Another gold star incident involving Michael Jackson came to light yesterday. He made a weirdo appearance and got a lot of press -- his favorite thing to do.
Jackson apparently decided to visit his local congressman recently. He had his chauffeur driven Bentley pull up to the local office of Rep. Elton Gallegly in Solvang, Calif. Unfortunately, Gallegly wasn't there, but his deputy, Steve Lavagnino was present for the fun.
Jackson, wearing a Spider-Man mask, asked Lavagnino why their surrounding area doesn't have more fast food restaurants. Lavagnino replied by pointing out there's a Subway sandwich shop. Jackson retorted: "But I like Taco Bell!"
By the time this hit the wire services yesterday, Lavagnino had already been put on ice by the congressman's office. All calls were referred to the Washington office, where Tom Pfeiffer handled calls.
So did this really happen? "It did," Pfeiffer told me. He assured me that the now sequestered Lavagnino was a longtime resident of the area and knew Jackson from an impostor. Pfeiffer did say that Lavagnino was alone at the time and there were no other witnesses.
This all comes a day or so after Jackson had his picture taken wearing a fake Afro in Miami, and on the heels of his settlement with Sotheby's over paintings he hadn't paid for. What's going on? Is Michael crazy?
Crazy, I would say, as a fox. Jackson knows how to manipulate the press, and this week he's already gotten two good publicity hits for strange behavior. But believe me, it is orchestrated by the Gloved One.
As nuts as you may think he is, Jackson knows that riding around in a Bentley looking for fast food will get him the attention he craves.
Think of him as a publicity vampire. Attention is the blood he needs to suck. So hey there, Mike, we haven't forgotten about you! We're just taking a rest before your next trial starts. We have duly noted your Miami appearances and await your purchase of a new home there.
I am told that Natalie Wood's daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, is engaged to be married. Her intended is screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis, good friend of actors John and Joan Cusack, and author of movies like Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity.
The 32-year-old daughter of Wood and Richard Gregson was raised by actor Robert Wagner after Wood died in a mysterious 1981 drowning. Gregson had been married to Wood in between her marriages to Wagner. An up and coming actress, Wagner has three new films set to come out this year including Wonderland also starring Val Kilmer and Lisa Kudrow.
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department et al seem like they're taking forever with the Lana Clarkson murder investigation. But I am told there is a purpose to this slowness.
The Sheriff's Department will not present evidence in the case before August 1st, even though the murder took place on Feb. 3. The reason for this is simple, says a police source: They want to make sure their i's are dotted and t's crossed.
"There is a lot of evidence, and it must be handled properly," said my source, recalling the O.J. Simpson debacle.
Indeed, the amount of time here is not unusual, he insists. And for an example, look at the Robert Blake case. The police took months gathering that evidence before arresting and arraigning Blake.
Phil Spector should note that the police are not amused by his pronouncements of being cleared in the case. That is simply not true, reminds our source. And lest he think Lana Clarkson's mom has gotten over her grief, the truth is quite the opposite. I am told the Clarksons have been in touch with the police and remain devastated by their loss.
The August 1st date, by the way, will not be an arraignment as such. That may be the day the evidence is presented. Or Spector and attorney Robert Shapiro could ask for another postponement. There's a good chance we won't hear Spector plead in court before Labor Day.
Great story yesterday from the British press and picked up the New York papers: Matrix director Larry Wachowski is a cross-dresser. By last night the story going around was that he wanted to have a sex change, like the main character in the HBO Movie Normal.
If it's true, it's his business. If it's not, and it's a hoax perpetrated by the Wachowskis, it's even better. The brothers have made a big deal out of having no publicity. No one's ever heard a word about this latest peccadillo, and I suspect it may be a hoax perpetrated by Wachowski just for fun -- much like the Coen Brothers' insistence that Fargo was based on a real story. (It wasn't.) Something tells me if this news were true, it might have come out years ago. Oh well, life in The Matrix is surreal, isn't it?