he would not now be able to play Bond.


Meanwhile, you know, I really thought for a second that you were talking about Chris Hemsworth, until I saw you linked to the Miley engagement. How can we tell our Hemsworths apart? It's so much more confusing now that Josh Hutcherson has starred in ensembles with both of them. Josh Hutcherson: Not  a Hemsworth. Must remember.

Jerk? Or the Biggest Jerk?

Carla Bruni? She is my personal hero. She's got mad swagger. She don't care what anybody thinks, that Carla Bruni. Love her.

Current and ex slugging it out: HOT

Honestly, who can blame a girl for getting drawn into this? Drama!

Why can't I stop thinking of that song from the Sondheim musical, "A Little Night Music": "liasons. . .what's happened to them? When things got rather touchy, he deeded me a duchy"

Ah, Lindsay, Lindsay, Lindsay. She lacks the discipline to be a skillful mistress. Charlie was generous, but that's still pocket change to him. Maybe he feels she's a kindred spirit.

If Charlie were to give you a $100,000 gift, what are the tax implications to that?

I don't know. You can give...what, $11,000 per year as a tax-free gift? Money people, help us out.

What will happen to the awesome Dallas reboot without the great Mr Hagman?

Apparently he had taped 6 of the planned 15 episodes for  Season Two before he died. If I were the producers, I think I'd just decide that maybe Season Two has only six episodes and will be our Last Season. It was so marvelous to have J.R. back, suddenly the oldest man on television but with such spectacular spirit and eyebrows.

Hey, is it me or is it seriously difficult to find the Reliable Source on the website now? I had to type it in, click on a story and then on your header to get the full reliable source. Yikes!

Someone else complained about this today; apparently there's some retooling of the Style page in progress and things are getting shuffled around. You can always find us via the Lifestyle tab. Meanwhile, why don't you just bookmark us?

I'm in Chicago. David Axelrod walked past me yesterday on the street, looking in no particular hurry to be anywhere, though clearly he was there for a reason. Do these guys take a break after something so big as a presidential election or are they always working hard behind the scenes on one thing or another.

After the 2008 election, the campaign team played a part in the transition -- helping with appointments, etc. For a second term, they can -- and should -- take a break and reconnect with family. The campaign was 18 months of work; taking a month or so off to chill seems like a smart idea to me.

She'll be able to pay Charlie back now that she has made the big comeback in Liz & Dick and the big cash-money roles will be coming in, right?

Hahahahahaha. You're so mean.

Celebs? Only in Washington...

More than here, I dare say....

Isn't Lenny Kravitz a little too old and/or short to be playing Marvin?

Thoughts, anyone? You're right, he's a few inches shorter than Marvin Gaye, and already four years older than Marvin when he died. (Can't believe Marvin Gaye was only 44 when he died.) Of course, Marvin Gaye was living pretty roughly during his final years, whereas Lenny Kravitz is probably an extreme-health freak like so many people in showbiz these days. . .

When I saw that headline, my knee jerk reaction was to get ready to get my backup but it was actually a pretty positive pro-woman peice. Good job, post.

Yes, please go read Katherine Boyle's fascinating story about the dramatic changes in anchor style that have crept up on us. What happened to blazers and helmet hair? They're gone, gone for good.

Rhianna, Halle Berry, or Hope Solo?

I vote Rhianna--but only because we can see the recklessness in public and it seems she likes to stir the pot. Halle likes bad boys. Hard to say, really.

It's a lot less "hot" when you frame it as "stepfather punches out father of toddler, while toddler is nearby." Sorry to be humorless, but this is no laughing matter.

Point taken.

If you got an honorary consul title, what would you do to take advantage of it?

I think I'd find it very useful in the part of my life that has to interface with motor vehicle enforcement. Probably use it exclusively for that.

Did either of you see this movie? I started but was really turned off by the Lilo/old guy love scenes. I know older guy/younger woman relationships are nothing new but it was so bad for me that I couldn't even pretend they were Liz and Dick. And I was already trying to ignore Lilo pretending to be Liz while sounding like Lilo.

I did. The real Liz and Dick were only six years apart in age, but that wasn't the problem. The problem is that Lilo was terrible. Script wasn't great, but she was flat out hopeless as Liz: None of the seductive glamour  (despite all the low-cut dresses), none of the charisma. So much for a comeback.

What's wrong with Hope Solo's taste in men?

Boyfriend arrested for domestic violence earlier this month.

Actually, I don't think it's fair to say that Berry has bad taste in men, but rather that her exes had bad taste in picking her. Except for Benet's sex addition, do we have any actual proof of Halle's many complaints, all of which always come after the relationship is over? Isn't it just as likely that the real problem in every relationship has been Halle? If I had to choose between her or Aubry telling the truth, given their histories, I'd go with Aubry.

Well, it does take two to tango, but neither David Justice nor Eric Benet sound like entirely healthy guys.

With the history of just having Donna Reed replace Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas should just replace Larry Hagman with another actor and pretend it is the same guy and nothing has changed. I suggest Nicolas Cage.

You know, that's not a terrible idea. Could be a win-win. Nic Cage needs this right now.

Jesse L. Martin of Law & Order fame has been promising a Marvin Gaye biography for years. What a dissapointment.

Ah---he would have been great. Very soulful guy.

I know, rumors are just rumors. But after losing all that weight I wonder if she'd be happy to be pregnant again. If she is, I bet she will be sticking to a strict diet this time around.

Why has Jessica Simpson's weight became our great national spectator sport? Who cares?

Hope Solo has just married a whole different level of trouble than anything Rihanna and Halle have gotten mixed up with. Jerramy Stevens has a history of violence, some of it against women:

Ah---didn't realize they got married after the fight.

Really? I kind of get the whole baby-bump watch, but now we have to go nuts over the way she combs her hair now?

Hey, Great Britain needs its own national spectator sport.

Rhianna wins because she keeps going back to the bad guys. She had a chance to move on with Matt Kemp but she would rather go back to the bad guy.

Love is funny. Not ha-ha funny, weird and hard to explain funny.

in defense of Al Sharpton, I think he still owes some money from the Tawana Brawley civil verdict.


so we had Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday . . . what is today?

Tired Wednesday.

I give credit to the people on the front page of your newspaper today. It is really tough to find a brown paper bag these days, and putting a plastic bag on heir heads would be unsafe. I admire their dedication,

Eco-fans! It's a trend.

I dunno how essential the mystery is: Pierce Brosnan starred in a pretty popular tv show (with Stephanie Zimbalist) when he was young called Remington Steele; 'course, this would have been when Amy was a small child

Indeed, I was just a lass -- and an avid, obsessive "Remington Steele" watcher. But Brosnan was pushing 30 when he first took on that role, playing not just a grownup but a grownup very much in the Bond mold. Whereas Liam Hemsworth has become super-famous for playing a teenager in "The Hunger Games."

I just don't think Lenny has the gravitas to play Marvin. Marvin was a musical legend, and Lenny's hacky, bad 70s-sounding impersonation will always make him out to be something of a musical fraud. Probably not a good enough actor to get beyond that. The only upside -- maybe a role for Lisa Bonnet as a groupie or something?

Lenny might surprise us, but I'm worried about him getting that sweet, soulful aspect of Marvin. Part of the reason this movie got the green light has to do with music rights, according to Rolling Stone.  

Do you think Halle Berry secretly enjoys seeing two men fighting over her? (Of course this isn't high school, and there's an innocent child involved, but still...)

Drama! (But yes, caveats noted. Even drama-magnets don't truly enjoy the trouble their tendencies get them into.)

Jesse L Martin would have been perfect. Any way we can make this happen?

Doubtful -- unless Lenny drops out and the producers have to scramble to replace him.

You can give $13,000 tax free, rest of that is income to LiLo. Sheen needed to fill out an IRS form reporting the gift. My guess is neither one has a clue between them. Alert the IRS!

Oh, I'm sure the IRS has a special task force devoted to the two of them. But meanwhile: Charlie Sheen -- what a great guy.

That comment about Kate Middleton made me wonder if poor Prince Harry (well, poor is a relative term) will end up being the brother of one king and the father of another, but never king himself (kind of always a bridesmaid, never a bride thing).

That's the most likely case, unless William and Catherine don't have heirs. And honestly -- it's an ideal job: A great title, all the money, the ability to do pretty much as you please, but very few of the kingly responsibilities. 

Did he save his job by issuing the apology? Sound like the church exploited him?

I think he's just made himself a major star. Who ever paid attention to Angus T. Jones before this week?

Can you imagine having something you went on and on about at 19 years old being sprayed all over the internet?

I hope child stars have a support group for this kind of thing.

Did she dye it? Chop it all off? Get a "Rachel"?

Bangs. And not serious bangs. It's barely a change.

Will this be a pretty low-key event--like a second wedding? No white gowns or bouquet tossing? Will there be a ball or just a potluck lunch?

Can't we all just go down to the courthouse and get it done fast? Maybe go out to brunch later?

Dear Movie Producers (who read the chat), As a ticket-buying American, I will not see a Marvin Gaye biopic that stars Lenny Kravitz. I will, however, see one that stars Jesse L Martin. Please use this information anyway you see fit. Regards, The American People

Or: Regards, One Passionate Fan.

in respond to the prior question, he was also accused of rape while in college, though being a football star, it seems his school went to great lengths to get that taken care of. The Seattle Times did a really good story on it a few years ago.

Thanks for that.

The Kirk Cameron of his generation?

Ha. Let's hope. He's going to end up with way more money than Kirk Cameron and can pretty much do whatever the heck he wants for the rest of his life.

If only the rest of the workforce could dress more like that well, with a little longer hemlines. Plus, it's so cold in this office that my bare arms would freeze.

Takes a lot of work to get your arms in sleeveless-shape, too.

Have you guys seen it yet? When I first saw the commercials, it looked like it was oddly a little cheaply made. But I keep hearing now that it is the greatest movie since West Side Story. Hoping my initial thoughts were wrong.

Saw it, liked it very much. Unlike a lot of Spielberg movies, this one is very contained -- almost all of the action is indoors with actors talking. No sweeping shots, except a couple war scenes. All the emphasis is on the acting and characters, which is why all the Oscar buzz. The performances are across the board very, very good.

Does that make today Broke Wednesday, living on crumbs till the 1st of the month?

That too!

Is there a linK? I really want to see it !

No link yet. I'm working on it. Promise to figure it out before Christmas.

Who's Hope Solo?

She's the U.S. women's soccer goalie who, in addition to being an excellent player, has gotten a lot of attention for being very good looking (and appearing on  Dancing with the Stars last year). Earlier this month, she got married to former NFL star Jerramy Stevens after dating for two months and just a day after he was arrested for a domestic incident at their home -- though the marriage was very hush-hush and not completely confirmed at first, though she's now acknowledging it. "I'm happily married," she told reporters yesterday.

is Timothy Bottoms available?

Isn't he busy with "That's My Bush!"?

A gift is not income to the recipient. It's a gift! It is reportable by the giver. Not that anyone cares. I barely care.

Which is why I wonder where Lilo will be in 5 years.

Wonder who said grace at the Petraeous house on Thanksgiving? More than one turkey at that table.

Thanks, you. I was wondering if we'd totally run out of things to say about the Petraeus scandal.

indicated today should be sit on your tush and drink coffee and read day.

Isn't every day Sit On Your Tush and Drink Coffee and Read Day? No? Well, I've been misinformed.

Barely any of you have heard of Jesse L Martin. Many of you, however, know who Lenny Kravitz is. We have found, over the years, that name recognition is an important factor in projects like a Marvin Gaye biopic. xoxo, Movie Producers.

Ha! True, but name recognition couldn't save "Liz and Dick."

Does Roxanne provide treats from her specialty for the holiday season?

Roxanne is a very good person to know during all seasons, but maybe especially the holiday season.

Would you agree with the statement "If someone tells you they are rich, they are probably not." At least with out empirical evidence to the contrary.

Hmm, I don't know. Let's try it out.


"I'm rich."


Did that sound plausible? Not really, huh? I guess you're right.

I remember reading somewhere that she lost hearing in one ear as a result of a particularly abusive boyfriend at one point. If you track back, each of her men has consistently had something a little wrong, usually centered around a temper problem. Then again, she has also been rumored to have a major temper problem so.... I am so glad this is an anonymous gossip forum, I feel so sleazy right now!

It also makes you realize how little we really know about any of the stars, even if we see photos of them every week.

The giver pays the taxes (see Bunny Mellon and John Edwards).

Here you go.

Where were the Finns in all this???

I don't know, but it is hard to pry oneself out of that amazing sauna.

I do not like seeing newswomen on TV wearing skin-tight sleeveless short sheath dresses. It looks unprofessional, and is unflattering to even the skinniest or best-toned older women. Put on a jacket and wear a longer skirt (or slacks), ladies. That is all.

Opinion noted.

Chamique Holdsclaw. I wouldn't want her angry at me.

No kidding. Why don't we all make a New Year's resolution to stop dating professional athletes? It seems like a lot of trouble, whichever one you pick.

I was listening to the second hour of the Diane Rehm Show this morning (a discussion of Tom Wolfe's novel "Bonfire of the Vanities" on its 25th anniversary), and a caller related that he remembered Lisa Druck from the '80s in NYC, as part of that scene. He added that she later changed her name -- to Rielle Hunter! Am I the last person to have known this factoid? And it adds a whole new level to "What was John Edwards thinking"? (or perhaps, more accurately, what was he thinking with?).

It was noted but pretty much lost in the ongoing Edwards drama, which was much juicier than her time in New York.

Idris Elba. Just because.

I  think casting Idris Elba as Marvin Gaye makes about as much sense as casting him as Lyndon Johnson -- but heck, I'd go see it, too.

The recipient never pays taxes on gifts (but the IRS has standards for what constitutes a gift). Since Lindsey doesn't work for Charlie and he's not running a sweepstakes, I think she's in the clear. But under current law, if something happens to Charlie in the next few years, the amount of the gift that exceeds the gift tax exclusion will be included in his taxable estate. I'm not sure whether that's lifetime gifts or just gifts given within a few years of death. The point of the gift tax is to prevent rich people from giving away their assets to friends and family so there's nothing left in the estate to tax, so I'm not sure that gifts given long before there could be any anticipation of death would be taxable. I am sure that the IRS's attitude to sudden, unanticipatable death is "sorry, those are the breaks," though, so most of the $100,000 will be counted in his estate for a while. (And given Charlie's behavior, could you say it was entirely unanticipated?)

Thanks for the tax lesson. As for Charlie -- he appears to be surprisingly healthy for a guy with his track record. Good genes, I'm guessing.

Is this the trendy meal now? Son and fiance in Seattle want a "rehearsal brunch" rather than regular "rehearsal dinner" because they love breakfast.

I hadn't heard of it, but a Google search suggest it's a concept that's occured to other people. Hey, anything to break up the cruel hegemony of the typical wedding weekend.

Could Prince Harry marry a cousin like his family has been doing for generations? Elizabeth II and Philip are second cousins once removed (by descent from Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel) and third cousins (by descent from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert). They got married in 1947 and the whole cousins thing was at issue. Would it matter today since it's kind of what royals (although I guess it would make difference if she was a first cousin versus a fifth cousin, once removed).

You think Prince Harry would want to marry a cousin? I mean, talk about a guy who has a world of options. . .

What if they adopt? Would that child still be the heir to the throne?

Sure, but I think they'd have to pull off an elaborate ruse where she walks around with a fake belly and then they sneak this foundling they've procured into the back entrance, etc. Just kidding, I don't really know; but I'd bet you anything that's actually happened at some point for some royal family.

Any word on who will play the gifted Motown singer Tammy Terrell, his singing partner who died tragically of a stroke she suffered while performing on-stage with him, at only age 24?

Nope -- Lenny is the only cast member announced so far.

Sounds like a free spirit to the end. It was touching to read that his two longtime co-stars, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy, were at his bedside when he died. How many of us would want co-workers there when we passed? (Well, obviously Amy and Roxanne, but most of us are not that lucky.)

Well, sounds like he was actually in Dallas filming episodes when he took ill, so they may have been among the nearest and dearest who were nearest to him at the time. But it is kind of sweet and makes my 12-year-old fangirl self very  happy.

I love Aretha, Yo-Yo and Itzhak and all the rest, but can't we have some of our fine LOCAL musicians perform at Obama's second Presidential inauguration?

It's not a local event, even though it is held here in D.C. Gotta keep that in mind.

Is this Tariq's big chance? He might be the lesser of the crazy people currently contemplating a run!

Run, Tareq, run!

Who do you think he hates more: Sheen or the little brat?

Hey, all you Halle-bashers -- why is no one here asking if "Two and a Half Men" producer Chuck Lorre is a drama-magnet with terrible taste in men?

How often do you get pulled over? Scofflaw!!!

Just a series of misunderstandings. I don't hold any grudges.

Seriously? Did you never watch "Law and Order" when he was on it as Jerry Orbach's final sidekick?

I won't fault anyone for not being able to keep straight the vast number of sidekicks over "Law and Order"'s 75-year run.


By the way, before we wrap up, thanks for all the questions -- tons of them today, and sorry we couldn't get around to more of them.

Did everyone have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving?

Amy and I had lovely long weekends with family. Hope you all did as well.

Of course, we're all gearing up for Christmas and other holiday madness, so send your shopping sightings, office party intel, and other tips to Next week, everyone.


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